How to Make a Fish Tank's Water Crystal Clear


A crystal-clear fish tank is ideal when it comes to showing off aquatic pets. Although there are many chemicals on the market to clear up a cloudy fish tank, these chemicals only mask the symptoms of a serious problem. A fish tank is a delicate, miniature ecosystem. Tanks need to be cleaned two to three times a month. Maintaining the tank regularly will keep it crystal-clear, and keep the creatures within the tank healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Aquarium siphon
  • Bucket
  • Aquarium conditioner
  • Algae remover
  • Scrub pad


  • Place the large tube of the siphon into the aquarium tank. Any small creatures that could be injured by the siphon should be removed from the tank before proceeding. Most tend to avoid the siphon, but some can become curious and venture close.

  • Place the bucket on the ground below the tank.

  • Hold the hose of the siphon, and apply some suction to the hose using your mouth.

  • Release suction when the water has traveled from the siphon tube to the hose and over the edge of the aquarium.

  • Place the siphon hose quickly into the bucket. Water will begin to flow steadily from the tank into the bucket.

  • Press the siphon tube gently into the aquarium sand, rock, or whatever is covering the floor of the tank. Be careful around all creatures that were left in the tank. Do not drain more than a quarter of the water out of the tank, and do not let the bucket overflow.

  • Siphon until there is little, if any, debris being sucked up via the siphon. Stop the siphoning by pulling the siphon tube out of the water.


  • Fill a container with approximately the same amount of water that was removed during siphoning.

  • Let the container of water sit for a few hours in room temperature. This is done to prevent temperature shock to the aquarium creatures.

  • Read the instructions on the bottle of aquarium conditioner. Drip the recommended amount into the container of water. Conditioner removes chemicals harmful to aquarium life.

  • Gently pour the fresh water into the fish tank.

  • Siphon out any significant debris that the pouring water dislodged from the tank floor.

Algae Removal

  • Read the instructions on the bottle of algae remover to determine how much should be used, depending on tank size. Apply the algae remover only when algae begin to appear between water changes. Too much can be harmful to the aquarium life.

  • Drip the algae remover into the tank near the aerator, or pump. This will help distribute the algae remover around the tank.

  • Use a scrub pad to remove any algae that has grown to the glass.

  • Siphon out any dead algae that fell to the bottom of the tank after being scrubbed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although it is possible to siphon a tank with aquatic creatures still inside, it is not advised. Small fish, snails, frogs and crabs can be drawn into the siphon. Excessive use of maintenance chemicals is harmful to aquarium life.

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  • Photo Credit aquarium fish 8 image by cherie from
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