How to clean an aquarium. Our aquarium was really dirty. Today we give it a good clean and whilst doing so we talk about deep cleaning aquariums and why it is not a good idea to do it. What we did on our aquarium was not a deep clean.
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hey everyone Sheila here from lifer pets so today we're going to be doing a cleaning on the 125 gallon and while we're doing it I want to talk about whether you should deep clean your tank and exactly what that means before I start I just want to do a quick update on the house plants in the aquarium as you can see they are doing really really well the roots are have taken into the substrate and the plants are really healthy and they're growing really nicely so very very pleased with the outcome of that we're also going to do an update on the artificial grass that we put in the tank how we clean it we're going to take some out and take a look at the back and see how it held up as you can see our bulbs are still making a terrible mess of the anubius so we're also going to tidy all that up and you can see a lot of floating debris in the tank as well and we suspect that our canister filter is in desperate need of a good clean so we're also going to do that as well so while we're doing all this like I said I am going to talk about whether you should deep clean and just what we do everyone does do it different and so we could just to talk about that as we do the cleaning so to start off the cleaning we're going to get the safe and going and I know a lot of people have trouble with this so you take it in at an angle you lift it back up the water runs down put it back in at the same angle and then tip it up and then you've got a running safe and it really is that easy we're very fortunate in the siphon can run out of the house so we don't need to mess around with buckets and lugging water around this tank is in desperate need of a clean we do do 50 percent water changes on it every week and we do go round and vacuum it but like I say I suspect that the canister filter is it's not actually overdue but this tank is fairly heavily stocked and we do find that a lot of the debris does get caught up in here some of that can be from low water flow so as you can see we do actually have a power head there on the left of the screen and we do turn that on and that then kicks up all the debris in the tank and the canister filter can then pick it up we don't leave it on all the time because sometimes the fish do find it too strong so we we sort of usually put it on for a few hours each day and that is about it you can see here that the fake grass really collects a lot of the fish waste and I want to say uneaten food but in this tank I really don't think we get any uneaten food so this again will be mom and the fish waste the grass has held up really well and it is very very easy to clean as you can see all you need to do is go over the top of it we are going to check the back of it this is the first time we've done it it's been in the tank now I think it's about three and a half months so it has been in a while and the back of it is absolutely fine as you can see I mean the grass is meant for getting wet and that sort of thing whether it's meant to be wet continuously that was something that we were a little worried about although this one was actually advertised for aquariums I will leave links to it in the description box below if you are interested what we have done periodically if it has got sort of a level of algae on it is use a toothbrush and that has then just brought it back up and also it does pull up the grass so that it stands up a little better as well thankfully our clown bulbs have decided to leave that alone they haven't pulled it up at all and we haven't ended up with any of it floating around the tank either so it has been very safe we've not lost any fish or anything like that so it has been okay in the tank we do get quite a bit of algae in this tank this tanks being set up now for I think it's six months and we're still sort of getting a fair amount we've tried all sorts of changing the lighting lower lighting highlighting the hours of the lighting but we still do get a fair amount unfortunately snails don't last very long in here because of the pufferfish and so we do just periodically go through and use a toothbrush to scrape it off so to do the canister filter we have to take out some of the water from the tank so that we can clean the pads that are in the filter so we've just done that and then we go over the glass we do do the glass every time we clean the tank we use a Magnus algae scraper and these are brilliant it is so much better than sort of trying to get in there with a cloth and your hands are soaking wet this is just really easy going backwards and forwards and it takes it off no problem at all I will again leave links to as much as I can including the canister filter in the description box below we have been using this particular one it is a Sun Sun and we've been using it now for I think it's three years I know that it is a long time we've not had any issues with it whatsoever as you can see it is absolutely disgusting it's seven weeks it might actually be eight but I know it's certainly seven I usually keep it on my calendar and have my notifications tell me when it's due to be done and I think it is about seven weeks because I think we went over an extra week we usually do it every six weeks because in that tank we do feed a fair amount with there being so many fish so it does get pretty nasty in there it is the only filter other than a sponge filter at the other end of the tank but the only reason we really have the one at the other end of the tank is more sort of for aeration so that the bubbles go up and create water flow at that end of the tank so this is really one of the nasty jobs when