Filter Bags

How do I clean the Aquarium?

hey everybody, ive had my aquarium (20 gallon) for a few years now and it seems like it keeps getting dirty faster. Like i just cleaned it last week and now the bottom rocks are black again. I change the filter bag and i scrub the sides. Do i need a new Filter? or do i just need to put in new rocks or something. There is this weird white scratchy (kind of like dried toothpaste) on top by the rim.

any help is appreciated thx

If you get the setup right your aquarium won't need much cleaning at all.

As someone else mentioned, first step is to leave your filter sponges in place - they hold vital bacteria that is essential for your tank and fish health. Every 3 months remove some tank water, take the sponges out and swill them around in the old tank water to get rid of any bulky 'gunk' then put them back in the filter. This is all they really need.

Change 10% water every week (more if you have messy fish like goldfish).

Every couple of weeks, use a clean cloth (one that has NEVER been used for anything else) or algae sponge to wipe the sides of the tank to keep algae from growing on it.

If your ornaments grow algae take them out and scrub them in tap water (NO soap) then put them back in the tank.

If you find algae grows quickly you are putting too many nutrients in the tank so you have a couple of options:
- make sure you are no overfeeding your fish; left over food is the No 1 provider of nutrients for algae
- add loads of live aquatic plants to use up nutrients before algae can get to it

The 'dried toothpaste' is likely to be calcium deposits. You can wipe this away using a very small amount of pure white vinegar on a clean cloth. It should just wipe off. It's best to do this after removing some water from the tank so the water line is well below the calcium line.

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