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How Long Should I Wait to Put my Fish Back in the Tank After Cleaning?

How Long Should I Wait to Put my Fish Back in the Tank After Cleaning?

Aquarium needs proper cleaning so that it can stay appropriately maintained. Cleaning includes everything entirely crystal clear from outside and inside both. 

It includes wiping at the tank glass, cleaning the sponge filter, washing decorations, trimming and washing plants, changing water, and everything like this.

When all of these things are clean and clear, then the tank is properly maintained. Just a simple cleaning is easy and quick. 

A complete cleaning of tank including decorations and filters cleanliness 

Similarly, when people are doing such type of cleaning, they take out their fish in a separate place and ask the time to put their fish back into the tank. 

How Long Should I Wait to Put my Fish Back in the Tank After Cleaning?

Here I will share in detail that when should you put your fish back into its place after cleaning the tank.

Step by Step Method to Put A Fish Back in Tank After Cleaning

The detailed guide steps include;

Keep Your Fish in the Tank

First of all, when you are starting the cleaning of your tank, keep the fish inside. It is because your fish will bear the work you are doing on the aquarium.

Fish will not go to stress when you do this. Otherwise, taking the fish out aquarium suddenly can lead it to stress conditions. 

You look calm when you work gently. It will reduce your work for complete cleaning. If you clean the gravel deeply, half of your work is done already.

If you take out the fish immediately from the tank for cleaning, then you are risking your fish life for stress, anxiety, shock, and injuries as well.

Cleaning the gravel with this kit will remove all the ammonia and the extra waste food. Scrap the tank glass to remove algae stains.

Prepare your Tank for Proper Cleaning 

Slightly and slowly take out the aquarium decorations and ornaments. Remove this aquarium filter and clean its sponge. 

Take out the air stone, rocks, and all other things. Wash them thoroughly under the tap water. Take out the plants as well and trim their wilted leaves and brown parts. 

Take the Fish Out in a Bowl 

Put your pet fish in some separate bowl with the help of a bag or cup. You can also use the small fish net for catching the fish from the aquarium.

Do not use your hands to grab it. You have to take your fish out along some of them with the aquarium water.

Do not fill the bowl with good and new tap water, but add water from the tank in that bowl. 

You can also take water from the aquarium in a jar and put it into a separate bowl. Put the fish in that bowl using fishnet. 

Be gentle while catching your fish because if they are spooked, they will dart away and injure themselves. Fish are susceptible pets; especially their fins can get hurt.

Do not threaten them at all and cover their temporary bowl so that they may not jump out. Keep it in a safe and comfortable place. 

Clean the Tank 

Clean the tank properly using the vinegar and salt solution. Leave it for about a half-hour, after that clear it thoroughly with tap water. 

Make sure to use the scraper on the aquarium walls to remove all the algae. All the gravel marks should withdraw, and there should be no stain left behind.

You can use any other cleaning method which you know the best. Scrub your fish tank thoroughly to remove the fishy odor. 

Make the tank completely clean and dry it to remove every kind of smell. 

Pro Tips to Keep Your Tank Clean

  • Do not overfeed your fish so that the extra food do not decompose in the tank and invite the bacteria to grow and cause a smell. Waste fish food also makes the aquarium water dirty.
  • Use high quality of filtration system so that the daily fish waste (ammonia) keeps on filtering, and tank water stays clean.
  • Change the tank water slightly once in a week to make it new without disturbing water paraments. Never change the entire water all at once.
  • Regular vacuuming of gravel can help in giving very positive and productive results.
  • Scraping and wiping the tank glass can help you reduce the algae growth. You can also keep algae eater snails in your fish tank.
  • Always wash the decorations, ornaments, and even live plants before putting them in your aquarium.

Change Tank Water 

After you complete cleaning your aquarium, pour new freshwater inside it. If you are taking tap water, make sure that it does not contain heavy metals and other contaminants.

It should be free from chemicals, including chlorination as well. 

24 Hour Rule

After putting water, you might be thinking of putting the fish back to the tank. But you should know that this is not the right time for this.

You have to follow the 24-hour rule when cleaning the aquarium entirely and changing the entire water collectively.

After the completion of 24 hours, you can put your fish again in the tank. During this time, the friendly bacteria grow and make that water suitable for your fish. 

Their bacteria also make the aquarium water parameters stable. Testing your aquarium water has a great benefit. 

You can check that the fresh tap water which you used for filling your tank is contamination-free or not. 

Sometimes even if that water has no contamination, still it is mixed with chlorine, which is good for human beings but not for fish.

Water will be much safer for your fish if you test it before putting it in the tank. After 24 hours, the good bacteria will have to change the water pH to the normal levels.

All other water parameters will ok, and the tank water will be ready to have fish in it. The bacteria that grow in these 24 hours also help to protect the fish slime coat. 

Put the Decorations Back 

Now it’s time to put down the decorations back into the tank. Put everything in its place. Spread the clean gravel and set plants in it.

Wash the rocks and decorate them again. Put the castle in its place; you can set the position of ornaments to make the tank look beautiful.

Set up the bubble wand and air stones. Put the filter and plug it in. Set the pump again and turn it on to make the water rich in oxygen.

Replace the old driftwood piece with the new one. Set the training kit at some corner of the tank.

Add Conditioner in Water 

The conditioner will remove the added chlorine from water and make it safe for the aquarium fish. 

It also has too many other benefits like protecting the slime coating on the fish body. Along with the chlorine, it also removes the other chemicals from water.

These components can be chloramine and fluorine, etc. It makes the tank water entirely safe for your fish.

Put Your Fish Back in Tank Water

After 24 hours, you can put your fish again in its place. Make sure that the fish comes in the tank water along with the previous liquid in the bowl. 

Pour the entire bowl in the new and maintained tank, and you have done everything.

Returning your fish to its home aquarium will make it happy and excited. You do not have to remove your fish from the aquarium again and again for cleaning the tank.

Once your tank glass is spotless, it will need complete cleaning after several months.

Precautions and Warnings

  • Always wear gloves by cleaning your tank and return the fish with clean hands.
  • For catching your pet fish, try not to use your hands but try a net, cup, or a bag instead. 
  • No matter how much clean your new tank water is, don’t forget to use the conditioner because it removes the harmful chemical compounds.
  • After complete washing, rinse your fish tank thoroughly with hot water to kill the harmful bacteria completely. 
  • Use the air stone or bubble wand and always oxygenate your tank before putting fish in it.
  • Never frighten you fish by carrying it with your hands because it will dart and hurt its fins in stress. 

Final words 

Now, you can clean your entire tank and put your fish back into it without any problem. 

Read this entire guide, and your fish will be all fine and safe from shock add stress conditions when you are cleaning your tank.

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