Getting off hard water stains?

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Leader of Men

Aquarium Advice Activist
Jun 8, 2003
Shakopee, MN
I have hard water stains on the back of my aquarium and I seem to have tried all the tricks and can't get it to come off.

I've tried vinegar, I've tried a razor, and now tonight we tried HCl, even.

Each has done a little bit of the work yet none of them do enough to leave me happy with the back of my tank's look.

So what do I do? Do I keep hitting it with these and be suuuuuuuper patient or do you know of some master remedy? It'd be great if there were something that'd make this easier so hopefully somebody knows one.

I alway used a razor blade scraper. Get one of the heavy duty ones at Lowes or HD. Sometimes it just takes a little or a lot of elbow grease.
Do you mean like a razor blade just like an actual razor blade?

When you say scraper it makes me think about like what you scrape the snow and ice off your car with. BUt maybe that's because I'm from Minnesota...
I use the blades from a box cutter. I just hold it in my hand, carefully, and scrape up and down. Make sure the blade and the glass are both wet so you don't scratch the glass. Be careful of the silicone corners. My tanks are small (5 and 10 gallons) so this small blade works well enough for me. I have seen blades and holders online:

You might like this too:
Yeah, the hand held scrapers are best especially with the tilt head. Make sure you get the metal blades, assuming you have a glass tank.
CLR will work too, but be VERY careful with those chemicals around your tank. One other thing, have you tried to wet the back side with some SW, that may loosen it up a lot....
I got it all off!

Or at least 98% of it! You can still see a couple spots when you look closely but my tank is looking fantastic!
I mostly used a razor but I went out and bought new ones so it was nice and crisp.

That helped big time and it would make the water stains powdery, which I was then able to wipe off with a towel and some different (safe) cleaners with either lemon or orange in them.

My water in my tank is still very hard, but when I do a water change this weekend I'll be sure to add more conditioner than recommended to hopefully help it out.
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