No one can be expected to keep up with their fish tank cleaning as much as they should all year round, so it's important to be able to clean it in a fast and efficient manner. Sometimes you just get bogged down with other work, and while you are away, the tank gets bogged down with grime and sludge. If you need to get your tank cleaned up with all haste, here is a great set of tips and techniques to get it done without calling in a water damage repair man.
Start your task off with a small tube and a tank brush. If you work hard to maintain your tank most of the time, both of these will probably already be in your tool kit. If you don't have a fish tank brush, you can go to the store and pick up a brush. It doesn't have to be specifically for fish tanks, but you should make sure it doesn't come coated with nasty cleaning chemicals if you go that route.
You don't need to take the fish out of the tank for this as long as you are very careful, but it is highly suggested that you do take them out and put them into your spare tank, hospital tank, or just a bowl. Before you start the tank cleaning proper, get your water preparation bucket ready and have some new fresh water for the tank. When you change the water regularly you usually replace about 20-25% of the water in the tank. If you have that much water on hand, you should be in good shape.
Next, find a dirty water bucket you use for mopping or for outside jobs. Bring it inside and place it below your fish tank. When you are ready to do your speedy cleaning, go in with the brush and give all the walls a good scrubbing and move some of the decorations around to loosen deposited particles. As soon as you have finished with that, go to your sink and fill the tube up with water. Using your fingers to plug both ends of the tube, go over to the fish tank and put one end of the tube in the tank and one into the empty, dirty bucket. This creates your siphon. You can then use the end of the hose inside the tank as a vacuum to remove the now free-floating particles and anything that is sitting in the gravel at the bottom. If your tube is wide enough, you can just plunge it into the base and it will remove the loose grunge while leaving the heavy gravel at the bottom of your tank.
You will need to move quickly because you will eventually start removing too much water with your siphon and you may disturb your carefully balanced nitrogen cycle. When you are satisfied with your work, pour your prepared, chlorine- and chemical-free water from your filling bucket slowly into the tank. Just a few minutes later when the smallest particles you brushed into the water have settled back down, the water and glass will be crystal clear and you can return your fish to the tank.