How To Clean A Fish Bowl

In modern fish keeping, it is common to buy an aquarium to keep your pets healthy.

Generally the more complex the natural environment of the fish, the more equipment you’ll need to keep them content and safe.

But there are still many species of fish that you can house in the more traditional fishbowl. 

The main difference between an aquarium and a fishbowl is the inclusion of a filter.

There are many different kinds of filters that you can buy in the modern-day, but they help immensely to keep the environment clean for your fish.

With a fishbowl you won’t be able to install one – so you will have to make sure that it is kept very clean.

Fishbowls usually have less water volume than aquariums, so there is more concentrated dirt to clean up.

If you find yourself looking to keep fish in a fishbowl – or maybe you’ve already got one and need to clean it urgently – then this article is for you!

We’re here to take you through each step of how to effectively clean your fishbowl, from the tools you’ll need to little tricks that will help you on the way. 

How Often Should I Clean my Fishbowl? 

It is important to consider your fishbowl as its own little ecosystem.

You’re not just caring for the fish inside, but the entire environment which has a lot of effect on them.

Often, when fish die too early, it is a result of the environment around them.

Because of this, you will need to be replacing the water of your fishbowl frequently, as well as thoroughly cleaning it.

We recommend that you clean your fishbowl at least once per week, though you should do it even more frequently if possible.

This will ensure that the environment that your fish are living in is kept safe, free from gathering chemicals and toxins within the water.

You want to cultivate positive bacteria in the tank and minimize those that could be harmful to your fish.

Negative bacteria lead to disease and possible death in your fish, which is something we certainly want to avoid! 

This might sound like a lot of maintenance, but when you compare it to that of other animals you can have in the home, keeping fish as a pet is a lot less work.

So, with that in mind – let’s get started with how to clean your fishbowl! 

What You Will Need?

To clean your fishbowl you are going to need:

  • A Bucket 
  • A Fish Net
  • Water Treatment Kit
  • A Small Brush
  • A Container with Lid 
  • A Colander 
How to clean a fish bowl

Step 1 – Preparing Replacement Water

First out you will need to prepare some replacement water.

The first thing you need to do is work out how much water your fishbowl holds.

If you don’t already know, you can gently pour the contents of your fishbowl into a large enough container, and then use a marker to outline the level so that you know for later.

After, make sure you place your fish back into its home! 

You’re going to want to replace around 50% of the water in your fishbowl, so you need to start preparing half of the marker you just placed.

Use fresh water to fill your bowl back up. It’s important to note here – do not use cleaning products from this point onwards in any of the equipment that your fish will be coming into contact with – chemicals of any kind can be very harmful to your fish. 

Once your container has enough water, you want to begin treating it with a water treatment kit.

What this is going to do is purify your water so that it is suitable for your fish and that they will remain safe and healthy.

After this, you will take the lid for your container and place it on top.

Now you let the water sit overnight so that it can age. 

We would like to note that this entire replacement water step is very important for making setting your fishbowl up with the cleanest water you can.

Making sure you prepare purified water is going to go a long way in the health of your fish! 

Step 2 – Cleaning your Fish Bowl 

This is where you are going to use the net we outlined earlier to gently remove your fish from the bowl.

Carefully put your fish in the treated water that we have left overnight.

You can also use this as an opportunity to remove any plants you might have in the bowl, but make sure you do this carefully and separately so as not to harm your fish. 

After this, fill the container to the capacity of your fishbowl with half of the old water.

This will ensure that you do not completely change the ecosystem of your bowl, just that it has enough new, clean water for your fish to be safe and thrive. 

It is important at this stage to remove any of the larger objects inside your bowl and make sure that you rinse them thoroughly.

Use your colander to place all objects under your tap and rinse them with water.

As mentioned before, do not use soap or any cleaning chemicals, just make sure that you are washing all of the grime off of these objects and you should be good to go.

Don’t put them back in your fishbowl yet! Next, we will need to clean the inside of your bowl.

You can do this by pouring away any dirt and waste that you might find at the bottom of the bowl.

Make sure that it is completely clean before placing anything back inside of it.

We recommend that you rinse the bowl as well as you can and do not use any cleaning products.

The one thing you can do to make sure your bowl is completely clean is to dab at it with a soft, clean cloth.

Additionally, you will need to then dry the bowl with another completely dry and clean cloth. 

Step 3 – Putting your Fishbowl back together

Now that every piece of your fishbowl is clean, and your water is purified, you can begin to put it all back together.

First, place the cleaned objects back into the bottom of your bowl and make sure that they are spread out and arranged as they were before.

Here is the point where you can also add any new objects into your fishbowl, providing they are safe and have been cleaned in the right way.

Next, begin to introduce your treated water back into the bowl.

We don’t recommend throwing it all inside at once along with your fish.

Instead, slowly add water and then your fish once there is enough water for them to swim around in.

If you need to, you can use your net to replace your fish if you’re having trouble getting them to swim into their bowl.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it!

Your fish is back in its sparkling, treated fishbowl and is safe and free to start swimming around once again.

We hope that this guide has been a useful tool to help you clean your fishbowl and that you now feel confident to be able to quickly do this process each week.

Over time, this will be something that does not take much out of your day, and you’ll be doing it without much thought.

We would like to note that it is important to be careful each step of the way and make sure that you’re never introducing harmful chemicals into the ecosystem of your fishbowl.

Providing you do that, you’re sure to make a healthy environment that your fish will thrive in! 

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