It’s extremely important to keep your goldfish’s aquarium clean and tidy, since it’s their home, playground, and ecosystem all rolled into one. In order to properly maintain a tank, you should drain and replace 13-12% of the water every week. To do this, you’ll need an aquarium vacuum, a couple of buckets, and a de-chlorinator to help remove harmful chemicals.
Clean fish tanks look beautiful and provide a nice environment for your fish to live in. Increasing levels of chemicals like nitrates in your aquarium over time can lead to a cloudy appearance. The aquarium should still be hand-cleaned, even when you use a fish tank filter.
Here’s how to clean a goldfish tank and how to avoid it getting cloudy.
Why do you need to clean the goldfish tank?
You need to clean the goldfish tank at least once a week. Because goldfish eat many types of food, including dead skin, numbers of fecal matter can build up quickly. If a tank is left dirty for too long, bacteria can start to grow in the water and the fish will be more susceptible to illness.
The goldfish tank should be checked and cleaned on a regular basis. The buildup of waste in the aquarium can lead to cloudy water, algae growth, as well as cause an increase in nitrates.
What should you clean the goldfish tank with?
You can use any kind of cleaning agent you want to clean your fish tank. You can use a pet store’s de-chlorinator or you can use bleach distilled water for clearing your tank. It is recommended that you do not add any soap or detergent when cleaning your fish tank.
Also, you can use a spray bottle to flush the bacteria and toxins out of the tank. A 50/50 mix of water and vinegar will do the trick for cleaning your fish tank. You can also use vinegar and baking soda for wiping down your aquarium, as it does not harm fish or plants.
Materials and tools need to clean a goldfish tank.
- Aquarium Vacuum
- 2 gallons of water
- Plastic 1-gallon buckets, with lids
- Aquarium-safe cleaner (such as water and vinegar or water and bleach)
- Acetone-based cleaner (such as toothpaste or nail polish remover)
- Pet store de-chlorinator
- Plastic impregnated scrub brush with a plastic handle that’s a soft mesh material that is safe to touch in the aquarium (not plastic mesh)
- A heater with a temperature control
- Aquarium decorations or plants (such as fake plants)
- A thermometer
- Aquarium charcoal filter
- Tethers or weights (for aquarium decorations)
- A growth/algae preventative (optional)
- A fishnet for catching fish if there are any who may need to be relocated
Now, let us go through the steps to clean a goldfish tank.
How to clean a goldfish tank with 3 methods
You will be able to clean a goldfish tank by following these 3 methods. First, you can use a fishnet and catch all your goldfish except the smallest one. Then you can move all the decorations to one side of the tank, leaving an open spot for you to fill up a bucket of water. You can then pour the water into your tank and let it settle, allowing any waste to float to the top and get sucked into your aquarium vacuum.
- Draining Your Tank
- Sanitizing Your Tank
- Refilling the Tank with Clean Water
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Draining Your Tank.
- Drain the water from your tank into the bucket.
- Remove any decorations and plants from the tank and set them aside in a safe area.
- Take out the plastic impregnated scrub brush and plastic mesh to clean the sides of your aquarium, so that you can also clean under your fish tank as well.
- Pour your aquarium vacuum cleaner over the surface of the water so that it picks up any oils or waste in the water.
- After you are done with the vacuum, place the grate into the aquarium and start to fill it up with water again.
- Remove your fishnet from the tank and set it aside for later use.
- Place all of your decorations back into the aquarium and put them in their proper areas, after you have washed them with warm water.
- Place the aquarium thermometer back into the tank and make sure that it is at the same temperature as before you took it out.
- Put the glass cover back on your tank and wait several hours for your tank to cool down.
You can clean your goldfish’s aquarium with this method, by using a plastic scrub brush and removing decorations from inside of the aquarium to clean underneath them, dumping old water out of the fish tank, and replacing it with clean water.
Sanitizing Your Tank.
- Take half of a gallon of water and put it into a plastic bucket.
- Add a de-chlorinator to the bucket and stir with a wooden stick.
- Pour the mixture into your goldfish tank, so that it fills about half of the water level.
