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Cleaning an old tank

This is a discussion on Cleaning an old tank within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I just bought a tank off of craigslist (community forum). Got a great deal, 55 gallon with filters, lights, gravel, ...

Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 1st June 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Cool Cleaning an old tank

I just bought a tank off of craigslist (community forum). Got a great deal, 55 gallon with filters, lights, gravel, rocks, stand, and more for $50 US. Anyway, It's covered in dead algae, and had been empty sitting in a garage for awhile. I know better than to use bleach, but am trying to find out what would be best to clean it, or should I stick to just water. I want to get it set up to cycle for the rest of the summer before I add my axolotls. They're small (3 inch) and still in a 10 gallon with a divider. Thanks
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Old 1st June 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning an old tank

I normally rinse and scrub with very salty water, then use white vinegar.. repeat as necessary, hose down VERY THOROUGHLY and leave in the sun for a few hours at least (day or two is best).

Works wonders this, have used it many times on tanks. One with nearly 10 years worth of mold on it .. now a sparkly clean 'lotl tank.
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Old 1st June 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning an old tank

You can use bleach...I think it is 1 part bleach to 10 parts water and rinse VERY well. Someone please correct if Im wrong.
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Old 1st June 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning an old tank

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Originally Posted by lea View Post
You can use bleach...I think it is 1 part bleach to 10 parts water and rinse VERY well. Someone please correct if Im wrong.
No you're right you can use bleach BUT it must be chlorine bleach not the Lemon bleach for example. Chlorine bleach (common household variety) should just be chlorine and water. You all remember Chlorine it's the stuff they put in our water that we use conditioner to get rid of
You don't have to dilute it but use rubber gloves if you choose to use it straight out of the bottle and wear old clothes that you don't mind throwing out after you're done because no matter how careful you are you will get it on them and they will be ruined.

Rinse well as with anything but Chlorine is destroyed very quickly by sunlight, withing a few minutes, making it perfectly safe for the job but terribly stinky while you're using it... I HATE the smell of chlorine.

You could also use diluted pool chlorine, as long as it doesn't contain a stabilizer, it's the same stuff just stronger but unless you're confident in diluting it properly to make it safe for skin contact just stick with the stuff from the supermarket.

Good luck.
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What do my test results mean? and Why should I and how do I cycle my tank? Just how do I know it's done?
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Old 1st June 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning an old tank

It may be wise to scrape some of the algae off with a razor blade before trying to scrub it. It'll probably go faster.
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Old 1st June 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning an old tank

I guess I didn't know bleach was chlorine. I'll do that. The chlorine will all evaporate, and I'm planning on cycling it for 6 or more weeks anyway.
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Old 1st June 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning an old tank

I've found that buying an algae pad really takes off the grime. I recently cleaned a tank that had dead algae on it for about seven years. Took a lot of elbow grease, but the algae pad really did wonders.
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