Science has shown that aquarium fish have a calming effect on high blood pressure and stress levels. In fact, the relaxing benefits of fish-watching are equal to biofeedback and meditation. But aquariums need to be maintained, just like any other pet pen. Here’s the best way to clean a fish tank…

First, put your fish in a temporary holding tank…and the tank’s furnishings in a separate container. Be sure to save your dirty fish water (we tell you why below). Now you’re ready to clean your tank.

Soap or detergents of any kind may leave a residue that could be harmful to your fish, so get out the salt instead. Any salt is fine, as long as it’s iodine-free. Pour the salt on a sponge, and use it like scouring powder. Once the tank is scrubbed clean, rinse it thoroughly. Then, wipe the furnishings clean, set up the tank and move your fish back home.

What to do with old fish water: The dirty water from a fish tank makes a wonderful organic fertilizer. Share it with your houseplants!

More useful cleaning tips…

• How to Clean Where It’s Hard to Clean

• How to Clean Your House in Minutes

• Cheaper Than a Swiffer