Self-cleaning fish tanks offer a low maintenance aquarium option for fishkeepers who may enjoy taking care of their beautiful fish but are turned off by the upkeep that comes with it. Whether you’re grossed out by dirty fish water, don’t have the time to properly clean your
What Are Self-Cleaning Fish Tanks?
How Does a Self-Cleaning
Fish Tank Work?
Self-cleaning fish tanks use a closed ecosystem and specialized filtration systems that naturally clean the tank water. They typically include a substrate that produces beneficial bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrites and nitrates, as well as a pump that circulates and oxygenates the water. There are 3 types of self-cleaning fish tanks that function in different ways.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Self-Cleaning
Self-cleaning fish tanks have numerous benefits, including:
- Less maintenance for you
- Healthier environment for your fish
- Time saved from weekly or bi-weekly tank cleaning.
- Aesthetically pleasing without the need of chunky filters
🐠 Have you just purchased your own self-cleaning tank? Here are a few quirky
What Are the Drawbacks of Using a Self-Cleaning
While self-cleaning fish tanks have numerous benefits, they also have some potential drawbacks to consider.
- More expensive than regular tanks
- Unsuitable for fish that produce lots of waste
- Limited capacity as they only come in smaller sizes
- Potential malfunctions
Types of Self-Cleaning
There are various types of self-cleaning fish tanks, each with unique advantages and features.
Gravity-based self-cleaning tanks use the power of gravity to clear the tank of waste and debris. The bottom of the tank is sloped in such a way that waste can slide down to a collection area. The waste is then removed from the tank and placed into a different container using a
Fish, plants, and bacteria work in harmony to keep the tank clean. The waste that the fish produce is converted into nitrates by bacteria, which the plants then take up as nutrients. The plants, in turn, produce oxygen that the fish need to survive.
Mechanical self-cleaning tanks use special filtration systems to remove fish waste and debris from the tank automatically, although they use a variety of techniques, including mechanical, biological, or chemical filtration. Larger debris, such as uneaten fish food or waste, are removed by mechanical filtration, whereas smaller particles of fish waste and harmful chemicals are broken down by beneficial bacteria in biological filtration. Chemical filtration uses activated carbon or other substances to remove impurities and toxins from the water.
Our Top 5 Small Self-Cleaning Fish Tanks
- Betta Fish Tank, 360 Aquarium with LED Light
- Most affordable
- LED color lighting
- Only for tiny fish (1 inch) because of its small size of 1 gallon
- VIVOSUN 3-Gallon Aquaponic Fish Tank
- PONDON 5 Gallon Fish Tank
- Hydroponic Garden Aquaponic Fish Tank Plants
- Fish Tank with Filter and Light Self Cleaning System
- 120 gallons filtered per hour
- High-quality glass
360 Aquarium with LED Light, 1 Gallon Fish Bowl is a prime example of a gravity-based self-cleaning tank. The shape of the bottom of the bowl pushes debris to the middle, and when new water is added, dirty water is pushed up through the tube.
The Glass 5 Gallon Self Cleaning Small Aquarium Starter Kits is a 5-gallon self-cleaning tank that employs mechanical filtration, using a built-in water pump.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Self-Cleaning
When selecting a self-cleaning aquarium, the tank’s size and shape should be taken into account. The tank needs to be big enough to hold the amount of specific fish you intend to keep, since overcrowding can cause your fish stress.
The tank’s shape needs to be suitable for the species of your fish. Some fish species require tall tanks with lots of vertical space, like the angelfish, while others need a wide, shallow tank with plenty of swimming space, like the betta fish.
Many filtration systems use a combination of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration techniques. The filtration system you select must be suitable for the size and species of your fish.
For example, fish that produce lots of waste like goldfish, oscar fish, and african cichlids, require strong filtration systems that offer mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. Others, like guppies, are hardy fish that can tolerate a wide range of water parameters and only need biological filtration.
Cost and Maintenance
Self-cleaning fish tanks can vary in price, depending on the size, features, and filtration system. Consider the tank’s upkeep requirements and the price of replacement parts or filters as well as any extra supplies, like heaters or lighting.
How Do You Maintain a Self-Cleaning
Although self-cleaning fish tanks are designed to require less maintenance, they still require some care to keep the fish healthy and the tank clean.
Even though the tank is self-cleaning, regular aquarium maintenance should still be carried out. Depending on the kind of self-cleaning
Water Quality Monitoring
Regular monitoring of the water quality is essential for a healthy and happy environment for your fish. Check the water’s pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels frequently to make sure they’re within acceptable limits. Additionally, keep an eye on the water’s temperature to make sure it’s suitable for the fish in the tank.
Overfeeding may result in an abundance of waste and debris in the tank, which may disturb the ecosystem’s normal balance. Don’t feed your fish more than they can consume in a few minutes; instead, feed them little and often.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using A Self-Cleaning
Fishkeepers may find self-cleaning fish tanks to be a convenient and low-maintenance option, but there are some common mistakes to avoid when using them:
- Overstocking, leading to stressed-out fish
- Overfeeding, resulting in too much waste and debris in the tank
- Not monitoring water quality
- Not performing regular maintenance
Self-Cleaning Fish Tanks: Are They Right For You?
Self-cleaning aquariums are a convenient and low-maintenance option for fish keepers. While there are some drawbacks to them, the benefits such as less maintenance, a healthier environment, and convenience, make them an excellent choice for many fish keepers. Just remember to carefully consider factors such as tank size and shape, fish species, and filtration system to determine if self-cleaning fish tanks are right for you and your fish.