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How to Keep Fish Tank Clean without Changing Water

A clean fish tank is appealing to the eye and creates a comfortable environment for your fish. Chemicals such as nitrates can build up in your fish tank over time, resulting in a foggy look. Even if you use a fish tank filter, you should still hand-clean your aquarium in order for your fish to remain happy and healthy.

We’ll start with reasons why your aquarium gets dirty and why cleanliness matters and then we will provide you with instructions on how to keep your fish tank clean without changing the water.


Why your fish tank gets dirty rapidly

The fish will be stressed if the tank is too tiny, and the tank will become unclean much faster. However, if your tank is too big, the fish will be uncomfortable, and cleaning it will be much more difficult.

Overcrowding, overfeeding and improper filtration are also reasons for a dirty aquarium. A lack of water changes might be the reason for which your fish tank is filthy, but this isn’t our topic of discussion today, hence we will address ways to keep your aquarium clean without changing water.


Why cleanliness matters

While cleaning an aquarium is never a pleasurable task, there are various reasons why it is critical to clean and maintain your tank on a regular basis:
  • Health: Bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other hazards to your fish can thrive in a dirty tank. Furthermore, a dirty tank may have an uneven pH, and the gasses and nutrients in the water may not be at optimal levels for the tank's inhabitants' health.
  • Function: When a fish tank becomes filled with floating debris and waste, the filter, pump, and other vital functions become sluggish. When this apparatus fails, the fish will face a harmful, if not fatal, environment.
  • Viewing: A fish tank is not nearly as enjoyable if it has murky, dirty water and its walls are coated with slime and algae. It can become difficult to see the colors of plants and fish, and a very dirty tank may even put off foul, unpleasant odors.


How to keep your fish tank clean without changing water

It doesn’t have to be hard to keep a fish tank clean and fresh, and there are many different ways you can keep your tank in a good condition:


1. Use the right size tank

To begin, make sure your tank is the right size for the fish you intend to keep. The fish will be stressed if the tank is too tiny, and the tank will become filthy much faster. However, if your tank is too big, the fish will be uncomfortable, and cleaning it will be much more difficult.

Fish tank

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2. Choose the best filter

The filter in your tank will keep the water clean by removing debris and waste. Choose the right filter size and strength for your tank layout, and buy the most cost-effective alternative available. The optimum filter will have chemical, mechanical, and biological filtration features.

Aquarium filter

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3. Appropriately feed your fish

To keep your tank clean, you should learn how to feed your fish properly. Provide your fish with the greatest quality food possible to aid digestion, and only feed them the right amount of food on a regular basis. Any food that hasn't been consumed after 5-10 minutes should be strained out and discarded to avoid fouling the tank.

4. Welcome a cleanup crew

When you add a resident snail, oyster, or shrimp to your aquatic habitat, make sure to include a natural cleaner. Some fish species will eat algae and assist maintain the tank clean by doing so. Keep a few of these inhabitants in the tank to keep it clean and fresh.

5. Scrape the glass

Algae can easily be removed from the sides of your tank with a simple scraper or razor blade. Scrape the sides regularly to keep algae growth to a minimum and you’ll more easily be able to see all the colors and details of your tank.

Magnetic aquarium cleaner brush

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6. Trim plants

Live plants may be both decorative and helpful in your fish tank, providing hiding spots for shy fish and giving a natural source of nutrients. Trim away any dead leaves or grasses if you spot them turning brown or decomposing to maintain the tank clean.


7. Clean props

Props such as rocks, logs, castles, sunken ships, and other accents can add a bit of structure and whimsy to your tank, but they don’t look nearly as nice if they’re covered with algae. Rinse them with hot water and wipe them off to remove algae buildup and keep them clean.


8. Vacuum the gravel

Fish feces, shed scales, uneaten food, dead plant parts, and other detritus will sink to the bottom of your aquarium. Vacuuming the gravel once a week will remove a lot of the trash and freshen the tank, brightening the gravel and making it healthier.

Gravel cleaner

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9. Clean the outside

Even if the interior of your tank is pristine, it might seem dirty if the outside of the glass is coated with dust and fingerprints. Clean the outside of the glass regularly, but be sure you don’t contaminate the water with glass cleaner or other chemicals.



We wrote this blog post as a way of trying to deliver the message that keeping up with the task is the greatest and easiest approach to maintaining your fish tank clean.

It will be easier to do a little cleaning every day than to wait until the entire tank requires a complete cleaning, and even if you skip a day now and again, the tank will remain pretty clean and enjoyable. You and your fish will both appreciate your tank more if you maintain it clean, and it will be a healthier, more pleasant environment in which everyone will thrive.

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