Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   How do I safely clean a tank? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/how-do-i-safely-clean-tank-51680/)

Deku 09-16-2010 12:31 AM

How do I safely clean a tank?
 
Iam not talking about water changes or when the tank is actually stocked and already running with a bio load. Iam talking about a broken down tank that I need to clean up before I do anything with it. The fish that were in it passed away and Iam trying to make sure any and all bacteria and parasites are killed. I do not want to mix anything. It has hard calcium stains that dont come off easily. What can I do about that? Also how can I safely clean out the equipment without risking the chance of introducing chemicals to the filters, heaters and air pumps and such. I mean I plan on using bleach for the tank which is what I wanted to know if for the tank is alright. Its a 55g, I plan on using half a cup of bleach and I was gonna fill up the tank with water and mix in the bleach. Then Id rinse out 4times and then Id fill it up and use half or a whole bottle of water conditioner.
Are there any safe ways I can clean out all the equipment without getting it mixed in with chemicals? I want to make sure every parasite(if there are any) and every bacteria dies out before I try anything. Should I clean out the cords too? Like the cords you use to plug the stuff in? course id let it dry. Iam thinking Id use baby wipes as crazy as it sounds, or something that can throughly take out anything on contact. Iam also struggling with lime and calcium stains. I was told to use vineger fo rit, but last time I did it didnt come off as i was told it would.

Iam using sand so how would I go about cleaning that? When do they mean hot water, can I use hot water from the shower? or is that not hot enough? Does it have to be from the stove? I dont think my mom would let me bake the sand(she would kill me if I tried it). shes very uptight about cleanliness she doesnt want anything like that done in the kitchen.

If you guys could help thatd be great, Id like to hear opinions and statement from as much people as possible(ussually a majority rules).

I need response ASAP the tank stinks like shizzle.

kitten_penang 09-16-2010 07:04 AM

dont wanna use bleach use vinegar and warm water

aunt kymmie 09-16-2010 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitten_penang (Post 472366)
dont wanna use bleach use vinegar and warm water

And after you have throughly cleaned it w/ a vinegar and water solution and rinsed the heck out of it, let it dry out completely. Nothing will survive vinegar followed by a complete dry out.

Deku 09-16-2010 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aunt kymmie (Post 472424)
And after you have throughly cleaned it w/ a vinegar and water solution and rinsed the heck out of it, let it dry out completely. Nothing will survive vinegar followed by a complete dry out.

Good Cause Iam extremely paranoid when it comes to cleaning out a used tank, Ived used bleach before. But donno ifI should have. Iam thinking Id use bleach, table salt( I hear it also kills stuff), and boiling hot water. Id leave it sit out for like 1hour or so and then repeat process. Id probably waste a whole bottle on it just to make sure there is no single nook and cranny that contains bacteria or parasites. I may have to do this with the filter. Iam thinking of doing this for my turtle tanks when I reset them(I reset them every 2 years or so and its almost time for one of those).

I found my water quality is hard and alkaline, anything I can do to lower it to neutral? I was told drift wood may do this. Or how can I prevent hard calcium stains? I mean i have this magnetic pad that scrubs out algea. It sometimes gets out the hard calcium stains. Problem is, it may be too strong cause I once got my finger stuck between it and lets just say it hurt more than my turtles bite.

Though how do I clean out the sand without baking it? Viniger? I finally fixed my extra fluvals but they need a thorough cleaning. Cause they were given to me by a man I know. He used them for his red eared slider he got off nyc(that means it must be loaded with parasites and bacteria). So I wonder how Can I clean out everything in it? Theres also the stand. But I made it myself and its painted black. What about the foods that were used for the previous fish? Should I throw them out? Id like to keep atleast some sinking pellets and the freeze dried plankton. What about the light fixtures? How do I clean those without causing a possible shock hazard? Heaters? Can I fully submerge an "air pump" under water and try to clean it out with that? Just in case theres any bacteria? Or would this hurt the equipment???? Is there a way to clean it out throughly and disinfecting it without using chemicals? also I thought viniger wasnt bad for fish. I thought it lowered the ph or hardness. I used it once on a fish tank as a test and it never killed the fish???

1077 09-17-2010 02:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deku (Post 472504)
Good Cause Iam extremely paranoid when it comes to cleaning out a used tank, Ived used bleach before. But donno ifI should have. Iam thinking Id use bleach, table salt( I hear it also kills stuff), and boiling hot water. Id leave it sit out for like 1hour or so and then repeat process. Id probably waste a whole bottle on it just to make sure there is no single nook and cranny that contains bacteria or parasites. I may have to do this with the filter. Iam thinking of doing this for my turtle tanks when I reset them(I reset them every 2 years or so and its almost time for one of those).

