Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I am Back/ Aquarium and Equipment Cleaner

I know I have not posted in awhile. I have been very busy with more hours at work, moving and home renovations. Moving has given me many ideas which I will post about later, especially moving and organization strategies. Anyway back to the article for today.

There are not a lot of chemical free cleaners for aquariums that help to disinfect anything in the tank such as the filter or the decorations. A normal 25% water change is what most of us tank owners do and it can be frustrating. If you have to do a full tank change it is really a pain in the rear. I have made a recipe that can be used for a FULL TANK CHANGE. Do not do this with a partial as it will kill your fish when mixed into their water. I have made it to best suit a 10 gallon tank but is easily increased or decreased to fit your needs.


  • A measuring cup
  • two clean rags 
  • old toothbrush
  • a bowl
  • container large enough to put your fish in
  • Dishwasher (if you have one)
  •  sink.
  • 1tbsp vinegar 
  • 1tbsp vodka
  • 2 cups water
  • Old tank water (enough to put in fish container while you clean)
  • new tank water (enough to fill tank)

First if you have recently done the dishes in your dishwasher, start a rinse cycle only. This will get rid of any soap residue before using it for cleaning the decorations. Fill a container with water from the fish tank. Take out the fish and put them into that container and set them aside. with the exception of real plants and gravel, take out decorations, and all equipment out of the fish tank. Put the non plant decorations inside the top rack of the dishwasher and put the fake plants in the silverware container. Close it and set it to the normal wash cycle. Rinse aid is fine just DO NOT USE SOAP.  If you do not have a dishwasher you can wash them by hand with the filters later.

While the dishwasher is running, drain the tank. Now mix the vinegar, vodka and one cup of water in a bowl. Dip a clean rag into the mixture and wipe the inside of the tank. Take a old toothbrush and use it to scrub the corners of the tank. Get one cup of plain water and another rag. repeat the same steps you did with the mixture. now dump the plain water on the gravel, especially around any real plants to rinse the mixture  off the surface then drain that. You may need to fill the tank till water covers the gravel and drain it to get a thorough rinse of the gravel. Allow it to dry while you do the next steps.

For the filters (and decorations if you don't have a dishwasher) take them apart as instructed by the manufacturer and was all the non electrical parts in the sink, again DO NOT USE SOAP. Then set them up with new filters as per manufacturer instructions.

When the dishwasher is finished with the last rinse cycle go ahead and open it up. You do not need to dry them. Set them up in the tank however you like. Fill the tank up but leave enough room to put the entire container of water your fish are currently in into the tank.

You will need to re-acclimate the fish. Put the fish container into the water and let it sit in the new water for 15 minutes. Pour half of it into the tank and then refill it with the new tank water. Let it sit for 15 more minutes.  Now put your fish back into the tank and pour the container into it. I know that sounds weird but the old water has good bacteria in it that will keep your fish healthy.

Now you are done.