Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Cleaning a used tank (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/cleaning-used-tank-43035/)

CoffeeMan 05-15-2010 08:18 AM

Cleaning a used tank
 
I just got a 20 gallon tank from a garage sale for $5. It looks kinda dirty though... glass is kinda cloudy and there a little bit of white gunk on the inside of the glass. What is the best way to clean a used tank?

aunt kymmie 05-15-2010 04:53 PM

Make me a cup of coffee and I'll tell you... j/k.

Is it a glass tank? I'd use a combination of vinegar and water, a sponge that has a scrubber side to it, and good old fashioned elbow grease. When you're done scrubbing just rinse it out really well to be sure the vinegar is removed. Whatever can't be scrubbed off the glass manually you can use a razor blade, just be very careful not to scratch the glass. Now, if the tank is acrylic a different cleaning method is required.

eileen 05-15-2010 05:20 PM

You got a good deal on that tank. With a little TLC you will have a very nice tank. I like the Vinagar & Water combo for cleaning hard water stains from glass or acrylic like Kym said. I always keep 1/2 part to 1/2 water in a spray bottle under my tanks to clean around the filter and hood of my tanks. I looked it up on-line and that is safe to use for aquariums. What ever you do do not use soap or any chemicals to clean it as this will leave film behind and may kill your fish.

If it is acrylic get one of those Algae scrubbers for Acrylic and use the vinagar & water and scrub. If it is glass get one of those Glass Algae scrubbers to use. The kitchen scrubber pads will scratch any plastic surface and you know those are not safe.

If you set it up later you should consider sand for the bottom. I used pool filter sand in one of mine it was about $12 for a 50lb bag. I also got Black sand in some of my tanks from a local fish store for about $5 a 5lb bag. It looks so much better then gravel and corys and loaches love it. Black backgrounds also look better then those design kind of backgrounds. They show off your plants better and the colorful fish better.

CoffeeMan 05-15-2010 06:21 PM

Yeah I know I got a good deal... it even came with a hood with a florescent light.

It is glass... I've already filled it with water to make sure there are no leaks, and the cloudiness to the glass went away just from that. I'll just scrub it down with vinegar and water and make sure it gets rinsed out real good.

Thanks for the advice on the sand. I have a 15 gallon with a play sand bottom that I really like... I keep meaning to take pictures and update my aquarium profile here, and become more active on the forum in general. Maybe this new tank will get me inspired to do this, lol.

My biggest question about having the sand bottom is how well live plants do in the sand. It's so compacted that I fear real plants would have their roots crushed.

Thanks for the replies... I'm real excited to start my journey into multi-tank syndrome, lol.

eileen 05-15-2010 11:45 PM

My 55 gal. pool filter sand tank is all live plants now. They are all low light here is a list of plants I have in my tank that is doing well.
Java Moss
Java Fern
Vallisneria- Really grows well and looks like Kelp This is in the back as it grows tall but you can trim it to any lenght.

Cryptocoryne
Wendelov Java fern
Hornworth that is floating on top
Anacharis
Sword plant ( Needs Iron tabs)

I use root tabs every few months at the bottom of all the plants. If you want really good plant growth use Eco-Complete on the very bottom then put sand if you want. My 55 gal. is just the pool filter sand with the root tabs. Sometimes when you get new plants they might go into shock but if you trim the dead parts off they will come back. All the plants I mentioned all grow well in my tank and my tank only has 2 ,15 watt fluorescent bulbs. No Co2 system very easy and low up keep. Plants also make the tank water good over plastic plants because they absorb the Ammonia, Nitrates, Nitrites depending what you have in your tank. Water changes are still a must of 20-25% a week and water testing with a dropper test kit like API. Less food less waste and cleaner water. I skip a day of feeding once a week or you can go every other day if you want.

Angel079 05-16-2010 06:41 AM

I also always scrub my used tanks down with vinegar and wash out with a bunch hot water and then ideally let them air dry in hot sun for 2 days or so.

Lots my tanks have sand the plants thrive real well (I use playsand from the homestores) if you look under my name here on the left there's a tap called 'aquarium' you'll find pictures of all sand set ups there. Matter of fact I'd have to say after all these yrs of having had tanks now some plants thrive better in sand then gravel (mainly thinking of hairgrass here now).

aunt kymmie 05-16-2010 11:34 AM

All my tanks are planted and all my tanks have sand as the substrate. I love sand!

CoffeeMan 05-16-2010 12:12 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm going to go with the same light brown play sand I have in my 15g tank and go with some java fern and Vallisneria. I'm also going to try to get a nice piece of driftwood for the tank. It's going to be a gradual work in progress getting everything set up in the tank, as I don't have the budget to just go drop a few hundred dollars on everything at once... but when I do get it looking the way I like it I'll make an aquarium profile and take some pics. I'll also get some pics of my 15g up soon and make a profile for that tank.

Again, thanks for everyone's help!

eileen 05-16-2010 12:53 PM

Tropical Fish Clubs
 
Have you ever thought about joining a Tropical fish club? I belong to one that was really cheap to join. I think $15 for the year and they only meet once a month and have mini auctions that have live plants, fish, used tanks, and fish supplies really cheap before they have a speaker of some fish related topic. You can get whole tank set ups and fish really cheap. They had a complete 30 gal. tank with a stand that went for $30 on May 9th. I got a pair of National Champion Black Moscow guppies for $12 when they went for $50 a pair at a show recently. They have a break after the speaker and refreshments and a raffle afterwards that costs only $1 for 5 tickets. Let me tell you that they have nice stuff at the raffle like a 10 gal. glass tank with a hood and light and other nice stuff like fish food and fish supplies. I forgot to mention feild trips also and other events thu the year.

If any one reads this and wants to save big $$$. I suggest joining one.
It's a great way to get stuff on a limited budget.

I posted a link to Tropical Fish Clubs all over listed in the Tropical Fish Hobbyiest Magazine below:
http://www.tfhmagazine.com/resources/clubs/

CoffeeMan 05-16-2010 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eileen (Post 385160)
Have you ever thought about joining a Tropical fish club? I belong to one that was really cheap to join. I think $15 for the year and they only meet once a month and have mini auctions that have live plants, fish, used tanks, and fish supplies really cheap before they have a speaker of some fish related topic. You can get whole tank set ups and fish really cheap. They had a complete 30 gal. tank with a stand that went for $30 on May 9th. I got a pair of National Champion Black Moscow guppies for $12 when they went for $50 a pair at a show recently. They have a break after the speaker and refreshments and a raffle afterwards that costs only $1 for 5 tickets. Let me tell you that they have nice stuff at the raffle like a 10 gal. glass tank with a hood and light and other nice stuff like fish food and fish supplies. I forgot to mention feild trips also and other events thu the year.

If any one reads this and wants to save big $$$. I suggest joining one.
It's a great way to get stuff on a limited budget.

I posted a link to Tropical Fish Clubs all over listed in the Tropical Fish Hobbyiest Magazine below:
http://www.tfhmagazine.com/resources/clubs/

Wow... there is what looks to be a very good, active club here in Cincinnati from that list. Thank you very much for the information.


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