Soap Residue In Tank - I Need Advice

Discussion in 'Cleaning and Maintenance' started by Gurs Singh, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. Gurs SinghValued MemberMember

    So i bought a used 30 gallon fish tank, it was really dirty so i used soap to clean it. Today i took water from the 30 gallon fish tank to get it tested. Petco said everything is good except the PH. It was very high, i think because i used the soap to clean the fish tank, it left residue in the tank, the petco employee told me to do a 50% water change, i did the 50 % water change, what should i do now? How do i get rid of the soap residue and lower the ph?
  2. Repolie

    RepolieWell Known MemberMember

    You shouldn't have cleaned it with soap, as the residue of soap can harm fish especially if it was a scented soap. To get rid of soap, I'd continuously scrub it with a new sponge with water and rinse everything out again very good. As for PH, I don't know if soap affects PH, so can't help you with that.
  3. OP

    Gurs SinghValued MemberMember

    Is there a chance water changes will lower the ph ? And can water changes get rid of the soap residue? ,

  4. bryangar

    bryangarWell Known MemberMember

    I would take the tank outside and rinse it a few times and let it dry. I would also stop getting your water tested at petco, invest in the API master liquid kit. It’ll help you out while you cycle your new tank. Im not sure if the soap is affecting your water but if once you rinse it well, don’t try to change your water parameters by using chemicals. It’s better to have stable parameters than ideal.
  5. Discus-Tang

    Discus-TangWell Known MemberMember

    Do you know what your pH is exactly? I would advise against going to stores to test as they can be innacurate & they will try to sell you stuff. Instead get the API master freshwater kit.

    What fish were you planning for?

  6. Repolie

    RepolieWell Known MemberMember

    Water changes don't really lower the PH as the tap water should be the same PH as the tank water.
  7. RSababady

    RSababadyWell Known MemberMember

    Good point.

    @Gurs Singh Have your tap water tested at the lfs. You need to know what the parameters of the water that you are putting into your tank are to understand its effect on your tank.

    what does "very high pH" actually mean in numbers? Can you quantify the value please? A high pH means that your water is alkaline or very hard.

    The pH in your tank could be going up in your tank for a number of reasons. If you have a lot of soluble rock in the tank (i.e. soft stone that is calcium based), that will raise your pH. If you measure the pH at the end of the day, then it will be 0.3-0.4 points higher then in the morning (so you always need to take the sample for testing from tank at the same time of day for comparison purposes).

    You can also call your council water supply and ask them for the current water parameters - they monitor it constantly and will be able to indicate what the average pH level is.
  8. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    So some quick data for you from an actual chemist (me)

    Yes soap will raise you pH. That soapy feel on your hands.......slippery feeling that's a base.

    All you have to do is rinse your tank out with a garden hose. I do this ALL the time when I buy used tanks I scrub them with dawn degreasing dish soap. Then they get the hose again.

    As for your city waters parameters your city water pH will be between 6.5-8.5. That whole range is safe for fish btw. Alot of fish keepers have their pH what some people would call high.

    Soaps are usually around 9-10 pH units so your tap water is lower. Also if you rinse all the soap out then you are not having a pH indication from soap.
    As others have said dont test your water at petco/petsmart either get that api master kit alot of people like or get a digital testing kit.
  9. Mcasella

    McasellaFishlore VIPMember

    Vinegar can be used to cut the soap residue, it washes out easier - bleach or vinegar are better than soap to use to clean a tank as they come out much easier (bleach, just toss some prime into the water if you are worried it is still there, vinegar dilutes with water very easily and rinsing takes it out).
    Stable ph is better than one that is fluctuating due to chemicals or other additives most fish stores will try to sell you. My ph is 7.6 across the board for 12 tanks, i even have some wild caught fish that are doing just fine in that ph.
  10. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    As the others have said, make sure your really rinse that tank good, since soap in the water will kill fish. I also strongly agree that you should get yourself an API Master Test Kit for Freshwater.

    I'm kinda curious how the Petco employee was able to determine that soap residue raised your pH. Does the Petco employee know what the pH of your tap water is? You really need to be careful with the advice given out at fish stores. Once in a while you'll get someone who knows what they are talking about, but more often than not you get someone who hasn't a clue. But the thing is, they talk with such authority they trick you into thinking they know what they are saying.

    Just last night I was very pleasantly surprised when I was going to purchase a couple of fish and wanted two males. The salesgirl asked me which ones were males and I jokingly said, )but I'm not sure she realized I was just teasing her) "You work in the fish store, shouldn't you be telling me?". She replied "Hey, I don't know everything". Now that was the correct answer, and that's why I like this fish store so much, the employees are not afraid to say I don't know.
  11. OP

    Gurs SinghValued MemberMember

    Ph was over 8 , it was very blue, and 5 rosy barbs and 2 pristella tetra

    Water ph was over 8 , the color was very bluee

    And no the tank has only water and about 7 pounds of gravel from my other tank and my other tank ph is 7.1

    Thank you so much , i will empty the whole tank and rise and dry many times

    The guy at petco tested the water with the api kit and he said its very high over 8 , he said soap has ph like this, then i told him i washed the tank with soap , he said maybe thats why its so high, he said do a 50% water change
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2018
  12. david1978

    david1978Fishlore VIPMember

    Just for reference petco told me my ph was high as well. I laughed since i know my ph is 7.2-7.4. Yea high. Lol.
    But any way. Yea its on the higher side but as far as being an issue it wont be unless you get some of the fish that require a certain ph and are fussy about. Most fish commonly found in the aquarium trade do just fine in most ph levels as long as they are acclimated properly. Some do like a lower ph so just do some research on your fish you are buying as their are many that actually prefer a high ph.
  13. OP

    Gurs SinghValued MemberMember

    I already fish in a 20 gallon tank that i will move into the 30 gallon. Its 5 rosy barbs and 2 Pristella tetra, i will buy more of each also
  14. david1978

    david1978Fishlore VIPMember

    Is the ph in this tank different from the other one?
  15. OP

    Gurs SinghValued MemberMember

    Hmm good question, the first time i got the ph in that tank out it was good only ammonia was high , ph was good, this water in the 30 gallon tank i got it from a fish store , three guy said its freshwater, but i think the ph is high because i used soap to clean the tank
  16. david1978

    david1978Fishlore VIPMember

    oops missed the one about your other tank being 7.1. So yea definatly something is going on. I would rinse it real good and start over as others suggested. I was just looking for a point of reference such as ph of tap or another tank for comparitve reasons. Hopefully rinsing it helps, it should. Good luck.
  17. OP

    Gurs SinghValued MemberMember

    Thank you :)

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