View Full Version : Fish People, another question: Safely cleaning tank and accessories?

Silver Fire
01-21-2005, 02:20 PM
I'm selling my tank. It's sad and stuff, but it's going to my mom so I still get to visit. I have not great water though, and this thing has been collecting mineral deposits for nearly a year; the heater, the aeration system, the outside of the filter, the hood, etc. My mom mentioned a bath filled with scalding hot water and some CLR to soak, but she wasn't sure if everything could be rinsed thoroughly enough to prevent harm to the fish. So I told her I'd ask you guys.

And now I am. Thoughts?

Details: It's a 29 gallon, freshwater tank. She has another tank (umm, 12 gallons maybe*?) that she'll use to hold the fish while we clean this one and get it set up, and she knows about the 48 hour wait. She's super excited. Me, not so much. I'll miss my fish and I'm taking a nearly hundred dollar loss. :(

*Size doesn't really matter since she has very few, small fish and my cat has "disappeared (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=285627)" a couple of mine already. Any recommendations would be great. Thanks in advance and all that.

01-21-2005, 02:59 PM
Is it really necessary to ask this of the Fish People of Atlantis?

01-21-2005, 03:22 PM
Vinegar and a new Scotch-Bright pad will remove scale from most surfaces. DO NOT use steel wool pads as they contain detergents and rust inhibitors that are very difficult to rinse away completely.

As for CLR or Lime-Away, I've never used these products on my tanks or equipment and I would be pretty leery of using them. Products like this often contain wetting agents (surfactants) which are hard to remove and are death to fish.

Good luck!

01-21-2005, 03:24 PM
Mineral deposits can be cleaned pretty well with some sort of acetic acid, such as vinegar. If there are places that it has accumulated, you can often soak it for a while and then scrape it off. Of course, rinse well afterward, as pH will otherwise be too low. xo C

01-21-2005, 03:26 PM
The air stone should probably be replaced if you've left it in water for a year(!). Is there any biological mess on the parts? Or only water scales? As daffyduck said, vinegar will work.

You could use some CLR on hard to reach spots but I don't think you should need to. Hard water scales are less harmful than getting a drop of CLR in your tank.

01-21-2005, 04:08 PM
Yes, vinegar is good to remove calcium and lime buildup.

Silver Fire
01-21-2005, 05:25 PM
The air stone should probably be replaced if you've left it in water for a year(!).
Nah, it's like my third one. I'll have her get a new one anyway. It's just hard water build up, so we'll try vinegar.

Thanks guys.

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