Cleaning up after soap residue?


Not exactly sure where to ask this so I'm sorry if this isn't the right place ^^

I've tried looking the infomation up but all I can find is "DON"T ASK TANKS WITH DISHSOAP" - which isn't very helpful right now since I knew this to begin with. When my father first started getting his tank ready a few years ago he washed it with the dishsoap - thankfully my mother knew soap =/= not good so it's been in the garage ever since. Ideally I'd like to set it up (and I still need to find a little more infomation) for a betta .. or if 5 gallon is going to be enough room put a divider in there. But my question is - the tank is pretty much "new", its only been collecting dust since my father washed it - is there any way to clean out any of the soap residue so I can start using the tank? I've heard some people say you can just rinse it out with cold water and other say to use vinegar but I don't know these people, I don't know if its something they've just heard themselves or what so just to be on the safe side, I figured I'd ask here to be 100% sure.


I'm not sure, but I guess if you really really really ... rinse it A LOT and let it dry thoroughly in the sun, it should be OK. But please wait to hear others' opinions as well.


As Isabella said, lots and lots of water. If you have a shower with a head attached to a hose, I'd set it upside down in the tub with the showerhead facing up into the tank. Use hot water, it dissolves the soap better.
I would then fill the tank, all the way to the top, then pour about a quarter cup of bleach in. MAKE ABSOLUTE SURE THAT IT IS STRAIGHT, UN-SCENTED BLEACH! It's easy to neutralize the chlorine, not so easy to neutralize additives. Let it sit for awhile, maybe overnight. The bleach should break the dish soap down.
Empty the tank, refill, and put a bunch of de-chlorinator, I would say 10 times the normal amount, into the water. Again, let it sit overnight (just to be sure. This step should actually be pretty close to instant).
Empty, rinse, repeat.
Once you begin using the tank, be sure to stock it slowly. I would start with only one fish (after you've cycled the tank, an inability to cycle may indicate remaining soap). If the fish is doing well after a week, it's pretty much guaranteed that you got all the soap out, since the effects of soap poisoning are pretty immediate.

Good luck


sounds like a good plan for getting it ready. I don't think i'd divide it though.
  • Thread Starter


Whew, I was afraid the tank would be deemed unuseable ^^; Thank you very much. I've a few projects about to get started so this'll give me something to do while I'm waiting for my 22g to cycle (just a few more days beore the rest of the stuff gets here and I can start! yays).

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