How To Clean Live Aquarium Plants? 3 Most Affordable & Effective Methods

Last Updated on March 28, 2022 by Guillermina

Wondering how to clean live aquarium plants? Live plants are quite difficult to clean as compared to those that are artificial primarily because they are delicate. Read more below.

Are you one of those who simply adore the aesthetics of a planted aquarium? So who wouldn’t, given that aquarium plants are an absolute treat to look at. However, to maintain their beauty, regular cleaning is necessary. Therefore, we have prepared a guide for you on how to clean live aquarium plants. Stay with us and learn the best tips and tricks. 

Step By Step Guide

Read more about each of the three most popular methods of cleaning your aquarium plants below.

How To Clean Live Aquarium Plants – Bleach Edition

The use of bleach is a very effective method of cleaning live aquarium plants. However, as effective as it can be, it can also be dangerous. Namely, most plants will recover soon, but some more sensitive species will be damaged to some extent.

The use of bleach solution is recommended in case of suspicion of parasite infection or if there are algae stains on the leaves of the plant that cannot be easily wiped off with your fingers.

Here are the basic steps:

  • Use regular and unscented bleach. Try to avoid those in the form of gels.
  • Mix 1 cup of bleach to 19 cups of clean water in a clean container.
  • Then put the plant in the solution, and let it soak between 2 to 5 minutes.
  • Rinse it thoroughly with water. It is recommended to leave it for 10-15 minutes sitting in a container with clean water to make sure you have removed the entire bleach residue.

Keep in mind that if the plant is too sensitive, don’t let it sit in the solution for more than two minutes.

 How do I get algae off my live aquarium plants?

How To Clean Live Aquarium Plants – Vinegar Edition

Dipping or soaking in vinegar is also one of the great ways to get rid of all kinds of build-ups on your live aquarium plants.

Here are the steps you can take:

  • It is recommended to use regular cooking vinegar, i.e. the one that contains 5-9% acetic acid concentration.
  • Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of clean water in a clean container.
  • Set the plant to sit in the vinegar solution for the next 5 minutes.
  • Then rinse it thoroughly with clean water.

It is recommended to use this method only on less sensitive plants. In addition, don’t blend bleach and vinegar in the same plant-cleaning solution at any cost. Namely, such a solution can emit harmful toxic fumes and has not been proven to be more effective in disinfecting surfaces.

How To Clean Live Aquarium Plants – Hydrogen Peroxide Edition

Similar to bleach solution, hydrogen peroxide should only be used on hardy aquarium plants. Namely, some aquarium species such as moss balls or carpet plants can be irretrievably destroyed if their roots absorb too much hydrogen peroxide.

Here are the steps you can follow if you want to clean your live aquarium plants with hydrogen peroxide:

  • In a clean container, mix the ingredients in a ratio of 1 teaspoon (5ml) of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1 gallon of water.
  • If you just want to disinfect the plant, soak it in the solution for only 30 seconds. On the other hand, if you want to clean it of algae and parasites, let the plant soak for 5 minutes.
  • Finally, rinse the plant in an aquarium under running, clean water.

Keep in mind that, like any oxidizing agent, hydrogen peroxide can also cause damage if you let the plant soak for too long. Therefore, follow these steps and clean your plants effortlessly.

 How do you clean floating plants?

In Conclusion

Proper maintenance and thorough cleaning of the aquarium tank allow your pets to live happily and develop healthily. Fear not, most live aquarium plants are easy to clean and care for. The most important thing is to provide them with the conditions they need to thrive, i.e. light, fertilizer, and decent water quality. Keep in mind that prevention will require significantly less effort than dealing with the disease or parasite outbreak.

That would be it, now you know how to clean live aquarium plants! If you have any questions, let us know in the section below.

Read more about How To Lower Nitrate Levels In A Saltwater Aquarium – 5 Ultimate Methods


How Do I Get Algae Off My Live Aquarium Plants?

Some of the most popular methods of cleaning live plants from algae are:

Use of chemical agents such as bleach and hydrogen peroxide solution, or more natural vinegar solution. In addition, you can achieve this with aquarium salt or some oxidizing agent such as potassium permanganate.

How Do You Clean Floating Plants?

Keep in mind that floating plants need to be removed from the aquarium tank if you intend to use some abrasives, or if you plan to disinfect and clean. This type of plant is quite sensitive to chemical solutions.

How To Clean Aquarium With Live Plants?

You can clean your aquarium plants using one of the following:

Hydrogen peroxide,
Potassium permanganate,
Aquarium salt.

How To Clean Live Plants Before Putting In Aquarium?

The best thing you can do for your live plants is to rinse them thoroughly with clean water and then put them in a quarantine container. This way you could monitor them for the next 2-4 weeks before planting them in their forever home.

This will allow you to ensure that your plants don’t carry in any harmful pathogens because bacterial viruses and other pathogens usually die within a quarantine period of 2 to 4 weeks since they have no host to infect and live off.

You can even soak them in a bleach solution, just make sure your plant can withstand it.