How Often Should You Clean a Fish Tank for Goldfish?

Goldfish are freshwater fish that quickly adapt to most environments, provided the water temperatures are just right. It is incredible how goldfish can tolerate many beginner mistakes; however, one should still put in the effort to ensure their survival and well-being. They must be kept in a fish tank or aquarium with proper filtration and aeration, and require consistent cleaning and maintenance.

But how often should you clean a fish tank for goldfish? Continue reading to find out. 

So, How Often Should You Clean a Fish Tank for Goldfish?

Goldfish are friendly creatures that do not take up much of your space or time, which makes them popular for beginner fish owners. However, their tank does require regular upkeep. Determining how often you should clean a fish tank for goldfish depends on several factors, including:

  • The size of the fish tank or aquarium
  • Type of fish, in this case, goldfish
  • Number of fish
  • Type of filtration system used

Please note that goldfish are dirty fish. Leaving them in their tank for a long time may interfere with their health. The build-up of the waste produced can be toxic, resulting in death.

You can clean and refill your goldfish tank:

  • Daily. This frequency is only suitable if you notice your goldfish is gasping for air or seems sluggish. If so, you may need a partial water change regardless of changing the water the previous day.
  • Weekly. If you have a large fish tank, then you should clean it at least once a week. Here, you may replace the dirty water, use a scraper to remove algae, and use an aquarium vacuum to suck all the dirt and debris at the bottom of the tank.
  • Monthly. Though it is not ideal to wait a month to clean your fish tank, you can take this time to assess the water’s ammonia, pH, and nitrate levels and check the water and fish’s color change. It is also crucial to change your filtration systems and cartridges once a month.

Once you own a goldfish, ensure that you understand the rules and requirements needed to maintain your pet’s survival.

how often should you clean a fish tank for goldfish

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning a Goldfish Tank

Now that you know how often should you clean a fish tank for goldfish, you may be wondering the best way to go about the task. Below are common steps you should follow when cleaning your tank.

1. Assemble your Cleaning Materials

You need to assemble all you need when cleaning your fish tank. These include:

  • Temporary tank
  • Buckets
  • Plastic container
  • Filter system brushes
  • Squeegee/ sponge
  • Dechlorinator
  • Aquarium vacuum cleaner

2. Move Your Goldfish to a Temporary Tank

If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your tank while the fish are still in it, then move your pet to a smaller tank or bucket. That said, use a spacious plastic container to scoop up your goldfish with some water and transfer.

Please, note that netting your fish is not recommended, as it compromises your pet’s immune system. During the transfer, your goldfish may likely be vulnerable to attack by bacterial diseases, lack of oxygen, and get abrasions from the net.

3. Unplug the Fish Tank

Your aquarium or fish tank is typically connected to a filtration system, air pump, and heater. As a safety precaution, consider shutting off all the devices while draining and refilling the tank.

Unplugging the tank and its devices eliminates any risk of electric shock.

4. Drain the Dirty Fish Tank Water

Use a manual or electric aquarium vacuum to siphon all the dirty water from the fish tank to a bucket.

5. Sanitize Your Fish Tank

Using a squeegee, scrape excess algae off the walls of the fish tank. Although, a clean face cloth works just as well.

6. Vacuum Your Fish Tank

Use an aquarium vacuum cleaner to suction loose organic waste, poop, dirt, and other debris around the tank’s base.

7. Clean the Decorative Fixtures

Provided you have accessories and other decorative fixtures that complement your fish tank, consider cleaning them with a soft sponge or brush in the drained tank water.

8. Clean and Replace Your Filter Cartridge

Using cold and clean water, rinse your filter. You may also replace the filter cartridge and the decorative fixtures.

9. Refill the Fish Tank With Clean Water

Using a clean bucket, fill it up with tap water. It is best to use lukewarm water because excessive cold water may affect your goldfish’s immune system.

You will need to prep new water for your goldfish tank before adding it. One quick method is to add a de-chlorinator to the tap water to remove all the chlorine making the tap water safe for your goldfish to thrive.

Later pour the water into the fish tank, plug in your device to reactivate the filter, heater, and air pump, and return your goldfish to the tank.

Sprinkle some fish flakes and let your goldfish enjoy their clean home.



Hopefully, you have found this article helpful for understanding how often should you clean a fish tank for goldfish. Ideally, you should clean your goldfish tank on a weekly schedule. If you only clean it monthly, be aware of the water conditions, such as pH, and keep a close eye on your fish’s health.

If you’re noticing that your tank is getting dirty too fast, read here for our helpful tips.

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