How To Clean Aquarium With Sand – The Easiest Way Even For Beginners

For beginners, it’s always hard to keep their fish from a dirty aquarium because how to clean aquarium sand is still a question. Actually, easy or hard isn’t the matter, what truly matter is whether you know our tips to clean sand in your lovely fish tank. Now, we will show you the answer - best way to clean aquarium sand.


Things You Should Know About Cleaning Aquarium Sand

Why do I need to clean sand in fish tank

Most of new fish keepers using sand for fish tanks always ask a question: “Is cleaning aquarium sand needed for my tank?”. And the answer is a big YES.

Cleaning aquarium sand will keep your tank from lots of troubles:

  • Water quality issues
  • Clogs in your filter
  • Health of your fish, etc.

Therefore, you should care about how to clean sand in fish tank.

How Often Should I Clean Fish Tank Sand

Depends on how many fish you have and how big your tank is that leads to the reasonable times of cleaning aquarium sand. Usually, you can go with the frequency of twice a month.

Changing water and cleaning sand every two weeks will help you maintain the water quality, as well as reduce the work load for the next cleaning time.


Do water change regularly to keep the sand clean

The Ultimate Way Of How To Clean Aquarium Sand

We have two most important stages of cleaning aquarium sand: When you get the new sand, and when you clean the old sands.

Clean New And Dry Sand Properly

Fish lovers might ask: “Do I need to clean sand before adding it to my tank?”.

It’s the first problem ever for beginners. If you don’t wash the sand and put it in the tank right away, all the dirt from the new substrate can make your water cloudily.

So here is how to rinse sand for aquarium:

  • Clean your fish tank first: Remove the old substrate, give it a nice scrub with a brush or any kind of fish tank cleaner you have to get rid of the dirt pieces and disinfect your tank
  • Put the new sands in a bucket: Use an at least 5-gallon bucket if you’re going to use a new package of sand. Pour all the sand in carefully
  • Fill the sand bucket with clean water: You should tilt the bucket to make it stand on an angle. Use your hand to create a pole in the middle of the sand bucket then run water in to make sure every single sand can be wet and clean precisely
  • Start washing your new substrate: When all the sand is coated with water, you can use your hand to mix it up. Stir some big circle inside the bucket to clean sand
  • Remove the dirt from the sand: Use a hose to run water in the bucket continuously for around 15 minutes. With this way, the dirty water will go out and be replaced with the clean one
  • Rinse your sand after all: Give your sand one more rinse to make sure it’s ready for your aquarium

After all these steps, if you find the sand still clouds your water, please do the whole how to wash sand process again until you get your substrate clean.

How to wash aquarium sand is easy, but it truly challenges your patience to repeat everything all over again to meet the clean standard.

How To Clean Aquarium Sand That Is Used

There are various ways of how to clean sand in aquarium. You can use a vacuum, sand sifters or just do it manually with your hands, and it will be fine.

1. How to clean your fish tank sand with a vacuum (siphon)

You can choose a simple gravel and sand vacuum or a powerful aquarium sand cleaner.

How to keep aquarium clean using a vacuum:

  • Stir your substrate to make the dirt come out
  • Let your cloud water sit for 5 – 10 mins so the leftovers will stay above the sand surface
  • Siphon the debris at the top of your substrate
  • Keep it above the sand, tilt or swirl a bit to get the best result without removing your sand
  • Clean the sand filter for aquarium to prevent dirty fish tank

2. How to keep fish tank clean with sand sifters

To clean your dirty aquarium with fish, you can choose the sand sifting fish species like catfish, shrimp, loach, snail, etc. - those that love to dig the sand substrate for food.

You should follow these steps to use fish and keep aquarium clean:

  • Choose the right fish species
  • Add around 5 fishes for a tank that is 23 inches in length
  • Let it be and the fish will help you clean sand in the tank
  • Use an aquarium sand cleaner sometimes to keep the fish safe from a strongly dirty aquarium
Loach loves to bury in the sand substrate

Loach loves to bury in the sand substrate

3. How to keep aquarium clean with elbow grease

In case you don’t mind if your hand gets wet, you can try this method to clean sand in fish tank:

  • Use your hand to stir the substrate
  • Scratch and rake the sand layer to release all the dirt
  • Combine with water changing and filter cleaning
  • Wash your hand carefully after

Using your elbow grease can give a huge support if you are following how to clean aquarium sand with sand sifters or weak siphon.

4. Best way to clean a fish tank without a vacuum

You might know the simplest tool for a dirty fish tank: a tucker buster, or known as a pressure kit. This equipment can be the best plan B if you don’t have a vacuum to clean sand.

How to clean aquarium sand with a pressure kit:

  • Point the hose to the sand substrate
  • Squeeze the ball to get the dirt and debris in water
  • Release to eject that dirty water out
  • Repeat the process until your sand clean

If you know clearly how to clean your fish tank with a tucker buster, then go ahead with the sand bed. This method works extremely well with people who have tank in nano size or has complicated decoration.

The only con for cleaning aquarium sand with a pressure kit is it will take more time to clean a whole tank compared to other methods.

Above are all the simplest and easiest ways of how to clean aquarium sand. You can choose the method you want and start cleaning aquarium sand now. Don’t forget how to keep fish tank clean and give the best living environment for your fish.

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1 thought on “How To Clean Aquarium With Sand – The Easiest Way Even For Beginners”

  1. The sand in my tank accumulates quite a bit of garbage, and it affects the ecosystem in the tank. Should I change to new sand or clean it on the outside of the tank, and how should I do it?


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