Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Aquarium Equipment Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Aquarium Equipment
Aquarium equipment needs to be regularly cleaned as part of its maintenance and to keep the aquarium looking like the display piece it is. Proper and regular aquarium equipment cleaning can also mean healthier fish. Although you'll rarely need expensive or corrosive cleaners to do this job, you can make the process of cleaning the equipment greener through careful choices. Here are some tips and ideas about what eco-friendly ways to clean aquarium equipment.
Banish the Surface Dirt
Dust particles are sure to build up on the hood of the aquarium, the glass and the stand, no matter how clean you keep your home. Use tap water and phosphorous-free dish soap to clean the outside surfaces of the aquarium. This mix can also be used for the equipment that's used inside the tank like brushes and nets as long as the equipment is thoroughly rinsed with clean water after cleaning. Enviro-cloths with silver strings threaded throughout them are a good way to quickly trap dust particles since these types of cloths have a static charge that grips the particles. They're made without using chemicals and require only water to use.
Instead of tap water, you can conserve water by using rain water to clean the surface dirt on aquariums. If you'd like to use the rainwater to clean the aquarium equipment that might come into contact with the fish, you may need to boil it first in order to remove any contaminants.
Save the Used Water
Water that's been used is called gray water. Save the water that's been used to clean the aquarium equipment and use it to flush toilets. The water that gets pumped out of the tank during the cleaning process can also be saved. If it doesn't contain too much fish excrement or rotting food, you can use it to water indoor plants or flush a toilet. Water pumped from the tank that has a significant amount of fish poop and food particles can be used to water plants and vegetables outside. Fish poop and food particles are biodegradable and will also provide some extra fertilizer for your plants. The only reason you wouldn't want to use the dirtier water on your indoor plants is because of the potential unpleasant smell it would cause and how this smell would quickly travel through your house.
Use plain tap water and a new discount store toothbrush to scrub off algae from water decorations. If this doesn't work, try using water and a small amount of phosphorous-free dish soap. Rinse the equipment thoroughly. If the soap and water doesn't work, try using a highly diluted mix of water and vinegar with the toothbrush and scrub the dirty decorations. Be sure to rinse thoroughly because although vinegar is natural and environmentally friendly, it is acidic and could kill the fish. Use a new toothbrush to reduce the chance of contaminants reaching your fish and making them sick or killing them.
Stubborn stains on the outside of aquarium equipment can be treated with plain white toothpaste and an old toothbrush. Scrub the stain until it fades. Rinse and repeat as necessary.