How to Clean Aquarium Accessories
Keeping fish can be a fun and fascinating hobby, and studies have even shown that watching an aquarium full of happy and healthy fish can enhance your health and reduce your blood pressure. Even so, it is important to take care of your tank properly. A neglected fish tank can go from stunning to awful in a surprisingly short period of time. In order to keep your aquarium looking its best it is important to know how to clean your tank and your accessories the right way.
Know What Not to Use
When it comes to cleaning aquarium accessories like filters, artificial plants and other items it is important to never use ordinary household cleaning supplies. Household cleaning solutions like bleach and window cleaner can be very dangerous to the fish and live plants in a freshwater aquarium, and they can be even more devastating to a saltwater tank. Washing saltwater tank accessories in this way could kill off the expensive corals and live rock, not to mention all those beautiful saltwater fish.
If off the shelf cleaners must be used it is important to look for special cleansers that are made exclusively for the aquarium market. There are special glass cleaners designed for use on aquarium glass, and every hobbyist should have a couple of bottles on hand. These cleaners will not scratch acrylic tanks, and they will not harm the fish inside.
Clean with Hot Water
One of the simplest ways to clean filter parts, pumps, plants, and other aquarium accessories is with hot water. Hot water will help to loosen the hard water stains and discolorations that can accumulate on power filters, and it is also a good way to loosen up stubborn algae buildup from plastic plants, ornaments and other aquarium decorations.
For stubborn stains, a small scrub brush or a new toothbrush can be a big help. After soaking the aquarium accessories in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes use the toothbrush or the scrub brush to remove those stubborn stains. It is important to use only brand new brushes for this purpose since any residue from past use could seep into the water and harm the fish. Many aquarists keep a supply of brushes solely for use with their aquarium accessories.
Use Vinegar for Tough Stains
Some stains, especially those left by hard water, and be hard to remove with just hot water, but a little bit of straight vinegar should remove them. Vinegar can be a great cleaning solution for all kinds of aquarium supplies, but it is important to rinse all freshly cleaned aquarium supplies in hot water before putting them back in the tank. .That is because the acidity of the vinegar could alter the pH balance of the water and harm your precious livestock. This is absolutely critical in reef tanks and other saltwater systems, but it is an important consideration for freshwater aquariums as well.