Clean that glass

Dirty front glass of aquarium. Photo from http://smalltanks.co.uk/.

When you do routine maintenance on your show tanks, what components of the tank do you clean? Most cichlidophiles clean the substrate or at least vacuum the bottom if they have a bare bottom tank. Most also clean their filters regularly. How often do you clean the inside glass of your tank?

Regular glass cleaning is as important as maintenance on other components of your set up. Why? I’ll give you three reasons.

  1. Visibility – If your glass is dirty, you can’t see into the tank very well and neither can anyone else. That has multiple implications. Not only does dirty glass make it difficult to watch your fish but it will make it difficult to spot fry if you have a breeding pair of cichlids.  Water conditioners and other additives can leave a film on the glass making your water appear cloudy when it isn’t.
  2. Cleanability – The longer your glass stays covered in diatoms or algae, the more difficult it will become to clean when you decide to do so. Leave algae growing on your glass for two or three weeks and see how much more difficult it is to remove. Plus, if you keep hard water cichlids, you can expect some calcium mineral buildup that will worsen over time if not routinely removed.
  3. Consistency – Getting in the habit of cleaning your glass whenever you do water changes and other routine tasks increases the probability that you will clean the glass regularly and not just when it appears to be dirty.

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