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Old 03-17-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
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How do you clean up an aquarium that is ruined by mineral deposits?

Hello, I have a 50 gallon corner aquarium that is only about 5 or 6 years old. It's beautiful when it's clean. I kept it up and maintained it up until a year ago when I had my son, and since I was a new busy mommy, I didn't have time or motivation to maintain it.

Now, it's got algae and white crusty stuff caked on there. I've tried scrubbing, wiping... Etc and nothing works. I haven't used any chemicals or cleaning agents because I don't want to kill my fish. Is there any miracle cleaning stuff I can use? Something similar to a CLR? Thanks much! I definitely can't wait to get this thing looking brand new again, and so I can see my fish again
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:44 AM   #2
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I use white vinegar for the white crusty spots (I have a brackish tank, the salt creep is murder) it also works to clean water spots. It's not as harmful if it gets into your tank, atleast a water change will fixthings right up.

As for algae, scrape, scrape, brush, pluck, scrape, then do a water change sucking out as much of it as you can.
Then next week, scrape, scrape, brush, pluck, scrape, then do a water change.
Then the next week, repeat.

This will help get your tank back into condition.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:53 AM   #3
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Thank you, I will try this!
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Running activated carbon in your filter would remove the vinegar.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:35 AM   #5
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It might also be a good idea to turn the lights out on the tank while you are taking care of the excess algae. It will help prevent some new growth.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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Maybe a blackout? I haven't had to do one before though so no experience with it. Do you still have fish in there?
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:34 PM   #7
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There are a couple fish left in there. Some barbs and gourami. I want to get more fish but not until I get this crusty white stuff off and the algae under control. I used to have a wide variety of fish from sharks to barbs and what not. My main concern is getting the hood cleaned up, that's where the most build up of the white crusty stuff is. I'm thinking to just go and buy a whole new filtration system and toss this one out.

What and how would you suggest cleaning the hood with? I did try the vinegar on this but it's just too thick and really crusty, it looks a lot like lime build up, or even calcium.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:19 PM   #8
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I was given a 10 gallon that was really crusty before not knowing this fancy vinegar trick i cleaned it by using a razor blade on the glass and the hood and fitration system i clean with CLR then i let them soak in clean water in the bathtub for a day changing the water a couple times and rinsed off really good after then ran the filtration system stuffed with carbon for 2 days to let the carbon suck up any possible chemicals left over and put the fish in and never had a loss for the 4 months that tank has been running for now theres probably better ways but it worked out for me anyway and since you already have fish migt not do as well for you unless you run the filter over a jug or something for a couple days
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:31 PM   #9
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Carbon doesnt really remove all chemicals, i wouldnt use clr without an immense rinse after because of the possible harmful chemicals. Vinegar is the best soulution to the minerals though.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:37 PM   #10
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Most likely that white crusty build up is calcium. I've heard of leaving vinegar in a tank soaking overnight to help remove it, but I don't know if that's possible if yours is still up and running. Maybe you could hang a towel soaked in vinegar on the crusty area and keep something underneath it so it won't drip in the tank? Just an idea.
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