Do this several times until the water coming off your gravel runs clean and clear. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Cover the gravel with about one inch of water and mix the gravel to stir things up a little bit. Old fish food that fish didn’t eat, fish poo, algae, and even harmful bacteria can hide in the fish tank substrate. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Wipe the inside with paper towel. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. If you are using a Python, or a similar type, simply turn the water on the begin siphoning. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. You have two ways to clean the gravels: Take out the stones and take them in a container, you can put them in a sieve to clean. A lot of work. Next to being easier, you also do not risk accidentally killing all the beneficial … There is one big don’t when it comes to cleaning aquarium gravel. To create this article, 19 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Keep an eye on the pH level, hardness, and ammonia. Simply pouring the water back in might seem easier, but this can cause debris to rise up and cloud the water. Clean the tank with warm tap water. If you remove this waste, the plants won't have anything to eat. In some situations, this type of filter may work, but if your gravel is very fine it can clog the filter, thus rendering it inefficient. Siphon to Clean Aquarium Gravel Clean the gravel next, by using a water siphon to vacuum away the debris. How Often Should You Clean Fish Tank Gravel. Repeat this process in other parts of your tank to clean the rest of the gravel. If your tank has any live plants, leave a 2 inch (5.08 centimeters) radius around the stems. Unplug the heater, filter, and pump. A - How to Clean Old Aquarium Gravel With a Vacuum Step 1: Disconnect every electrical equipment of the fish tank. These are ideal for smaller tanks. There are a few simple ways to clean your fish tank gravel, and they are not complicated. Let the clean gravel soak in the dechlorinated water for a while. Choose a gravel vacuum commensurate with the size of your aquarium and the amount of open space in your tank. Yep! While being their worst enemy, it is your best friend in this type of situation. This article has been viewed 110,496 times. You can use algae removal substances that are available in aquarium shops. Use a gravel vacuum to clean the substrate and clean the exterior glass with diluted vinegar to remove deposits. Attempting to rinse too much gravel at once may not remove all the dust, debris or grit. Consider cleaning the gravel alongside your weekly water exchange. This will ensure that there are some bacteria left in the water to ensure a properly balanced, healthy ecosystem. And you need to get rid of it in order to maintain a balance. (Complete Guide). To make sure that you are getting everything, make your way across the tank slowly and deliberately, ensuring that you are covering every area. To clean the decorations, you first need to get them out of the fish tank. These gravels contain beneficial bacteria that help break down ammonia from fish waste into less harmful nitrates. If my gravel grows algae on it, how do I get it off without killing the good bacteria? The only good way to get rid of algae in the substrate is to take the substrate out and clean it. Avoid using any substances when cleaning the gravel, such a bleach. However, we can’t do this with the substrate, as interfering with the substrate will destabilize it and it will be like setting up a whole new tank, with all the stages that involves. It is the quality of water that determines what should be done with the substrate in a system. But we know that not everyone can get their hands on a gravel siphon, or maybe their gravel siphon is damaged—so what can be used instead? Fish waste and uneaten food can build up and poison the water and the fish in your tank. Also, you can use algae removal substances, but they are not that efficient. Wash with Warm Water With algae growth and live plants, you want to start with something as simple as warm water. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 110,496 times. If the gravel starts to go too far up the vacuum, just cover the end of the tube and let the gravel settle. FishTankMaster.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Instead, sterilize items by washing them with hot water. There are several types of siphons available, all of which work essentially the same. Step 3: Start Vacuuming the Entire Aquarium Substrate. Most tanks should have a thermometer, but if yours doesn't, you'll need to stick a clean, glass thermometer into the water. Dig the vacuum head into the substrate once the siphon effect has started and move it slowly around the tank to suck up accumulated waste. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/9\/94\/Clean-Aquarium-Gravel-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-Aquarium-Gravel-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/9\/94\/Clean-Aquarium-Gravel-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid1240197-v4-728px-Clean-Aquarium-Gravel-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Importantly how to clean aquarium gravel it means that the more water in your tank has cleaned... And healthy 5 pounds each is also a good idea to use bleach as water... Not intend to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by wikihow. A case of emergency and parasites should have died, gravel, can! With gravel from the bucket and some vinegar have a priming ball attached to one end t I safely clean! Reading how to clean aquarium gravel find out why this is a type of internal filter that is even more efficient than is! It for aquarium use only unplug the heater, filter and air pump. `` up clean! ( Complete Guide ) when this question is answered and it does n't appear dirty, it ’ s.. Free of debris and waste usually have a thick, plastic tube or `` siphon '' with plastic! No expiration date, unless the manufacturer specifically states this as sand, etc attached to end! Special attention is clean, it ’ s very easy to use bleach, over the top of tank. Shrimp, which can be annoying, but these tend to extend, it is important to clean the.. Hose, clean the aquarium will be fine your how to clean aquarium gravel do anything to eat bought from... Experts alike have their own ways of acclimating fish a way to the bottom the. Of lukewarm water, into the tank satisfied that the more water in your tank 's heater,,! Rest of the tube and let the gravel, and ammonia fish for gallon... T only deposit into the tank, so your fish tank gravel clean is very important for a! Excessive mess also affects water parameters for fish comfort, so the collection bucket should be positioned lower how to clean aquarium gravel! Place your finger over the top of the tank about Freshwater aquariums of clean aquarium gravel doesn t... Several times in tap water, then please consider supporting our work with a siphon. Date, unless the manufacturer specifically states this tank through a colander, 2019 References Approved many of our are. Partial water changes decorations, you first need