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Old 01-11-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
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Proper Way to Shut Tank Down

Well after a great run of about 5 years, two moves and many fish, I've got to shut the tank down (just a lack of time and space to properly enjoy the hobby). I now have a tank that needs to be emptied and cleaned. Ultimately, I'll probably give my tank (25 gal freshwater, standard stuff, light, heater filter, gravel, rocks and such) and equipment to someone else who will enjoy the them or put them up on craigslist for cheap.

Can someone give me some advice for the best way to get things cleaned up (gravel especially) so that it is good and clean for the next person to use.

I appreciate your help.

Best,
JC
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:03 PM   #2
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The next person will probably just get their own gravel. Just clean everything up filter and heater and tank and such and just put it all for sale somewhere as a bundle type thing! As far as the gravel goes the buyer will probably want to get new gravel. I would assume.
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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If you'd like to keep the gravel around I'd give it a decent wash so it can be stored without getting too skanky. I'd wash it like I do sand: put some in a 5 gallon bucket, turn the hose on and plunge it down into the gravel, stirring up any waste left on the gravel. Decant a few gallons off and repeat 'til the water runs fairly clear. I'd also give the inside of the tank a good wipe down with some paper towels, simply because it's so much easier to get it relatively clean while it's still wet.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:25 PM   #4
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True about the tank and paper towels. I would IMO just toss the gravel its too much of a job for you to do plus then you got to put it in a box and ship it or do whatever with it... I wouldnt worry about it. Everything else sell as a bundle or separate if you want. Good luck!!!
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:03 AM   #5
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"Toss the Gravel?" What are you thinking? Assuming the tank is going to be completely broken down such that the next person is going to have to cycle the tank, Then I would think they would want the filter material and some of that substrate as seed for cycling the new tank. Sure they might not need all of it, but keeping it handy should greatly speed up the next cycle... assuming of course the bacteria have continued to be well fed. If the fish were long ago removed and there hasn't been a source of ammonia for a while, the bacteria might have already died off from lack of food.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:38 AM   #6
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Thats a good point about the substrate/bacteria but in order for that to work he would have to keep the substrate submerged in water, which he might not feel like doing. Also, like the others said, 9 times out of 10 someone will want a different substrate.

As far as cleaning, razor blade scraper if the tank is glass. Vinegar, water and a lot of paper towels.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:22 AM   #7
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...9 times out of 10 someone will want a different substrate...
The next person doesn't have to actually use the substrate. One of the tricks I've read else where in this forum is that you place some substrate from an established tank in a set of nylons and hand the nylons in the tank for a while just to seed the new tank with the required bacteria. You'll still have to cycle the new tank, but the cycle will be shorter because of the seed material.

And of course just to reiterate what meegosh and I have said, the substrate would have to be kept wet AND fed. So if the tank is to be cleaned, the substrait would need to be placed in a bucket, and a steady diet of fish food or pure ammonia would have to be given to it to mantain the bacteria on the subtraite until it was used to seed the new tank.
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