new/used tank - cleaning out left over water/chlorine scum - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 16 Old 10-28-2011, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
Re: new/used tank-cleaning out left over water/chlorine scum

Yesterday I poured in 2 gal of white vinegar to let it sit on the bottom, where the thickest layers of whitish deposit are. Today I can see clearly through the bottom of the tank, no scum. So, now I'm wanting to do the same process for all the other sides of this 72" x 18" x 24" behemoth. But that means sitting it at angles it may not be designed to handle. To get at the front and back sides I'm pretty sure it would be ok stress wise if I turned the empty aquarium forward laying it on it's face or back. What I'd more be concerned about is that, to get at soaking the ends it would require tilting the tank completely 90 deg sideways and standing it on it's 18" x 24" end glass, with the weight of 6 feet of aquarium towering above pressing down on it. Are these things built that tough that it would be ok to sit one on it's side like that for 24 hours?

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post #12 of 16 Old 10-28-2011, 10:03 AM
MinaMinaMina's Avatar
Different things work for different people, but here's my two cents.

I use 1:3 white vinegar/water solution in a new, unused spray bottle. You can also use it full strength of removal of deposits if they're really tough. The spray bottle lets me get the sides, etc. If its a really tough job- Instead of tilting the tank or sitting it on end, you could dampen plain white paper towels (no dyes) or cotton towels with the vinegar or vinegar solution, then drape those over the sides to sit against the glass. This will allow the vinegar solution to stay in contact with the glass and stay wetter longer. You can use the spray bottle to re-dampen as needed.

As mentioned, you can use the scrubbers sold for aquariums at pet stores, or a razor blade scrapper. You can use plain white paper towels. You can use cloth towels, but I send mine through the washer with only hot water and the dryer with no dryer sheets. Then I feel comfortable that there's no chemicals, etc on the towels. I also use dish washing clothes that have one side of scrubbing material. Know what I'm talking about? The microfiber ones are what I like best. I use the same laundering process on those as regular towels. I do NOT use regular household sponges! These are often treated with chemicals/cleaners!

And, as everybody else said, RINSE THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF IT!

So I wish you the best on this. I loath cleaning up even mild deposits, so I feel for ya! But it will be sooooooo worth it. Good luck!

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #13 of 16 Old 11-02-2011, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
As per the advice I've received I'm about to turn my tank over on each side so that I can soak all of em with a vinegar and water solution to break down hard water scum. But before I do this I want to silicone seal the top edge of the tank all the way around (sealing glass to the plastic ring at the top) to make sure I have no leaks. Is there any particular type of silicone I should use to do this? Or will just any old Home Depot style clear silicone caulk do the job?
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post #14 of 16 Old 11-03-2011, 07:48 AM
bearwithfish's Avatar
you want 100% silicone #1 (ge is the best one if you can find it) be sure it is not anti- anything and you are good... dont use caulk be sure its silicone

Back in the Game!!! Live Bearers in a 40 Breeder
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post #15 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 06:32 PM Thread Starter

This scum is some really tough stuff! I've had the aquarium with it's front side down soaking under a thin layer of 100% vinegar for 3 days, emptied it out, scrubbed it hard for 30 minutes with an glass safe scrubber I got at the aquarium shop, let it dry out and the scums still there! The glass actually looked fairly clear when the vinegar was in there. The scum seems to make itself apparent mostly only after the glass has dried.


Although the tank doesn't have many scratches on the inside (other than the bottom) the previous owner had been using it for keeping turtles. I would imagine the water level was fairly low allowing humidity to form toward the top, which is where the glass seems to be really stained. Not thick so much as it's just really hard to get off.

If there's no better advice I suppose the next thing I'll try is mounting the scrub pad to my drill, setting it on the glass and just spinning the crap out of it. It would be set flat against the glass just like if you were scrubbing by hand but it would be moving much faster.

Any more advice please?
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post #16 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 07:37 PM
I used #3 Novus polisher on mine. Used a hand held 2 speed buffer.
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