Cleaning the glass inside the Vivarium - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-11-2003, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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I've had my Vivarium in operation for over 5 years now.

Does anyone know a way to remove the white, mineral deposits from the inside glass? I've tried some commercial cleaners (Python, Jungle) with no real success. I've also tried a razorblade, but that didn't work either.

Some background:

Equipment:

60 Gal Tank (drilled holes in bottom for filter plumbing and soil drainage
Front to back 2/3 water, 1/3 land. Land mass is 11 inches high separated by plexiglass with shale glued front.

Fluval 303 filter
Heater for water
Slate background
Home made canopy with Power compact lighting (incandescent bulb for sunup & sundown effect)
Power misting system
PC controlled environment (using X-10)

Flora:

Water:

Java Fern
Aluminum Plants
Bacopa

Land:

(sorry, I don't have the names - all came from local home depot)

palm type fern
philodendron (really fast growing...almost a mistake)
varius others (I can provide descriptions if anyone is interested)

Fauna:

Aquatic:

Guppies
Kuhli Loaches

Semi Aquatic:

Fire belly Newt

Stays on land:

Emperor Newt
Tiger-leg Tree frog

Up in the leaves:
Anoles
Big Eyed Tree frog
Red Eyed Tree frogs.




It is amazingly self sufficient...I change water every 2-3 weeks and add crickets. Occasionally drain the soil and once in a while change the filter. That's about it.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-11-2003, 02:20 PM
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Acids work great. Unfortunately they'll probably mess up your water and soil chemstry. If you're willing to tear down, use some CLR or Zep Calcium & Lime remover. These products are dilute hydrochloric and sulfamic acid. Plain white vinegar will also work, but it's not nearly as strong. Make sure to rinse well.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-11-2003, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, but I'm not (currently) considering breaking the tank down. I'm really looking for a harmless, in-place solution.

In other words...the impossible.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-11-2003, 09:49 PM
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Mjbrant...sounds like an awsome tank...got pictures. Here is what I would do...I would use a S.O.S. pad add small amounts of Vinager to the pad and scrub the places that have the deposit...The key would be to use as little Vinager as possible...dont want any vinager to get on any plants or in the soil.

By the what what is the gH of your water?

Brb
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-12-2003, 08:50 AM
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Thanks. I haven't gone digital yet, so the pictures may take me a while.

Doesn't S.O.S. contain soap?

Also, I don't know the gH of the tank. Unlike my planted tank, I do very little maintenance on this tank. I'll check and post a reply shortly.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-12-2003, 09:23 PM
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no...i dont think so...of course the pro of sos pads in my house is my wife

What I think of as sos pad are pastic brush like thing and on the bottom is spong ...no soap unless you add some :lol:
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-12-2003, 09:47 PM
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scotch-brite sponge (and its generic alternatives) i think is what BRB is thinking of. i think that SOS do have a soap in them but are otherwise similar.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-13-2003, 01:02 AM
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Dont use the green scotch brite. It scratches. I had the same problem with a tank and I read sometimes you cant get it off because that the water will actually leach magnesium out of the glass. Or something like that.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-13-2003, 12:32 PM
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really, wheat? hmm. that must be why the package actually says "Not for aquarium use". (it really does!) i think the green ones are for "heavy duty" cleaning and they may make a softer one for general dish washing.

for a really mild scrubber, try the facial skin care dept. buffpuff, phisoderm, etc. make gentle sponges with a little scrubby action for exfoliating your face. i bet they'd be very gentle with a little mild abrasion. they aren't all soap-impregnated. Loofah!

i have used the green scratchy side of the scotch-brite without scratching, but i haven't applied much pressure (cheap tank makes me paranoid and keeps me from pushing the glass much). tough water deposits probably take more patience.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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I've tried the plastic scrubbers - from the green scratchy side of the scotch brite to the ones on sticks sold at the LFS. This alone doesn't do it. I'll try some vinegar and see how it goes.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2003, 03:40 PM
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I wonder if a rinse of distilled or RO water would help at all?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-18-2003, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think RO would work...I use RO water through the 'rain' system so the glass gets misted with RO water daily. It looks great until it dries.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-18-2003, 12:59 PM
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At the Dallas AGA meeting I was discussing the problems of mineral deposits with a gentleman from England. He has very hard water, such that their heaters get coated with mineral deposits in the tanks. He uses a slice of lemon or lime to soften the deposit or just completely dissolve it. If it is just softened then a razor blad takes it off easily. Nice thing is that you use very little lemon juice and it is not toxic in such small amounts.

Seems like a new twist on aquaristics to me.

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".
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-19-2003, 05:24 PM
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I think I would try a single edged razor blade and see if it scrapes off. Hey, if you're using RO water, where do you think the deposits are coming from...?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2003, 07:57 PM
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That is an excellent question...I'm using RO for rain (misting). In fits of laziness, I've used RO reconstituted with RO right. Also, the water in the aquarium portion is straight from the tap.
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