How to Clean Sand in Aquarium?

How to clean aquarium

Aquariums are a beautiful addition to any home, office, or public space. They provide a calming and serene presence that can add to the overall ambiance of a room. 

The essential aspect of owning an aquarium is to keep it clean and well-maintained. It ensures the health of your fish and other aquatic creatures and keeps the fish tank looking at its best. 

However, owners add a thin layer of sand to keep an aquarium clean. Because fish tank sand serves as a filter for the water, trapping debris and waste. It also provides a natural and aesthetically pleasing look to the aquarium. 

But over time, the aquarium sand can become caked with waste and debris, making it necessary to clean it regularly. Yet, lately, many aquarium owners don’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning sand punctually. 

Are you also among those who are usually worried about cleaning aquarium sand? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!

In this article, your most asked questions have been answered. So without wasting any time, please scroll down and let’s read the best tips about cleaning your fish tank sand meticulously.

How to Clean Aquarium Sand Before Use? 

Aquarium sand provides a natural and attractive substrate for your fish. But before you add it to your aquarium, you’ll need to give it a good cleaning. Usually, the sand substrate can become dusty and dirty during shipping and storage, so it’s important to rinse it before use. 

The easiest way to clean sand (not fine sand) is to put it in a strainer and rinse it under running water. You may need to do this many times to remove all the debris until water runs clear. 

clean aquarium sand

Once the sand is clean, you can add it to your aquarium and start adding fish. With a little care, your new aquarium will be up and running in no time.

How to Clean Aquarium Sand with a Siphon? 

Generally, sand sifting helps to keep the tank clear of any debris. The sand sifters are used to take out fish waste and other floating particles from fish tanks. 

However, now we have many other cleaning devices to do the job. For example, a siphon is like a gravel vacuum that can be a helpful tool for cleaning aquarium sand and keeping your tank fresh and attractive for a longer period. 

Here’s How to Clean Aquarium Sand with a Siphon: 

1. Start by removing any fish or other animals from your tank. You’ll also need to remove any live plants or tank décor. 

2. Next, siphon about half of your tank water. 

3. Now it’s time to start cleaning the sand using the gravel cleaner. Use the siphon tube to suck up debris and fish waste from the sand. 

4. After cleaning, add water conditioner to tap water for purification and then pour into the tank and replace any fish or other animals. 

With some regular maintenance, your aquarium sand will stay clean and look great for years to come! You can also check how to get crystal clear aquarium water to learn more about it.

Why Should You Clean Your Aquarium Sand?

For some good, compelling reasons you should clean your aquarium sand: 

sand cleaner aquarium

1. To Prevent a Build-Up of Toxins and Bacteria

Uncleaned aquarium sand can harbor harmful toxins and bacteria. These emissions can harm your aquarium marine life and cause problems, preventing them from a healthy life. 

2. To Keep Your Plants Healthy

If you don’t keep your tank clean, it can stunt the growth of your plants. This is because the toxins and bacteria can build up and prevent the plants from getting the necessary nutrients. 

3. To Make Sure Your Fish Stay Healthy

Dirty sand can be harmful to your plants, the toxins and bacteria can also make your fish sick. So keeping the sand clean is vital for your aquarium and its life.

Cleaning aquarium sand is not difficult, you can use a few different methods to accomplish this procedure. But the most important thing is to do it regularly so all the fish species and plants can stay healthy. 

The Cleaning Process 

Clean the Inside of the Tank 

As time passes, the inside of the aquarium tank can get just as dirty as the outside, and if you don’t clean it regularly, your fish could become ill. So how do you clean the inside of the aquarium tank? 

Here are some tips: 

1. First, empty all the water from the tank. You can do this by using a gravel vacuum or a water pump.

2. Next, remove all the decorations from the tank that may include rocks, plants, and anything else that is in the tank. 

3. Once the decorations are out of the way. Start cleaning the inside of the tank with a sponge or a lint-free cloth by applying gentle pressure. Be sure to get all the algae and other build-ups off the walls and bottom of the tank. 

4. Once the inside of the tank is clean, you can put the decorations back in and then add fresh water. 

5. Finally, put the fish back into the tank. 

Cleaning the aquarium tank from the inside is essential, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. These simple tips can keep your fish healthy and make your tank look great. 

● Rake up the Aquarium Sand 

It’s easy to forget the little things that need to be done to keep an aquarium running smoothly. One of these things is regularly raking up the sand surface. 

The sand particles can get compacted over time, leading to problems with filtration and water quality. While raking up, the sand helps loosen it up and keeps it from getting too compacted. 

This process is easy to do and only takes a few minutes. Just use a small rake or shovel to loosen up all the sand, then vacuum it up with your aquarium vacuum. 