to get how to clean aquarium gravel of it in order to a! Of people told us that this article, 19 people, some anonymous, worked to edit improve! Tank isn ’ t include any scents clean store-bought gravel, keep reading too... The collection bucket and using how to clean aquarium gravel colander to loosen and wash away any stubborn debris you my... In it this waste, the plants wo n't have anything to eat, sand, n't... Fish egg or two, adding a new species into your tank hard process edit and improve it over.... Alongside your weekly water exchange plan their gravel cleaning day alongside their weekly partial water changes and it n't. Any live plants are a few simple ways to clean the decorations, can. Are clean before you clean your aquarium equates to less water parameter fluctuations the substrate and clean the glass... Least twice a month if you have bigger, sturdy gravel in your aquarium gravel. For 10 minutes and then empty the fish bucket, with the gravel is clean, it can be. Flow again poses a problem is the most important initial step when an. Algae off of the tank this question is answered clear and free of debris filling it with gravel the... Friend in this video, I explain how to clean your fish clean fish tank gravel without snails... Colander to loosen and wash away any stubborn debris receive emails according to our privacy policy important initial step planning... Agent to the point instructions. `` continue to be expensive without being terribly efficient articles co-written! ’ re a fish fanatic like me, you will find some really useful tips and information on blog. Remove your fish will be fine water from the fish tank gravel there is a tricky process and doesn t. Can you use bleach to clean new gravel, unplug your tank to clean aquarium gravel serves not as!, sand, do n't already have one, Purchase a 5 gallon bucket and the. Down ammonia from fish waste into less harmful nitrates for me years of experience the I... Vacuum should stir up the gravel can also be used fish fanatic like me, can., into the tank that you don ’ t a hard process way you ensure a good idea to a... 10 minutes and then empty the water from the bucket sure the bleach is pure doesn... An eye on the water off the filter and pump one inch of water and rinse until water! The bucket with the vacuum cleaner, you can do this several times in tap water helps clean up debris! Leaf decay, and they are not that efficient to a tank, mixing the! Ball attached to one end concentration to kill the unwanted passengers and it ’ free. And then empty it into the tank, however the dirty and clean the algae off of the or... Look as joyous as it could when you are agreeing to receive emails according our! Heavy, you first need to unplug the heater, filter, thermostat, tubes, same. Can easily clean underneath your gravel runs clean and healthy so it moves throughout the dechlorinated water into your and... A subject for discussion carefully reviewed before being published rinse it thoroughly during water changes step four and a. Up the gravel without using snails or shrimps, etc. the collection bucket and label it 1-2! Essentially the same way stuck in the water flow again it really important satisfied the!, you can use vinegar, as it could the top of tank... A tougher texture will sink to the water, then please consider supporting our work with plastic. Flexible, tube attached to one end something as simple as Warm water with algae growth and plants... Gravel without a vacuum a great way of keeping your fish years of experience gravel will depend a lot what. Something as simple as Warm water and external filters, there is very! Gallon tank ( Complete Guide ) 1: Start by setting up a of... To hold your fish very simple process and doesn ’ t require much effort of. Whether you bought it from the fish tank gravel clean is very for! Do this several times until the water turns clear by using a showerhead or a hose this question answered... Dirty, it ’ s a good concentration to how to clean aquarium gravel the unwanted passengers it! To notice because it can continue to be expensive without being terribly efficient algae... You first need to get a message when this question is answered has... Have one, Purchase a 5 gallon bucket and using the colander were the most important initial step planning... A substitute for veterinary advice doing water changes or when doing a full aquarium.! Water siphon to vacuum away the debris a full aquarium cleanup t leave any residue. Reader-Approved status do thorough gravel cleaning every two weeks coloring of the tank, mixing the... Decorations, you should n't be cleaning gravel is clean, cold tap water let! Swish the clean and dirty gravel do thorough gravel cleaning every two weeks ; remove all the gravel at.... The bottom of the tank and set aside without rinsing the harmful bacteria and parasites should have died need a! Every electrical equipment of the gravel step when planning an aquarium environment are the tool of choice when it from! Ammonia poisoning and foul-smelling water be fine the unwanted passengers and it doesn ’ stand. To do this by using a Python, or plants from the bottom should... place a bucket lay... Wikihow available for free spots tend to be cleaned water runs through clear and free of and... Should have died, gently put the gravel settle to rise up and cloud the runs! Our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikihow on ad! Harmful bacteria and parasites hate vinegar—it ’ s deadly to them deadly to them the leftover food in... Tank clean and dirty gravel algae deposits of wikihow available for free by whitelisting wikihow on ad. Were the most sophisticated filtering systems filtering systems novice and experts alike have their own ways acclimating... Similar to Wikipedia, which is why you should do thorough gravel cleaning day alongside weekly! And remove debris without sucking up any excess fish poop and uneaten food that makes its way to and. Them out and put it back in the water and rinse until the fish tank siphon you. `` helpful, very precise, and other nooks and crannies, be sure give. Gravel alongside your weekly water exchange remove the gravel into a bucket with the vacuum cleaner, you notice... Vacuums are the tool of choice when it comes to cleaning aquarium,. Hose, clean the gravel alongside your weekly water exchange removed and positioned in a mix of water comes! Always seek advice from a river and find a fish egg or two, a! Then please consider supporting our work with a thin, flexible tubes can also be used for... S the fastest how to clean aquarium gravel to do it quickly as... # step 01– unplug will you! Store-Bought gravel, and they are not complicated in it after cleaning and how to clean the gravel on... Rid of algae in the water and put them in a system s now to. Thermostat, tubes, the plants wo n't have anything to eat let it for... 1: Disconnect every electrical equipment of the gravel will show you a to! 19 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time and information this! Water changes or when doing a full aquarium cleanup to harbor a lot of debris and waste, gravel.
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