new/used tank - cleaning out left over water/chlorine scum

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by bradleyheathhays, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. bradleyheathhays

    bradleyheathhays

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi there! Just got my first tank and it's a 125 gal! Previous owner had a turtle in it and filled it with a 10% bleach solution before he sold it to me to eliminate any pathogens that might pass from turtles to fish. Right now the tank is empty and has a thin whitish scum on it's sides and more on it's bottom that tends to rub off with a finger swipe.

    I'm not sure what this is but I need to get it out of there before I fill it for fish. Assuming it may be some chlorine what cleaner should I use to clean it? Guy that sold it to me said not to use any hard core household cleaners, so I'm not sure where I should start.

    I'm all ears. Thanks!
     
    bradleyheathhays, Oct 19, 2011
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. bradleyheathhays

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7,847
    Likes Received:
    882
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    Vinegar! It is a cure all for this hobby. Mix it with water and you can scrub the tank down.
     
    fastrd400, Oct 19, 2011
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. bradleyheathhays

    squid

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    3
    I have also used vinegar and I have heard of a dechlorinator, I dont know if that works, I think Seachem sells one called PRIME.
     
    squid, Oct 19, 2011
    #3
  4. bradleyheathhays

    Smitty

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    9,609
    Likes Received:
    1,587
    Location:
    Chicago/Oaklawn IL
    Welcome to the site...prime will eliminate any chlorine, and vinegar will clean the scum left behind.
     
    Smitty, Oct 19, 2011
    #4
  5. bradleyheathhays

    bradleyheathhays

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    From the looks of all the inputs I've gotten here and other places, it looks like I should possibly razor the scum off first, and then I should scrub down the tank using specifically white vinegar (and not cider vinegar) using either a green scrubbie or a soft cloth. I'm left wondering if the green scrubbie I've read mentioned is the 3M type that's part of the one piece yellow sponge / green scrub cleaning tool. If you were doing this to your own glass tank, what scrub implement would you advise?

    And then after the scrubbing I should fill with a triple dose of Prime dechlorinator and let sit for a day, and then rinse very well and then let air dry for two days.

    All this seem straight forward and logical to me. If you might see anything that could be added to this protocol please let me know and I'll do it.

    Last thing is that a couple folks have asked me if I've read about cycling your tank. I haven't, but I'd like to read anything I can on it. If anyone can point me in the right direction on reading about cycling I'd be happy to look at anything I can on it.

    Thanks
     
    bradleyheathhays, Oct 22, 2011
    #5
  6. bradleyheathhays

    little_fish Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    15,713
    Likes Received:
    2,574
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    little_fish, Oct 22, 2011
    #6
  7. bradleyheathhays

    bradleyheathhays

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yesterday I poured in 2 gal of white vinegar to let it sit on the bottom, where the thickest layers of whitish deposit are. Today I can see clearly through the bottom of the tank, no scum. So, now I'm wanting to do the same process for all the other sides of this 72" x 18" x 24" behemoth. But that means sitting it at angles it may not be designed to handle. To get at the front and back sides I'm pretty sure it would be ok stress wise if I turned the empty aquarium forward laying it on it's face or back. What I'd more be concerned about is that, to get at soaking the ends it would require tilting the tank completely 90 deg sideways and standing it on it's 18" x 24" end glass, with the weight of 6 feet of aquarium towering above pressing down on it. Are these things built that tough that it would be ok to sit one on it's side like that for 24 hours?

    Thanks
     
    bradleyheathhays, Oct 28, 2011
    #7
  8. bradleyheathhays

    Old_Moe

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    NJ
    I had some nasty scum on a 46g that I was working on ( left in house for a year with nothing running )... the smell was... hummm.... nice :mrgreen:

    I hosed it out first, then used white vinegar and an algae scrubber pad that I got from LFS for about 3 bucks, and... oh yeah... a ton of old fashioned elbow grease.

    Looked brand new when I was done. The white vinegar works wonders. ( just dont get it in an open cut... :grumble: )
     
    Old_Moe, Oct 28, 2011
    #8
  9. bradleyheathhays

    bradleyheathhays

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    As per the advice I've received I'm about to turn my tank over on each side so that I can soak all of em with a vinegar and water solution to break down hard water scum. But before I do this I want to silicone seal the top edge of the tank all the way around (sealing glass to the plastic ring at the top) to make sure I have no leaks. Is there any particular type of silicone I should use to do this? Or will just any old Home Depot style clear silicone caulk do the job?
     
    bradleyheathhays, Nov 3, 2011
    #9
  10. bradleyheathhays

    little_fish Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    15,713
    Likes Received:
    2,574
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Just make sure you chose aquarium safe silicone, other silicons will prevent life from ever living in your tank
     
    little_fish, Nov 3, 2011
    #10
  11. bradleyheathhays

    bradleyheathhays

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    update

    This scum is some really tough stuff! I've had the aquarium with it's front side down soaking under a thin layer of 100% vinegar for 3 days, emptied it out, scrubbed it hard for 30 minutes with an glass safe scrubber I got at the aquarium shop, let it dry out and the scums still there! The glass actually looked fairly clear when the vinegar was in there. The scum seems to make itself apparent mostly only after the glass has dried.

    Frustrated!

    Although the tank doesn't have many scratches on the inside (other than the bottom) the previous owner had been using it for keeping turtles. I would imagine the water level was fairly low allowing humidity to form toward the top, which is where the glass seems to be really stained. Not thick so much as it's just really hard to get off.

    If there's no better advice I suppose the next thing I'll try is mounting the scrub pad to my drill, setting it on the glass and just spinning the crap out of it. It would be set flat against the glass just like if you were scrubbing by hand but it would be moving much faster.

    Any more advice please?
     
    bradleyheathhays, Dec 6, 2011
    #11
  12. bradleyheathhays

    bjohanson1234 .........

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    10,998
    Likes Received:
    1,102
    Location:
    Palos Heights, IL
    You might try CLR or other strong acid. If it is hard water stain, that should get it off easily. It is a stronger acid than vinegar. Then washing the tank really well will remove the residue.
     
    bjohanson1234, Dec 6, 2011
    #12
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.