How to Clean/Disinfect Your Tank
Follow us on...
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook

Results 1 to 3 of 3
Like Tree2Likes
  • 2 Post By Elle

How to Clean/Disinfect Your Tank

This is a discussion on How to Clean/Disinfect Your Tank within the Hospital Section forums, part of the Aquarium Related Chat category; When I disinfect a tank, this is the process I follow. I usually do it outside with a hose, as ...

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Elle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    North Shore

    DefaultHow to Clean/Disinfect Your Tank

    When I disinfect a tank, this is the process I follow. I usually do it outside with a hose, as it's messy and takes a while.

    You will need:

    • unscented pure bleach (no added scents or soaps as this will kill your fish)
    • pure white vinegar, large bottle (5L)
    • 3 buckets (for decorations, plants and substrate)
    • clean rags and scrubbies (don't use the ones with soap embedded! Plastic dollar store scrubbies are good for this)
    • spare tanks or rubbermaids for the fish to live in temporarily

    Disinfection Instructions: Tank

    1. Remove all fish from tank and place in another tank or clean, unused Rubbermaid with a filter and air stone running. Make sure that there's a lid to keep any jumpers in!
    2. Remove ALL decorations, plants, and substrate from the tank. Place in separate buckets.
    3. Scrub empty tank thoroughly with a clean scrubby or rag using a solution of 1 part pure, unscented bleach to 10 parts hot water. DO NOT EVER USE SOAP OR DETERGENT OF ANY KIND!!!!!!
    4. Rinse and refill tank with clean water, add 1 cup bleach for each 20 gallons. Let tank stand, filled with bleach-y water, for at least an hour.
    5. Rinse tank thoroughly, at least 4-5 times, wipe it out with a clean rag soaked in pure white vinegar (use lots) and rinse again with clean water.
    6. Refill with water and add a big (triple) dose of a strong dechlorinator like Prime. Let stand for 1+ hours.
    7. Empty tank and rinse with clean water, allow to air dry.
    8. Rinse your filter media, and remove any carbon if you haven't done so. It's a good idea to have a cycled backup filter if possible, as doing this can cause you to have a cycle bump and ammonia spike.

    Disinfection Instructions: Decorations

    1. Scrub all surface crud off decorations with a clean scrubby (NO SOAP!) and plain water.
    2. Fill decorations bucket with 1 part pure unscented bleach to 20 parts water; allow to soak at least 1 hour.
    3. Rinse decorations VERY thoroughly with clean water and white vinegar, at least 4-5 times. There should be no bleach smell.
    4. Refill bucket with water and add a big (triple) dose of a strong dechlorinator like Prime. Let stand for 1+ hours.
    5. Remove decorations and and rinse with clean water, allow to air dry.

    Disinfection Instructions: Substrate

    1. Place substrate in its own bucket outside. Stick a running hose into the bucket, dump in a cup of bleach and stir. Let the hose run and overflow the bucket to remove dirt, stirring occasionally. Rinse for at least 15-30 minutes, more is better. The water should be running clear and there should be no smell of bleach at all.
    2. Rinse one final time with dechlorinator added to rinse water before replacing in tank.

    Disinfection Instructions: Plants

    1. Place plants in their own bucket. Plants can be very sensitive to bleach, so what I would do is rinse ONLY the leaves quickly with the 1 part bleach to 20 parts water solution, and then rinse again several times in clean, dechlorinated water.
    Last edited by Elle; 11-01-2012 at 12:08 PM.
    catgoldfish and jobber like this.

    Gone fishing....

    Official Plecoholics Member #11

  2. Remove Advertisements

  3. #2
    Forum Novice catgoldfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Vancouver Fraser and Marine Drive Area


    Pretty much the same thing I do. Great info for people. Would make a nice "Sticky".

  4. #3
    Forum Resident
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Abbotsford near McCallum exit


    Best advice!! This method has never failed me.
    Just one lonely little Fluval Chi that doesn't even have water in it right now *sigh*



Similar Threads

  1. How to Clean This Tank?!
    By Tarobot in forum Equipment Talk Section
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-29-2011, 07:23 PM
  2. LF: Tank clean up / algae removal, a-sap! :)
    By rah_rabbitry in forum Yellowpages
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-27-2011, 04:47 PM
  3. How do you clean your planted tank?
    By fresh in forum Freshwater Chat
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-26-2011, 10:31 PM
  4. Clean tank :)
    By Chappy in forum Member Photo/Video Gallery
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 09-04-2011, 10:58 PM
  5. 10 gallon clean up: Summer Tank. Update Aug 19 pg 5
    By BullDog in forum Tank Journals
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 08-19-2010, 03:22 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Vancouver Website Hosting Chilliwack Website Design