- Wait about 20 minutes for the de-chlorinator to work its way through your aquarium, and then remove the top cover from your aquarium, so that you can start cleaning it.
- Take a half-gallon of water, spray it into a misting bottle, and pour it into the top part of your aquarium.
- Wait for the water to settle and allow any waste to float to the top.
- Use the aquarium vacuum cleaner to clean any remaining waste on your fish tank surface and under your fish tank.
- Set aside two gallons of clean water in a plastic bucket and put them away for later use at this point.
- Use your plastic scrub brush to wash out the inside of your tank. You can remove the grates from your aquarium and clean them underneath them if necessary.
- The water in your fish tank should be about 3/4 full at this point, so you can refill it with the clean water you have put away earlier.
- Put the grates back into the top of your goldfish tank and set them aside for later use.
- Put your decorations back into the aquarium one by one, after you have rinsed them off with warm water.
- Place the top cover on your tank and wait several hours for your tank to cool off again.
Refilling the Tank with Clean Water.
When refilling your fish tank with clean water, it is important that you use the same temperature of water in your fish tank as before. Place the plastic impregnated scrub brush and the plastic mesh into the aquarium and allow them to soak up any remaining waste from inside the aquarium.
- Take a gallon of fresh rainwater.
- Add it to each of your tanks, so that each one is about half full.
- Place an aquarium thermometer into each tank.
- Put your glass covers on each of your fish tanks and wait until the temperature stabilizes at around 78 degrees Fahrenheit, where it should be.
- Once you have finished cleaning your goldfish tank, it is important that you follow some basic steps to keep your tank clean every time you clean it, as well as to prevent overfeeding or other issues that may affect the health of fish living in a goldfish aquarium.
- After cleaning your fish tank, you should fill it at the same temperature that it was before you cleaned it, and adjust the heater to maintain that temperature.
- Add only a half-gallon of water to your fish tank daily, instead of dumping a whole gallon into your tank.
- Change out one gallon of the water that is placed in your fish tank once every week, instead of dumping it down the drain as quickly as possible.
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Additional information related to How to clean a goldfish tank.
How often do you clean a goldfish tank with a filter?
It is important to clean the fish tank with a filter instead of just using an aquarium vacuum. The tanks with a filter are simply easier to clean, and they don’t require that you take out all of your decorations, plants, and any other items in your tank when cleaning it. You can still use an aquarium vacuum if you have one, but make sure that you get everything out that the aquarium canister doesn’t pick up.
How to clean a goldfish tank with a filter?
- Take out any decorations, plants, or other items that you want to leave out of the fish tank when you clean it.
- Add two cups of aquarium water to your aquarium vacuum and run it through the vacuum several times, so that it gets rid of any oils or other substances in the vacuum’s hose.
- Clear out all of your decorations from your fish tank and store them in a safe place for later use.
- Remove the top cover from your fish tank.
- Unplug the power cord to your fish tank, but do not remove it from the fish tank as you want to let the water drain out of it first.
- Watch what happens in your aquarium as you place a bucket underneath it so that you can catch any water that drops out of your aquarium during this process.
- Use the aquarium vacuum’s hose to place a bucket underneath the tank, and then plug it in again.
- Begin running your aquarium vacuum inside of your fish tank and use it to clean out all of the algae, waste matter, and other items that you can remove from your fish tank before you drain it.
- Drain all of the water out of your fish tank through the top cover and into a bucket before putting it back on top of your aquarium.
How to clean a fish tank without a filter?
It is worthwhile to clean the fish tank without a filter every time you clean your aquarium with a filter so that you can remove any remaining waste. If you don’t use an aquarium vacuum and only use the fish tank filter to clean your fish tank, then there is no chance that any waste will go undetected or un-sucked up. This can help prevent overfeeding, and it can also help prevent diseases from spreading through your goldfish’s aquarium.
How to change the goldfish water bowl?
