How do you safely clean calcium buildup on glass?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Equipment


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-25-2005, 04:04 AM   #1
Color Me Blue
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Color Me Blue's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 845
Question

How do you safely clean calcium buildup on glass?


Need help with safely cleaning the calcium buildup on my glass top and glass tank divider. I have hard water here in San Diego, so calcium buildup is a big problem. Since my 55g tank is already well established, breaking it down to clean the glass tank divider is NOT an option. Is there a safe way to clean this buildup off without harming the occupants of my tank? I'm afraid of using products like CLR to remove it. Anyone got any advise on how to do this?
Color Me Blue is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-25-2005, 04:30 AM   #2
DarkCobra
Planted Tank Guru
 
DarkCobra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 3,349
Default

CLR is fine as long as you rinse it off thoroughly. Of course, you can't use it *in* your tank. And I don't know if I just got a bad batch, but when I tried CLR it did NOTHING. I even poured it on my skin and it didn't burn, it might as well have been water. Other people say it works great, I don't know what the deal is.

A gentler treatment is covering the glass with paper towels, then soaking with vinegar. Rub down the paper towels to remove air bubbles. Let sit. Don't expect this to fully remove deposits or be effective on heavy deposits, but it is a great pretreatment for the best remover in the world...

Razor blades. As found in hardware stores, for scraping anything that needs to be scraped. As long as you keep the blade at an angle, the glass wet, and refrain from digging the corner of the blade directly into the glass, it will not scratch. The vinegar pretreatment makes the job easier by softening the deposits, but it's not necessary. In fact, you can use the razor blade IN your tank. Use the common, cheap, steel blades, don't try and get fancy and use a carbide scraper - that will scratch the hell out of glass, no matter how careful you are.
DarkCobra is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2005, 04:31 AM   #3
Momotaro
Doesn't like Kool-Aid
 
Momotaro's Avatar
 
PTrader: (52/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hawthorne, New Jersey
Posts: 10,125
Default

I have used a razor blade to scrape the mineral deposits from the glass support frame on my 75G and white vinegar and a razor blade to clean off the glass tops.

The vinegar works like a charm!

Mike
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Momotaro is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2005, 06:40 AM   #4
bharada
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Fremont, CA
Posts: 2,605
Default

Yep. A razor blade is about the only thing you can use on the top brace while the tank is filled. The cover can be scraped of the thicker build up them soaked in vinegar or some other calcium dissolving solution (CLR et al). If the CLR-type solutions aren't working after you've scraped the thicker deposits off then it's a good possibility that your glass is actually etched. You won't be able to do anything about that.
__________________
—Bill
| My site
bharada is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2005, 12:30 PM   #5
DarkCobra
Planted Tank Guru
 
DarkCobra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 3,349
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bharada
If the CLR-type solutions aren't working after you've scraped the thicker deposits off then it's a good possibility that your glass is actually etched. You won't be able to do anything about that.
Actually, you can remove or improve etching by buffing with either jeweler's rouge or cerium oxide.

Remember that you're thinning the glass by doing so. Heavily or repeatedly buffing glass that bears load, like the weight of water, is done at your own risk.
DarkCobra is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2005, 03:31 PM   #6
SCMurphy
PT Biologist
 
SCMurphy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Maryland USA
Posts: 3,215
Default

Seltzer water. I used some to take the mineral deposits out of a coffee carafe that I use to heat water for tea. Don't use it IN the tank, take the item to be cleaned to a sink or something.
__________________
Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
SCMurphy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2005, 04:22 PM   #7
aquaphish
Wannabe Guru
 
aquaphish's Avatar
 
PTrader: (53/98%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Some where in SOCAL
Posts: 1,638
Default

Hey guys vinager; CLR; polishing compounds!!! How many would use these in an established filled tank???!!! Imagine pouring vinager or CLR into your planted tank with pretty fish!!!

I don't have a calcium buildup problem any more because I use RO water for water changes keeping the gh down to around 5-6°. But before that I would use a razor blade to scrape off the calcium build up. If you can use RO water for water changes it will really help out in ridding your calcium build up problems.

If you don't have a personal RO filter like me, go buy your water changing water for 20 cents a gal. at one of those water stores. I get mine at WATERTERIA or something like that. For two bucks I get ten gals for a 25% water change on my 40 gal.

Do not use any chemicals in an established tank!!!
__________________
aquaphish is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-25-2005, 08:40 PM   #8
DarkCobra
Planted Tank Guru
 
DarkCobra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 3,349
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaphish
Hey guys vinager; CLR; polishing compounds!!! How many would use these in an established filled tank???!!! Imagine pouring vinager or CLR into your planted tank with pretty fish!!!
No no, we're not talking about using them IN the tank. That would be a *bad thing*. The only thing you can use IN an established tank is a razor blade. The other stuff is for empty tanks, or removable glass pieces, like hood splash shields.

And considering it's glass, you can rinse it off thoroughly. Glass doesn't absorb or retain chemicals.

Even if a trace of vinegar, CLR, or polishing compound remains, it won't hurt anything.
DarkCobra is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2006, 03:06 AM   #9
Color Me Blue
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Color Me Blue's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 845
Thumbs up It Worked!!

Worked like a charm!! Thank you all for the advice! The removeable glass tops I soaked with white vinegar and then used a razorblade tool to scrape off the deposits. It came off so easily! Now all I have to deal with is the dry water marks that is left when I rinse the glass off. I figure the next WC I do I'll spray some vinegar on the glass, then rinse it off and use one of those water-absorbing towellies.

The center glass brace is a little more difficult to clear up. The thick deposits were scraped off, but I still have the cloudy water marks on it. I figure a few more times wiping it with a vinegar soaked paper towel will help it in the long run. (No worries, it's not soaked to the point where it will drip the vinegar. I also wipe it off with a wet towel) This part is more difficult to get clear because I have an established tank and I'm working on that part while the water line is down some due to a 25%-30% WC.

Once again, thank you for the GREAT advice!!!
Color Me Blue is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012