Aquariums, Information, Maintenance

How To Keep Aquarium Water Clear: A step-by-step guide

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by Jason Matthews



Did you know that an aquarium with crystal clear water can be a beautiful addition to any room? However, the aquarium gets dirty over time due to overgrown algae, floating debris, and sickly fish. The problem can be solved by giving the right maintenance and attention to the aquarium. Learning how to keep your aquarium clear will not only make others envy your aquarium but also you will enjoy your hobby as you view the fish swim and drink from it.

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The aquarium can be kept clean by doing the following:

  • Regularly maintain the aquarium
  • Use the correct filtration process
  • Eradicate algae from your aquarium
  • Use a water treatment or clarifier
  • Reduce the amount of waste in your tank
  • Reduce the number of phosphates and nitrates in your aquarium

For a newbie running an aquarium, keeping it clear may be a difficult task at first. You need not worry anymore because today, we will cover several strategies that will help you clear up your water and result in a sparkling clear aquarium. 

Let’s get to it!

Easy Ways to Keep Your Aquarium Crystal Clear

how to keep aquarium water clear

The following steps will keep your aquarium clear, they are simple and easy to implement.

Maintain Your Aquarium Regularly

Looking after your aquarium is the first step of ensuring that it is clear. You should make it a habit to regularly remove dirt and waste, doing this will prevent the debris from building up and will save you a lot of problems in the future. 

A good aquarium maintenance routine should include:

Treat the Water in the Aquarium Regularly

Treating the water is one of the ways you can keep aquarium water clear. Treating the water converts the small bacteria particles into big bacteria particles which can easily be filtered by the aquarium’s filter system. 

You should be cautious while using water treatment products because some of them may endanger the lives of its inhabitants. You can ask the store keeper to recommend the best water maintenance products that you can use.

Related article: This is how you clear cloudy water in your fish tank

Reducing the Amount of Waste In the Tank

Excess waste can kill the beauty of an aquarium, the waste is a result of overfeeding the inhabitants of the aquarium or from their own waste. One of the steps to reducing waste in the aquarium is by giving the fish the right amount of food and regularly cleaning the tank. By doing this, you will create a conducive environment for the inhabitants to live in and also retain the beauty of the aquarium. 

Use the Correct Filtration System

Having an aquarium with the correct filtration process is one of the key steps to keep aquarium water clear. A good filtration system should implement 3 levels of filtration, the levels include mechanical, biological, and chemical. A system with these levels will help get rid of unwanted bacteria in the aquarium and also the chemicals in the filter will provide the tank with quality and balanced water.

Eradicating Algae in the Aquarium

Brown and green algae are a hindrance to a crystal clear aquarium, the algae are formed as a result of chemical imbalances, poor lighting, and failure to regularly maintain your aquarium. You can eradicate algae from your aquarium by regularly cleaning the algae using magnets, scrappers, or scrubbers. By doing this, you will be able to control the multiplication of algae and you can achieve a clear aquarium.

Related article: How to prevent algae in aquariums

Reducing Amount of Phosphates and Nitrates in the Aquarium

You may happen to see cloudy water forming in your aquarium, the cause of the cloudy water formation is a result of nitrate and phosphate build-up in the water. Phosphates are formed as a result of the incorrect breakdown of waste, Nitrates are formed when the filter breaks down the ammonia produced by the fish. 

The two chemicals destroy the beauty of the aquarium and also pose a big risk to the inhabitants of the aquarium because they cause a chemical imbalance in the water.  You can monitor the percentage of phosphate and nitrates in the water by use of water test kits and also regularly cleaning the tank. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is My Aquarium  Water Cloudy?

One cause for cloudy appearance is the substrate you are using. The substrate can be epoxy for freshwater aquariums or dusty for marine aquariums resulting in the formation of cloudy water. The best way to deal with substrate clouding is by rinsing the substrate thoroughly. 
Cloudy water may also be a result of the water being used, tap water for instance has compounds such as nitrates and phosphates which contribute to the formation of the cloudy water. If you are using tap water for your aquarium you can prevent it from being cloudy by utilizing a tap water conditioner. It will neutralize the heavy metals, ammonia, and chloramine found in the water to prevent clouding.

Why is My Aquarium Water Getting Dirty So Fast?

The aquarium water may be getting dirty fast because it is too small, hence the inhabitants will be stressed and the tank will get dirty faster.
The solution to this problem is to get a larger aquarium for your inhabitants to make them live more comfortably.

Should I Add Live Plants to the Aquarium?

Yes, you can add live plants to the aquarium, these plants help to establish a biological balance in the tank. The live plants also starve out microbes that cause cloudy water and they also consume the ammonia that is generated by the fish. Having live plants in your aquarium will be a bonus in so many ways.


By following the steps above, you should be able to keep the aquarium water clear and will also make your aquarium look better. With a little effort, your aquarium can be a beautiful accent to any room.

 If the aquarium water gets discolored or cloudy again, give it time to see if it will clear up on its own first before rushing to take other measures.

We hope the text was helpful!


Jason Matthews

My name is Jason Matthews, and welcome to my website. When other kids were bragging about how their dog could sit and roll over, I was bragging about my latest Betta Fish and the cool sea castle I just added to his aquarium. 

Jason aquariume

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