I finally got round to cleaning my fish tank after being rather afraid I would kill all my new acquisitions and putting off the job for far too long.
It was the first time I’d had to do it since buying my aquarium and as I’d had dire warnings from the pet shop owner about how easy it was to upset the chemical balance in the tank etc, I was understandably nervous about my ability to not kill off all its inhabitants.
One of the main reasons for cleaning my fish tank, besides of course the health of my fish, was the smell it was emitting.
It was like a cross between unwashed teenage boy trainers and the moss that lurks in dark, damp backyards. It was becoming increasingly noticeable as the days went on. First of all it was only when I was next to the tank, a few days later the smell reached me on the sofa and the final nail in the coffin was opening the door of my apartment and being hit with a wall of stench.
I could put it off no longer. Telling my girlfriend I had to stay in that night because I was cleaning my fish tank didn’t go down very well. She took it as a euphemism, rather like ‘I’m washing my hair tonight’ and put down the phone in a sulk.
This of course made me even happier about what I was about to do and I tried desperately to come up good reasons why I couldn’t do it, and then I looked over at the tank.
I couldn’t see the fish. They were in there, it was just that the glass on the tank was so covered in green junk I couldn’t even see through it any longer.
The pet shop owner told me that I would know when the time was right for cleaning my fish tank and gave me three things to look out for as an indication.
The first was the smell, the second was when the glass was dirty, and the third was a tank full of expensive and colorful dead bodies!
Guessing that sign number three was imminent; I bit the bullet and got down to business. I followed the pet shop guy’s step-by-step instructions which I’d written down on a piece of paper with the imaginative heading I’d given it of ‘what I need to do when I’m cleaning my fish tank’.
I siphoned, I vacuumed my gravel, I scraped my glass and did everything the way I should have done it. In fact I have to say, it was all really rather satisfying and though I hate to admit, I quite enjoyed it.
The end result was of course well worth it. I can see my fish again, the water no longer smells funky and nor does my apartment.
Next time I won’t put off cleaning my fish tank for so long, in fact I’m looking forward to it.