Are you searching for how to clean fish tank gravel without a vacuum? Everything you need to know about that has all been revealed in this article. Read on to learn more about it.

Without using a vacuum, you may find it a little bit difficult to properly clean fish tank gravel. Fish waste, food materials, and various kinds of debris can so much settle on the aquarium gravel, making it very difficult to clean.

However, with the help of the information, you will find in this guide, you can get this done within the shortest time possible.

Is It Necessary To Regularly Clean Fish Tank Gravel?

Some of the most common questions people who own a fish tank usually ask are

“How often should I clean my fish tank gravel?”

“is it really necessary to regularly clean my fish tank gravel?”

And so many others.

If you ask any of that question online on search engines, there’s a 90 percent chance you are going to come across answers from people with varying opinions.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for that since the number of times you clean your fish tank gravel should be determined by the amount of fish in your aquarium. If the fish tank is well stocked, it may be really necessary for you to clean it quite often.

Most especially if you have species like Gold Fish which are known to release more waste daily than others.

On the other hand, most people (and I mean experts) do not advise you to make it a habit to regularly clean your aquarium gravel. Their reason for this is because there are several beneficial bacteria in the fish tank that may be washed away or killed if the aquarium is cleaned very often.

Without this bacteria gone from your fish tank, it may take some time before you have them there again. So to prevent this, experts recommend a bi-weekly cleaning for your aquarium gravel. That way, the ecosystem within the fish tank is maintained.

Can Fish Tank Gravel Be Properly Cleaned Without A Vacuum?

While using a vacuum to clean your fish tank gravel is often the easiest and most effective way to clean it, it is often very expensive. That is why many persons are beginning to adopt other methods of cleaning the aquarium gravel without using a vacuum.

“But, can fish tank gravel be properly cleaned without using a vacuum?” You asked.

Yes, it can. However, it will take more time and effort to do compared to using a vacuum. Without knowing the proper way to go about this, you may even end up spending more time on it than you planned.

To help you with that, we have revealed on this webpage, every step you need to perfectly clean the aquarium gravel without a vacuum. Read and follow them exactly as they are written in this article to complete the cleaning in a very short time.

A Step By Step Guide To Cleaning Fish Tank Gravel Without A Vacuum

To clean your aquarium gravel without a vacuum, here is a step by step guide to help you get it done in a few minutes:

Step 1: Start by preparing a clean smaller tan or container to temporarily hold all the fish. Before washing or cleaning your fish tank gravel without a vacuum, you would need to temporarily transfer the fish in the tank into another clean and chemical-free tank.

This second tank should not be treated with any detergent or chemical which can affect the overall health of the fish. If the tank must be washed before the fish is transferred into it, it must be washed without any chemical.

Step 2: After preparing the container you are to transfer the fish into before cleaning the fish tank gravel, transfer some of the water in the aquarium where the fish are to the new container. Just a few cups will be okay.

Step 3: Once you have poured some of the water from the aquarium into the new container, transfer the fish into the new container using a net or anything else that won’t hurt them.

Step 4: With the fish gone from the aquarium, remove every decoration, hose, lid, motor, and so on from it. Ensure you keep them all in a safe place where you wouldn’t stress yourself finding them. Also, unplug every electric equipment attached to the tank.

Step 5: Get a sieve or pan and then put the gravel inside. While you are doing that, ensure to set aside about 2 cups of the gravel. You will need to put them back into the fish tank later alongside the others you would wash.

The reason for this is to prevent some of the beneficial bacteria from dying when you wash the fish tank gravel.

If you retain some of the dirty gravels, you will make it easier for some of the bacteria to multiply quickly in the fish tank. That’s easier compared to when the entire gravel in the aquarium is washed.

Step 6: if you are using a sieve to hold and wash the gravels, then stir it as much as you can while rinsing it underwater. This has to be clean water that is not mixed with any detergent or chemical. Keep at it until you start getting crystal clear water from underneath it. Remember you only have to use this method if you want to use a sieve to wash the gravel.

However, if you intend to use a pan for it, the method of washing it is similar but a little bit different. For this, you will have to fill up the pan with clean water and then dip your hands into the pan to wash the fish tank gravel by moving or stirring them around.

Once the pan gets dirty, slightly tip the pan and continue the stirring around of the gravel. Repeat this process for as long as you need to. You will know when it’s time to move over to another step when the water is clear.

As soon as you start getting clean water, then you are done cleaning the fish tank gravel this way. Go on then to the next step.

Step 7: Clean the entire aquarium. The fish tank from where you removed both the fish and the gravel you just cleaned, must also be cleaned before you put everything back in its place. When cleaning this, avoid the use of harsh chemicals. They can hurt both your fish and other beneficial microorganisms in the aquarium.

Step 8: Pour the cleaned fish tank gravel back into the aquarium. Ensure to also add those you set aside earlier while you cleaned the rest.

Step 9: Put back the decorations, motors, lids, hoses, and electrical equipment you removed earlier. Ensure everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.

Step 10: Refill the tank with water. Be careful not to exceed the water level that you were supposed to stop at. The water must also be clean and chemical-free.

Step 11: Finish the process by putting the fish back into the aquarium. If everything went well, you wouldn’t need anyone to tell you that. You will see it in the neatness of the fish tank gravel, the water, and so on.

What To Bear In Mind When Cleaning Fish Tank Gravel Without A Vacuum

When it comes to cleaning fish tank gravel without a vacuum, you need to bear a few things in mind:

  • It will take you some time to finish it. Though the process would be easier if you follow the step-by-step guide here, do not expect to finish everything in 5 minutes. It may take you far more than that to get it done perfectly.
  • It is better to use just water in cleaning the fish tank gravel than using any commercial cleaner for that. If you must use one, which is not advisable though, ensure that it is non-toxic and completely safe or that purpose.
  • Always reserve at least one or two cups of the aquarium gravel you want to clean. This will help keep some of the waste eating bacteria in the fish tank gravel alive.
  • Do not clean the fish tank gravel more than twice in a month unless the aquarium is truly overstocked with fish, plants, and so on. Even when it is, you have to devise a plan to keep everything going smoothly in the tank from one cleaning cycle to the next. Only clean it in-between the cycles when it is truly necessary.

In Summary

The fish tank gravel is one part of the aquarium that needs to be well cleaned once in a while. It’s the usual place where fish waste, food particles, dead leaves, and other debris lands. If it is not well cleaned occasionally, algae and other microorganisms that may be harmful to the fish can grow within it.

While different methods can be used to clean the aquarium gravel, we have discussed in this article one of the cheapest and simplest ways to do that.

Are you interested in knowing how to clean fish tank gravel without a vacuum?

I hope you find this information useful.