Next to being easier, you also do not risk accidentally killing all the beneficial … It is hard to notice because it can be very small and is often eaten by fish or other aquarium inhabitants. Make sure that you don’t damage the tank decorations as they tend to be very fragile. If your fish tank isn’t that heavy, you can lift it and pour the gravel into a bucket. If you don't already have one, purchase a 5 gallon bucket and label it for aquarium use only. Wipe the inside with paper towel. Why should you clean your gravel? Before you clean your aquarium gravel, unplug your tank's heater, filter, and pump. Glass-cleaning cloth or paper towel; Aquarium siphon (also known as a gravel vacuum) (As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases, and commissions may be earned from the link above.) Place under water and rinse until the water turns clear. To clean the river gravel, simply put 2 cups of vinegar in a bucket with the gravel and fill it with water. Be sure the bleach is pure and doesn’t include any scents. It is important to clean the gravel at least twice a month to maintain a balanced ecosystem within the aquarium. If my gravel grows algae on it, how do I get it off without killing the good bacteria? Cleaning gravel that was taken from a natural source isn’t a hard process. Keep an eye on the pH level, hardness, and ammonia. To create this article, 19 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. But you need to be careful with this because bleach tends to hold on to the gravel for a long time and if you introduce it into the fish tank, it can kill your fish if it’s in high concentration. ", "Helpful, very precise, and to the point instructions.". Use a gravel vacuum to clean the substrate and clean the exterior glass with diluted vinegar to remove deposits. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. If you want to remove the gravel, simply put it in a garbage bag and dump it. To make sure that you are getting everything, make your way across the tank slowly and deliberately, ensuring that you are covering every area. Step 2: Get the vacuum ready with a plastic tube/priming ball/python. As such, most aquarium hobbyists will plan their gravel cleaning day alongside their weekly partial water changes. While this can save you a buck or two, it is important to remember that the gravel you just picked up might contain unwanted parasites, bacteria, algae and who knows what else. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. and any other tank decorations with warm water. ", http://www.firsttankguide.net/waterchange.php, http://www.firsttankguide.net/siphon-start.php, http://www.fishchannel.com/fish-health/healthy-aquariums/dont-destroy-helpful-bacteria.aspx, http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=16+2154&aid=2649, http://www.fishlore.com/FirstTankSetup.htm, https://www.fishkeepingworld.com/how-to-clean-a-fish-tank/, http://www.fishtanktutor.com/the-3-most-common-aquarium-cleaning-mistakes, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Fish waste and uneaten food can build up and poison the water and the fish in your tank. Can I put a piece of screen inside a colander to clean the gravel? There are several types of siphons available, all of which work essentially the same. But why is acclimating fish important in the... I’m Saurabh and I’m glad you checked my blog. Then, place a bucket under the aquarium and lower your aquarium vacuum into the tank. ... Can you use bleach to clean aquarium gravel? For many aquarium hobbyists, gravel vacuums are the tool of choice when it comes to cleaning the substrate in your tank. These small particles should not enter an aquarium environment. Now, back to the gravel, take the bucket and using a showerhead or a hose, clean the gravel inside the bucket. Unlike gravel, it is not so easy to clean your aquarium sand with a dust/suction cup, because the sand will simply fall down again in the gravel, because the pressure of the suction cup is not enough to suck it in. One thing that poses a problem is the gravel, as this can be a bit tricky to clean. Live plants are a great way of keeping your tank clean and healthy. 5-gallon tank the gravel had a lot of algae buildup on it, so I took it all out and cleaned it under tap water. After removing the water from the fish tank, it’s now time to remove to the gravel. Make sure your hands are clean before you clean your tank. How to Clean Your Aquarium Cleaning Gravel Purchased from the Store Before adding purchased gravel into your aquarium, it must be washed. Always seek advice from a certified veterinarian in a case of emergency. Old fish food that fish didn’t eat, fish poo, algae, and even harmful bacteria can hide in the fish tank substrate. Watch carefully as the water begins to drain down the tube towards the collection bucket and re-submerge the vacuum quickly before it completely empties. This article has been viewed 110,496 times. Do this several times until the water coming off your gravel runs clean and clear. It’s very easy to use a gravel vacuum and it’s the fastest way to remove built-up waste from your substrate. Put all the gravel back into the tank, mixing together the dirty and clean gravel. Learn more... Aquarium gravel serves not only as a decoration, but also as a filter. 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