Depending on the reason for disinfecting your tank, you can use one of two methods. If you are wanting to give a dirty tank a good clean, vinegar and water is a quick and efficient solution. However, if the tank has had sick fish ,you need to use a stronger solution like bleach. People are often afraid to resort to bleach, but it is safe if used correctly.
Vinegar can be used to clean your tank, filter, heater and all decorations using a 1:1 vinegar/water solution. All items can be left to soak for several hours. Once the items are finished soaking, be sure to rinse everything off really well. Now your aquarium and equipment are ready for use. Once the tank has been filled with water, be sure to use a good water conditioner.
If the filter has hard water build up on it, you can set it up to run in a bucket with a water vinegar solution for a few hours. This will clean all the inner workings and break down the hard water build up. If a stronger solution is needed, use a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to water. Thoroughly rinse before putting back in your aquarium.
The bleach needs to be regular household bleach. Do not use a bleach mixed with other detergents. The solution is usually eight parts water to one part bleach. There are two ways to use the bleach in your aquarium.
Decoration, filters, and heaters can also be cleaned using the same 8:1 water to bleach ratio. You can either soak them or spray them. The same rule applies as with the tanks. Do not leave anything with bleach on them for longer than 10-15 minutes. When you are done, be sure to rinse everything thoroughly. Remember to allow everything to air dry for 24 hours before adding them back into your tank.
Happy fish keeping!
*Bleach can be corrosive and cause discoloration to some materials.
*Bleach is very dangerous to fish. Be sure to remove all fish from the area you are working in.
*Bleach can cause skin irritation and is harmful if ingested or comes into contact with the eyes.
We are a Christian family who love to talk about our pets. With each pet we've owned over the years we have done extensive research as to their care. We've also learned a lot through our mistakes. All the information shared on this site is experienced or well researched. Please join in the discussion as we share tips on practical pet keeping.