Keeping Fish

Aquarium Maintenance

Aquarium Maintenance Tools Tips and Tricks

Maintaining a clean healthy aquarium fish tank is not an easy task. There are many tools and tips needed for aquarium maintenance in this type of environment for your pet fish. In this article, we will discuss the various tools you need to set yourself up for success as well as some helpful maintenance tricks that can help keep your fish tank in pristine condition!

We will assume your aquarium is already in place and stocked with some fish, but what happens when your aquarium starts to become dirty from fish waste or algae?

The first thing you need to do is get a good vacuum cleaner.  A lot of people don’t realize that the filter in their aquarium can only take care so much, and if your tank has been up for a while it will likely be time-consuming or even impossible without some help from some useful tools and equipment!

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Equipment Needed In An Aquarium

aquarium equipment

Aquarium Water Filter For Filtration

An aquarium water filter is a must-have for any aquarium owner. The filter will help to keep the water clean and clear.
The best type of filters is ones that have both mechanical (like activated carbon) AND biological filtration systems because they work together synergistically.

Most filters have a changeable insert that can be changed as they become worn out, A good rule is about every six months change your media inside these types. This means changing out all those little sponge things. It’s important not just so there isn’t too much buildup but this helps ensure bacteria colonies stay healthy which keeps ammonia levels down.

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Depending on how many fish you keep in the aquarium, the filter should be removed for cleaning every 2 weeks, when cleaning the filter use the siphoned fish water after completing a part change, by doing this you help keep some of the good bacteria within the filter system, cleaning with tap water would clean the filter too much and not be beneficial for your fish especially after cycling your aquarium.

Air Pump To Create Oxygen In The Water

A fish tank’s air pump is a great piece of equipment for providing oxygen to the fish’s water. This is important because without oxygen the fish will suffocate.

Some aquarium kits come with an air pump.

Air pumps provide freshly dissolved gases into aquarium tanks which keep fishes alive by providing their needed supply (oxygen).

NICREW UFO Mini Aquarium Air Pump, Ultra Silent Air Aerator Pump for Fish Tank, Oxygen Bubbler with Single Outlet,...
  • Provides oxygen and water movement, which can improve the efficiency of air transferred into the aquarium and help...
  • Unique arc shape design and 3 anti-noise systems, including a strong housing wall, a noise attenuation chamber, and...
  • Can be used to operate air-driven accessories like air stones, air curtains, and other air-actuated ornaments
  • Ideal for any freshwater or marine aquarium. Suitable for aquariums, fountains, and hydroponic systems
  • Each kit contains an air pump, an air hose, a check valve, an airline control valve and an air stone, very easy and safe...

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The most common type of these devices can produce bubbles every few seconds, They also create currents through the water which fish love as it feels like their natural environment.

Heater and thermometer To Control Water Temperature

The aquarium heater is very important as it maintains the correct temperature for the fish.

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A thermometer is also a good idea to have in your aquarium because it will let you know what temperature range that water should be at for healthy living conditions of both plants and fishes alike,  as well as how much heat energy needs are being used by other equipment like lights or filters which can affect heating requirements too! It’s important not only so we don’t overheat our tanks but more importantly under-heating them, either way, could lead to disaster with sickly pets who may die especially if they are less hardy pet fish.

A correctly heated aquarium along with a bubbler and filter system will also keep algae levels to a minimum.

Substrate (gravel or sand) To Help Fish Waste Break Down Naturally

Aquariums can be set up with either gravel or sand as a substrate. 

Sand is more common in freshwater tanks, while the majority of saltwater aquarium owners prefer to use; crushed coral and other materials for their substrates because they are easier on fish’s scales when swimming around inside an enclosed space like that found within most homes aquaria setups.

The substrate is at the bottom of an aquarium so this is where any fish waste or dirt will settle so cleaning this with a siphon regularly will keep a well-balanced tank and reduce the risk of ammonia spikes.


Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Aquarium Decorations For Fish To Hide And Make The Tank Look Nice

Colourful decorations and live plants create a beautiful-looking fish tank, but even these require maintaining regularly, as they become dirty (not live plants) remove them for cleaning in your sink.

You can clean them using Bleached water especially if they have algae on them, but importantly all bleach must be washed away before placing them back in the aquarium.

Rinse thoroughly under a tap then place into a bucket of clean water to ensure any detergent is fully removed.

