So you just bought a new aquarium with new supplies or are cleaning an exsisting one. Or you are reusing some supplies. Both are fine. Here is a very basic guide on how to get them ready for your betta.
Rocks and Gravel:
If you are just bringing a new bag of rocks or gravel home from the petstore, they are probably pretty clean. What you can do though is put little piles in a strainer and rinse them under hot water. If you are reusing rocks or gravel, you can boil them and let them bake in the sun to get rid of any parasites and dirt. This might be a pain for those who have large aquariums though. Another method is to rinse them in hot water with lots of conditioner in it.
For brand new sand, there might be some dust and dirt in it. Get a clean bucket and dump the sand into it (this can be done in smaller groups if you have a larger aquarium). Take a hose and stick it in the bucket to agitate the sand. Use low pressure to prevent the sand from being forced out. The dust and dirt will rise to the top and with continued water from the hose, be forced out. Keep doing this until the water runs clear. For used sand, use the same method, but if the sand is really dirty, you are better off just throwing it out and buying new stuff.
With new plants, it is best to clean them because you don't know who touched them before you brought them home. You can boil them, but it isn't reccomended. I did it once and it worked, but totally deformed my plants. What works better is to clean them in bleach. The ratio for bleach to water is 1/20. Just let the plants sit in the water for about 20 minutes, no need to scrub or anything like that. Rinse very, very well after. Do the same thing for used plants.
Other decor includes Hide-aways, Statues, and any other fake decor found in petstores. When you get some fake stuff from petstores, it is the same as the plants, you don't know who touched it before you. So do the same bleach treatment ( 1 part bleach to 20 parts water) and let it soak for 20-30 minutes. Take it out and rinse it very, very well. If you are cleaning used decor, use the same method but after you can use a new toothbrush to scrub off any agae under some hot water.
To clean the aquarium use hot water, vingegar and salt. There really is no exact mesurement because of all the different sizes and types of tanks. Just put however much you think will really clean out your tank. You don't need to fill up the tank, just put about 1/4 hot water in with the vinegar and salt and take a clean towel and scrub all the walls and bottom of the tank. Rinse it out very well and let it dry. You may notice that there are still some salt particules resting on the bottom. You must rinse it out again until there are no visible salt particules and you can't smell the salt and vinegar anymore. Remember to NEVER use soap.
Some useful tools when washing aquarium stuff:
-A new toothbrush
*Remember to use these items only for fish cleaning and nothing else*
I hope this helped. If there is anything else you would like to see added or removed, please post here!