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Old 07-14-2011, 01:00 AM   #1
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used tank rehab

Last week, my friend's mother got her a used tank and stand for her birthday coming up this week. Sadly her mom knows nothing about keeping a good aquarium or she would have questioned the look of the tank. It wasn't a bad deal but there are some problems that will have to be overcome before the tank is ready for any little fishies to call home. So as her friend and fishy adviser I'm trying to figure out how to get this smelly crusty thing to look like a promising fish home.

General info on the tank isn't much. We think it's a 49 gallon tank that came with a light hood, a filter, very little gravel, and a stand that is far from perfect. I have some general ideas what needs to be done but for some I'm feeling my way through dark territory.

To start with the tank is incredibly crusty and dirty since the former owner just emptied the water and all the items inside and left it to dry. I know that you can't use normal cleaning supplies but I'm sure that some of the gunk wont be coming off with a sponge, water, and elbow grease. So, first main question I have is what are some good things to use or tricks to cut through the crud without killing our arms or future fish?

Second thing to overcome is that the filter that the tank, an aqua-tech 30-60 that you find at Wal-Mart, is a little worse for wear and missing the biofilter material and the frames that holds them that would have been in it is missing and my main problem is I'm completely overwhelmed by the options of filter media at my lfs. I'd greatly appreciate being pointed in the right direction in getting this filter up and running or just scrapping it and getting a new one.

Onto the next worry I have. The guy said that the stand and tank came together and it was what he used for it but there are some things that may be just cosmetic but they kinda worry me. Besides needing cleaned up and a new door to the bottom cabinet since the one on it doesn't fit (there's an inch gap and it just looks ugly. )there is no back or bottom panel to the stand. I do'nt know if it was just something the manufacturers left out to save a few bucks or what but it seems odd to me.

That's all the things I can think that I need some guidance on at the moment. I may think of some more things once we actually start tackling this project. I took a few pics of the empty tank that I'll post later and see if you guys see anything wrong that I've missed.

oh also I just wanted to add that we don't have a heck of a lot of money to work with so any tricks that will bypass buying everything new and shiny would be great.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:04 AM   #2
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Vinegar. Vinegar, vinegar and more vinegar for soaking will definitely help with not having to scrape till your arms fall off.
If you are not wanting to waste time on the filter pick up a new one. Most of AA will recommend an aqua clear. For a tank that size, a 70 should do nicely, or a 110 depending on the fish she wants.
The stand wouldn't be hard to reinforce. A few screws and a fe 2x4s, but not necessary if you test it's current integrity.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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Oh yay vinegar. That sounds like a lovely smelling cleaning day lol. If it works it will be done. XP

I'm not positive what exactly she wants to do I'm just trying to find out what her options are so she can figure out which sounds more appealing. I've been looking into aquaclears myself to upgrade my own tank so I'll definitely file that away for her and myself.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:55 AM   #4
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I just throw it in the bathtub and soak it for a while.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:13 AM   #5
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Halfmoon is on the corrct path. You will have to test for water leaks. the bathtub sounds good to me plus you can fill it with hot water and vinegar, You can also use a razor blade to help you scrape some off the gunk off.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:45 AM   #6
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I use warm water and vinegar put it outside fill with a hose and let it sit overnight that will soften the grime if it's a glass tank you can use 00 steel wool most times a green scrubber pad will remove it.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:28 AM   #7
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I would not place the tank anywhere but a flat solid surface, for fear of damaging it. I would first fill with a water and bleach solution, and soak it well. I would use enough bleach to make the water feel slippery. Once it has soaked for a time, and here, longer is better, I use a plastic pot scrubbie to remove the oxidized film.. Once that is done and rinsed I would go with vinegar, full strength to remove any mineral deposits, again with the help of a scrubbie. The vinegar will neutralize any residual bleach. The tank should be clean at this point, and a good rinse to remove the vinegar and the tank should be good to go.
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