How To Clean Aquarium Rocks & gravel Full Guide

Aquarium fishes are fun to watch, but owning an aquarium comes with some responsibility. We have to care for the fish, do regular water changes, and clean the tank and rocks in the aquarium.

Algae will grow on the surface of the aquarium rocks if they are not cleaned properly. If you do not clean properly or regularly, some bacteria will harm your fish.

In this guide, we will learn How to clean aquarium rocks? And how to clean aquarium gravel?

Why do we need to clean aquarium rocks and Gravel?

Leftover food, the Fish waste matter will settle on the Gravel and rocks. They can change the water parameters, like raising pH, ammonia.

If we do not clean our aquarium regularly, this may cause drastic water change, eventually harming our fish. Now let us see How we can clean our aquarium rocks.

How to clean aquarium rocks?

How do we clean decorative rocks? We can scrub them clean with a scrubber or an algae scraper every week during water changes.

How to clean decorative aquarium rocks?

  • Use an algae scraper to wipe the surface of your aquarium rocks smoothly.
  • It would be best not to wash them in tap water, which will also kill the good bacteria. You can use the water you have to through after the water change.

How to clean aquarium gravel?

If we let the waste and debris in the Gravel, that can change water parameters drastically. That can be harmful to our fish. None of us want to harm our pet fish, so we have to clean Gravel now and then.

Cleaning the Gravel in a small aquarium

Cleaning the Gravel in small aquariums is relatively easy. Here is a step by step guide to cleaning the Gravel in a small aquarium:

  1. Now remove the fish from your aquarium and put it in another small tank or bucket filled with aquarium water. Don’t use tap water. You can also use the water in your tank.
  2. You can use fishnet to capture the fish from your aquarium and put them into the container.
  3. You need to remove all the decorations and plants in your aquarium at this stage. Now your aquarium should be filled with water and Gravel only.
  4. Now you need to collect your Gravel from the aquarium. To do that, gently pour out the aquarium water through a sieve.
  5. After collecting the Gravel in the sieve, you need to rinse the Gravel. To do that, put the sieve under the stream of lukewarm water. It would be best to stir the sieve a little to dislodge and wash away all waste from the Gravel. Keep it up until you see the water running through the sieve is clean.
  6. After cleaning, put the cleaned Gravel into the aquarium and spread them evenly at the bottom of the tank.
  7. Now you can reattach the decoration you have in your aquarium. Put water into the tank. Do not put chlorinated water before putting any fish test the water parameters. If the water parameters are safe, then put the fish.

Cleaning the Gravel in a large aquarium

Unlike a small tank, you don’t need to empty your fish tank; instead, you can use a siphon. This method of cleaning is difficult than small tank cleaning.

Here is a step-by-step guide to cleaning a large aquarium:

  1. It would be best if you had a big plastic bucket on the floor next to your aquarium. Put the bucket at a lower level than an aquarium.
  2. Place the siphon in your aquarium. Place the cylinder end of the aquarium. Make sure to put the opening is resting right at the bottom of your gravel substrate.
  3. Make sure to hold the other end over the plastic bucket.
  4. You can use an automatic siphon. As soon as you press the button, the dirty water from your fish aquarium will flow through the siphon into the bucket. If you don’t have a priming ball siphon, you have to suck on the tube. Remember to be vigilant when sucking on the tube. Otherwise, you might end up with a mouthful of aquarium water.
  5. The siphon cylinder will effectively remove the debris stuck to the Gravel. Press down the submerged end into the Gravel.
  6. Move the siphon in circular movements from one end of the aquarium to the other end -it works as vacuuming does.
  7. Remember that you don’t drain more than 25% of your aquarium water in one go. Drawing more than 25% of water can put your fish under stress.
  8. After successfully vacuuming the gravel substrate of your aquarium, remove the siphon.
  9. Wash the siphon by running it under warm water.
  10. Now refill your tank to its regular water with non-chlorinated water. Before adding the water, make sure your aquarium and the water you have to put into the aquarium have the same water parameters.

Hey, I am Shuvradeb Biswas a content writer. Fishkeeping is my hobby. There are many problems I faced during my first fishkeeping. So, I made the blog to help new fishkeepers.

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