Cleaning Up An Old Aquarium

Dena

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Hey Everyone,
I am slowly becoming a fish hobbyist and am really enjoying the journey. I got my first Betta in a 5 gallon tank a few months ago and to-date he is strong and happy! I found your site while setting it up and have learned so much that I am now itching to get something bigger started. My parents have a tank they had set up a good 10+ years ago and I am wondering if I could clean it up and get it going again. I can invest in new filters, substrate, plants, light, etc. but is there any specific prep work I would need to do, any concerns about it being an older tank, and any other thoughts from the experts about this topic? Also, how big of a tank (gallons) would you estimate this tank to be?
 

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endlercollector

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The main thing is to check if the silicone seals are still good as they are the first to go, especially if it has been left in a place where the temperatures have varied a lot. There are people here who are comfortable with resealing tanks, but I myself am not. Anyway, put it in a place where you can test it over a period of a day and fill it with water. If you can put some newspaper under it, that will help you check for slow leaks.

Once it passes the leak test, gently remove any mineral deposits with vinegar and a plastic pan scraper. After rinsing and wiping off, you can then spray it inside and out with 70% rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Let sit for 10 min and rinse or even just let air dry, and then it'll be ready to use.

It looks like a bowfront--here's a link to a calculator to figure out the gallons:
 

PheonixKingZ

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Make shure it has no leaks(fill it up to the top with water and see if it leaks or not), it looks to be about 5-10 gallons, but I’m going with my gut instinct of a 5 gal. Tank. Do not use any chemicals( soap, sponges that have had soap on them before etc,) to clean your fish tank. Use as hot of water as you can stand and start scrubbing!! Make shure to get in all the corners, and all the sides. As far as the plants/gravel I would get new ones to freshen up the tank!!(although it’s not a nesesity) What kind of fish do you want to get??
 
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Dena

Dena

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Used the bow front tank calculator and it looks like it’s 20 gallons (I think my picture was at a bad angle to determine size).

Thanks for the info, going to fill it up now and see what happens.

I agreee on getting new gravel, plants, etc.

And as far as what type of fish, I haven't even thought that far yet, figured I would worry about getting it set up and cycled before I started digging into that. I have spent some time on the freshwater fish type forum on here but nothing too serious so I am interested in any suggestions for a freshwater beginner in a 20 gallon tank!
 
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Dena

Dena

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Probably planning on adding a heater. Here is a pic of the original light, no idea if it still works or not but any feedback on if I should get a new light too regardless of if this one works?

Thanks for the fish ideas, I am filling it up with water now to test the silicone and things are looking good so far so I may be looking into types of fish sooner rather than later. Here is another picture of it for better perspective.
 

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PheonixKingZ

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Wow!! It looks bigger in that picture!! You should test the light. And about the fish......I would recommend getting 6 Zebra Danios, 5 KuhliI Loaches, some mystery snail, and maybe some amano shrimp. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask!!
 

ChrisGee

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Beautiful looking tank - that will be nice with a community in it - I have an obsession with platies right now - they are pretty and hardy and there are so many variations. This is the side view of my 28g bowfront.
xf36Cwt9TZOY9K%6TRlwUQ.jpg
 
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Dena

Dena

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So I am still attempting to get this aquarium cleaned up but the scrapper and vinegar isn’t really working.
I found this you tube video that seems promising


But it uses Bar Keepers Friend to get the water deposits off. Has anyone tried this? Any feedback or suggestions?
 

Jellibeen

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Is it a glass tank? You can use a razor to scrape any debris off. Unless that’s what you are already using... They are in the paint section of the hardware store and often come with a little handle for ease of use.
 
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It’s acrylic. I have a scrapper that I was using with vinegar but it’s just not really working.
 

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