fastest/best way to clean tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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fastest/best way to clean tank?

My tank got away from me and I am basically starting completely over with all new equipment and substrate. I have GSA, GDA, and BBA (and probably others). I'd like to clean and empty the tank out Friday and be able to start new on Saturday.

What is the fastest cleaning method that is safe for the tank? Can I use straight bleach or H2O2 or will that compromise my silicone? Is there something better?

Could I make a scrubbing paste from KH2PO4 or maybe baking soda?

Any help appreciated! Ohh...the tank is glass FYI.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 04:09 PM
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Bleach is fine, but phosphate scrub would probably work the best. That stuff is good. Buy a pack of razor blades to help with any tough stuff as well.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 01:59 AM
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Any gritty stuff like the fertilizers or salt can work well on glass.
Drain the tank, dampen a cloth and pick up some of the material and start scrubbing. It is both a reaction (any of these materials will dry out the algae) and physical (the grittines scrubs it away).
Rinse well and go on to the next phase.

Bleach works fine, too, and might be better getting into the tight spots in the filter. (If you had saved the filter)

You will need to do a new cycle on the new set up.
You can look into the fishless cycle, and you can add the right species of bacteria. Look for Nitrospira. Any other type of 'cycle in a bottle' has the wrong species of bacteria. This will cycle the tank right away, and you can add an algae crew pretty fast. Feed them, of course, there will not be any algae at first.

Dips for plants are more tricky. The dip needs to be strong enough to kill the algae without killing the plant.
Do a search about the following materials. Pay attention to the safety tips as well as the dose and duration:
Excel
Hydrogen Peroxide
Bleach (usually a 19 parts water to 1 part bleach, dip for 30 seconds to 1 minute, rinse with double dose of dechlor in the rinse water)
Potassium Permanganate
An algaecide that is listed for ponds or aquariums and specifies that it is fish and plant safe.
Other
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 02:22 AM
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Vinegar is good for cleaning a tank. Just rinse the tank well in the shower/bath.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Diana...thanks for the info on the plant dipping. I'll research that more as it would be nice to save a couple of my plants if possible.

I was also planning to put the ceramic rings from my two HOB filters into one basket in the new filter and add a bunch of new ones in the next basket. The hope was to avoid a re-cycle and in 6 weeks or so take the old ones out to make room for Purigen or something like that.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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So I mixed a batch of KH2PO4 paste, made a bleach/water solution, grabbed a couple of random sponges and started scrubbing. I started with the paste and the algae came off with almost no effort. After 10 minutes the entire front was clean, but my sponge was toast so I grabbed the the other sponge and went to work on a side panel.

I spent 15 minutes of hard scrubbing on this much smaller panel with almost zero success. I went inside and relayed the experience to my wife. She asked what sponges I was using and I told her I grabbed a white one and a green one from under the sink. Apparently the white one was one of those Mister Clean "Magic Erasers" that I had previously given her grief about buying. She gave me her last one and in 20 minutes the tank looked like new again.

I had to admit I was wrong, but it was worth it...those things really are freakin magic.

--------------------------

Looks like I am having to re-cycle the tank. The old media from my two Aquaclear 50's maybe fills 25% of one tray in my new Aquatop CV400 canister so I think the water isn't getting enough contact for it to do much. O'well, it's too hot to ship fish to Texas now anyway.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 04:40 AM
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Fishless cycle will also give you time to get the aquascape set up, get all the equipment working, get going on the fertilizers... all the things to do so the algae does not come back.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 07:38 AM
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Hehe Syzygy, did you just post on a public forum that your wife was right? =D

What did you do about the equipment covered in algae? Just gonna replace them or did you clean them too?

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 08:10 AM
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Magic erasers are excellent for cleaning aquarium glass as well as macbooks lol
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