Do you know the best strategy to clean your aquarium rocks? It’s a money-saving and straightforward method, but the results are guaranteed. You will wonder what the cleaning agent is. It is white vinegar, nothing more. Cleaning aquarium rocks with vinegar is a very reliable and very effective method. 

Generally, aquarium rocks get unclean from algae and calcium deposits. Also, fish waste and debris collect on rocks. Let’s see what vinegar can do in these incidents.

Removing Algae – Cleaning Aquarium Rocks with Vinegar

Algae is the most dominant case in this scenario, rather than the other facts that I mentioned above. Various types of algae heavily attack aquariums. If you are a newbie, algae can cause trouble.

Some types of algae are easily removable using a wet sponge or wet towel. But some types of algae attach to the rocks hardly at all. They make hard stains that are difficult to remove using simple effort.

Also, some aquarium rocks have a smooth surface while others are rough. Removing algae from smooth/slippery rocks is not very hard. But algae on uneven surfaces is more troublesome.

Vinegar helps to solve these matters.

Method No. 1

Dip the aquarium rocks in a 1:1 vinegar solution for 24 hours.

You all need a bottle of white vinegar, a plastic bucket, and water. Be careful to purchase white distilled vinegar that doesn’t contain any added colors. It’s better if the bucket is reserved for aquarium purposes.

Prepare a 1:1 vinegar solution using vinegar and water. Dip your rocks in that solution for at least 24 hours. Make sure not to leave any part above the water level. After one day, the algae will despair. 

You have to wash the rocks thoroughly to remove the vinegar residuals. Next, dry them to remove the last drop of water. Now the rocks are brightened and ready for your tank.

Remember that rocks made of calcium carbonate should not be a dip in the vinegar solution.

Method No. 2

Brush your aquarium rocks thoroughly with a brush soaked in vinegar.

A new toothbrush is recommended here, but you can an appropriate brush.

You have to dip the brush in a vinegar solution. Then brush the algae attached places thoroughly. Soaked algae can be removed by brushing. If you look at the brush, it is greenish due to soaked algae.

You have to put some effort into this method rather than method 1.

Removing Calcium Deposits – Cleaning Aquarium Rocks with Vinegar

Vinegar is a weak acid that can react with alkaline elements. It reacts with calcium and converts into carbon dioxide gas. You can use method No.1 to remove calcium from your aquarium rocks. Twenty-four hours of dipping is essential to soak calcium deposits. After a day, you won’t find any remaining calcium deposits.

Frequently Ask Questions

Is vinegar safe for aquariums?

Yes. Vinegar is not as strong to harm aquatic creatures or aquarium parts (metals/ plastics or rocks). It is possible to clean aquarium things using vinegar. It can act as a disinfection agent with salt. But be careful to remove all the vinegar residuals by running water after you do the cleaning or disinfection.


Cleaning aquarium rocks with vinegar is a simple and cost-effective strategy in aquarium cleaning—two methods to remove algae in aquarium rocks. The first one is dipping rocks in a vinegar solution for a day. Second, Brush your aquarium rocks thoroughly with a brush soaked in vinegar. Try to practice eco-friendly methods. Happy fish keeping.

Related posts
* Cleaning aquarium decorations with vinegar
* A perfect guide to cleaning your aquarium
* How to clean old aquarium gravel?

I am Bruce Daniel Holgate from Los Angeles, the founder of, environmental scientist and content writer. Researcher and hobbyist in aquarium keeping and fish breeding with 20 years of experience. I'm willing to share my knowledge with you all.


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