How To Clean Sand In Fish Tanks: 5 Easy Steps!

Everyone wants a spotless aquarium, not only so that their fish remain healthy but also so that it can look marvelous as well. Well, to make sure that your tank remains clean and safe, you need regular maintenance.

One of the crucial things you need to maintain and clean is the sand substrate in the fish tank. We will guide you on how to do so that you can keep your aquarium flashy and your fish happy.

[amazon bestseller=”aquarium cleaner” items=”3″ ]

The Steps To Cleaning


The first step to cleaning your fish tank is to know what type of sand is in it. This is because not all sands are the same and might require different cleaning methods. If you are using standard play sand, you just have to rake and siphon it without any extra steps. But if you are using a specialty planting sand, you have to take certain precautions before cleaning.

If you rake it wrong, ammonia can release from this specialty sand. This will be harmful to your fish and will also contaminate the water body. Before cleaning sand, always look at the proper instructions for cleaning it. Additionally, you can also consult with your local fish expert to get an idea of what to do.

Switch off and Disconnect Everything

This is a crucial step when you are trying to clean your sand. You need to make sure that you turn off the heater, switch off the fan, and disconnect all the pumps. If these come with a switch, then flip the switch off, or you can unplug them from any electricity.

There is no need to worry as in this short cleaning period, your fish will be just fine. It is also ideal to not have any electricity on during the water change to prevent electrocution. This is also an excellent opportunity to clean out your filters.

Remove Décor

Before cleaning, carefully dip your hand in the water and take out all the plants and decorations you want to clean. You need to wash all of these items with warm water while scrubbing them with a soft brush or your hands to remove any algae or debris that could have gathered up in them.

After you’ve done this, place them on a clean towel or in a bucket. But there are a few things to note. First of all, it’s solely up to you if you want to leave the decoration in or clean them. Secondly, you don’t have to remove live plants as you might damage their roots by doing so.

Siphoning Out Dirt From the Sand

Now is the time to clean your sand. To do this, take a siphon and place it just over your sand and start it up. Carefully navigate over the sand, and the siphon will automatically remove any dirt from the sand and dispose of it into the bucket the siphon is attached to. After you’ve done this, place everything back and turn everything on.

Cleaning Without a Vacuum

If you don’t have a siphon or a vacuum, you can always use the help of sand cleaning fish. Just place the fish in the tank, and they will automatically clean the sand of any unwanted waste or materials. Some of the best fish and creatures to use are Corydoras catfish, shrimp, snails, and Bristlenose plecos.


Keeping your fish tank clean and safe should be your priority. Cleaning sand in your fish tank is one of the most important ways to make that happen. Hopefully, now you know how to clean your fish tank sand and keep your tank spotless.

For articles related to “How To Clean Sand In Fish Tanks,” check out: