How to clean fish tank gravel

Why should we clean gravel?

Tank gravel provides various functions aside from its obvious aesthetic appeal. These include providing a home for beneficial microorganisms, establishing natural habitats for fish, and preserving the health of plant roots. The ability to effectively clean the pebbles in the tank is an important skill for noviciate to learn.

When should the gravel be cleaned?

Every month or so. You should clean gravel at least twice a month for most tanks in your home. However, the tank’s size and bioload must be considered. Because tanks containing messy or huge fish species tend to develop a lot of waste, it is advised that the gravel be cleaned at least once a week. Smaller tanks with tiny species or only a few fish, on the other hand, may not require frequent substrate cleaning.

How do you clean gravel?

There are two basic methods for cleaning gravel, although both produce identical results.

Without a hoover

Novice would like to clean without using a hoover. This is one of the most effective methods for cleaning gravel.

 First, remove the fish from the tank with a net (or your hands) and carefully place them in another container. They were not returned to the tank until the gravel had been cleaned. 

Then, rinse the dirty gravel with running water and move it about to dislodge the waste from the gravel. There is no need to clean all of the gravel because some bacteria should be preserved in the tank for bio-balance.

After cleaning the majority of the gravel, place the fish in the tank with water.

Using a hoover

Most veterans will choose to clean the gravel with a hoover. This strategy is also appropriate for novices.

To begin, select a gravel vacuum based on the size and decorations of your tank. If you have a lot of plants or decorations in your tank, for example, you’ll need a gravel vacuum with a narrow mouth to avoid upsetting the plants and decorations when cleaning the gravel. Remember to unplug all of your devices and turn off all lights.

Now, take a bucket and place the gravel vacuum’s hose end in it, then place the vacuum head in the tank water and wait for it to fill up.

Lift the head out of the water and place it above the tank. When water starts to flow into the bucket, swiftly lower the hoover head into it. This will turn on the syphon.

Finally, mop the floor by moving the hoover head back and forth in rows. Again, only a section of the gravel must be cleaned in order for the bacteria to remain there and maintain the bio-balance.


It is critical to clean the gravel in order to keep the fish tank clean. Your fish will become ill if they are not kept in a healthy habitat. However, cleaning can easily address this problem; both ways can be quite effective at cleaning the gravel; simply choose the method that you want.

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