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Old 11-21-2006, 05:38 PM   #1
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Cleaning a 10 year old salt water tank

Hows it going. My gf is interested in setup a fish tank for herself and wanted my help. Her dad had a saltwater reef aquarium set up about 10 years ago and she wanted to use his old tank. He left the reefs inside the tank with about an inch of water and now its all pretty much crystalized and I'm wondering if its going to be even possible to clean this bad boy out (or worth it). Its a 45 gal. Any suggestions, tips or products I should use? Thanks in advance
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Old 11-21-2006, 05:42 PM   #2
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Please do not cycle with live animals.

You could use a vinegar/water solution. I would fill the tank up with plain water, before you do anything, just to make sure there are no leaks. You could also use a razor blade or scraper to get off the tough spots. I think once you soak it in about 50/50 of water/vinegar, you will find a lot of it will come off. I actually used CLR on my tank, I haven't had any problems, but I would not really recommend it...just in case. I did wash it out about 15 times and let it sit for a week or so.
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Old 11-21-2006, 05:57 PM   #3
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tip...take it outside to clean it!!!!!!! I tried to clean out my 29gall in the bathtub..ya, dont recommend it!
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:59 PM   #4
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It is certainly possible to clean out the tank. As suggested, vinegar works great. I would rinse all of the rock in the tank and let it air dry. Ditch any remaining substrate and clean the glass with vinegar, water and a razor blade. Make sure you know the history of the tank...any medications ever used in the tank? Any leaks? Fill it up with water to check for leaks and you should be good to go. The next step is to RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. What do you have planned for the tank?
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:47 PM   #5
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Oh, yeah, good catch Lando, I forgot about copper treatments!
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:14 AM   #6
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wow thanks much for the replies. :P no problems with diseases or medications from what i've heard. my gf said her father gave up on it because he couldnt afford to maintain a saltwater tank with 3 daughters :P we're either going to convert it to freshwater and try some cichlids or stick salt water, she's still figuring it out. i think most of the coral inside the tank was real. should i hold onto these or toss em out? not sure how they work and what about the copper solution? will that neutralize anything that might be remaining in the tank? the rest ill look into tonight. thanks again for the help!
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:39 AM   #7
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Go with SW! LOL! It's really not as expensive, after you have it set up. The coral, is I rock or was it actually real, live corals? I would either boil it in water or let it help cycle your tank. Copper is one of the chemical treatments for ich and other parasites. If used in the main tank, it will limit you inverts. I would ask and make sure he didn't use it in the tank.
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:57 PM   #8
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i see. ill check today when im cleaning it out. should i let some water sit in the tank for the next day or two until we buy the filters, etc for it or should i just clean it out and leave it for the time being? she still has some salt mixture left over.
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:10 PM   #9
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I would let the water sit a couple of days, just to check for leaks. That salt might not be any good, even though it is used as a preservative. I would just dtart out with new salt....
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:51 AM   #10
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What type of filters were you thinking about using? Are you going to use a sump and a skimmer? Also are you going to try to build another reef or go with a fish only setup?

Edit:

Also take it outside and fill it up completely with water and see if it leaks. You may be looking at cutting all the old silicone off, cleaning it with alcohol then applying another seal. I've done it several times and would really recommend it on an older tank that's been setting around dry for 10 years.
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