Hard Water Stains on Fish tank

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by primobryan, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. primobryanValued MemberMember

    The title says it all, I bought a used tank that hasn't been used over a year or at least the previous owner claims that and from everything I tried I feels like the tank hasn't been used for over a decade. I never had this problem before most of my tanks I had purchased used with water stains, some vinegar and warm water followed by some scrubbing and scrapping got the job done enough to be noticeable, this tank I tried the vinegar with water method 4 times a day every 15-30 minutes for over a week and you can see patches that don't have stains anymore but it's not noticeable unless your the one scrubbing, I've had family tell me "your still scrubbing that tank I can't even tell the difference". Now something to ponder as well, I used this industrial liquid only on the lids since they aren't going inside the tank. This liquid is a corrosive and irritant I merely misted my hand on accident within a few minutes my hand was red and after washing my hands it's been over an hour and I still feel irritation on my hands and this liquid removes about half the stains on the lid so it's probably most effective but I can't use it in my tank, so if this liquid can remove the majority of stains but not all what natural remedy can remove the stains see where I'm going with this, vinegar was probably 10% effective with a razor about 20% the industrial liquid 55% effective, nearly x3 more effective yet it still cant remove the stains completely so my question to you guys what can I do? Vinegar ain't cutting it neither is this industrial liquid which is by far way more effective, it just sucks I can't use this liquid. My friend who gave me a batch of this liquid he recommended to never mix it with chlorine as it may cause an explosion now I don't believe it but I'm not dumb enough to try it, I will try to find the name of this liquid though for now its liquid x
  2. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    You can get extra strength vinegar, I see it sold as cleaning vinegar these days. If I were you I would apply hot vinegar-soaked cloths to the deposits and leave it for longer than 15 minutes. If there's any way to keep the heat up, too, that would help by speeding up the reactions.
  3. primobryanValued MemberMember

    Alright thanks I'll try that today and the industrial liquid is known as a descaling and deliming liquid it's mainly used to remove water stain from windows
  4. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    The industrial stuff should just be a strong acid, stronger than vinegar. I just checked the label on the coffee machine descaler and it contains citric acid plus another ingredient but not sure what that's for. Perhaps it provides a texture that helps with breaking up the crust:;dk
  5. primobryanValued MemberMember

    It does help alot I but I'm not sure if it's aquarium safe or if the acid will degrade my silicone seal, although I do plan rinsing it with hot water for a while and I might just remove the silicone and apply new silicone just so I don't have to worry about it leaking over the years since I don't know how old the tank is and from the look of it, seems as if this tank was silicone injected because there are no beams of silicone visible on the edges and I leaked tested the tank for 4 days outside on hot days which could have worn the silicone especially when the water inside the tank is at +90℉
  6. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Vinegar should do the trick, just leave it to soak a lot longer and maybe invest in the extra strong stuff, labelled either for cleaning or for pickling.
  7. scottishduckValued MemberMember

    Chemist / Fellow current tank restorer (bought a couple last week).

    Bar Keepers Friend

    Get the tank moist, sprinkle it on the surface and rub with non-abrasive cloth.

    Active ingredient in vinegar is acetic acid - pKa of 4.75.
    Active ingredient in Bar Keepers Friend is oxalic acid - pKas of about 1.25 and 4.25...

    If those numbers don't make sense... oxalic acid is about 3000 times more acidic than acetic acid. [10^(4.75-1.25)]

    It's made specifically as a cleaning agent for things like drinkware - glass that needs to stay spotless and non-toxic.

    It's what I plan to use when I finally restore my tanks. Just gotta make sure it's all rinsed out (but that's the same with vinegar).

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  8. primobryanValued MemberMember

    Sounds good

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