So I just got a used 10gal from a friend, now what? How to I prep this thing?

April R

So I got this used 10 gal from a friend of mine. It come with a one bulb florecent hood, it's acrylic, has an unused AquaClear foam pad and unused AquaClear Ammonia Remover insert for an AquaClear filter all of which looks great and useable, and is full of used gravel and decor I am not going to keep. I am not sure how I should clean it to get it ready to cycle. Please advise.
Thanks!

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Nikita

You can use a 10% chlorine bleach solution to scrub everything down with and use a razor to get an extra stuff off. If you are to use a bleach solution, make sure RINSE the heck out of it multiple times. In the final rinse you can use some dechlorinator to help get rid of whatever chlorine is left. I've done this method quite a few times without failure
 

atc84

good find I would test to make sure it all works properly. How long was the aquarium dry? I bet the gravel still has bacteria on it. Putting in tank water, filter media, and substrate are all great ideas to cycle (if your other tank has some available).
 

April R

You can use a 10% chlorine bleach solution to scrub everything down with and use a razor to get an extra stuff off. If you are to use a bleach solution, make sure RINSE the heck out of it multiple times. In the final rinse you can use some dechlorinator to help get rid of whatever chlorine is left. I've done this method quite a few times without failure

great advice! Will do
 

jdhef

You can use a 10% chlorine bleach solution to scrub everything down with and use a razor to get an extra stuff off. If you are to use a bleach solution, make sure RINSE the heck out of it multiple times. In the final rinse you can use some dechlorinator to help get rid of whatever chlorine is left. I've done this method quite a few times without failure

I usually recommend 1 part bleach to 19 parts water, but 10% (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) should be okay. But after rinsing until you no longer smell any bleach, fill the tank with water that is overdosed with dechlorinator, then enpty the tank and you should be good to go.

But I do not recommend using a razor with an akrylic tank. A razor will cause scratches.
 

April R

good find I would test to make sure it all works properly. How long was the aquarium dry? I bet the gravel still has bacteria on it. Putting in tank water, filter media, and substrate are all great ideas to cycle (if your other tank has some available).
I plan on using some of the tank water squeezed from the filter pad in my current tank and when I do my next water change adding 50% of that to this new tank. I am so excited to get this set up for a betta. I even have a Java fern and a Marimo ball in my old tank I want to put in the new one. I am also thinking about getting some kind of floating plant as well. I also have some cute coffee cups I think will be fun for the betta to swim in and out of.

I am not going to reuse the gravel since I think it looks too rough for the betta, but I do have some Onyx sand left from my 20gal set up that I am going to line the bottom with and then top with those nifty glass pebbles.
 

junebug

Don't use a razor. You'll scratch the acrylic.

Instead, turn the tank on each side and let some distilled vinegar soak on it, then do the bottom. wipe it all off with a clean paper towel. Then bleach the thing with about 1:10 bleach to water ratio. Then spray the whole thing down with 70% or higher rubbing alcohol solution and let it sit for a few minutes.

THEN, rinse the heck out of it and let the whole thing dry.

You can soak the filter in vinegar, then bleach solution, then spray it down with the rubbing alcohol. I would throw out any used media it might have and definitely bin the gravel and any decor you don't feel you can sanitize.

Then comes the fun part. If it's acrylic, it should be watertight unless there's a crack somewhere. I would still fill it up with water (in your garage, porch, somewhere you don't risk flooding your house) and let it sit for a few days before I'd trust it to be watertight.

Looking at the pictures, I see what looks like silicone seals, which would mean the tank is glass, not acrylic. So you'll definitely want to test it for watertightness.

Edit: Squeezing water from your old tank into the new one will not cycle it. Just FYI
 

atc84

Edit: Squeezing water from your old tank into the new one will not cycle it. Just FYI

Yes, but it will help somewhat.

I have a quick question: What is the purpose in doing high chemical washes for used aquariums? Algae or bacterial? I mean unless the tank had a major disease outbreak, all of the common fish diseases exist in the aquarium, therefore cleaning the tank won't decrease the chances of disease. However, stress causes fish to catch them easier. And in comparison algae would probably just come off with some scrubbing.
 

junebug

If it's my own tank, I don't even rinse it out. If it's a used tank that I get from unknown origins, I want to make sure there are no nasties on the glass before I put the fish in. I use rubbing alcohol to sanitize my tanks, but use of both eliminates more than just bacteria.

"common fish diseases" aren't in all water. They are in water that contains fish, if the fish are infected. If you get a fish from a clean environment, it won't have exposure to any diseases. I mean would you knowingly expose your fish to columnaris, regardless of if they've had it before or not?

Both bleach and rubbing alcohol are aquarium safe when used properly, so there's no reason not to clean the tank. This way you get rid of viruses, parasitic spores, and gram negative bacterium, none of which you want in your tank.

Edit: April, if you want a really easy way to instant cycle your tank, stick an extra sponge in your existing tank right now. Put it in the filter somewhere to get seeded, then when you get the fish for this tank, move it over and bam, instacycle.
 

atc84

I guess what I was trying to say was fish diseases are unavoidable, in the sense that were there are fish, there are diseases, but yes of course cleaning the glass will help drastically. I've picked up a fish tank from a friend before, and never thought to purge the glass; it seemed excessive.
 

