Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > General Hardware/Equipment Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-01-2011, 11:34 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 214
How Do I Clean an Empty Aquarium?

I'm going to set up a 30-gallon aquarium this weekend. It was my old aquarium when I was a kid, so it hasn't been used in ~14 years. I need to clean it before fish can live in there.

I know that I can't use soaps or anything antibacterial, as their residue would be harmful to fish. But, does that mean I'm limited to hot water and elbow grease? Is there any cleaning product that is safe? Rubbing alcohol or vinegar? I assume those would evaporate and be rinsed out, right?

Also, as far as leak-checking, I plan to fill it up and let it sit for an hour. Is that adequate? What are the chances that there is a very minor leak that wouldn't be an issue within an hour, but could be disastrous over a year? What are your experiences with the integrity of silicone seals that have sat in a basement for over a decade?
__________________

__________________
JackSpadesSI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Mr. Limpet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Northern California (Marin)
Posts: 4,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSpadesSI
I'm going to set up a 30-gallon aquarium this weekend. It was my old aquarium when I was a kid, so it hasn't been used in ~14 years. I need to clean it before fish can live in there.

I know that I can't use soaps or anything antibacterial, as their residue would be harmful to fish. But, does that mean I'm limited to hot water and elbow grease? Is there any cleaning product that is safe? Rubbing alcohol or vinegar? I assume those would evaporate and be rinsed out, right?

Also, as far as leak-checking, I plan to fill it up and let it sit for an hour. Is that adequate? What are the chances that there is a very minor leak that wouldn't be an issue within an hour, but could be disastrous over a year? What are your experiences with the integrity of silicone seals that have sat in a basement for over a decade?
When I need to clean something out, a bleach solution of 1 part bleach/19 parts water works great and I never use any soap. It'll help clean it out and kill any bacteria/mold/etc that might be around. A good rinse is the key to any cleanup IME.

As for the test, I'd make it 24hrs myself so the pressure over time would reveal any flaws/problems. Can't say about the silicone, except to look for any damage.

Sent from my Epic 4G using Aquarium Advice App
__________________

__________________
Mr. Limpet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 01:08 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oak Forest, IL
Posts: 4,388
White vinegar, razor blades, and fine steel wool work well for cleaning aquariums.

If the silicone looks to be in good shape, I'd set the tank up overnight as a leak check. If the silicone is shrunk and pulled away from the glass, I'd reseal the tank.
__________________
ďA man's errors are his portals of discovery.Ē
Guide to The Fishless Cycle Cycling With Fish
My DIY LED Light Fixture
Feel free to PM me directly with questions.
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
M1cky69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Leicester, uk
Posts: 146
For what's it's worth I'd clean out with warm water, let dry fully then re seal with some aquarium safe clear silicone. Just to be safe! 14 year is a long time and silicone usually has s 10 year lifetime before needing replacing, that's dry though.

"fish are friends, not food"
__________________
M1cky69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 02:04 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 214
I'll consider resealing the tank if it looks to be a problem.

If I do that, though, what are the steps? If there isn't a lot of peeling of the existing silicone do I need to scrape it off or can I leave it there and apply new over the old?
__________________
JackSpadesSI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
White vinegar, razor blades, and fine steel wool work well for cleaning aquariums.
So vinegar is ok? What about rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol?
__________________
JackSpadesSI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 02:18 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oak Forest, IL
Posts: 4,388
I'd stay away from the alcohol. I don't know what it's going to do for you really. Vinegar is great at dissolving deposits.

To reseal your tank, cut out the old silicone with a razor blade. You'll really need to get the glass clean because new silicone will not stick to old silicone. Then run a bead of 100% silicone around all the interior edges of the tank.
__________________
ďA man's errors are his portals of discovery.Ē
Guide to The Fishless Cycle Cycling With Fish
My DIY LED Light Fixture
Feel free to PM me directly with questions.
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2011, 06:16 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
M1cky69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Leicester, uk
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSpadesSI
I'll consider resealing the tank if it looks to be a problem.

If I do that, though, what are the steps? If there isn't a lot of peeling of the existing silicone do I need to scrape it off or can I leave it there and apply new over the old?
You can seal over old if it's still neat just shrank, if rough scrape back with a Stanley knife and then re seal

"fish are friends, not food"
__________________
M1cky69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 12:46 AM   #9
member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: michigan now washington later
Posts: 500
rubbing alcohol is what you are supposed to use before you silicone the edges. the alcohol will clean and get rid of any oils or anything like that . and it will evapotate any water in/under any flapping silicone. cut any silicone that is baD off, after its clean and dry apply silicone at a 45* to both edges and use a 90* plASTIC card or whatever and swipe it to apply it and spread it evenly into edges.24 hrs for drying. 48 hrs should be fish ready.. i re-sealed a tank today...
__________________
doogle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 01:46 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 214
My tank's silicone looks good (no visible cracks, peeling, or shrinkage). I'm currently leak-testing it in my basement: it is full (to the brim) of water and I'll leave it like that until tomorrow.

If it doesn't leak by tomorrow, is there any reason to re-seal it simply because of the silicone's age?
__________________

__________________
JackSpadesSI is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
clean

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
staring at a new empty 60 gallon aquarium nanamae Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 13 02-24-2010 04:18 PM
aquarium sand; how to clean sanweaver Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 6 01-22-2006 09:42 PM
What to clean acrylic aquarium with? Brenden Saltwater Reef Aquaria 11 06-04-2005 12:20 AM
Easiest way to clean old aquarium? gooyferret Saltwater Reef Aquaria 10 06-01-2005 09:37 PM
how to clean aquarium glass? swanandmokashi Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 2 06-28-2004 05:11 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.