Last update on 2024-03-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tools To Help With Aquarium Maintenance

aquarium maintenance tool tips and tricks keeping fish

Aquarium Water Siphon To Remove Water Easily

Aquarium water siphons are a great way to remove debris from the bottom of your tank.  but also they are a great tool for removing water into a bucket when doing a partial water change (recommended 25% water change every 2 weeks) for most aquariums. When cleaning your aquarium a water siphon can be used similar to a vacuum cleaner in your home, as you are removing 25% of the water use the fan end to vacuum all your substrate and remove dirt from the bottom of the tank.

Scraper For Cleaning Hard To Remove Dirt From Aquarium Glass

An aquarium scraper can be used to remove algae or heavy dirt from your glass, be careful with this process as the scraper blade is sharp, do not scrape into the corners as it is possible to damage the silicone that is holding your aquarium together.

I recently had an aquarium leaking on me because I got a bit carried away cleaning too close to the silicone.

Fish Net For Removing Large Particles of Waste

An aquarium fish net is handy for maintenance, it allows you to fish out large debris or clumps of algae from the bottom of your tank.

They can be used to scoop up and remove debris that is floating on top as well without disturbing any other living inhabitants in an established freshwater community setup with live plants like java moss.

Fish nets also allow you to remove fish from the aquarium if necessary.

Magnetic Glass Cleaner For Daily Cleaning of Aquarium Glass

A magnetic glass cleaner is a useful tool for maintaining an aquarium.

Magnetic glass cleaners are a great way to clean the inside of your tank without using any chemicals or detergents. They work by attracting particles from algae and other debris on contact, which is then either dispersed into the water and the filter will remove it or you can take it from the tank and rinse under a tap if it is very dirty.

Maintenance Kits For Easy Fish Tank Cleaning

Aquarium maintenance kits are a great piece of equipment and can be used for many aspects of tank cleaning, a kit usually comes with a scraper, small net, scissors, tweezers, and curved scissors, perfect for clipping live plants, and general aquarium cleaning.

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pro Tips & Tricks The Process of Cleaning A Fish Tank

  • Turn off mains power before cleaning your aquarium
  • Complete a 25% water change every 2 weeks
  • Remove decorations from the tank for cleaning
  • Use the Siphon to clean the substrate
  • Clean the glass using a scraper and magnetic aquarium cleaner
  • Clean the aquarium filter in water removed from the tank
  • Check the tank heater is clean if not remove and clean carefully
  • put the Filter, Heater, and decorations back into the aquarium
  • top the water back up in the fish tank with water making sure it is a similar temperature and has been de-chlorinated
  • Turn the mains power back on
  • Enjoy your fish!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I need to clean my aquarium?

This depends on how many fish you are keeping in the aquarium and what size aquarium you have, a normal routine cleaning should be once every every 2 weeks, this will include removing any dirty decorations for cleaning, removing the filter for cleaning in fish water, removing 20% of the water from the tank which you can use to clean the decorations and filter with in a bucket, syphoning the gravel with a fish tank siphon, cleaning the inside of the glass using a fish tank tool kit, and cleaning any algae from items such as the heater. (Always turn off mains power before cleaning the fish tank).

Will maintaining my fish tank frighten my fish?

Some fish may become stressed when you clean a fish tank, always perform maintenance carefully and as gently as possible, some fish love you cleaning the tank and will sometimes get in your way because they are so inquisitive, do not remove more than 20% of the water when performing maintenance as this will cause too much change to the water which will stress your fish.

What should I avoid when maintaining my aquarium?

Be careful when performing tank maintenance that you do not use a scraper blade near the corners of the tank where the silicone holds the glass in place, damaging the silicone can lead to your aquarium leaking, also when removing large items from the tank such as rocks make sure you do not drop them within the tank as this will crack the glass at the bottom of the tank.


Aquarium maintenance is essential for a healthy aquarium. Aquatic life depends on clean water and good quality food to survive, so it’s important that you ensure your tank stays in top condition by maintaining the filtration system regularly with filter media changes or replacing filters as needed.

Aquariums also need to be heated, as the average room temperature is not warm enough for tropical fish.

More than anything else though what will keep your tank healthy and happy are the regular cleaning tasks that you do such as routine water changes or vacuuming debris from decorations and substrate in order to remove excess food particles which can lead to bacteria growth.

Thank you for reading this guide”Aquarium maintenance tools tips and tricks” I hope you found it useful for maintaining your fish tank at home.

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