How to keep a fish tank clean without a filter?

How to keep a fish tank clean without a filter?

Here are 14 easy methods to clean a fish tank with a filter. We have explained all the details in this step-by-step guide.

How to keep a fish tank clean without a filter? Yes, it is possible to clean the fish tank without a filter by the addition of bacteria, change the water, use a vacuum to clean substrate, remove the algae, glass cleaner, vinegar solution, use a scrubber, freshwater, and remove decoration, siphoning, cycling of water, and no overfeeding.

How to keep a fish tank clean without a filter?

Cleaning a fish tank is essential for various purposes. It directly impacts the life of the fish inside the aquarium.

Addition of bacteria

There are two categories of bacteria, and one of them is beneficial for the fish tank. Use the good bacteria in the water tank on a monthly basis.

These are tetra bacteria for cleaning. There is a proper method of putting the components in the fish tank. Add two to three teaspoons in five to ten gallons of water.

  • Firstly, increase the temperature of water in a fish tank; is one of the most beneficial features for bacteria and their survival. In warm water, the bacteria grow and flourish faster than the cold water. 
  • Increase the level of oxygen in the tank’s water. Provide oxygenation by natural or artificial source. Keep the tank in a balanced state for producing maximum benefit.
  • Keep the water in a darker state inside the aquarium. Do not keep the light on all the time. Bacteria cope with the darker state more than brighter areas.
  • Add the bacteria in the form of media in the aquarium.
  • Never use low-quality media and bacteria inside the fish tank.
  • The population of bacteria depends on the food supply. Never add an excessive amount of bacteria. 

Change water to keep a tank clean without a filter

Few people do not change the tank’s water after weeks and even months. It is not a suitable condition for the health and lifespan of the fish.

Some of the fish die due to toxic gases and other pollutants inside the tank. In the aquarium, water change does not involve filters at all.

The water becomes less appealing when it gets dirty. You can clean the tank by changing 15-30% of the tank’s water. It helps in the east accumulation of dirt and other pollutants.

The cleaning of water immediately changes the environment inside the tank. Repeat the process every week or every two to three weeks.

In case you are adding some chemicals to water, then do the procedure in another tank. Do not add the changed water directly inside the fish tank.

Stand the water for at least three days in the survival tank. Allow the evaporation of chemicals and then add this water to the tank. Never change the complete water of the tank, and it results in the death of the fish.

Use a Vacuum to clean the substrate

Gravel is one of the essential components of any fish tank. Also, the fish survive on the substrate as their food supply.

They get maximum nutrition from the substrate, and it is also a resting place for them. The cleanliness of the substrate helps in the cleaning of the whole tank.

It is not easy to clean the substrate by just changing water from the bottom. Always use a vacuum for the cleaning of the substrate. The suction vacuum of gravel has an effective suction pump. 

A suction pump of the substrate helps in the deep and instant cleaning. You can clean 10-25liters in 30-40 minutes.

The valves are functional and active in every possible way. The electric cables empower the suction of the pump. They are easy to use and always come with a manual. All of them help in the change of water at the bottom.

Removal of algae from aquarium

Multiple types of algae cover the sides and walls of the fish tank. These are not good for the health and life of the fish. No fish is an eater of the algae.

Removal of this toxic material is essential for excellent water conditions and better life. Some of them are present in the form of scraps, and others are pads.

Use a razor with a sharp blade and cut all the sides of algae. The decoration of the furnished aquariums leads to the generation of algae.

Remove the decoration, and the algae start disappearing. Use cleaning bleach because it has a direct effect on algae. It destroys the toxic material at its position.

Use a lime cleaner for the removal of algae from the glass walls of aquariums. Changing the water of the tank is another solution to this particular problem.

Use algaecides for the fish tank. They are beneficial for the removal of algae and inhibit their further growth.

Use a Glass cleaner to clean the fish tank

In some circumstances, the walls of the aquariums get dirty due to dirt and other pollutants. The toxic materials start invading the internal environment of the fish tank.

