Aquarium decorations should be cleaned regularly, along with the fish tank and filter equipment. If you clean the tank, but not the decorations, there will still be algae residue clinging to the plastic plants, castles, pirate ships, and other items in your fish tank. And if there is one thing that is hard to eliminate and remove, it is the brownish and greenish stains caused by algae infestation in your aquarium. Here are some ways to clean your plastic accessories.
Hot Water Soak
If the plastic aquarium decorations in your fish tank is not too dirty, you can easily remove traces of algae and other dirt by simply soaking them in a pail of hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. You can even soak them in boiling water if they're made from sturdy plastic. However, you should not put flimsy plastic plants in boiling water, as they can easily warp or even melt.
There are a lot of fish tank cleaners at your local pet store that can remove algae not only on the walls of your aquarium, but also on your plastic plants and ornaments. There are even algae scrubs and pads that will make it easier for you to remove those greenish and brownish traces on your decorations, though these items can be a bit more expensive.
Soap and Chemicals
It is not advisable to use detergents or regular soaps when cleaning objects inside your fish tank, because these have chemicals that can harm fish and other aquatic life. Even if you rinse off soap and detergent, residue, and trace chemicals will still be present that can be harmful to your aquatic pets. However, if you are already using biodegradable cleansers in your home, these can be used to clean your fish tank decorations. Just remember to rinse off the items properly before placing them inside your aquarium. For hard to remove stains, however, these green cleaning materials are not enough.
Soaking plastic aquarium decorations in a water and bleach solution for 15 minutes or less will help remove tough stains. However, bleach has powerful chemicals that can harm your fish, so rinse the ornaments properly and let them dry. Afterwards, soak them in water again overnight. Again, rinse and dry properly before putting them back to your tank.
Algae is bound to grow on your aquarium decorations. These simple tips will keep your aquarium clean, and your fish swimming happily and healthily.