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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 135 gallon aquarium with wood stand, wood canopy top, Rena Filstar XP4 canister filter, 300 watt heater, river rock substrate and lava rock. Its a nice tank but has this mildew/mold on the light strip and the inside of the canopy top, because the previous owner never used any hoods with this tank. It also has this thin film on the inside of the glass that makes the tank look murky and not crystal clear. I've been taking a straight edged razor to it, but it still doesn't come off completely in some spots. Is there any type of cleaner I can use to help get this mold off the canopy/light strip and film off the inside glass of the tank? Any tips are appreciated as this straight edge razor thing takes a very long time.

Oh yea, I plan on throwing some cichlids in this tank. Maybe some oscars, angel fish, jack dempseys, convicts, you know something along these lines.
 

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You could try filling the tank with water to loosen the stuff up, which might make it able to be removed with just an algae brush or at least with less effort from the razor. You could also try vinegar since the film could be hard water residue.

That fish stocking sounds fine but I wouldn't mix angels with those more aggressive cichlids.
 

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+one for vinegar and perhaps scotchbrite pad and or clean bristle brush . Vinegar is a weak acid that is very good at removing calcium or hardwater stains. Be sure and rinse that which you clean very good before filling the tank for fish.
Some stains just never seem to go away and in these instances ,I sometimes fill the tank with water until it covers the stained area and then see if it isn't less noticeable. Have had stains that were near invisible once the tank was filled.
Have also used a paste used by Jeweler's to polish jewelry on some tanks to polish the glass as well as clean it. Maybe a jeweler in your area could help?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ive tryed vinegar before and it does work a little bit. What about the mold/mildew on the light strip? Should I also use vinegar? I was thinking something more to help disinfect it because I don't want to be breathing this stuff in you know? Someone told me rubbing alcohol or even bleach are OK for the lightstrip because they evaporate after a while, but I don't want to use these strong chemicals without a second opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
OK, so vinegar did an alright job with some elbow grease.

What I did was take all the rock outta the tank completely, then rinsed the tank all out to make sure there wasn't any specks of gravel what so ever. After this I dried it with some towels and made sure it was completely dry. I then laid the tank down on the side that needed cleaning.

Next, I took an old spray bottle that didn't have any chemicals prior to its use, and put vinegar in it. I then sprayed it on the one side that the tank is now laying on and let it soak a little bit. After this I took a green scrubbing pad and scrubbed it with the vinegar. If it all didn't come off, I sprayed the spots that needed to be sprayed and repeat the steps. Some spots took me about 5 times.

When I got done with the scrubbing part, I took a damp wash cloth and wiped the glass panel, then I used a dry towel and wiped it dry.

After this I turned the tank over on its other side and did the next side. Keep in mind that you really do have to let that vinegar soak, and when you think its doing nothing you just have to be patient. This probably took me a good 4 or 5 hours.

Oh yea, it also didn't take the hard water stains completely off, but it made a noticeable difference. It was great for the murky stains though.
 

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Good to hear that it's working. All of this hard work will definitely pay off once you get this tank up and running.

Is the light strip/canopy thing also glass? If it's plastic it might be a good deal more difficult to clean.

Bleach does evaporate but just as an extra precaution you might want to rinse any parts cleaned with bleach that will be exposed to the tank water with water heavily dosed with dechlorinator.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
OK, so now I want to try and eliminate these lime buildup stains completely. What do you guys think about lemon or lime juice to take them away? I looked at the pH chart and lime juice is more acidic than vinegar, but is it too harsh? I don't want to harm my future fish, or weaken my silicone that holds the glass panels together. I mean, it sounds good though right....lime to take away lime buildup. haha Let me know, I love input
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh yea, the light strip is plastic and the canopy top is like a cherry wood with a nice finish, it matches the stand. Both have mold/mildew, and I haven't even gotten to them yet! They aren't really a rush because I need to get some glass hoods before I use them probably anyways, to prevent it from happening again you know.
 

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OK, so now I want to try and eliminate these lime buildup stains completely. What do you guys think about lemon or lime juice to take them away? I looked at the pH chart and lime juice is more acidic than vinegar, but is it too harsh? I don't want to harm my future fish, or weaken my silicone that holds the glass panels together. I mean, it sounds good though right....lime to take away lime buildup. haha Let me know, I love input

Would not use any acid stronger than vinegar for reasons you have already noted (silicone seals).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, so how long until I can put fish into this tank? I rinsed it for about 10 minutes in the back yard with the hose. Should I let it sit with water for a day and drain it a couple times to be on the safe side?
 

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If all you used was vinegar that shouldn't be necessary. Vinegar's just a really weak acid the the worst it's going to do, should any remain in the tank, is lower your pH and hardness a bit but I wouldn't even bet on that since you've rinsed it (and the volume of water is going to dilute it down quite a bit).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yea, vinegar is all I used. I tried to scrape some of these scuffs with the razor, but its as if they are stuck to the glass permanently. They aren't really noticeable when its filled up until you look at them from the side. Anyhow, I've given up on crystal clarity and am going to start cleaning the rock tomorrow. Heres some pics from the last time I filled it up. You guys will all probably tell me that it looks fine and I'm crazy, but the second pic is proof of the scuff! I swear it irks me! :shock:
 

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I would not place fish in the tank until the tank has (cycled). If you plan on cycling with a few small active fish such as blood fin tetras,sivertipped tetras, Pristella tetras ,or small danios, I would let the tank run with filter and heater for a week before adding the small fish to ensure everything is operating correctly.
For the scuff mark, I might paint that side of the tank (outside) ,with a sand colored paint and or place a plant or two there to help hide the spot. Tank looks good to me.
 
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