How to clean up a saltwater tank for FW use? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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How to clean up a saltwater tank for FW use?

Hi I will be emptying out my saltwater tank soon and wondering if anyone has any experience doing this before.

After I take out all the livestock, rocks, sand, what do I use to clean out all the coralline algae and other residues to make it safe for FW?

All I have in mind is using bleach + water to sterilize the whole tank and leave it running so it can clean the pipes and equipment also..

Tips appreciated!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 10:40 AM
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Use distilled white vinegar will clean a lot of the residue.

What size tank? Might be easier to sell the tank, livestock, rocks, etc to someone who wants to run a SW setup and buy a new one during the dollar per gallon sale.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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How to clean up a saltwater tank for FW use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilj View Post
Use distilled white vinegar will clean a lot of the residue.

What size tank? Might be easier to sell the tank, livestock, rocks, etc to someone who wants to run a SW setup and buy a new one during the dollar per gallon sale.

It is a 60 gallon and it would also be a hassle to move the tank because of my poor but foolproof plumbing hah.
I will be selling everything else though and will spend much of it for FW equipment.

And yeah probably a good idea not to use bleach eh.

Perhaps I'll mix a bit of vinegar and warm freshwater with all the equipment intact but for how long?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
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And yeah probably a good idea not to use bleach eh.
Using bleach is fine, if your goal is to disinfect things.

Just be sure to rinse them well and soak them in a bucket containing 2x the recommended dose of dechlorinator.

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Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Perhaps I'll mix a bit of vinegar and warm freshwater with all the equipment intact but for how long?
As long as it takes for the mineral deposits to dissolve and disappear.

Anthony


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilj View Post
Use distilled white vinegar will clean a lot of the residue.

What size tank? Might be easier to sell the tank, livestock, rocks, etc to someone who wants to run a SW setup and buy a new one during the dollar per gallon sale.
Actually not as far-fetched as it sounds depending on your situation and how long the tank was in SW. When I went SW to FW a few years ago, I'd been in SW for a dozen years or so. The coralline on some of my oldest tanks had actually etched the glass and became slightly hazy spots across the back of the tank where the rocks hadn't been moved in eons. The worst was a 125G and I came close to giving it away.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 01:37 PM
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When I did mine, I used vinegar and scraped the salt residue with razor blade very carefully while filled with water.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 03:24 PM
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Vinegar is good for cleaning the deposits as it is a weak acid but for disinfecting and cleaning, bleach is much better. Vinegar is actually full of bacteria as it is a product of fermented apples so it does very little to kill bacteria and fungus. Two approaches depending which "clean" you are wanting to do.
Glass etching from the saltwater is a problem that I've run into. The glass just never came clear.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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My tank has been running for about a year. The coralline on the plastic overflow is the part I'm most worried about because the whole thing is encrusted. Hopefully it will eradicate by scrubbing.

With all advice taken I will use vinegar and warm water to dissolve and bleach to disinfect.

Thx for all the advice everyone, appreciate it.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 04:56 PM
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I've never had Lu n removing deposits with vinegar. Last tank I got used was covered in limes law and hardwater deposits. I used CLR and a little elbow grease along with a magic eraser. Worked like a charm. You can use CLR to run through coffee makers to clean them so I'm not worried about getting rid if an leftover chemical. Just refill it back up with dechlorinated water and let it sit for a few days.
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