A 10 gallon freshwater fish tank involves a lot of maintenance effort regularly. With its size, you have to clean it at least twice a month. Be a responsible fish owner and follow the steps in keeping their habitat clean:
- Gather the materials within easy reach. This is an important move because you can’t afford any delay in this activity. Keep the time of your pets’ habitat disturbance to a minimal. It sure saves a lot of time when you ready your materials within reach as you go along with your work. The materials needed are the following: paper towel, siphon, tank wall scrubber, dechlorinator, and a bucket.
- Disconnect the whole tank from the source of electricity. Unplug not only the tank, but all the apparatus inside that uses electrical energy, like the filter, lights, and heater. This will ensure your safety while you clean the tank.
- Clean the water filters. Detach the filter from the edge of the tank. The method of cleaning the filters will depend on the type of filter model you have. Check your user’s manual for any specific instructions for cleaning your filter model. For mechanical filters, just empty the remaining contents into the sink, and scrub the casing and tubes using soap and water. Rinse well. Simply wash of the gloop off the sponge with your hands under running water, but if it’s too dirty, you should consider replacing it with a new one. Wearing gloves for this activity is optional. Put the parts together after you’re satisfied with its cleanliness.
- Scrub the sides of the tank. It is important not to use just any cleaning solution. It can have detrimental effects on your fishes’ health and may even cause their death. Purchase a tank wall scrubber or an algae scraper from the pet store. You will be surprised at how fast the algae and soil accumulation can come off from the glass. When scrubbing for the external part of the tank, you can use a rag damped in water only. If you think water is not enough, there are available fish- safe cleaning solutions you can buy at any pet merchandise shop.
- Siphon some water out of the tank. Decide how much water you can remove. This will generally depend on your fishes’ health condition. Strictly speaking, you can never exceed removing 20 percent of the water amount in tank. The fishes can get very sensitive to changes in their environment. Leave an amount which will still be comfortable for them. The use of siphon to remove the water out will depend on which kind you have. There are different ways to create a suctioning effect, it is best to consult the instruction that came with your siphon. Meanwhile, you may find the use of your thumb effective in creating the necessary suction. Immerse the entire length of the siphon into the water. Place your thumb at the opening of the smaller end. Lower that edge into the bucket, then remove your thumb. If this does not work, go back to specific instruction that come from every siphon purchase. Be extra careful not to suck any rock or fish using the siphon!
- Delve through the remaining materials on the bottom part of the tank. Some debris and waste settle at the bottom of the tank, you need to shift through the rocks, gravel and sand to manually remove these wastes. You can also use the siphon to suck up some amounts of the dirt on it.
- Prepare the water to be used for refilling the tank. Fill the bucket with clean water then add a drop of the dechlorinator to make it safe for the fishes. Wait a few hours before putting it back into the tank.
- Hook all the equipment back and plug it. Resume normal operation of the tank, and enjoy a clearer view of the fishes and fishes’ environment from the outside.
Diligent adherence to your cleaning schedule is vital in keeping your fishes healthy and safe from the harm caused by too much accumulation of various toxins in the water.