Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   2 20gal tanks need extreme cleaning "help" (

KrisRogers 02-01-2009 09:23 PM

2 20gal tanks need extreme cleaning "help"
Okay here it is, today I procured 2 20 gallon aquariums for free with all the equipment and accessories to get them up and running. But I have a problem, they where severely neglected and need to be cleaned extremely well. (they set 1/2 empty for almost 4 years) with everything still in them. They are in bad shape and I really want to try and save both of them I will reseal if needed but from what I can tell the seals are fine. What I'm looking for is some real good ideas on how to clean them including the equipment (gravel under gravel filters, plants pumps heater)
I know the basic ways to clean and maintain tanks, but these are bad they even smell like dog pee?!

here is a couple pictures

Any help/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
these pictures look better then the tank do in person
no that's not a crack at the bottom and the tank is empty

P.S. only if the pictures where scratch and sniff

taylorg 02-01-2009 09:39 PM

take it all out back take out any thing usable out the tanks mixe up a vinger/lemon juice/water mix in a spray bottle spray the tanks down heavly with it and let it soak for awhile and hose down rinse and repeat until clean but dont use any chemicals

aspects 02-01-2009 10:44 PM

it really doeant look bad at all. soap and a green scrubbie should do the trick. just make sure the tank is clean of substrate and debris before you do it. if you get a piece of gravel or sand between the scrubber and the glass, you will have a big problem on your hands

dramaqueen 02-01-2009 10:51 PM

I would not use any kind of soap inside an aquarium. Soap will kill your fish.

Mikaila31 02-02-2009 12:09 AM

I don't see any problem using soap, since bleach is a common thing used to clean aquariums. The main thing is to rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse,rinse....... and so on. Just don't use it on the rocks.

aspects 02-02-2009 01:35 AM

soap will only kill your fish if you dont rinse your tank properly.

1077 02-02-2009 03:04 AM

Were it me,, I would fill the tanks half full of water and then put a half gal of vinegar in each one and let soak for a day. Then I would use NEW sponge with green srubby on one side and scrub and scrub.

Twistersmom 02-02-2009 07:45 AM

I would do the same as 1077. Vinegar is great for breaking down the hard water stains. Its to cold here for outside cleaning, I have been cleaning out my qt tank in the bathtub. The shower head is good for giving it a good rinse.

KrisRogers 02-02-2009 04:50 PM

Thank you all for the quick replies. They all where very helpful I have the first tank cleaned and am starting to cycle it. The second tank will be awhile (it was in alot worse sharpe)

Twistermom, I agree cleaning outside was out of the question (I'm form Indiana, we're neighbors). I ended up taking over the bathroom for most of the day.

Heres a picture of the first tank all cleaned up.
(im running it low on water to try and be safe in case it leaks, even though all of the silicone looked good)
I'm using the over the bank to start the cycle then i'll be switching to undergravel when I get the new air pump.

dramaqueen 02-02-2009 05:25 PM

I appreciate the cleaning tips too. I'm in the process of cleaning a tank that was given to me and wanted a safe way to clean.

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