Cleaning your aquarium can take all the fun out of fish keeping. With all the beauty and pleasure that you get from a fish tank, there comes the added and undesirable task of cleaning it out. By no means is the task undesirable for the degree of filth, it is more so for the level of effort it requires. However, unless the tank is in terrible shape with the fish preferring to live outside rather than in, aquarium cleaning it is a, pretty much, straightforward job.
There is no hard sequence or rule, the one mentioned below is given to ensure that everything goes systematically with no spills.
The cleaning process for the tank has to be put on a temporary hold before it can be called complete. The filter needs a 2-week (minimum) break before which it should not be cleaned. The reason is quite logical – The bacterial colonies on the inner components like the plants, rocks and gravel have been completely wiped clean after the above thorough process. Many of these bacteria are actually helpful to the environment in the tank and they also tend to reside within the filter. Changing the filter might drastically change the eco-system in the tank and destroy its living contents. Therefore the two-weeks are given to let things settle back to their normal cycle before the filter is cleaned.
Depending on the type of filter, the cleaning process varies. Filter media with carbon, ammonia absorbing materials and ion-exchange resins need to be replaced ever three weeks. Mechanical filters like ceramic rings or sponges need to be rinsed gently and returned to their original places within the filtration device. A filter brush is quite effective when cleaning out the tubes and other parts of the assembly.
Cleaning the tank is not a one-time process and only through regular cleaning can a healthy aquarium survive. While scraping the inside glass needs to be done every week, the gravel may be cleaned only when the water is being changed. Soaking the fish nets in disinfectant helps keep them soft and painless for the fish.
After finishing these steps your aquarium cleaning time is over for now, but remember that it is important to never forget about aquarium cleaning.