There is nothing more rewarding than to see happy fish inside a clean freshwater aquarium. However, fresh water aquarium maintenance requires dedication and focus, especially considering that aquariums can become dirty in a short period of time due to uneaten food and debris. Keeping your quarium clean, not only promotes an attractive aquarium, it also promotes good health for your fish and overall hygiene.
For the most part, there are three major sources of dirt in every aquarium: dirty water, fishy smell and algae. Getting rid of these elements is a sure way to keep your fresh water aquarium clean.
1. Dirty water
In keeping your fresh water aquarium clean, it is essential that you regularly inspect the water. In fact, inspecting the aquarium water does not need to involve testing because you can judge cleanliness by simple observation. Crystal clear water is obviously clean, while cloudy water is not. The overall color of the water, especially if it is blurring, is a sign that water needs to be replaced. For many hobbyists, the use of a power filter is almost always recommended as it filters and stores dirt inside the machine, thus making your fresh water aquarium clean for a longer period of time. It is however important to also clean the power filter itself because its capacity to store dirt is limited. When the water is clean, everything inside the fresh water aquarium will look clean and fresh.
2. Fishy smell
There are instances when freshwater aquariums can become really smelly. This is another sign that the aquarium needs thorough cleaning. As previously stated, the power filter stores dirt inside the machine and most likely the strong scent is coming from the filter. The best solution when your freshwater aquarium starts to have that fishy smell, is to change the filters more often. In fact, the strong scent can change the way the fish live in the aquarium and worse, the smell can potentially kill your fish.
3. Unwanted algae
Algae grows naturally in every freshwater aquarium, especially if the aquarium is exposed to sunlight. To prevent algae from growing, find a place where the aquarium is away from sunlight. Another effective way to prevent algae is to put live freshwater aquarium plants in the freshwater aquarium. In this way, the live plants can get the majority of the nutrients, thus leaving no room for algae to ever grow. In other cases, however, algae cannot seem to be prevented. The best way to get rid of it is by cleaning the affected area. There are specialized tools to effectively removing algae without disturbing the normal habitat of the fish.
Regular cleaning is very effective in getting rid of the three major causes of dirt. There is, however, one effective way of minimizing the effects of dirt on the aquarium and that is to change the water every two weeks. In changing the water, it is also necessary to clean the entire aquarium, gravel, live plants and other accessories. In cleaning the aquarium and other materials, the use soap should be discouraged as it can harm or even kill the fish.