Clean used decorations? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question Clean used decorations?

I recently picked up a 55 Gallon aquarium with light hoods and a nice stand with cabinets for $60, it also came with gravel, which i tossed, and it came with some statues to put in the tank, i want to put them in the tank but as far as cleanliness goes, i dont trust them, so what is the best way to thoroughly sterilize any used aquarium decorations that have been sitting for an unknown amount of time
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 10:18 PM
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I'd use a cup or so of bleach in bucket of water, soak the decorations several hours to overnight. That should kill just about anything. Then rinse them and the bucket clean and soak them in FW overnight. Do the FW soak for a total of 3 times. At the end of that treatment, you should not smell any bleach. If you want to be extra careful treat the last change with Prime and wait another few hours.

Note - Bleach can bleach or damage some plastics and other materials. If in doubt, try it first in an inconspicuous location.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 01:03 AM
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Bleach is the way I go for cleaning almost everything that goes in the tank. Like my dishes, there may not be anything bad there but I still want to KNOW it is clean to avoid any of those nagging doubts that might pop up later.
Where you might get in trouble is not getting the bleach amount right if the décor stuff is painted ,etc.
Drinking water is only 3-10 PPM but it doesn't have all the bacteria, etc. killed so we want to use more for soaking. For hard stuff like rocks and wood, I never worry the amount and just go for using plenty like a cup. But keep in mind that bleach is chlorine and it will eat your shirt given time so I might suggest more like a few tablespoons in a gallon of water if the décor is more prone to fading.
My method of removal is simple as I rinse it and set it out to dry. Once totally dry and the smell is gone, it is safe to use. Keeping in mind that the chlorine smell is the chlorine gassing off so just drying and time will remove the hazard.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 10:58 PM
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It actually only takes a teaspoon of bleach to one gallon of water to disinfect. However I tend to add a tablespoon just too be safe. Rinse well after soaking for a few hours and then soak them in clean water treated with Prime or other chlorine remover. It will neutralize the bleach. I have done this on many types of used decode and driftwood with no bleaching.
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