How to clean an old tank (55 gallon)

Dark_Rider2k3

I just got a very awesome 55 gal aquarium with a stand for 50 bucks on Craig's list!! I still am needing to get the hood/lights, but she has them for me for an additional 40 bucks, so i'm all set (the lights are practically brand new too!!)

My question is this:

Currently, I am removing the seals on the tank to put a new coat of aquarium sealant on it (it was leaking in a lot of spots so I decided to do the whole bottom of the tank ya know?). Afterward, the tank needs a good cleaning. It has all this... gunk on it.. almost like it's been used for a Saltwater tank (which I don't doubt it has.. the glass looks cloudy and almost like algae, but it's not.. don't know how to explain it.. the bottom of the tank is also like this..)

so, what can I use to clean the tank? I know soap is poisonous to fish, so any tips/suggestions?

I keep moving up in size LOL.. but this tank is very nice, and the stand is nice as well (though not as good as ones you can get in stores.. but hey! I don't mind at all..)

thanks everyone!!
 

kra-z-fishmumm

HI!
Have you scraped at it, scrubbed a little, etc... to see if it is hard to remove? lol You might just have to use the combo of a glass scaper and pad to get it off, plus a little good ole' fashion elbow grease. Good Luck
 

Dark_Rider2k3

no I didn't, as I was afraid of scratching the glass and making it more ugly lol..

i'll try it tomorrow
 

COBettaCouple

API makes some cleaning stuff that's safe for an aquarium cleaning like that.
 

peacemaker92

Can you get some pictures of it? Then we can see the condition and how dirty it looks... Then maybe we can help?
 

Dark_Rider2k3

yup here they are!


I have the top off as well.. it was very loose so I took it off to re-seal it on
 

kra-z-fishmumm

no I didn't, as I was afraid of scratching the glass and making it more ugly lol..

i'll try it tomorrow

I meant the scraper you get at the fish store. It does a nice job getting hard water residue off the top inside of my tank and I haven't noticed any scratches. I saw that API cleaner at my LFS,,, if you try it let us know how it worked! It doesn't look that bad!: Maybe they left it outside at some point. I agree it looks like salt, or it could be from hard water.
 

Dark_Rider2k3

hey!

The tank/stand was not left outside, so I'm guessing it is hard water... I wanted to say salt, but I really doubt it..

I'll be getting the API stuff tomorrow (hopefully). The sealant says it takes 48 hours before I can add water (gah!) so tomorrow I will be doing another water test of it and if all goes well, then I'll start cleaning it.

I know what you mean now (about the scrapers). I tried one that I had, but it won't easily come off....

I am posting up a work log of the tank in a sec too... I have the top on and it looks even better
 

Lucy

I know vinegar takes hard water stains off. I've never used it on an aquarium before so I don't know if it would be harmful to the future occupants.
Any thoughts on this, anyone?
 

Dark_Rider2k3

I just looked that up online, and someone asked that on yahoo answers. 3 different people answered that they use it in their tanks to clean them out (obviously when there is no fish present).

I would assume if you do that, you have to apply the vinegar to a scrubby pad (or the glass) and scrub at it, then rinse it thoroughly...
 

kra-z-fishmumm

I just looked that up online, and someone asked that on yahoo answers. 3 different people answered that they use it in their tanks to clean them out (obviously when there is no fish present).

I would assume if you do that, you have to apply the vinegar to a scrubby pad (or the glass) and scrub at it, then rinse it thoroughly...

Well, if the seal holds, the easiest way would be to fill it and then add the vinegar to the tank,,, let it sit for awhile and then wipe the sides. I clean my clear glasses and bowls this way (in a sink full of vinegar water). Rinsing it shouldn't be a problem, drain the vinegar, then fill about a third of the tank, sloshing etc... do this a couple of times.
Where did you post the work log?
 

Dark_Rider2k3

How much vinegar should I add?

I posted the worklog in the freshwater fish photos section since there are going to be a lot of pictures

here is the link:
 

kra-z-fishmumm

How much vinegar should I add?

I posted the worklog in the freshwater fish photos section since there are going to be a lot of pictures

here is the link:

I use 1/4 cup of vinegar in a sink full of water,,,not sure how you would convert that for the tank lol???
 

Dark_Rider2k3

hmmm haha idk.. I may just wing it tomorrow... I'll just wash the tank it thoroughly when I'm done
 

peacemaker92

Cool! The tank looks nice! Good luck!
 

Dark_Rider2k3

Thanks a lot!

Today I finished painting the stand, and water tested the aquarium. The tank has a VERY small leak spot that is an easy fix, though it's not really losing any water.

I also am trying to remove the hard water residue, though this is not so easy. I tried the white vinegar... no luck.. I tried scraping it.. no luck...

any ideas?
 

kra-z-fishmumm

Thanks a lot!

