You could argue that a perfectly set-up aquarium is one with glass so clean it defines perfect transparency, and absolutely nothing is out of place; it’s a perfectly-scaped gravel bed with no visible debris, the fish are bright and colorful, and the plants or corals pop brilliantly from their placements.Well, if this is your idea of the pristine aquarium, and if you haven’t achieved it yet, we could help you by putting into practice what we are about to preach in this article.Aquarium maintenance is essential. It ensures your fish stay healthy and your aquarium remains presentable. That said, there is another level of ensuring your aquarium looks perfect, and the good news is that it is not beyond any aquarium keeper’s capability. It is always about consistency.Regular attention to the visible surfaces and contents of your aquarium pays off, and it doesn’t take up much of your time.
Let’s start at the point where you are ready to do your bi-monthly water change of 15 – 20%. There is nothing like a solid water change to add some motivation to achieving that perfect end result.
So, beginning with the top of your aquarium and working your way down, here’s our tried and true list of activities to make your aquarium look ‘detailed’.
Clean the fluorescent bulb and lens of your LED lighting system with a microfiber cloth and appropriate spray-on product. We recommend the Fluval Lamp Lens Cleaning Kit. This ensures a high level of light enters your aquarium for optimal illumination, and it is also nice to observe fingerprint-free surfaces with no mineral deposits on the exterior fixture and on the lens itself.
If your aquarium has a glass top, you need to keep it perfectly clean. With each water change, remove it, rinse, and wipe down with some paper towels and vinegar. Rinse again, dry thoroughly, and replace.
Are you keeping a few small common ancistrus species or a couple of clown plecos? If you aren’t, and you have rocks and wood in your set-up, you should consider getting a few since they will constantly grind away at anything that starts to grow on those surfaces and are great at keeping them clean. Should you see anything undesirable on wood or stones/rocks, remove them and scrub with a stiff nylon brush.
The inside glass needs meticulous attention since the slightest film will reduce transparency, and spots of algae will ruin that perfect look. Keeping a set of glass magnets and a glass cleaning kit to fine detail the inner corners and harder-to-reach areas is a must. Take an extra minute to remove anything growing on the inner glass even if it looks perfect.
Any filter hosing stems and strainers need to be cleaned regularly before they become encrusted. This is a precautionary measure, which means you do this even if they look clean. A hose cleaning brush is also very useful as unsightly deposits detract from the overall look.
Trim any excess plant growth with trimming scissors. Also, brush any displaced gravel back into the desired location and orient rock and other structures as desired after a gravel washing.
Always make sure the bottom, inner front glass covered by gravel has been cleaned.
Give the cabinet, if you have one, a good once over with a damp cloth, then wipe dry with a dry cloth.
When it comes to your filter, you really want to have that polished look to your aquarium water, so install a fine polyester polishing pad to remove fine floating debris after your water change. When the filter flow rate starts to diminish, or two weeks have passed, be sure to replace the pad or go back to the conventional filter media you were previously using.
HOW TO CLEAN AN AQUARIUM
Tom Sarac provides simple yet effective maintenance tips on how to clean and detail your fresh or salt water aquarium, taking it from ordinary to extraordinary.