How to Easily Deep Clean a Tank

That is actually a loaded statement because there can be a lot of factors that go into deep cleaning a tank. 

Tank size, location of a usable sink and a place to dump or pump water, and proper equipment can be just a few.

I’ve had to deep clean a couple of 55 gallon new accounts lately so I will share with you the processes that I used.

The first tank happened to be near a restroom which is always the best case scenario.  This tank had an undergravel filter that hadn’t been properly cleaned in years, plus I just don’t like them.  It already had an Emperor 400 so I just left it as the only filter. 

First, I removed the fish from the tank and placed them in 5 gallon buckets.  Next, I removed the undergravel filters while the tank was still full of water.  I stretched my high volume water changing hose from the tank to the toilet and my regular gravel vacuum hose from the tank to a sink.  I pushed back the gravel on one end of the tank and placed the water change pump on that end.  I put the vacuum hose on the other end of the tank.  I turned on the water change pump and started to empty the aquarium into the toilet.  As the water began to get close to the rocks, I turned on the water from the sink to the tank.  I agitated the gravel and washed the debris from one end of the tank toward the pump.  I continued to do this until the gravel was clean.  I removed the pump and continued to fill the tank, adjusting the water temperature for the fish.  Once filled, I turned on the pump, conditioned the water and added the fish.

The second tank was a little more difficult because it wasn’t located near a restroom or sink so I had to use my long distance water change equipment.  Instead of pumping the water into a toilet, I pumped it into the trash can.  I emptied the trash can into a floor sink then repeated.  When the aquarium was almost empty, I took 5 gallon buckets of water and poured into the end of the aquarium opposite of the pump. The pump would then put it and the debris into the trash can.  I repeated this process until the gravel was clean.  I then used the trash can to fill up the aquarium.

Having the right equipment and knowledge can help speed up the process and make your business more profitable.