I found my water quality is hard and alkaline, anything I can do to lower it to neutral? I was told drift wood may do this. Or how can I prevent hard calcium stains? I mean i have this magnetic pad that scrubs out algea. It sometimes gets out the hard calcium stains. Problem is, it may be too strong cause I once got my finger stuck between it and lets just say it hurt more than my turtles bite.

Though how do I clean out the sand without baking it? Viniger? I finally fixed my extra fluvals but they need a thorough cleaning. Cause they were given to me by a man I know. He used them for his red eared slider he got off nyc(that means it must be loaded with parasites and bacteria). So I wonder how Can I clean out everything in it? Theres also the stand. But I made it myself and its painted black. What about the foods that were used for the previous fish? Should I throw them out? Id like to keep atleast some sinking pellets and the freeze dried plankton. What about the light fixtures? How do I clean those without causing a possible shock hazard? Heaters? Can I fully submerge an "air pump" under water and try to clean it out with that? Just in case theres any bacteria? Or would this hurt the equipment???? Is there a way to clean it out throughly and disinfecting it without using chemicals? also I thought viniger wasnt bad for fish. I thought it lowered the ph or hardness. I used it once on a fish tank as a test and it never killed the fish???


Don't place the air pump under water. they are designed to sit outside the tank and internal parts are not meant to get wet.
Toss the food if it is past expiration date. If you can't find expiration date,toss it.
Run the bath tub half full of water ,add about a half gallon of vinegar and clean everything and rinse everything well.
Take comfort that if everything has been dry ,or is allowed to dry over a week,that bacteria and or parasites will long be dead ,harmless.
If the tank,filters etc have been dry for long, the chances of bacteria or parasites surviving are next to zero.
Take the sand or gravel and use a plastic bucket or tub, and rinse it with plain old hot water or warm water several times, Do this outside if possible.Don't pour the water from sand or gravel down the drain in the house .
Buy new filter material for the inside of canister filters pads,sponges,carbon.
If the filters hold biological media,bio balls,ceramic noodles or beads,, then rinse these too under warm to hot water and allow them to dry and they can be re-used if you like.
Clean the light fixture with a spray bottle of water and vinegar and a scotch brite pad or brush and then wipe it all down with damp sponge and let dry completely.
Don't spray anything inside vents on light fixture..
As mentioned,, once everything that was used in an aquarium has been allowed to dry out for more than a week, there is little chance that bacterial pathogens or parasites exist. Just give evrything a good scrub and rinse well before allowing it to dry.
If you bought the tank dry,, then cleaning and rinsing will be all you need to worry bout in my view.

Deku 09-17-2010 03:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1077 (Post 472951)
Don't place the air pump under water. they are designed to sit outside the tank and internal parts are not meant to get wet.
Toss the food if it is past expiration date. If you can't find expiration date,toss it.
Run the bath tub half full of water ,add about a half gallon of vinegar and clean everything and rinse everything well.
Take comfort that if everything has been dry ,or is allowed to dry over a week,that bacteria and or parasites will long be dead ,harmless.
If the tank,filters etc have been dry for long, the chances of bacteria or parasites surviving are next to zero.
Take the sand or gravel and use a plastic bucket or tub, and rinse it with plain old hot water or warm water several times, Do this outside if possible.Don't pour the water from sand or gravel down the drain in the house .
Buy new filter material for the inside of canister filters pads,sponges,carbon.
If the filters hold biological media,bio balls,ceramic noodles or beads,, then rinse these too under warm to hot water and allow them to dry and they can be re-used if you like.
Clean the light fixture with a spray bottle of water and vinegar and a scotch brite pad or brush and then wipe it all down with damp sponge and let dry completely.
Don't spray anything inside vents on light fixture..
As mentioned,, once everything that was used in an aquarium has been allowed to dry out for more than a week, there is little chance that bacterial pathogens or parasites exist. Just give evrything a good scrub and rinse well before allowing it to dry.
If you bought the tank dry,, then cleaning and rinsing will be all you need to worry bout in my view.

The tank was not brand new. It was used as I said. I want to keep the ceramic noodles since there is no point in buying new ones or new pads(filter pads that dont hold carbon-not cartridges) since they can be cleaned out and re used in my opinion.
I will do this and hopefully I will get the stuff cleaned out.
The sand isnt "dirty" persay since nothing gets stuck in it, its more of the fact that I dont want any chances of pathogens. How do I make sure the air pump isnt harboring anything???

kitten_penang 09-17-2010 03:41 AM

run the air pump in the vinegar solution...

1077 09-17-2010 04:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitten_penang (Post 472958)
run the air pump in the vinegar solution...

Do NOT submerge the air pump in any kind of solution and run it lest you want to get lit up like a christmas tree.
Buy some new airline hose and airstone or sponge filter .

kitten_penang 09-17-2010 04:42 AM

oppss.. air pump as is the mouse thing.. i was thinking submersible pump like the ones used for overhead filters..my bad


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