It is not a suitable condition because it leads to various diseases and allergies in the tiny creatures. Use a sponge and a clean towel.

Pour the glass cleaner on the sponge, and rub the glass walls of the water containers. Remove the scrapes and spots and clean the water tank.

Vinegar solution to clean a fish tank

Vinegar solution helps in the cleaning of the fish tank, but it leaves a specific odor. To make a solution of vinegar with water:

  1. Take a small bowl of glass or plastic.
  2. Add one portion of normal water to the bowl.
  3. Take one proportion of the vinegar, and take a good sponge and dip it inside the solution. 

Scrub the sponge to the walls and bottom of the tank. Repeat the scrubbing until you remove all the stains from the aquarium’s sides and inner boundaries.

Calcium is the source of producing rough spots, and vinegar washes them properly. It is also helpful in the removal of algae. A vinegar solution is best for eliminating the green and brown algae from the fish tank.

Use a scrubber

Fish tank scrubbers are usually for the cleaning of the artificial plants and other decorations. They are excellent in their features, and you can use them twice or thrice.

The scrubber is in the form of a pad that can absorb a cleaner in it. There are magnetic cleaners that stick on the walls of the tank.

Scrub the artificial plants and other decorative materials. Remove any layers of algae by repeating the process. Remove the dead leaves and debris from the bottom rocks. The rocks of the fish tank are a source of growing algae. 

Add Freshwater

Freshwater in the aquarium is one of the best solutions for cleanliness. The process requires few steps that are as follows,

  • Remove approximately one-third or one-fourth water of the fish tank.
  • Make sure you have a supply of fresh and treated water.
  • Clean the tank in the absence of water.
  • Remove all the dirt and debris. 
  • Add the cycled water to the fish tank and clean the tank. 

Remove decoration

Decoration of the fish tank is a source of toxic substances and pollutants. Removal of all decorative material immediately removes maximum substances. Change water after this process, and it helps in the cleanliness of the tank.

 The decorative material includes all the dead plants and woods. Few people add rocks of various colors to make the fish tank appealing, and a rock generates a lot of brown algae on them. Remove the material from the aquarium and clean the remaining water instantly. 


Siphoning off a fish tank is a procedure that involves suctions and vacuums simultaneously. It is like a state of the sink when the debris moves in a particular direction. Also, an artificial siphon vacuum generates a vacuum.

 The suction pulls the pollutants towards the sink, and the toxic substance moves with the flow of water. There is a specific draining net over the hole of the sink. It retains all the harmful particles on it, and the water starts cleaning immediately.

The removal of the retaining substances is essential, and it causes the generation of greasy pollutants on the walls and sides of the fish tank. 

Cycling of water

Cycling of water means the pollutant’s removal without using a filter, and it includes filtration of water by cloth. Pass the fish’s tank water through this fiber-free cloth and clean the tank. 

No overfeeding

Overfeeding is a problem for the fish’s health and also for the fish tank. The food retains in the bottom of the aquarium, and it causes pollution.

The water starts getting filthy and cloudy due to the presence of dirt particles. The deterioration of food leads to the origin of harmful toxic substances. 

It causes various allergies and skin diseases in fish. Avoid the provision of unnecessary food to the fish. Serve them according to their feed schedule and keep the tank alive. 

Add algae eater

In those circumstances, when there is an excessive amount of algae, then add an eater inside the tank. A snail is a versatile eater of all types of algae.

The process is usually slow, but it eats all of it that ultimately helps in the cleanliness. A catfish does not allow the accumulation of algae on the sides of the aquarium. Make sure that the algae eaters live with comfort, and choose them accordingly. The algae eaters help in the removal of pollution. 

Clean the sides of the aquarium

Few people neglect the outer side of their aquariums, and dirt has the power to accumulate on the outside. The dirty hands and fingerprints on the walls of the fish tank lead to multiple problems.

The aquarium appears filthy, and it requires cleaning that is free from streaking. Never add chemicals in the water of the fish tank. Clean both sides of the tank by using cleaners of good quality.

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