Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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brancasterr 01-25-2011 02:24 AM

Best method for cleaning a new, dirty tank
Haha, hope the title isn't to confusing. I was just gifted a 25g tank and it is a little dirty. It has some buildup on the sides and I tried to scrub with a sponge and hot water mixed with vinegar but could not get it off, it would look clean and then when it dried the buildup would be visible again.

What's the best method to get my new, old tank looking sparkly and new again?

Also, the rimming around the top is hideous. I's an ugly shade of brown or just dirty white. Can I remove this with no damage to the tank? I think I may be turning it into a turtle tank anyways so I won't be needing the rimming to hold a hood.


Romad 01-25-2011 04:49 AM

Is it a glass tank?? If yes, you can try CLR (Calcium, Lime, Rust remover). I was hesitant to use harsh chemicals but it was the only stuff I found to remove the white buildup on my glass 5 gallon that I bought used and dirty.

Try removing the buildup with some of this stuff on a rag. I would avoid getting it on the seals because I'm overly cautious and of course you'd have to rinse it a whole bunch of times after the fact.
Good luck.

SeaHorse 01-25-2011 07:29 AM

Many years ago when dealing with difficult areas I would use a course salt to create the"grit" for scrubbing. It's not harmful and rinses away without worry and also does not scratch the glass. Anyone else tried or used this? CLR is amazing but I don't know what residue it leaves on items it cleans. So I use it very sparingly with lots of rinsing.

brancasterr 01-25-2011 12:43 PM

Okay, so CLR would be my best bet then?

I tried using rock salt and it removed only about 20 percent of the buildup after nearly 20 minutes of scrubbing. My arms are tired. Haha.

I can't use anything like diluted bleach or something similar?

I don't understand how no one has made an aquarium safe cleaner for stuff like this. It would be a big seller!

SeaHorse 01-25-2011 01:49 PM

Well I know that I clean the coffee pot out about 4 times running CLR thru and then 4 times again with vinegar in the water. Our water is extreemly hard. But our body volumes are so much bigger and could handle traces of the stuff. It's just a matter of how do you/can you, rinse it all off, and my biggest concern is what concentration of toxins would still be sitting in the "stuck on" bits that you didn't get off. Or in cracks and crevices. Lets hope more have used this and can share experiences.

brancasterr 01-25-2011 03:58 PM

I hope they do too.

Also, any idea on how to test tank for leaks? I'm filling it up to see if the water level goes down over night but I didn't know if there was an easier more effective way.

iamgray 01-25-2011 04:05 PM

When i leak tested my tank, I put it on top of a large piece of cardboard (so that I could see where the leak actually was, judging by the wet spot on the cardboard) and I filled it up in increments. So I filled it up a quarter of the way, waited overnight, checked for wet marks on the cardboard, marked the water level with a post-it note tab, filled it up to the halfway point, waited a day, and so on.

this way you determine not only which seam the leak occurs at, but also at what level. no leaks for me!

brancasterr 01-25-2011 04:14 PM

I just filled mine up all the way. So I guess the going in increment thing is out the window for me. Haha.

I'm banking on having no leaks!

There are a few scratches on the inside of one pane (will end up facing the wall) that I'm not happy about, but I got the tank for free so I can't complain one bit.

However, I will complain. Haha, the edging on the tank (which is usually black on most tanks) is a nasty shade of yellow. It looks like it was white at one point, but not any longer. Any ideas on how to cover this up? Could I paint it maybe? It's just so damn ugly!

Chickenfoot87 01-26-2011 07:51 PM

If you dont want to use chemicals you can just use a bit of elbow grease and an algae scrubber pad. You can get one at pretty much any pet store. Here is a link to one online so you know what one looks like.

Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Algae Scraper Pad for Acrylics - AAP44

If you dampen the scrubber and rub the stains they will come out. It will be tough work , I had to do it on 60+ tanks at Petsmart :P

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