Useful Tips

Methods for cleaning the soil in the aquarium with a siphon as well as practical tips


Gravel is a term used for substrate laid on the bottom of aquariums. Its primary purpose is to decorate the aquarium, but it can also affect the pH level of water, its chemical and mineral composition. It can have a beneficial or negative effect on fish and other aquatic animals in the aquarium, so you should choose it carefully. Gravel is the most common substrate for aquariums. It allows you to recreate the natural habitat for fish and their neighbors in the aquarium. Gravel comes in a variety of options and is easy to use. However, you should be aware of how to prepare gravel before placing it in an aquarium in order to protect fish and other aquatic creatures.

Which view is better

Siphon is an accessory that is difficult for any owner of the aquarium to do without. All the inhabitants of the aquarium emit products of their vital activity into the environment, the decomposition of which can produce decay products - poisonous gases, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.

Important! These gases are harmful to all living organisms in the aquarium.

If in large natural reservoirs this does not have a significant effect on the health of fish and other animals, then in the aquarium, even in large, the soil must be regularly cleaned of bottom sediments - excrement of fish and silt. In this way, you can clean the filler in the form of sand, pebbles, black species and other varieties.

With a pear pump

Aquarium siphon is very simple. Usually it is a hose with an extension at the end and a pump with a check valve. As a rule, inexpensive siphons consisting of a bulb equipped with inlet and outlet valves and a corrugated hose do their job best. This look is great for a small aquarium due to the replaceable end of the hose.

Battery operated

There are battery operated electric siphons. They are equipped with a small electric pump that absorbs water. Such siphons eliminate the need to pump water manually. It is most advisable to use them for owners of large aquariums that require a lot of time for manual cleaning.


You can quite easily and cheaply make a siphon for the aquarium yourself. All you need is a flexible hose and a plastic bottle. The thicker the siphon hose, the more water it will draw in in one second.

Advice! Choose the thickness of the hose based on the volume of your aquarium.

For example, a siphon with a hose 1 cm thick is well suited for a 100-liter aquarium; for a smaller aquarium, a hose of a smaller thickness, respectively.

To make a siphon with your own hands, cut off the upper narrowed part of the bottle to get a funnel, and then attach one end of the hose to the neck. To work with such a siphon, it is necessary to place its funnel in water and draw air from the other end of the hose to create a draft. Usually the manufacture of such a siphon does not justify itself - Fortunately, the market offers high-grade siphons at affordable prices.

How to use

In order to clean the bottom with a siphon, the extension of the tube must be placed in the ground, and its narrow end must be placed in a container of sufficient volume (bucket, basin or large pan). After that, press the pear several times (if not, blow it into the narrow end of the tube). Drain part of the water by leading the pipe above the ground at such a height that only dirt is sucked into the siphon. Together with the soil treatment it is convenient to make a partial change of water.

If the siphon provides protection against small stones being sucked in, you can stir up the soil by immersing the funnel to the very bottom to improve the quality of soil cleaning. A fine suspension remains in the aquarium water immediately after cleaning. It does not pose a danger to the fish, and after a few hours it settles to the bottom, after which the water becomes transparent.

More details can be seen in the video below:

Useful Tips

  • Use a siphon with caution in aquariums with small bottom organisms (snails, etc.) and delicate algae - there is a risk of injuring these living creatures. Plots densely planted with plants do not have to be siphoned - a small amount of sludge at the bottom of the aquarium will not harm anyone.
  • Do not overfeed the fish. This will make it less likely to resort to cleaning the aquarium of food residues, which rotten produce poisonous hydrogen sulfide (it can be recognized by the characteristic smell of rotten eggs emanating from bubbles rising from the day). In addition, moderate feeding prevents obesity in pets.
  • The first few weeks after transplanting fish into the aquarium, it is not recommended to resort to cleaning the aquarium.
  • If cleaning is difficult due to severe soil contamination or other reasons, it is recommended to transfer all the fish to a separate container before starting the procedure.
  • It is necessary that at the bottom of the aquarium lay a fairly thick layer of soil (6-8 cm). This is especially significant for owners of algae, taking root in the ground. It is desirable that the ground height at the front wall of the aquarium is less than at the back: this makes the cleaning procedure more convenient. However, not every soil (for example, medium-sized sand) will be kept on a slope.

What to do with sand after a siphon?

If fine sand has got into the tank for draining or clogged in a siphon, it is necessary to return it to the aquarium, after washing it with running water. To do this, in the best case scenario, it is necessary to remove the protective grille, in the worst case, to completely disassemble the siphon or cut the hose if a large, stubborn stone is stuck in it.

