Cleaning Your Aquarium Using Bleach


When the topic of using bleach to comes up, a heated debate regarding safety is almost certain to ensue. Is it safe to use bleach? Yes, bleach is safe to use in aquariums when used in suitable quantities.

For those who are taken aback by that remark, here's something more to consider: bleach is the CDC's (Centers for Disease Control) recommended technique for sterilizing drinking water after natural catastrophes. Yes, bleach-treated water has been consumed by tens of thousands of individuals with no adverse health effects. Bleach is a totally acceptable disinfectant when applied appropriately and in the recommended doses. After all, bleach includes a concentrated version of the same chlorine that is used to disinfect most metropolitan drinking water supplies.

However, bleach may be dangerous if used in the improper concentration or when mixed with other chemicals. Is it safe to use bleach, or is it not? Bleach is safe to use to clean your aquarium, equipment, and even plants if you follow the instructions. It will disinfect your fish tank's glass, equipment, and accessories in a safe and effective manner.

Bleach Safety

There are a couple of critical rules to be aware of when using bleach. Follow them, and you don't have to worry about harming yourself or your fish.

  • Don't mix bleach with any other chemicals. That includes soap, aquarium chemicals, or other cleaning products. Use only bleach and plain water.
  • Don't use bleach in concentrations higher than ten percent.
  • Don't soak anything in bleach for longer than fifteen minutes.

How to Bleach

In a clean bucket or container, make a 10% bleach solution by combining nine parts water with one part bleach (9:1). (example: mix 9 cups water with 1 cup bleach). Soak the aquarium objects for ten to fifteen minutes after submerging them in the solution. Simply fill the tank with the 10 percent bleach solution before cleaning it.

Drain the bleach solution, clean the container, and replace it with clear water after the soak. Place the goods in the clear water and soak in the fresh water for another fifteen minutes. Allow everything to air dry fully after another thorough rinse with clean water. The importance of fully rinsing cannot be overstated. All remaining bleach is neutralized and eliminated if washed properly.

What to Bleach

You can safely clean most non-porous items in your aquarium with bleach. That includes:

  • Aquarium (either glass or Plexiglas)
  • Non-porous aquarium equipment and parts, such as the filter hoses
  • (bleach is fantastic for killing off on artificial plants)
  • Gravel and rocks

Avoid using bleach on silk plants and brightly colored gravel or decorations, as it will fade them. Also, avoid wood and other porous items that can soak up and retain the bleach.

Mineral Deposits (Lime)

Don't bother bringing out the bleach if the main cleaning issue is white crusty mineral deposits. Instead, break out the vinegar—it'll do the trick! Commercial cleaning supplies for aquariums are often promoted, yet all you truly need are three basic household items already in your kitchen cupboard.


"Making Water Safe in an Emergency. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.", "Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." ;