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EMichelle

Cleaning Newly Acquired Aquarium

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EMichelle

Hey Everyone,

 

Well I finally found a deal for a used 30Gish tank. I was able to get my hands on a BioCube 28 with everything I need to start the cycling process. However, it's a bit dirty right now and the stand will be getting some TLC too before I bring it in and fill her up (wood glue in some places, paint, new handles).

 

She has already passed the 24 hour no leak test but there is a lot of old coralline attached to the walls, inside the AIO back system, and the wave runner. I was planning on using a vinegar solution with a kitchen sponge as well as a small-bristle brush I got for the wave runner. I'm not planning on getting everything spotless but at least to where it starts reasonably clean for my first SW baby (baby = aquarium, not fish 🤪).

 

Any extra tips on cleaning? Should I even do a vinegar wash if the tank was dry for sometime in a garage? Hoping to have this guy cleaned and set up to start cycling this week. I AM SO PUMPED!

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Tired

Vinegar sure won't hurt anything. Marine pathogens aren't hardy, so if it did go completely dry it shouldn't have any nasties living in it, but there's no harm in being sure. As for the coraline, you should clean off the wave maker (a soak in vinegar might work), and I can see why you would want the back wall clean, but any coraline that's not actively interfering with something's functioning is harmless enough. It's just minerals when it's all dead like that. You don't need to clean up any of it that you don't want to clean up, especially not any of the stuff in the AIO chambers. 

 

The Biocube is a pretty good system. IIRC the built-in light can grow soft corals, maybe some less demanding LPS? And it's a good size and shape. You have the space to keep a few fish, and good options for species. 

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EMichelle
11 hours ago, Tired said:

Vinegar sure won't hurt anything. Marine pathogens aren't hardy, so if it did go completely dry it shouldn't have any nasties living in it, but there's no harm in being sure. As for the coraline, you should clean off the wave maker (a soak in vinegar might work), and I can see why you would want the back wall clean, but any coraline that's not actively interfering with something's functioning is harmless enough. It's just minerals when it's all dead like that. You don't need to clean up any of it that you don't want to clean up, especially not any of the stuff in the AIO chambers. 

 

The Biocube is a pretty good system. IIRC the built-in light can grow soft corals, maybe some less demanding LPS? And it's a good size and shape. You have the space to keep a few fish, and good options for species. 

Thank you! I didn't think it was necessary to clean a tank that sat dry for a bit but wanted to make sure. The guy gave me live rock and sand and I'm still debating using it. It is a brand new tank so nothing would be in it.

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Tired

Has the rock been kept in water to keep all the stuff on it alive? 

 

Any pics? If it's good stuff, you'd probably want to keep it. "Good stuff" would mean lots of algae and other organisms, and enough maturity to indicate that there's lots of bacteria. 

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EMichelle

Yes the rocks are in a 5 gallon bucket of saltwater and then I have a second 5 gallon filled with salt water and sand. I'm not sure if I'm going to use it the water and get the remainder from my LFS or what. I don't have a RODI yet.

 

I'm also learning that scraping off coraline is pretty tough. This is the new tank after maybe an hour of scrubbing. Not sure how much it would affect the look of the tank if I left the rest on there?

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Tired

Well, the end goal would be to have the back wall mostly covered in coraline and/or corals anyway, but it might take awhile. I say leave it on. It won't look good at first, but it'll grow green algae over it pretty quick, and then it won't look terrible. Sounds like removing it is more trouble than it's worth. 

 

You should not use his sand, except maybe a couple handfuls to introduce potential helpful organisms. It's probably full of gunk. The rock doesn't look thrilling, per se, but there's some decent color on some pieces. I would use the rock, if you don't see any aiptasia on it. Try to put the paler pieces on the bottom of your scape, and the ones with more color on top, as those are the pieces with algae. The water the rocks are in is probably fine to use. You should stick a pump in the bucket with the rocks so they have circulation, to help prevent die-off. 

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EMichelle

Thanks for the tips. I guess that means I'm setting up my tank after I spray paint the stand (I'm doing that tomorrow after the wood glue dries for extra support). Guess for the first saltwater ordeal I'll go to the LFS. I'm not super concerned about die off because I'm doing a full-fishless cycle but I'll get the rocks some current and get them in the tank ASAP to start the cycle.

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Tired

The concern with die-off would be that it might kill useful things, and/or be made up of useful things. You want to keep as much of the established life on that rock alive as possible, even if it's just algae and bugs.

 

Can you ask the guy if he got the rock as live rock, or started with dry, and how long it was in use? Might be helpful to know. 

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EMichelle

Unfortunately I bought it used from him and don't really know him.

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