it comes to doing the aquarium thankfully I get the good part I get to fill me and my husband gets to clean it so we do replace some of the pads on this because they do get sort of beyond reusable I mean I guess you could redo it we did try with this one but it just fell apart so we did end up replacing it but as you can see the ones underneath are pretty clean and that's usually the case the ones underneath so to catch some of the particles and then it's usually the one on the top that ends up absolutely disgusting so that like say this is the foul part of owning fish especially when you have a bigger tank we have to do it to keep the fish healthy so once we've done with cleaning all these out we then go ahead and replace the pads that were just not salvageable usually we find that it is the finer pads because they're the ones that are going to get most of the particles from the water once we've done that we then take the canister out and we go ahead and feed our plants outside aquarium water is exceptionally good for plants and so our plants on the porch only ever get aquarium water and hose out the canister and for those of you that are panicking because there is bio media in the bottom this media that we have in the bottom is not for for that purpose we put it in there to displace the water flow when it comes up and into the canister that way you've sort of got an on even flow as opposed to the water trying to find the quickest way we got this idea from the pond guru and I have to say that it does work really really well so we don't really have any issue with cleaning it all off and yes you're probably killing off most of the bacteria however it's just that it's there for the water placement so it doesn't really matter in this instance the rest of it obviously we did clean with aquarium water the other aquarium water there that you see in the bucket that also then go on our plants as well a lot of our plants don't actually get hit by the rain because of where they are so we do need to water them so this is an excellent way of doing it once everything is clean and done then we just obviously hook up the canister back to the tank with the pipes and that's when we start filling the tank back up so to fill the tank we use a pond pump but we don't do buckets running backwards and forwards we have a pump pump in the bucket and then we have a pipe that runs into the tank we usually put the prime water conditioner into that little bowl there we also put some into the buckets and that way the water that's initially coming through is treated and then anything else that's going into the tank is then also treated everyone has different ways of doing it for this this works really well for us and it's never caused us any issues also with the filling up of the tank we put the book is in so this it doesn't really displace the substrate and it doesn't stir things up although in this tank because obviously it really was really bad it's gonna take a while for it to clear but once the canister filter gets working then it doesn't usually take too long for the tank to completely clear up once the tank is almost full we then set the canister going and that is usually when you start pumping through you do end up with a load of mess coming out of the pipes and that is then obviously going to circulate back around the tank and the canister will then pick it back up so as you can see here it is thrown out a ton of muck and that will have been sort of in the pipes along with obviously just the canister flushing out itself but it didn't take too long I think it was about two and a half hours and then the tank was really clear again once we start feeding which I had just done here again you can see there are some particles but that will soon clear up that's just normal with the feeding of the fish so when it comes to you deep-cleaning I guess it depends on how you define deep cleaning a lot of people define it by a deep clean as you literally take everything out the tank and you scrub it you clean it you rinse it you wash it call it what you like and then you put it back in to me that is the worst thing you can possibly do for a tank because you were gonna kill off so much of the bacteria that lives on the surface of things also a lot of people will also replace completely everything within the filtration at the same time and you are essentially going to cause a huge ammonia spike if you do that because you're going to destroy the cycle so you should never ever completely clean a tank as in every single thing in it you need to do it sort of in stages if you want to do a complete clean like that personally I don't really see why you need to I've never ever done a deep clean on an aquarium so to me a deep clean yes I guess it is take everything out clean everything so in this instance what we've done today would not be classed as a deep clean I know a lot of people will have had an issue with the fact that we did a large water change we always do 50% on this tank and the fact that we did clean the canister filter with it we have always done it that way and it has never ever affected anything there is enough bacteria in that canister even though you are cleaning it all to maintain everything I do always check the water parameters and we've never had an issue we do that with all our tanks all our tanks get filter cleanings on the same day as we do water changes that is just our personal preference and it is what works foot was so let me know in the comments box below what you class as a deep-clean and what you do on your tank when you do a good cleaning to me this is like a really good cleaning it's definitely not what I would define as a deep-clean alright guys thanks for watching if you're not subscribed then go ahead and click that subscribe button and don't forget to hit the notification bell and we will see you next time