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Old 03-16-2006, 11:41 PM   #1
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Starting up my 55 gal after long break

I am wanting to start up my 55 gal tank after not having it running for 7 or 8 years. It was hastily taken down during a move, and not cleaned as well as it probably should have been.

I am wondering how to clean it back up? The tank itself has a band of hard crusty algea remains and a build up of salt deposit around the top 6 or so inches.

The Lifereef wet/dry filter has the same along the water line.

How do I go about cleaning this? Can I clean the bio balls in the wet/dry filter or take them out and replace them?

Thanks for the help. I am sure that this is the first of many questions.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:19 AM   #2
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vinegar is safe to use. try that first.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:58 AM   #3
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straight or diluted?
How much rinsing after scrubbing with vinegar is needed?
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Old 03-17-2006, 03:35 AM   #4
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50/50 vinegar and water is what I usually use for cleaning up. Not much rinsing required at all afterwards. Have never tried to clean up a huge build-up though, and not sure if straight vinegar would be ok or not. Seems like it shouldn't be a problem as long as you rinse completely afterwards.
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:02 AM   #5
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You can do 50/50 or straight. I just used straight on a paper towel, took it all off, including the mineral deposits. Had to scrub a little, but was fairly easy. Took an hour to do my 55G.
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:25 AM   #6
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Instead of the bio-balls you might want to consider getting 60-90 lbs of live rock to handle your bio-filtration via the The "Berlin Method". If not then you may want to replace the bio-balls since they are relatively cheap and probably not worth the time involved to clean them if heavily encrusted.

Quite a lot has changed in this hobby over the last 8 years and I’d recommend reading all the saltwater articles on this site and the articles on liveaquaria.com to get up to speed.

Welcome back to the addiction
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Old 03-17-2006, 03:44 PM   #7
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I will have to do some reading as I am not familiar with the "Berlin Method". When I bought the tank and filter set up, it was top of the line, but like anything else it's nothing compared to new technology.

I guess I have some reading to do. Anyone want to put it here in a nut shell? Is it completely unacceptable to consider using the same Lifereef filter? Theres alot of money tied up there.

Thanks - Nick
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:49 PM   #8
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The lifereef filters are top notch and I wasn’t suggesting ditching the whole thing, just the bio-balls since lr would be more beneficial in keeping your no3 low if you plan on making this tank a reef. You could convert it over to a fuge also.

Still there are a lot of reefers who still use bio-balls with little no3 problems so it’s still not out of the question with proper skimming/maintenance done.
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Old 03-18-2006, 12:38 AM   #9
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Can you add the LR to the area where the bio ball usually sit? Or do you change that portion completely?

I am wanting to do a fish only with Live Rock at this point. Would that change the recommendation of LR over bio ball use?

I can definately see that alot has changed since I last did this. Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old 03-18-2006, 02:27 AM   #10
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Hi and welcome to AA!!

First off glad you are getting back into SW!

I will add a little here. Clean the tank with some good vinegar that has a high acid count. Then fill the tank up with fresh water and let it sit a few weeks. Examine the seems very well. Since the tank is pretty old you might want to consider replacing the silicon or buying a new tank altogether. I know you dont want to hear that, but it is something to consider.

Also you can just convert your wet/dry into a sump. You can add LR rubble to the area where bio balls were used. They are out dated as they could become a nitrate factory.

What are your plans for this tank? FO, FOWLR, Reef, etc....

WELCOME!
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