The recommended frequency for siphon cleaning depends on the number of aquarium pets: from once a week to once a month.

It happens that aquarists are faced with the problem of greening the soil and other surfaces in the aquarium. Green plaque growing on objects consists of unicellular algae, which can multiply rapidly under the influence of the following factors:

  • Excessive light: Avoid installing the aquarium near a window on the sunny side and turn off the lights at night.
  • Overfeeding fish and irregular cleaning of the soil: it is necessary to give the fish as much food as they can eat in 5 minutes, otherwise the remaining food will remain at the bottom and rot.
  • Poor soil flow: very small stones or sand contribute to rotting processes.

Also, a way out of the situation could be the resettlement of fish that like to eat small algae: pecilia, mollies, or catfish. Or the use of a drug that kills algae and is harmless to aquarium fauna: these are sold in pet stores.

Subject to all the rules and some skill, cleaning the aquarium with a siphon becomes a simple and safe procedure, the regular implementation of which will ensure the comfortable existence of your fish.


Some factors indicate that it’s time to clean the aquarium. To do this, test the quality of water (nitrates, ammonia). If the indicators exceed the norm, time to change the water. When the fish raise a cloud of mud behind them during movement, it is time to flush the soil. The walls of the aquarium were covered with green coating - this is a signal for washing the glass. Hence the conclusion: cleaning is carried out according to external factors, tests.

Required Layer Height

The height of the soil layer in the aquarium can vary from 2 to 10 cm. With a small number of plants, a minimum of 2 centimeter bottom cover is sufficient. When simulating a natural sea or river relief, creating a landscape of coral reefs, the thickness of the soil reaches 5 - 10 cm, in addition to the aesthetic function, maintaining the ecological balance of the enclosed volume.

If the thickness is too large, the soil can cause acidification of the water. Excess soil materials are harmful to the aquarium, as well as its lack or absence.


It is impossible to give an unambiguous question about the frequency of cleaning. If you compare large and small aquariums, then more often you have to clean in smaller containers. Again, it is worth considering the population. If a large vessel has a high population density, and only 3 fish swim in a small vessel, then cleaning will be more often in large containers. From here we can only talk about averaged data:

  1. Every day you should feed the fish and do an inspection of the equipment, check the temperature.
  2. Scheduled cleaning to change the water spend 1 time in 7-14 days.
  3. Clean the glass once a week, even if it seems clean.
  4. Filter service once a month.
  5. Cleaning the soil, decorations, stones 1 time in 7 days.
  6. Regularly test water for nitrates, ammonia, phosphorus, cut vegetation.

Replenish evaporation fluid every 3-4 days.

How to calculate the amount of soil?

As the bottom coverings choose sand, pebbles, small pebbles or granite. Bulk materials, due to differences in molecular structure, vary in density.

The same volume of sand or granite has different weights.. There is a problem of how much to prepare pebbles or small pebbles to create a given thickness of the soil surface of the aquarium.

To calculate the required amount of soil, you will have to remember physics and geometry for the 4th-5th grade:

Aquarium Volume: V = A · B · C

  • V - volume, in liters.
  • A - length, dm.
  • B - width, dm.
  • C - height, dm.

Liters are best converted to cm3.

  • 1 dm = 10 cm.
  • 1 dm3 = 1 liter of water.
  • 1 liter of water = 1000 cm3 of water.

For example, an aquarium with a volume of 100 liters will contain 100 dm3 of water, or 1,000,000 cm3 of water.

The mass of soil is calculated by the formula: m = p · V, where:

Reference data for the main types of materials used as soil for the aquarium are given in the table at the end of the article.

Soil of various fractions is usually combined, for example, 2 cm of sand and 2 cm of pebbles. Therefore, we derive a weight formula for a height of 1 cm of bulk soil, and the total height of the soil will be easy to calculate by adding.

Soil volume 1 cm in height: V = А · В · 1 cm (or in liters V = А · В · 1 cm: 1000),

Therefore, the mass of 1 cm of soil over the entire area of ​​the bottom of the aquarium: m = p · V = p · A · B · 1 cmwhere:

  • Mass - in kilograms.
  • A, B and C - in centimeters.
  • p - kg / cm3.

For a soil thickness of several cm (n), the formula will take the form: m = p · V = p · A · B · n

If the volume of the aquarium in liters is known, substitute V:

m = p · V: С · n, we translate the volume from liters to cubic centimeters: m = p · V: С · n · 1000

  1. m is the mass of soil in kilograms,
  2. p is the specific gravity in kg / cm 3,
  3. V is the volume, cm 3
  4. C is the height of the aquarium, cm
  5. n - soil height, see

Cleaning Equipment

Each aquarist has a cleaning tool. It is conditionally divided into a standard and individually-specific set.

