Marine fish aquariums or aquarium tanks are more difficult to clean than freshwater tanks. Salt tends to “crawl” into the pumps and glass lid and down the outside of the tank. The surfaces of a marine aquarium tank must be cleaned frequently.
Pure salt deposits no less than once a week and as often as once a day. You must consider the material that the tank is made of when selecting your tools. Also, check with the heating equipment supplier.
- Get the pad scrubber and scraper blade for your marine fish aquarium. Acrylic aquariums are easier to scratch than glass and do not need scratch pads.
- Prepare replacement saltwater a day in advance if you plan to clean gravel. Gravel cleaning should be done monthly. Mix aquarium-approved sea salt with water as directed.
- Test the specific gravity of the new saltwater and the aquarium using the hygrometer; target for specific gravity of 1.26. Immerse the hygrometer in the fresh sea salt mixture and fill it to the line. Read the particular gravity from the arrow. If the salinity of your aquarium has increased due to evaporation, the specific gravity of the water is lowered and changes slightly to balance the loss.
- Turn off pumps and any heaters exposed to air to prevent splash damage or overheating.
- Place a large, empty bucket near the marine aquarium tank using a gravity siphon. The bucket must be large enough for more than the total amount of water to be changed and robust enough not to break with that volume of water.
- Prime the gravity siphon with its priming mechanism. Put the big end of the siphon tube into the water, pump the water through the tube, and let it flow into the empty bucket.
- Start the siphon orally if there is no priming mechanism. Place the siphon into the reservoir and suck on the other end of the tube.
- When the water in the tube reaches below the water level in the tank, slide the open end of the tube into the empty bucket.
- Install the siphon in the sink by screwing the adapter onto your faucet’s threads. Remove the aerator from the tap first.
- Close the valve to the open mouth and siphon tube, avoiding accidental water spills.
- Set the siphon to remove water from the marine aquarium tank
- By opening the release on the faucet adapter. Water should be poured into the tank through the siphon faucet adapter when you turn on the faucet, and water should not come from the siphon tube.
- Open the valve at the end of the siphon spout. Holdover the sink and listen for the sound of air being sucked into the siphon. If water comes out instead of air, the adapter for water removal is not set.
- Clean the interior glass with a scouring pad, using the long-handled brush to get hard-to-reach areas. Do the glass front and possibly the sides but leave the rear glass.
- Scrape the algae from inside the front of the tank with a scraper.
- Test the temperature of the replacement water with the thermometer. If necessary, use a stove to get closer to the same temperature as your water tank. Fill the tank with fresh saltwater.
- Remove the light hood and clean the top and bottom of the vase lid in the sink. Dry and put the lid back on the aquarium.
- Wipe all exterior surfaces with a soft, damp cloth to remove salt deposits. Rinse the rag frequently and finish by wiping the glass with a dry paper towel.
- Plug in all your pumps and heater. Observe them ensure they are working properly. Discard dirty saltwater.
Tips and Warnings:
- Clean your equipment immediately before the salt dries on it.
- Gravity siphons, while cheap, can lead to messy bugs if the bucket overflows.
- Do not disturb your live coral or sand.
- Prevent fish from being sucked into the siphon water. Some siphons come with end guards to prevent accidental catching of fish.