Used Aquarium As A Sump

DivingBellSpider

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Hello all,
Recently I bought a used 29 gallon that I’m planning on using as a sump from a guy on an aquarium forum. He said that no chemicals had been used in it, and the prior use was to cure live rock. I have no reason not to believe him, but as this is my first foray into saltwater aquariums, I’m a bit nervous. Is there a way to test it to make sure it’s safe? It was a little dusty and dirty, but didn’t smell like anything. I rinsed it out, and used a little rubbing alcohol, and it looks like new. I was thinking of it as a quarantine tank for new fish in my FW aquarium to test it. Would that be sufficient to test it? Am I just kind of worrying for nothin? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

Jonathon001

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You should be fine. Glass won't really absorb any chemicals. The silicone in the joints could I suppose but look at the colour. Is it still clear? Does it have a blue or greenish tint to it? Copper and some other medications tend to stain the silicon a blueish or greenish colour. If it's coloured that could mean those chemicals were used in it at some point, but I still don't think it would be a huge problem. If in doubt you could take some fresh silicone and go over the joints with a layer to seal it. Just be sure to use silicone I and not silicone II. The first is pure silicone and safe for aquariums, the second has other additives in it and is not considered aquarium safe.
 

Jesterrace

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Hello all,
Recently I bought a used 29 gallon that I’m planning on using as a sump from a guy on an aquarium forum. He said that no chemicals had been used in it, and the prior use was to cure live rock. I have no reason not to believe him, but as this is my first foray into saltwater aquariums, I’m a bit nervous. Is there a way to test it to make sure it’s safe? It was a little dusty and dirty, but didn’t smell like anything. I rinsed it out, and used a little rubbing alcohol, and it looks like new. I was thinking of it as a quarantine tank for new fish in my FW aquarium to test it. Would that be sufficient to test it? Am I just kind of worrying for nothin? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
The best thing for your peace of mind is to clean and sanitize it yourself. A tapwater/distilled white vinegar mix (fine to use tapwater at the cleaning stage) with 2 gallons of white distilled vinegar and let it soak for a few days. This will kill pretty much any residual nasties if there are any and help clean up the sump tank for you. Then simply scrub down and drain and then spray out really well. Then wipe down completely and let air dry for at least 24 hours. It should be good to go after this and the good news is that if there is any trace amounts of vinegar it won't hurt anything in the tank. Hence why it is such a popular choice. If you are really paranoid about it you can do the one/two punch of a tapwater/bleach mix and then follow it with the distilled white vinegar/tapwater mix as NOTHIING WILL SURVIVE THAT. I've used both methods to sanitize used tanks with no issues. BTW the standard 29 gallon tank is the size of my sump so if you need any ideas let me know as I have some vids with my setup.
 
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DivingBellSpider

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The best thing for your peace of mind is to clean and sanitize it yourself. A tapwater/distilled white vinegar mix (fine to use tapwater at the cleaning stage) with 2 gallons of white distilled vinegar and let it soak for a few days. This will kill pretty much any residual nasties if there are any and help clean up the sump tank for you. Then simply scrub down and drain and then spray out really well. Then wipe down completely and let air dry for at least 24 hours. It should be good to go after this and the good news is that if there is any trace amounts of vinegar it won't hurt anything in the tank. Hence why it is such a popular choice. If you are really paranoid about it you can do the one/two punch of a tapwater/bleach mix and then follow it with the distilled white vinegar/tapwater mix as NOTHIING WILL SURVIVE THAT. I've used both methods to sanitize used tanks with no issues. BTW the standard 29 gallon tank is the size of my sump so if you need any ideas let me know as I have some vids with my setup.

Thanks! And actually, yeah. I’d like ideas on the setup, if you could link those videos. How I want to set up the sump is probably the biggest anxiety of this whole thing
 

Jesterrace

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This one is on the basic function of the sump, so it's a bit of a newbie walkthrough so that might be useful:


I also have added a refugium in my largest partition in my sump for Chaeto and Pod growth. Chaeto is macro algae that helps consume nitrates and phosphates and pods are good all around cleaners for the tank:

 
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