The first includes the necessary things: sponges, buckets, scrapers, hoses, siphons.

The second set includes additional tools: tweezers, acidity indicator, feeders, aquarium tests.

You simply can’t get fluid from the tap. It should meet some parameters in which the fish will feel comfortable.

The pH acidity is checked by an indicator, the indicator is considered to be the norm - 7. Soda is used to increase, peat is used to decrease.

The smell of chlorine is eliminated. Water is defended for 3 days. If this does not help, use a dechlorinating agent.

For freshwater fish, using distilled liquid is undesirable, as it is considered “dead” water.

The upper layers of water from old aquariums are recommended; they have an established biological balance.

The final calculation formula

The final formula for calculating the amount of soil: m = 1000rn · V: C

Length dimension is measured in cm (centimeters), weight - in kg (kilogram)

  • m is the mass of soil
  • p - specific gravity in kg / cm3,
  • V is the volume
  • C is the height of the aquarium,
  • n is the height of the soil.

We take data on soil density from the table, measure the height of the aquarium with a ruler or tape measure.

Glass scraper

In order not to start your hand while cleaning the glass inside the aquarium, it is convenient to use magnetic scrapers.

Algae deposits can be cleaned with a scraper that has a metal blade. Just need to be extremely careful so as not to hook the silicone sealant (wall connector), scratch the acrylic.

If you regularly wash the glass, at least once every 7 days, an ordinary sponge for the kitchen is suitable. Only use a new instance, without food residues, fat.

Big bucket

During the cleaning of sand, pebbles, water, garbage merges. Therefore, you must have a large bucket for collection.

A large bucket will also be required to protect the water. It is advisable to choose a neutral material - inert plastic, enamel. Exclude all other materials: zinc, aluminum, copper. From the reaction of elements, harmful substances are formed, causing an imbalance, the death of aquatic organisms.

For 30 liter capacity

It is necessary to calculate the weight of medium sand for a layer of 3 cm:
Aquarium height - C = 30,
(the density value of the average sand from the table is 0.00165 kg / cm3)
m = 1000 · 0.00165 · 2 · 30: ​​30 = 3 kg.

The height of the aquarium is C = 40.
We calculate the weight of small granite chips for a layer of 2 cm:
(the density value of small granite crumbs from the table is 0.0017 kg / cm3)
m = 1000 · 0.0016 · 2 · 50: 40 = 4 kg.

It is necessary to calculate the weight of thin sand for a layer of 2 cm.
Aquarium height - C = 47,
(the density value of fine sand from the table is 0.0017 kg / cm3)
m = 1000 · 0.0017 · 2 · 100: 47 = 7.2 kg.

The height of the aquarium is C = 60.
We calculate the weight of coarse pebbles for a layer of 6 cm:
(the value of the density of coarse pebbles from the table is 0.0014 kg / cm3)
m = 1000 · 0.0014 · 6 · 120: 60 = 16.8 kg.

Aquarium height - C = 90
We calculate the weight of large granite pebbles for a layer of 8 cm:
(the density value of large granite pebbles is 0.0013 kg / cm3)
m = 1000 · 0.0013 · 8 · 200: 90 = 23 kg.

Density table

Specific gravity in kg / cm3:

The size1 - 3 mm3 - 5 mm5 - 15 mm
Small pebbles0,00170,00160,0014

These density values ​​may in some cases vary slightly. from real physical quantities due to humidity and the average spread.

Related videos

Watch a video about calculating the amount of soil for an aquarium:

The formula for calculating the amount of soil in and the reference data in the table allow you to accurately determine the weight of a given thickness of the bulk material of the aquarium yourself, without resorting to outside help, saving time and money.

Wine vinegar

To remove limescale from the glass, a special tool for cleaning the glass of the aquarium will help, but if it is not at hand, use wine vinegar. Take a glass of water, add a tablespoon of vinegar. Process the glass with a solution. Acid does not leave streaks, quickly copes with plaque.

Some scrapers have a blade. The material can be plastic, metal. When working with scrapers, you need to be careful, for example, acrylic aquariums are easily scratched.

Some models of scrapers have a combined filling. The blade is replaced with a sponge and vice versa.

