There are several reasons why you should clean aquarium gravel:

Using bacteria acts as a preventative measure in keeping your aquarium cleaner for longer.
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My unused Aquarium needs cleaning brfore I can again put fish in it. How do I go about this? What products can I safetly use as not to harm the fish. Thanks Agnes
If you are serious about aquarium, a hose and siphon is a must have for cleaning purposes.
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By David A. Grant, Journal Business Reporter Originally published Dec 18, 1998 Bellevue company finds niche tending other people’s fish People used to ask Steve Clayton when he was going to get a real job. They didn’t think that cleaning aquariums and feeding fish was much of a career, but the skeptics might want… While this is a great start, this is not the way to properly clean a healthy aquarium.
Photo provided by FlickrWhile tedious, cleaning your aquarium can be made simple and quick using a uniform process.
Photo provided by FlickrBelow is a step-by-step overview of how to clean your aquarium in an efficient and effective way.
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It's important to note that you don't need to completely break down the tank everytime you have to "clean your tank" or perform aquarium maintenance. Most of the time you will just need to perform a partial water change (20 percent or so) with a good gravel vacuuming and maybe scrape a little algae off the front viewing panel. If you have a major algae problem then something is out of whack. You may be feeding too much, your tank may be overstocked, you're not performing frequent enough water changes, you're feeding the wrong types of foods, etc. Or, it could be a combination of the above. If you have a problem with cloudy water, please read the article on and be sure to keep up with your fish tank maintenance!With this, as with any other aquarium cleaning, it is vitallyimportant to clean the gravel with each water change to remove anycollected debris, solid fish waste, or uneaten food.
Each time you clean your aquarium you will need to replace about 20% of the water. Use your algae scrubber to scrape any algae off the front and maybe the sides of the tank. For acrylic aquariums, make sure that you won't scratch the acrylic with whatever you're using to clean the sides. Some use an old credit card for acrylic tanks.For all of you who have asked about cleaning ... Cleaning your aquarium is a simpleand straight forward task, and should not take very long (Unless you havea particularly , in whichcase care can be quite cumbersome and time consuming). The better careyou provide for your , the healthier yourfish will be, the nicer your tank will look and the easier your tankwill be to care for in the future.When cleaning your aquarium, the key concepts to focus on are the tank bottom, , and filter; however, additional concepts to keep in mind for a healthy and thriving aquarium is the amount of bacteria you have in the tank eco system and the characteristics of the tank itself.If waste from your fish and plant life remain in your aquarium for too long without cleaning, it is likely that your fish and plants will be negatively impacted. These tools will also provide a means to simultaneously remove old water.