Today I finished painting the stand, and water tested the aquarium. The tank has a VERY small leak spot that is an easy fix, though it's not really losing any water.

I also am trying to remove the hard water residue, though this is not so easy. I tried the white vinegar... no luck.. I tried scraping it.. no luck...

any ideas?

Did you let the vinegar water sit for a while? It needs/ takes time for it to work. If it didn't, use more vinegar, but be sure to let it sit for a few hours.
 

Dark_Rider2k3

Okay I'll try more vinegar haha... I only let it sit for like.. an hour.. so maybe that's why...

oh, and does anyone know about that CLR stuff? calicum lime remover? Is that harmful to the tank? I know that gets rid of stuff like this with ease... but I don't need to poison my fish LOL

edit:

Well it was about to rain, so I went to check to see if the vinegar was working, but it wasn't... when I wiped down the sides nothing happened.....

I had to drain it and get it inside... it's about to thunder/lightning...
 

kra-z-fishmumm

Okay I'll try more vinegar haha... I only let it sit for like.. an hour.. so maybe that's why...

oh, and does anyone know about that CLR stuff? calicum lime remover? Is that harmful to the tank? I know that gets rid of stuff like this with ease... but I don't need to poison my fish LOL

edit:

Well it was about to rain, so I went to check to see if the vinegar was working, but it wasn't... when I wiped down the sides nothing happened.....

I had to drain it and get it inside... it's about to thunder/lightning...

Hmm, I would be nervous trying the CLR, it is hard to rinse off (imo), but hopefully someone else has a idea!
 

Redtail_Shark14

Hey buddy did you try vinegar and NEWSPAPER??? that might do the trick newspaper is really good stuff to clean tanks with we use vinegar and newspaper to clean all glass things down at the pet store I work at. give it a try and tell me how it went.
 

Dark_Rider2k3

wait newspaper?

Explain please LOL
 

peacemaker92

Ok, weird... How can the vinegar not work? Do you know where the tank has been before you bought it?
 

Dark_Rider2k3

I don't know but I feel like I may be doing it wrong or something (though it's just my guess that I am...)

Here is what I did (with the vinegar):

1. Filled tank up completely with water
2. Added in vinegar
3. Waited like.. 2 hours..
4. Got a scrubby pad and scrubbed at the walls


Maybe i'm not using enough vinegar.. I might just dump in like.. a lot of the vinegar I have... I have about 1/4 of it left... so let me know if that's too much...

The tank has been in a closet they said. They were going to use it but never did.. and now they are moving and had to sell it.

edit:

The water I am using is also pretty cold.. it's not hot water.. is that another reason why it's not working?
 

zeebo

HI Dark_Rider2k3,

Its probably not water marks as a mixture of vinegar and 2 drops of detergent will remove them (mix together in a spray bottle; spray at water marks; leave it for a while; then scrub). We have used it successfully.

It could be scratches. See below.


Good Luck.
 

tzqng8

maybe take a look at ?

I dunno man, hope you get it figured out. That could be a real nice tank.
 

Dark_Rider2k3

Hey Zeebo!

Thanks for that idea. I am going to try the spray bottle method now.

I can guarantee that it is not scratches. If you look @ the pictures, it definitely isn't scratch marks...

edit:

I didn't notice your post TZ (sorry). Thanks for the link to the lime-off. If none of this work I'll get that stuff..

I just sprayed off the inside and am going to leave it... gotta run to the store so it should be ready when I return...

edit2:

spraying vinegar with the drops of detergent directly on the glass, and then scrubbing did not work
 

roxanne

clr will get it off but i'm almost positive it will harm your future fishes unless you are abosolutely sure every bit is removed.. I personally don't think it's worth the risk.... i'm not sure if leaves a residue behind or not.
 

Redtail_Shark14

Newspaper is the best stuff for glass it shines and doesn't leave a mess. the vinegar should be at room temp. when you use it.
 

Dark_Rider2k3

Thanks, I'll try them as well..

This is getting really frustrating lol... I tried scraping it some more with my dad and we both came to the conclusion that it's not coming off with any of the scrapers or razors that we have...

i'll try the other things, next, and then if that fails i'm going out to get the stuff made by Jungle...

this is crazy LOL.. it's the only thing stopping me from setting the tank up
 

Lucy

I'm surprised the vinegar didn't work. You might want to try a higher concentration.
I'd be very wary of any detergents.
 

Dark_Rider2k3

I'm surprised the vinegar didn't work. You might want to try a higher concentration.
I'd be very wary of any detergents.

I've tried (which is probably bad) vinegar at full strength and it's still there.

I don't think it looks as bad as it used to, but still there and still noticeable..
 

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