Other necessary things

During the cleaning of the aquarium, you will need at least the right things:

  • nets of different sizes,
  • long tweezers to plant plants and pick up various details from the bottom,
  • siphon,
  • feeders
  • mounting material - suction cups,
  • liquid measuring container
  • syringe, long needle for the treatment of algae.

In stock should be the necessary substitutes: thermometer, heater, compressor. In case of failure of the main elements.

Rules for surface cleaning aquarium

When conducting a planned or surface cleaning of the aquarium, follow some rules and procedures:

  • Unplug electrical appliances. Leave the external filters
  • clean with a scraper or a sponge plaque from the glass,
  • if the decorations are coated, remove them and rinse with hot water. Use any detergent, but rinse thoroughly,
  • prune live plants, weed,
  • siphon the soil as needed,
  • drain the water (if you clean the bottom, this will be done automatically),
  • rinse the filter as necessary
  • pour clean water.

After the water settles, brush the scenery and brush off the plaque.

Rules for deep cleaning the aquarium

Deep cleaning means a complete restart of the aquarium. The death of fish, plant disease leads to such actions, the design leaked, the design got tired.

The algorithm of work is the same as for scheduled cleaning. The only differences are total disinfection.

Prepare a house for the fishes. If aquarium water is suitable, type. In case of an epidemic, this should not be done, prepare the standing water for several days, and heat it before settling.

Pull out the plants. It is important not to damage the root system. In case of illness, drop new samples. If they are dear to you, treat with penicillin. Combine 10 liters of water, 50 mg of the drug. The course of treatment is seven days. Temperature maintain 25 degrees.

Then, pull out the ground. Perform heat treatment.

Prepare a salt solution for decoration.

Leave 50% of the water from the aquarium for a quick restart, if the cause is not an infection, a virus.

Proceed to wash the aquarium.

Use disinfectants.

With mycobacteriosis, fill the container with washing powder at the rate of 400 g of the mixture, per 60 liters of water. Inventory is boiling.

Dry the aquarium for several days, at least a day.

Pour in water to check for leaks, hold for 2 hours, if everything is fine, drain the liquid, start restarting.

Perform the steps in reverse order.

Чистка стенок

Before cleaning the walls of the aquarium, arm yourself with the right scraper. Do not use used sponges from the kitchen.

Act carefully, near the bottom. Sand rising from the bottom will scratch the glass.

Algae washed off the walls, do not clean. Some of them will be eaten by fish, and the remainder will be removed during a fluid change.

Algae Processing

Treat algae with special preparations, for example, Easy Clean, Algicide or sidex.

Easy Clean - pour the product into the aquarium. It is relevant without live vegetation.

Algicide or sidex - kills algae, stimulates plant growth. In 50 liters of liquid, add 2 mg of the drug.

Treat affected surfaces from a syringe. Dead algae will eat algae eaters.

Cleaning decorative items

Artificial plants, decorative elements are washed inside the aquarium, outside. At the first option, clean the raids with a brush. If this does not help, pull out the decorations, process them in the following ways:

  • draw boiling water and lower the decorative elements, hold for 10-15 minutes. High temperatures help get rid of algae,
  • bleach. Combine water, bleach, in the ratio 9: 1. Lower the scenery, hold for 10 minutes. Wash thoroughly under running water. Not all items are cleaned in this way, for example, artificial snags, corals,
  • iodized salt + lemon. Prepare a slurry of two components. Apply the mixture with a toothbrush. The method is suitable for silk decorations.

After processing, put everything in place.

Replacing filter cartridges (how to clean the filter in an aquarium)

Filter sponges perform two functions: they purify the liquid and accumulate beneficial microorganisms. Do not disturb the balance, carefully remove mechanical impurities. Use fluid from the aquarium only.

The internal filter is replaced as it becomes dirty. Replacement signal - poor water flow, loss of shape. This happens once a year or more. In the internal filter, the washcloth consists of several parts. Change only one. After two weeks, when the microorganisms fill the clean sponge, replace the next part.

Elements of porous material: rings, balls, change 1 time in 3 months.

Rinse the rotor head with a cotton swab. Do not use detergents.

Water discharge

Use a siphon or hose to drain the water. Combine the descent with the cleaning of the bottom, soil. Lower the tube deep into the discharge of contaminated places. Collect contents in a bucket. If the vessel is filled with large fish, feel free to lower the other end of the hoses into the sewer. Provided that the soil is pebble.

Replacement of voditsy is done partially from 15 to 50%. It depends on some factors:

  • population density
  • filter power
  • the presence of plants
  • size of fish and craving for clean water.

Full replacement of water is required in extreme cases - an epidemic.