TheBettaBar

Yes, at some point, every fish will get sick with something. BUT would you rather it be, say, fungus, which can come from basically anywhere or just appear spontaneously and is easily treatable, or something like mycobacterium triplex, which is fatal, incurable, highly contagious, transmittable to humans, and can survive being completely dried out for months? Hence the bleach-alcohol routine.
 

junebug

^ what she said
 

endlercollector

Wish I had friend who'd give me a 10-gallon now, but I have a feeling that hubby has already told everyone not to encourage me!

I use nylon pan scrapers after letting the vinegar sit for a bit on the hard water deposits.
 

slade

While you're cleaning up the tank and setting it up, why not put the filter on your old tank to start building some BB.
Enjoy.
 

atc84

Yes, at some point, every fish will get sick with something. BUT would you rather it be, say, fungus, which can come from basically anywhere or just appear spontaneously and is easily treatable, or something like mycobacterium triplex, which is fatal, incurable, highly contagious, transmittable to humans, and can survive being completely dried out for months? Hence the bleach-alcohol routine.

makes sense. Although TB is the extreme side. If an aquarium did become in that kind of situation, from what i've seen they come after weeks, months or beyond of setup. Couldn't we assume that if it did come from the glass, it would've affected the fish from day 1(since the fish would be most stressed during this period)?

On the other hand, TB may act "dormant" until bam, things get messy. Based on this, we see that it could come from the dry glass. From a quick google search, it's apparent it's very misdiagnosed, and there is no reason why it comes up.

My conclusion is that interaction with different sources of aquarium equipment etc. increases the chances of basically all diseases. Since cleaning everything (besides fish and maybe plants) is the only controllable variable, it makes perfect sense to lower the chances of unfortunate outbreaks.

yes, this is a tangent, ignore if you want xD
 

April R

Don't use a razor. You'll scratch the acrylic.

Instead, turn the tank on each side and let some distilled vinegar soak on it, then do the bottom. wipe it all off with a clean paper towel. Then bleach the thing with about 1:10 bleach to water ratio. Then spray the whole thing down with 70% or higher rubbing alcohol solution and let it sit for a few minutes.

THEN, rinse the heck out of it and let the whole thing dry.

You can soak the filter in vinegar, then bleach solution, then spray it down with the rubbing alcohol. I would throw out any used media it might have and definitely bin the gravel and any decor you don't feel you can sanitize.

Then comes the fun part. If it's acrylic, it should be watertight unless there's a crack somewhere. I would still fill it up with water (in your garage, porch, somewhere you don't risk flooding your house) and let it sit for a few days before I'd trust it to be watertight.

Looking at the pictures, I see what looks like silicone seals, which would mean the tank is glass, not acrylic. So you'll definitely want to test it for watertightness.

Edit: Squeezing water from your old tank into the new one will not cycle it. Just FYI

It's def acrylic, not glass. Thing was light as a feather and had little scratches all over it, but nothing that bothers me
 

jdhef

I plan on using some of the tank water squeezed from the filter pad in my current tank and when I do my next water change adding 50% of that to this new tank.

While squeezing the filter pad into the new tank may help a little, I wouldn't count on it doing much. Also, since the bacteria isn't free floating in the water, adding water from your other tank will only increase the nitrate level of the betta tank, so your better off not doing that and using tap water instead.
 

April R

Don't use a razor. You'll scratch the acrylic.

Instead, turn the tank on each side and let some distilled vinegar soak on it, then do the bottom. wipe it all off with a clean paper towel. Then bleach the thing with about 1:10 bleach to water ratio. Then spray the whole thing down with 70% or higher rubbing alcohol solution and let it sit for a few minutes.

THEN, rinse the heck out of it and let the whole thing dry.

You can soak the filter in vinegar, then bleach solution, then spray it down with the rubbing alcohol. I would throw out any used media it might have and definitely bin the gravel and any decor you don't feel you can sanitize.

Then comes the fun part. If it's acrylic, it should be watertight unless there's a crack somewhere. I would still fill it up with water (in your garage, porch, somewhere you don't risk flooding your house) and let it sit for a few days before I'd trust it to be watertight.

Looking at the pictures, I see what looks like silicone seals, which would mean the tank is glass, not acrylic. So you'll definitely want to test it for watertightness.

Edit: Squeezing water from your old tank into the new one will not cycle it. Just FYI

I was wrong, it is glass...Derp
 

endlercollector

I was wrong, it is glass...Derp

I hope you didn't find out the hard way!
 

April R

Oh no, I just realized junebug was right. It is obviously glass with the silicon seals.
I have the tank all scrubbed and cleaned out. I am also making my own gravel mix with glass vase beads. I am so excited to see how this comes together. And if I don't win the ROAK contest for the betta, I can always use this tank for any fry my guppies have.
 

junebug

Lol!

It's no big deal though, cleaning is the same, just make sure to do a watertightness check.
 

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