Best way to remove calcium build up? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Best way to remove calcium build up?

I got a hold of a 80 gallon tank on craigslist, however it was never fully filled with water. That left behind some tough build up. I filled the tank with water and poured in two gallons of vinegar. It soak for a week and still nothing. I even scrubbed while it was soaking.

What else can I try? I'm probably about to fill it again and pour in more vinegar. Maybe 4 gallons this time.

Will CLR work if I rinse it pretty good before use?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 04:10 AM
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IMO you can use any cleaning product you want as long as your rinse the tank good enough.

Just have it upside down and spray it with a garden hose for a while after you are done cleaning.

Others may disagree


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 04:11 AM
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Take rags soaked in straight vinegar and let it sit for a while. razor blade helps too.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Ok that's good to hear. I didn't know if anything would degrade the silicone holding the glass

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 05:41 AM
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Take a look at this video by the King of DIY, Joey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q_CfmosHk0

He uses a product called Bar Keepers Friend, cheap and supposed to be much stronger than Vinegar. If you read the comments, other say they have also used the product and say it is great with no harmful side effects.

I've never used that product or any other harsher chemicals so I can't speak on their effectiveness, safety to livestock and whether or not they will degrade the silicone or stain anything. I can't speak if they would effect acrylic tanks either. Just thought I'd mention, as I was considering it, but just stuck with Vinegar as it was strong enough for me.

I've always just used Vinegar and elbow grease. I've used a razor blade on glass tanks with tough build up. I personally don't chance it with harsher chemicals, especially with sensitive livestock (inverts, "scaleless" fish, etc), even if thought to be rinsed enough
Hydrogen Peroxide and Bleach might be of some use for disinfecting, but haven't really used those.
There is also a bit stronger white vinegar solution of 5% (same aisle, label says cleaning strength vs the regular 3%) if you wanted to try that. I would think it to be just as safe as regular.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 02:16 PM
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CLR can weaken silicone, so use it on the glass, not the silicone.

It's also pretty harsh stuff on your skin... Wear rubber gloves, and preferably some kind of eye protection (to protect your eyes from a random splatter). Apply some with a sponge, cotton ball or paper towel and rub on the calcium deposit. Let stand for a few minutes, rub again, rinse well.

I've used it on glass shower doors before to great effect. Never tried it in a tank, but it's mostly just acids and should rinse clean. It has some propylene glycol in it, but that's fairly harmless to aquatics in small amounts. Large spills can cause oxygen depletion as bacteria break it down.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 02:29 PM
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definitely straight vinegar and let it soak for a while.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 02:40 PM
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Mr Clean Magic Eraser - although they're expensive and don't hold up very well.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 02:41 PM
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If the calcium stain is on the side of the tank, you can soak newspaper in vinegar and slap it on the sides to stick on.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 03:25 PM
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toilet bowl cleaner will work the absolute best. Obviously, rinse well. The Works is cheap and one of the best.


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnebbles View Post
toilet bowl cleaner will work the absolute best. Obviously, rinse well. The Works is cheap and one of the best.
I would have thought of this or any of the other ideals stated.

Someone should make a sticky for restoring aquariums.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 03:29 PM
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i tried vinegar and clr, but the razor method works best. i filled the tank with water and scrape off the deposit.

i use these:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-0-0...9THD/205036235

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Stanley-1...-500/202262010
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 03:39 PM
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Razor blade scraper. Little bit of time and patience but that will give the best results. Just keep the blade and the glass wet and wipe the blade off on a rag frequently. Have a few blades available just in case.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterLife View Post
Take a look at this video by the King of DIY, Joey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q_CfmosHk0

He uses a product called Bar Keepers Friend, cheap and supposed to be much stronger than Vinegar. If you read the comments, other say they have also used the product and say it is great with no harmful side effects.

I've never used that product or any other harsher chemicals so I can't speak on their effectiveness, safety to livestock and whether or not they will degrade the silicone or stain anything. I can't speak if they would effect acrylic tanks either. Just thought I'd mention, as I was considering it, but just stuck with Vinegar as it was strong enough for me.

I've always just used Vinegar and elbow grease. I've used a razor blade on glass tanks with tough build up. I personally don't chance it with harsher chemicals, especially with sensitive livestock (inverts, "scaleless" fish, etc), even if thought to be rinsed enough
Hydrogen Peroxide and Bleach might be of some use for disinfecting, but haven't really used those.
There is also a bit stronger white vinegar solution of 5% (same aisle, label says cleaning strength vs the regular 3%) if you wanted to try that. I would think it to be just as safe as regular.
All I got to say after using this stuff is WOW! The build up came out so easily. Wasn't had to clean up either, just rinsed until I got the squeaky glass sound haha. Best thing for this....will never use vinegar again. Thank you so much.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
All I got to say after using this stuff is WOW! The build up came out so easily. Wasn't had to clean up either, just rinsed until I got the squeaky glass sound haha. Best thing for this....will never use vinegar again. Thank you so much.
Yeah but can you use it on your salad?

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
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