It is important to change out the goldfish water bowl every time you clean your fish tank so that you can eliminate any waste and algae that may have grown in the bowls since you last cleaned them. You can clean your goldfish water bowls using the same method that you use to clean your fish tank, but make sure that you don’t let any waste get into your fish tank while scrubbing off the top of the water bowl. An aquarium vacuum can make this process much easier, but a regular scrub brush will work as well.
How to clean goldfish tank gravel?
It is important to clean the gravel in your goldfish tank with a filter instead of using an aquarium vacuum. The vacuums can be difficult to use and they don’t remove all of the waste that you want to be removed, so it is best to use a filter instead. A good filter can be purchased at most pet stores, and it will help clean your fish tank without removing any of the decorations in it.
How to use API goldfish aquarium cleaner?
It is highly recommended to use API aquarium cleaner to clean your goldfish tank. The tank cleaner is formulated especially for cleaning goldfish tanks and it is used by many amateur fishkeepers. API aquarium cleaner will remove any algae, waste matter, or other products in your goldfish tank without overloading your filters system.
You can also use API aquarium cleaner as a daily maintenance product. It will help keep the water clear and clean. The steps are:
- Fill your tank using the formula below:
The 10 gallon tank = 50% water + 20% aquarium water + 30% fresh rainwater.
- Add the same amount of fresh rainwater to your fish tank every week.
- Change out a half-gallon of aquarium water once every week.
- Clean your tank every week and change out a half-gallon of aquarium water daily.
You can add aquarium water to your fish tank when you clean it, but this is not recommended as it may cause the pH levels of your fish tank to fluctuate. The pH levels should be tested before adding any new water to your fish tank.
- Use an aquarium vacuum instead of a filter to clean out all of the waste matter and algae from your goldfish tank’s gravel each time you clean it out completely. The gravel should be cleaned at least once a month to remove any waste that settles near the bottom of your goldfish tank.
- Add the same amount of fresh water each week, and then change out a half-gallon of water once every week. It is not recommended to have less than a half-gallon of water in your fish tank at all times.
Frequently asked questions on how to clean a goldfish tank.
Can I take my fish out of the tank to clean it?
It is not recommended to take your fish out of the tank if you are cleaning it. You don’t want to risk harming your fish or dropping them into another tank. You should also clean all of the decorations that you have stored in the fish tank and then put them back in. This can help prevent any damage to the decorations that may be stored inside of your goldfish’s aquarium.
Can I use tap water for goldfish?
You should use rainwater or freshwater when cleaning your goldfish’s aquarium. If you are going to be using tap water, then you should disinfect it before using it in your goldfish tank. You should use a dechlorinating product, like Stress Coat, which will remove the chlorine from tap water so that it’s safe for your fish.
Can a goldfish live without a filter or air pump?
Yes, goldfish can live in an aquarium without a filter or an air pump. All of the water intakes for your fish should come from rainwater, and this should be used to fill the tank with water. You should also change a half-gallon of water in the tank every week. The tank will fill up with all of the waste that your fish produce so that it can be cleaned out using an aquarium vacuum and other methods.
Useful tips for cleaning a goldfish tank.
- Always use a water dechlorinating product when using tap water in your fish tank.
- Use an acrylic paint marker to mark the area that you cleaned in the fish tank so that you make sure to clean it again.
- Vacuum the top of the gravel to remove algae and waste matter from inside of your aquarium.
- You can use an aquarium vacuum instead of a filter to clean out all of the waste matter from your goldfish’s aquarium as often as you want.
You will need to clean your aquarium according to its size, the number of fish, the type of fish, and the filtration system you have.
Your fish tank does not need to be cleaned every day unless you notice the fish acting strangely (gasping for air or acting sluggish). Whenever you notice that your fish aren’t acting right, consider doing a partial water change.
A weekly partial water change can be very helpful for maintaining aquarium cleanliness and fish health if you have an average or large fish tank. The following steps can help you do this.
Maintaining your fish tank’s pH level, nitrate level, and ammonia level is also important. If you keep notes of each of these levels, you can keep track of their evolution and make sure they remain consistent. A level that is too high or too low for what is normal may indicate a problem and lead to health issues for your fish or cloudy water in your tank.