Betta fish are some of the most resilient fish around. They can indeed survive in some fairly poor tank conditions. That said, just because they can, doesn’t mean that they should be forced to live in poor conditions.
Ideally, you should clean that betta fish tank about once every seven to ten days to keep it clean. Of course, you want to provide your betta fish with the best living conditions possible. Let’s get to it and figure out how to clean a betta fish tank.
How to Clean a Betta Fish Tank: Step by Step
Right now, we are going to provide you with a step by step tutorial on how to clean a betta fish tank.
1. Prepare the Replacement Water
You can’t just put tap water into a fish tank. You first need to condition the water to remove chlorine.
You can use water conditioner for this, or you can just let the water sit for up to 48 hours. Also, remember that you never want to change 100% of the water in a fish tank at once.
That water contains beneficial bacteria to breakdown ammonia into nitrite, and then nitrate. If you remove all of the beneficial bacteria from the water, ammonia well built up and potentially kill your fish.
2. Unplug Everything
At this point, you will want to unplug the filter, the air pump, and everything else that uses electricity. Don’t start working on the fish tank when these things are still plugged in.
3. Remove the Betta Fish
Get a small container and put some of the aquarium water in it. Carefully, with a fish net, remove the betta fish and put it in this container. You can’t clean the aquarium with the fish inside. Put some kind of cover on the container, as betta fish are known for jumping.
4. Remove All Decorations
You can now get to removing all of the decorations from the tank. This includes all plants, accessories, rocks, and all other decorations. Put these aside in a large bowl, as you will also clean these.
5. Remove and Save Some Water
As mentioned above, you really shouldn’t be changing 100% of the aquarium water at once. Generally speaking, you never want to change more than 30% or 50% at once.
Therefore, scoop out around half of the water and put it in a container to save it for later. You will be putting this back into the aquarium. Remember, you need those beneficial bacteria in the tank.
6. Remove the Rest of the Water and the Gravel
You can now gently pour the rest of the water down the drain. You will now also want to remove all of the gravel and place it in some kind of strainer or sieve.
7. Clean the Gravel, Decorations, and Filter
You are now going to need to clean all of these accessories and things that were inside of the tank. Use a brush or a soft scrubber to scrub away any dirt from with decorations. Do so while running them under warm water.
Never use soap when cleaning these things off, as residue can remain and get into the tank. This can be harmful to fish. Just use warm water and a brush.
With your gravel in a strainer or sieve, run warm water over it and move it around a lot. A lot of fish waste can build up in that gravel, so you need to get rid of it.
Use your hands to manipulate the gravel to loosen any stuck on dirt or slime. Make sure that the gravel is completely clean before you move on to the next step.
If you have a filter for your betta fish tank, now is also the time to perform filter maintenance. You may need to clean filter media, or you may need to replace it altogether.
8. Clean the Tank
Put the tank in the sink, put warm water in it, and use some kind of dedicated aquarium scrubber or just a normal brush to clean the inside of the aquarium. Remember, do not use any soap. Make sure to get into all of the corners.
9. Put it All Back Together
The fish tank itself and all of the decorations and accessories should now be perfectly clean. You are now going to put the gravel back into the bottom of the tank. You will now also place all of the decorations and plants back into the tank.
You also need to reconnect the filter and make sure that it is working properly. Anything electronic that you removed before cleaning now needs to be put back into place.
Take that aquarium water that you saved in one of the first steps and pour it back into the tent carefully. The other 50% of the water you put in the tank is going to be that conditioned tap water that we discussed in the first step.
Before you put the fish back in, make sure to test both the pH level and the temperature to ensure that it is ideal for your betta fish. Once you have achieved the right temperature and pH level, you can put the fish back in the tank.
How to Clean a Betta Fish Tank – Final Thoughts
You should now know exactly how to clean a betta fish tank from A-Z. As you can see, although it does involve quite a few steps, it’s really not very difficult.
Aquarist & Writer 15+ Years