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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi. everyone. been reading this forum for about a month, but this is my first post.. hehe.

anyway, i got a bunch of old tanks for super cheap.. about 25¢ / gallon for glass. needless to say i took the opportunity and got a 100gal, 40gal, 60gal, and a 15gal. all for about $50 plus some free drift wood.
anyway, they were pretty dirty and had a lot of hardwater stains (i think) on the outside and some on the inside. i started with the 15 yesterday and scrubbed with comet and the rough side of a sponge. looked great until it dried. most of the same water stains were still very visible. today someone advised me to get some lime away or CLR, so i got some of the as seen on tv calcium lime rust remover. used it full strength and scrubbed and scrubbed. nope.
still there. you can't really see it until they're dry. i retreated it again witht he CLR and went at it with a new razor blade, but still nothing. if anyone has any ideas or experience with these stubborn stains (maybe they're not even hard water stains?).. please share. thanks.
 

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Did ya try wet sanding it? But that could scratch it. Maybe if ya try it on a scrap piece of glass or one of your small tanks.
 

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you shouldnt use any thing rough or coarse, it can scratch the glass. becareful of chemicals to, they can harm your fish when you put water in it. Stains shouldnt be hard to remove, just use a little bleach to clean the tanks and hot water with a soft rag or sponge and scrub away
 

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Small orbital sander with a wet sanding paper(very fine grit. keep the surface wet when sanding. Body shops use that method for taking out small scratches. The paper is called wet sanding paper.
 

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i have this on the outside of my used 55 tank too. luckily for me its in the back. i've tried a vinegar dilution and clr as well, with no luck. let me know if you find out anything that works.
 

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I found this on the web.

Getting Salt Creep Off Your Glass Aquarium
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A few years ago, we closed our collection business and were faced with the problem of disposing of the tanks. Over time, we had emptied the tanks of the substrates and UGF (yuk) filters, but hadn't really cleaned them up. During use the tanks were only a holding system for us, so their appearance was of little concern to us, as long as they held water and the fish were healthy.
Ten years of "deferred cosmetic maintenance" became evident when we decided to put one of the 55g's in the living room. Our 1st "real" aquarium.

Over the years, the salt spray and creep had become permanently attached to the glass surface. Since we weren't really maintenance freaks, spending a lot of time cleaning tanks, I was always under the impression that the salt could be easily cleaned up with freshwater. WRONG!!!!

Without going into a long, drawn out scientific explanation let me just say that the minerals in saltwater can form a very difficult substance to remove from glass when allowed to build up over 10 years.

Since we wanted a nice looking tank in our living room, we endeavored to make the tank as new looking as possible. Thus the challenge of removing the minerals from the glass.

I tried just about everything: scrubbing the white substance with freshwater (looked great until the glass dried), sanding the glass with fine grit wet/dry sand paper, sanding in a solution of vinegar, then ammonia, then "Calcium/Lime/Rust" remover and finally muratic acid. From personal experience, don't use the muratic acid. It didn't work all that well, even full strength, and the stuff can be downright dangerous. Just getting a whiff of the fumes can cause serious damage to your lungs.

Getting frustrated, I looked in our Forums for some input. Reading through the postings on Cleaning Mineral Deposits, I found that I was on the right track, but I just hadn't applied the treatment long enough and I hadn't used enough elbow grease.

It seems that keeping the glass immersed in either vinegar or CLM over a period of time would dissolve the mineral deposits. Since the vinegar and CLM evaporate fairly quickly, a method of keeping the glass wet with the solvents had to be found.

Experimenting a bit, I found that putting a paper towel soaked with the solvent on the glass, sealing it with a layer of plastic (a 12" 4 mil bag in our case) and letting it soak overnight did help a lot, but it didn't leave a "just hose it off and you're done" piece of glass.

In my case is was easy, as I had disassembled the tank and had only flat pieces to work with. However, if you want to clean up a functioning tank, you can use the same method on the outside of your tank by simply taping the solvent/paper towel/plastic assembly to the upright glass with duct tape.

If you are rebuilding a tank and want to remove the minerals from all of the panes, just layer them on a flat surface with vinegar in between them. Leave overnight or as long as it takes, then scrape the minerals off with a single edged razor blade. You may find that you have to dampen the glass surface and scrape with the razor blade a few times to get the glass completely clean.

Clean the bonding surfaces with acetone and reassemble with silicone caulking.

From personal experience, the distilled vinegar ($1.89/qt) worked just as well or better than the CLR ($8.95/pt) and was less caustic to the skin.

This method of mineral removal may take a while, but vinegar is cheap and you can use the left overs in a salad dressing.

Heres the site
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i was thinking about a very similar solution as i was eating dinner tonight. my plan was to lay and old rag or something on it, pour on the CLR, and let it sit like that. the addition of plastic is a fantstic idea. i'm gonna get some vinegar tomorrow and give this a try and see what happens. i hope this works b/c the 15 gal is much smaller than the 100gal w/ the same stains.....
thanks for the great reply raptor
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
so the vinegar soaking thing isn't working out that well for me. i'm yet to try bleach and boiling water as nate suggested.... but does anyone have experience using CLR vs Lime away? i saw a comercial for lime away today, and it got me wondering.
thanks for sharing
 

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Have you tried using a razor blade. Boby Shops use them to scarpe over-spary off windows, it works really well. I bought a tank at a yard sale once and you could barely see throught it, and i got it crystal clear. All you need is bucket with 10:1 water to bleach solution, a rag, razor blade, and a sh*t load of elbow grease. Wet the rag and soak a small section of glass with it (maybe 2" by 2"), then take the razor blade and scrap the sh*t out of the wet section. Do it in a well lit area so you can see your progress. I did a 40 gal covered in years worth of mineral stains and algea, it took me a full saturday and sunday of scraping and watching tv. Make sure you rinse the tank out really well after using the bleach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the thing is that once it's wet, you can't see it anymore. and yes, i've tried a razor blade. if you run your finger over the stains, it feels very smooth.. so it's like ... in the glass? i dunno. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...... i have 215 gal of aquarium like this. HA HA HA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
here's a pic so you can see the stains i'm talking about. this is a 15 that i setup as a feeder (eventually convict breeder) tank. the sand was a success but the stains are killing me. guy at my LFS said it's darn near impossible. help. i have a 100g and a 40 and a 60 that are in similar conditions. haha..


 
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