Ways & How

How to Clean Aquarium Gravel

How to Clean Aquarium Gravel

The use of aquarium gravel is beneficial to the water inside the tank as well as the fishes and plants that reside in it. While you can use colors and decorations inside the tank for aesthetic purposes, they also help increase the amount of good bacteria in the tank. Gravel is the best kind of substrate to use for freshwater tanks. It absorbs certain substances from the water; it also releases substances into the water and acts as filtration for the water and the tank. You have to put these benefits in mind so that dealing with how to clean aquarium gravel will become an easy task. An aquarium that is well kept, clean and full of life will become inviting and draw the attention of visitors. Here are easy ways you can clean aquarium gravel:

  1. The fish must be taken out of the tank. When you clean the aquarium gravel, make sure that your fishes are out of the way and will not disturb you and vice versa. This means that they must be out of the water even before you start cleaning.

    Prepare a bucket and fill half of it with water from the tank and the other half with new and clean water.

    Slowly transfer the fishes into the bucket. Placing the fishes in mixed water will help prevent injury to the fishes due to drastic water change.

  2. Safety first. Before starting to clean the gravel, make sure that you unplug all electrical equipment used or connected with the tank to prevent accidents. Allow the tank to completely drain the water out then rinse the inside of it thoroughly with water. Now, you are ready to wipe the tank off with clean and dry paper towels.

  3. Disassemble equipment inside for cleaning. The thermometer, tubing and pipes have to be disassembled, rinsed and wiped before placing them back into their original positions. Oyster shells and sponges should also be cleaned using running water to complete the overall cleaning process. Finally, be ready to replace clogged airstones in the tank.

  4. Carry on with the cleaning process. Take out two cupfuls of dirty gravel from the tank and set it out on a separate bucket. You will use these later on. The old and dirty gravel containing bacteria will help re-colonize the new gravel because it has retained some of the waste-eating bacteria, which will be needed in cleaning with chlorinated tap water. The rest of the old and dirty gravel can be placed in two buckets and brought outside and laid on the lawn. Set the gravel out, then wash it with the use of a garden hose. Allow water to run over it until it is clean.

  5. Time to reassemble and set the aquarium back in place. Bring back all the equipment you took out from the tank and reassemble it. The thermometer, tubing, pipes and everything that was taken out should be in working condition again. Slowly put all of the clean gravel from the buckets back in the tank, followed by the cupfuls of dirty gravel. Fill the tank with new and clean water. Dechlorinate properly. Plug all of the equipment in and make sure that everything is working properly.

  6. Place the fishes back into the tank. Bring in the bucket in which the fishes were kept during the cleaning period. Take out about half of the water in it and replace it with new and clean water. Give the fishes at least 15 minutes to get used to the new water. When time has lapsed, slowly net the fishes out of the bucket and return them to the tank. Dim the surrounding lights to allow the fishes to relax into their new and clean environment.

The process on how to clean aquarium gravel is very simple, yet it may take time. The time you invest in cleaning the tank will be rewarded by the beautiful results.


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