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Maintaining and regularly cleaning your freshwater aquarium is necessary to keep it looking attractive. A regular cleaning will also help prolong the life of your tropical fish. Cleaning your aquarium is a fairly simple routine that needs to be done approximately every two weeks.

The first step is to take out any artificial plants, the filter stem, and any decorative items. These may be soaked in a mild solution of bleach and water to remove any algae. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and soak these items in clear water for the same length of time they were in the bleach solution. This will ensure that all of the bleach is gone. If the filter is not very dirty, it can be rinsed in hot water to remove any waste particles. If rinsing does not remove the debris, then it will be necessary to change it.

Next, you will need to remove twenty percent of the water in your aquarium. This is best achieved with a gravel cleaning siphon. This handy tool will take out waste particles from the gravel and keep the nitrogen cycle of your aquarium functioning correctly. If your aquarium has an underground filter, it will also help to improve its operation.

While the water is at a lower level, you can use a dish scrubbing pad to clean the inside of the glass. Never use soaps or chemicals inside your aquarium. They are toxic to your fish. There are additives you can purchase that will significantly inhibit algae growth. A higher wattage bulb will promote algae growth, so be sure your tank has a low wattage bulb made especially for aquarium use. Limiting the length of time the light is on will also help.

Before replacing the water in your aquarium, put the filter stem back in place, filter, plants, and any other items. Using chlorine-free tap water, fill the aquarium back to the proper level. If your tap water is not chlorine-free, you will need to add a chemical that neutralizes the chlorine. Another option would be to run the water you intend on using forty-eight hours in advance. The chlorine will evaporate, and the water will be safe for fish.