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Old 11-10-2016, 03:53 PM   #1
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What is this

Hey guys, I'm a multi tank enthusiast of 5 + yrs & still learning new things. Unfortunately I have an issue here that is ongoing. I have a build up of brown .. gunk on the top of my tank, on & in filtration system, heater, going on to the walls behind & around the tank. I literally have to use a putty knife to chisel it off and clean it. It can look brand new once cleaned but after it dries a brown filmish starts to show again. This stuff is a disaster & ruining my equipment. We do have hard city water that ruins coffee pots, shower heads, etc. my 40g cold water has this issue to a minimum. My 75G tropical is horrible & ongoing. Thanks for any help, ideas or suggestions on what this is & how to get rid of it once & for all. Four photos attached. This is the 75G nightmare. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-10-2016, 10:01 PM   #2
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That would be calcium or lime (or both) build up. Warm water and vinegar soak takes care of it. Just make sure the vinegar doesnt get in the tank.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:23 AM   #3
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You can get some 5G water containers and have a handle (I don't care for the collapse-able ones), saltwater lsf sell them for around $15 with the water included. Then the refills are 50 cents where we are for RO/DI - Reverse Osmosis DeIonized water. You can cut the water out of the tap, gradually a little at a time, then increase the % each time you do a water change.

You can also buy a RO unit. If you love keeping tanks enough to do it for the long run -to keep that yuck off the tanks and can spend the money it might be worth it. Looks and sounds like you have awful water.
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Old 11-11-2016, 11:27 AM   #4
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That would be calcium or lime (or both) build up. Warm water and vinegar soak takes care of it. Just make sure the vinegar doesnt get in the tank.

Thank you, I figured it was something with the water other than some type of algae or other fungus. Not sure why it doesn't affect my 40G cold water tank near as bad. Anyhow, is this harmful to the fish being in the water ?
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Old 11-11-2016, 11:45 AM   #5
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Thank you, I figured it was something with the water other than some type of algae or other fungus. Not sure why it doesn't affect my 40G cold water tank near as bad. Anyhow, is this harmful to the fish being in the water ?
Depends on what fish you have and how hardy or sensitive they are. Most cichlids actually like harder water. Where fish like barbs or rams are more sensitive to it. Most fish are tank raised so theyre very adaptable. What fish are in cold water tank? I would clean the build up off of your filter so it doesnt clog it up or mess up your impeller. I would definitely do a 50 50 tap/ro water mix like autumsky suggested to keep it at bay. In the long run, its cheaper to buy one. If you need anymore help, feel free to ask.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:11 PM   #6
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I have cichlids & Clown Loaches in larger tank. Fantail Goldfish & common Pleco in coldwater. I know Pleco's are typically tropical but water is more of room temp than "cold" & they can easily thrive in these temps as well up till near freezing temps. Had to move him since he wasn't getting along with the cichlids. Sometimes he was the bully, sometimes he was picked on. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-11-2016, 01:38 PM   #7
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The calcium in the water is not harmful to fish. I have a similar issue with build-up on my tanks and equipment. Other than it being ugly, I have never found had any issues with it.
I have found that most captive bred fish (and frankly, the vast majority of readily available wild caught fish) are quite adaptable to different water parameters as far as hardness is concerned.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:44 PM   #8
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Thank you absolutangle. I guess I will just continue to scrub it off. Hopefully moving in a few months & hoping that city has better water. I agree it is ugly & makes the hobby more of a chore with the constant filthy build up. Doesn't look like it would even be safe to drink, but city says otherwise
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