How to clean an aquarium with a siphon

The components of the siphon are a pump, tube. One part descends into the aquarium. Pumping up the pump, they suck out the dirt. To do this, attach the tip to the tube, shaking the soil, choose sewage.

Lower the end of the siphon with the special nozzle deep into the aquarium, and slightly raise the ground. By clicking on the pump, debris from the bottom will go down the tube, the remaining soil will drop. Do not touch areas with plants, so as not to disturb the root system.

Otherwise, the sand is cleaned. A hose is used here. Lower one end to the sand, the other end to the bucket. Collecting an increment from the surface, sand enters. After cleaning, rinse it under running water and return it to the aquarium.

Living plants do not grow without a substrate. Therefore, the bottom is covered with a layer of soil. The next layer is sand or pebbles. Soil is cleaned during general cleaning. The substrate is heat treated or changed.

If the plants are ornamental, under the soil is meant sand, quartz, pebbles. Cleaned once a week with a hose or siphon.

How to clean an aquarium without draining water

If you use the net to clean the aquarium, the water will remain at the same level. Bring the tool into the sand. It will be successfully sifted, and get enough sleep, and the pollution will be in the net.

The walls are washed with water from the aquarium with a magnetic scraper.

Decorative elements are pulled out, washed.

Procedure for catching fish from the tank

To catch fish, prepare a trap yourself. Take a plastic bottle, cut the neck. Make a hole with a hot nail over the entire surface so that the product drowns. In the middle, lay the load, fish food. Turn the neck inside the bottle. Pass the rope through the holes to raise the trap. Dip the product into the aquarium, expect a catch.

Features of the use of aquarium salt

Unsuitable sea salt has been used in aquariums. Problems associated with the health of fish are solved with salt:

  • used in stressful situations.
  • during transportation
  • the effect of salt affects osmoregulation.

Salt changes the quality of water.

Saltwater Aquarium Care Guidelines

For the preparation of sea water, distilled or double-purified liquid is used. Just standing up will not be enough.

  • measure parameters every day,
  • with the help of pumps to simulate the flow,
  • weekly partially change the water,
  • to clean the walls once a week,
  • keep track of equipment
  • regularly test water quality,
  • weekly clean food debris and excrement.

The work is not globally different from a freshwater aquarium.

Getting rid of pests and excess organics, restoring the aquarium bio-balance

Useful microelements, harmful algae develop in the vessel. A bio balance is needed. When deviating, they resort to various methods:

  • launch of cleaners (snails, shrimp, fish),
  • mechanical cleaning
  • daylight saving up to 8 hours,
  • adjustment of the number of fish,
  • vessel restart
  • artificial and living Sera filters,
  • purchased algae control products.

Before applying any method, identify the cause of the imbalance.

Biological organisms that clean aquariums

Toxic products (excrement, leftover food, plant waste) are neutralized, broken down by beneficial bacteria to a form suitable for plant nutrition.

Bacteria are absorbed by filters or removed by water changes.

Plants purify water, absorb carbon dioxide, produce oxygen. The most active are floating plants.

Among biological organisms, mollusks stand out. They transfer calcium to an insoluble state, bring food residues to the desired consistency, bacteria can easily process them in the future.

Amoeba prefer to eat algae, organic residues. Thus they give food to bacteria.

The appearance of bryozoans in a vessel indicates a good balance. Since they live only in clean water with a sufficient dose of oxygen.

All flora and fauna is involved in the biological balance of the aquarium, but their significance is unequal.

Active algae wrestlers among snails:

  • Helena
  • Corbicula Javanese,
  • Zebra,
  • Black ear
  • Hedgehog,
  • Porcelain septaria.

The temperature in the range of 22-27 degrees.

In the vessel, the snails do not breed, except for the “black ear” species. Caviar can be seen on the walls of the glass.

Up to 5 years old, a horned snail Neritin Gliton lives among fish. The uniqueness of the species is a miniature size of 1-1.5 cm.

In freshwater aquariums, cleaner fish benefit:

  • Siamese algae eaters,
  • otocyclus,
  • ancistruses.

The main food of fish is algae. The temperature of the content is 23-26 degrees.

Shrimps are popular among aquarists:

Shrimp destroy algae, rotting leaves of plants.

Causes of pathogenic algae growth

There are many types of algae, the causes may be:

  • violation of biobalance (bacteria, fungi, shellfish, etc.),
  • lack or excess of daylight hours,
  • dead organics.

Poisons accumulate in the aquarium, which give rise to the appearance of algae and have a detrimental effect on everything living.