Do this every few weeks, and your aquarium will stay healthy and happy! 

● Use a Gravel Siphon 

A siphon is a great way to declutter if you’re looking for an easy and efficient way to clean your aquarium gravel. Siphons are simple devices that use gravity and suction to remove debris from your tank. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be found at a local aquarium store.

To Use a Siphon:

how to clean sand in aquarium

1. Assemble the tubing and gravel apparatus according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

2. Place the tube in the aquarium and position the tube so that it is just above the gravel bed. 

3. Slowly depress the plunger on the siphon to start the water flow.

4. Keep your thumb over the end of the tubing that is not submerged to prevent air from entering the siphon. 

Once the water starts flowing, it will create suction pulling debris and gravel into the tube. Continue moving the tube around the gravel bed until you have suctioned up all debris. When you’re finished, release your thumb from the end of the tube. Then allow the water to siphon back into the aquarium. 

A gravel siphon is a quick and easy way to clean your aquarium gravel without having to remove all of the water from your tank. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be found at most pet stores. Give one a try the next time you need to clean your aquarium, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is! 

Deep Cleaning 

If you have an aquarium, you know that keeping it clean is vital for the health of your fish. But what do you do when your aquarium needs a deep cleaning? 

Here are some tips for deep cleaning your aquarium: 

1. First, empty the water from your aquarium. You can do this by using a siphon or a pump. Be sure to remove all the decorations and gravel from the aquarium. 

2. Next, clean the inside of the aquarium with a sponge or a soft cloth. Be sure to reach all the nooks and crannies! 

3. Once the inside of the aquarium is clean, you can start on the outside. Use a mild soap and a soft cloth to clean the outside of the aquarium. 

4. Finally, rinse everything off with cold water. 

Once you’ve finished deep cleaning your aquarium, it’s time to refill it with fresh water and add back all your fish and decorations! 

● Refill the Tank 

If you’ve ever had an aquarium, one of the most important things to do is keep the tank filled with water. But what happens when you run out of water and need to refill it?

Here’s a quick guide on how to refill your aquarium tank: 

1. First, turn off all the lights and equipment in the aquarium. It will prevent any accidental electrocution. 

2. Next, remove all the decorations and gravel from the tank. These can be cleaned and reused later. 

3. Now it’s time to fill the tank with fresh water. You can use a garden hose or a bucket to do this. 

4. Once the tank is full, turn on the lights and equipment. 

5. Finally, add back in the decorations and gravel. Your aquarium is now ready to use! Now that you know how to refill your aquarium tank, you can keep your fish happy and healthy. 

Helpful Tips to Keep Your Aquarium Sand Clean 

● Reintroduce Aquarium Sand 

If you’re tired of the same old gravel in your aquarium, why not try something new? Sand is a great alternative to gravel and can give your tank a new look. 

Many different types of sands are available for aquariums in the market. So you can choose one that matches your fish’s natural habitat. Coral sand is also much easier to clean than gravel, so you’ll spend less time maintaining your tank. 

sand cleaner for aquarium

Moreover, the reintroduction of aquarium sand is excellent for cleansing saltwater aquariums and keeping the tank clean. When aquarium sand is added to a saltwater aquarium, it helps to create a more uniform and stable environment for the fish species.

Aquarium sand is essential in many ways to keep the marine life in your tank healthy and strong. 

● Introduce Snails in the Tanks

If you’re interested in adding some new and interesting creatures to your aquarium, you may want to consider snails. Snails can make great pets and add a lot of personality to your tank. 

Many types of snails are available, so you’ll need to research to find the right kind for your tank. Some common types of aquarium snails include: 

  • Nerite Snails 
  • Apple Snails 
  • Nassarius Snails 
  • Malaysian Trumpet Snails 

Once you’ve chosen the type of snail you’d like to add to your aquarium, it’s time to introduce them to their new home. Here are a few tips to help you get started: 

1, Quarantine your new snails before adding them to your main aquarium. It will help to ensure that they are healthy and free of diseases. 

2, Slowly acclimatize your snails to their new environment. Add a few snails at a time and give them a few days to adjust before adding more.

3, Keep an eye on your snail population. If they start to reproduce too rapidly, you may need to remove some of them. 

Snails can make a wonderful addition to any aquarium with a bit of care. So give them a try today! 


Now that you know how to clean aquarium sand, it’s time to get started! Make sure your supplies are ready and then follow these simple steps. 

Remember, if you have any questions or run into any problems, be sure to leave a comment below. We love helping our readers out, and we’re always happy to answer any questions. 

And finally, good luck with your new aquarium – we can’t wait to see the amazing things you create! Clean your aquarium sand now and be on your way to enjoying a fantastic aquatic ecosystem. Thanks for reading!

Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up For Newsletter!