How to Clean Aquarium Plants? Safe & Effective Methods

Love the look of aquariums with lots of plants? Even though they are quite beautiful to look at if you have never taken care of aquatic plants before you could find them scary. This article will explain how to clean live aquarium plants as well as how to get rid of snail infestations and excess algae in a planted tank.

Aquatic plants make excellent additions to any aquarium. Novice fish keepers frequently get them because they make the tank look more active and picturesque. However, experienced aquarists understand that having live aquarium plants in your tank has numerous additional benefits.

However, The drawback is that any new plant you add to your tank has the potential to harbor diseases, which can cause havoc in an enclosed ecosystem (viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites).

How to Clean Aquarium Plants?

Aquarium plants and accessories should be cleaned regularly by fish keepers in order to maintain the natural appearance of the tank. Algae may need to be scrubbed off of real, silk, and artificial plants with some hard work. Hobbyists also need a cleaning regimen to prevent algae buildup on their plants.

How to Clean Aquarium Plants

Live plants require more maintenance than plastic plants do. For many aquarium designs, artificial plants come in a wide range of sizes and gorgeous hues. Beginner fish keepers might prefer a straightforward tank, and plastic is simpler to maintain! On the other hand, live plants are preferred by the fish, and artificial plants are more expensive, thus being how to clean both varieties is a necessary ability.

How to Clean Live Aquarium plants?

Live plants are popular with fish keepers, and some are suitable for novice hobbyists. The secret to healthy plants is clean water. By carefully cleaning each with a delicate toothbrush held for plant aquarium use only, you may keep plants and plant leaves pristine. Changing the water and vacuuming the water both contribute to the health of plants.

A few things to remember before cleaning life aquarium plants:

  • Never use your fingers to pinch off dead plant leaves.
  • Keep an eye out for yellowing or decaying leaves, which indicate a shortage of iron in the tank.
  • Iron levels in brown or black leaves may be lower.

All living plants can transmit diseases and parasites that are more difficult to remove than they are to avoid entering your fish tank. As a result, sanitizing live aquarium plants is strongly advised.

1. Scrubbing

You may clean the aquarium plants using a variety of cleaning equipment. Brushes and bottle scrubbers are a few tools that may be utilized for this task.

Use caution while utilizing any cleaning equipment that has previously come into touch with chemicals. These chemicals have the potential to hurt your fish and degrade the ideal water quality that both plants and fish need. To reduce the possibility of further contamination, keep your fish cleaning products apart from your household cleaning items.


Regular household cleaners such as vinegar, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean hardy live aquarium plants. To sterilize your fish tank and other fishkeeping equipment, use weak solutions of any of these disinfectants (heater, filter, fish nets, etc.).

Some plant species, however, do not tolerate chemical compounds well, even in low quantities. First, let’s go over how to prepare sensitive plants for their initial setup in your planted tank, as well as how to clean them when necessary.

2. Aquarium Salt

One of the easiest ways to clean live aquarium plants if you have a snail infestation is to submerge them in a saltwater solution (aquarium salts + clean water).

aquarium Salt

The snail eggs on the plant will also be removed by this dip, which also gets rid of any snails that may be trying to hitch a ride into your fish tank. How to accomplish it is as follows:

  • Combine 1 cup of aquarium salt and 1 gallon of clean water in a clean container.
  • Try not to submerge your live plant’s roots in the brine for longer than 15 to 30 seconds. You should take away any adult snails that you see escaping.
  • Rinse the plant completely with new, clean water.

How to Clean Live Aquarium Plants with Vinegar?

On the aquarium walls, any décor, and the plants themselves, watermarks and calcium deposits may be left behind as the aquarium’s water evaporates. Even though it might be a complete nightmare, creating a vinegar solution will allow you to avoid spending hours scraping and cleaning this mess.

How to Clean Live Aquarium Plants with Vinegar

Although the vinegar solution doesn’t hurt your fish, you should still use extreme caution when adding any amount of vinegar to the aquarium. If you’re prepared to put the vinegar treatment through, utilize the procedure that follows;

Steps of Using Vinegar

  • A clean container should hold 1 cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of clean water.
  • You may use standard cooking vinegar with an acetic acid content of 5 to 9 percent.
  • Before cleaning, let the live aquarium plant soak in the vinegar solution for five minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, give the plant a thorough, delicate rinsing with clean water.

Try to only use this cleaning approach with hardier plants or as a last option. Some delicate aquatic plants might not survive a dip in the vinegar solution.

Avoid using these home cleansers excessively. No plant is sufficiently filthy to need mixing vinegar and bleach in the same plant-cleaning solution.

How to Clean Live Aquarium Plants with Bleach Solution?

Your final recourse for cleaning live aquarium plants should be bleach dips. That’s because plants will still suffer some degree of harm even in a bleach solution that is 10%. After being planted, fertilized, and washed, the majority of plants will recover rapidly.

Using Bleach to Clean Your Aquarium

If you’re removing aquatic plants from a tank where illness is present or if you think they could be parasite-bearing, clean them with a bleach solution. After soaking the plants in bleach, you can quarantine them for two weeks as an added precaution.

There are some precautions for using bleach solution:

  • If the bleach is not thoroughly washed off after use, the aquarium plants’ color will be dulled and the health of the fish will be compromised.
  • Never wash porous items with bleach solution because they can retain part of the bleach solution. There is a risk to your fish’s health since you won’t be able to completely rinse off the bleach.
  • Never attempt to apply a bleach solution to aquarium plants that has been mixed with other chemicals
  • Always use a 10% bleach solution; to produce this concentration, use nine parts water and just one part bleach solution.

The Steps of Cleaning Live Aquarium Plants with Bleach

  • In a clean container, combine 20 cups of fresh water and 1 cup of bleach.
  • Use ordinary, unscented bleach that flows out of the container like water.
  • The use of bleach gel is not advised.
  • After submerging your aquatic plant in the bleach solution, give it two to five minutes to soak.
  • Rinse the plant completely with fresh water while being careful not to harm it.
  • Now, it should be easy to clean even the worst algae stains from the plant’s leaves.
  • Before placing the live plant in your fish tank, make sure it is clean by soaking it in clean water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Aquarium plants should only be submerged for a maximum of 15 minutes.
  • Simply rinse them in clean water after removing them, and scrub them if necessary.

How often do you Clean Aquarium Plants?

When it comes to cleaning aquarium plants, there is a method to the chaos. But how frequently should plants be cleaned? Whether the plants are edible or easy to preserve, the accessories must be kept in pristine condition to ensure the health of the fish. The idea is to keep algae from forming on the plants, which is usually the problem. A cleaning program is a fantastic method to keep organized.

Reposition any substrate plants that have become uprooted and floated to the surface. On a regular basis, check the color and overall health of the living plants.

Every week, clean all of the real, artificial, and silk plants in the tank to keep them healthy during the weekly partial water change. remove all of the plants and clean or soak them to remove algae and pests and Trim the dead stalks and leaves from live plants every month.

The Bottom Line on How to Clean Aquarium Plants?

Make a habit of quarantining live aquarium plants or sanitizing them with a mild disinfectant solution before putting them in your fish tanks.

You won’t expose your pet fish to diseases that live plants can carry during transfers. Preventing a disease/parasite outbreak in a fully filled community tank will need far less effort than dealing with one

Most live aquarium plants are simple to clean and care for once established, as long as you provide their basic demands for light, fertilizer, and good water quality.

Similar Posts