Need help getting started.. Old tank cleaning

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by Teeto86, Jul 11, 2014.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. Teeto86

    Teeto86 Plankton

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    So I have been wanting to get back into the hobby for awhile now, here is my story..

    I was gifted a 72gf Bowfront tank and stand awhile back. I was running a fresh water set up for a while, and had roughly about 7 goldfish including a Koi. All was going well with my tank for roughly 3 yrs, than something started to turn. My fish started to die off.

    I was so upset that I felt I could never have any fish anymore because I didn't want to put another fish through the misery. There the tank sat for nearly a year with the old water gravel. I didn't remove the water and the filters weren't running or anything or anything... Bad idea I know. But here I am trying to change all that and get started once again.

    There was a fungus type mold looking thing coating the top of the water and a cotton type fungus on the gravel and glass. I purchased a brand new scrubber and razor to clean the glass as well as a Python No Spill siphon off amazon. I emptied the tank as much as I could with the siphon, which was about half and inch of water just under the gravel bed.

    I tossed nearly 50% of the gravel exposing some of the old food and waste that has been sitting in the bottom, used a net to get rid of the fungus that coated the water and filled the tank. I rinsed out the 2 Aquaclear 110's media and had it running for several days.

    The water is now cloudly but atleast the mold and algae is all gone. There is also a foam build up at the top of the water.

    What I really want to do is get back into the hobby and turn my tank into a salt water aquarium. I've seen a bunch of videos on set ups and how to care for it and been looking for nearly a year to get started.

    But now I am kind of stuck, what can I do with the tank to get it clear again. Starting over is really what I want. I need the tank to look new again without any defections before I start. How can I get the tank clear and remove the foam or impurities.

    I am not in any means in a rush to start, I know it will take time, but I also do not want to invest the money in a new filter since I want to be able to buy a sump and overflow box and all the bells in whistles to get this running right.

    I am afraid if I get these items now, the tank water will just spread whatever it has to the new units and the headaches will spread to two tanks instead of one.

    What do I do? Sorry for the novel, but I don't know where else to turn...

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. FeedYourMachine

    FeedYourMachine Feather Duster

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Treasure Lake PA
    Hello and welcome .
    The first thing i would do (if possible) is empty the tank completely,take it outside and just rinse it clean with a garden hose and some vinegar .Get rid of all the gravel and any other things you had in it that was for fresh water and get ready for sand and salt.
     
    Billme likes this.
  4. Teeto86

    Teeto86 Plankton

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    I was trying to avoid that as it is going to be tough to get the tank outside and back in. Is that the only option?

    Edit: Everything is already removed from the tank minus about 50% of the gravel. I was planning on doing another 75% water change in about a week and removing all the gravel and just filling it with water, then repeat with a water change again after about a week. Is that not enough?
     
  5. FeedYourMachine

    FeedYourMachine Feather Duster

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Treasure Lake PA
    Well honestly gravel is not ideal for saltwater systems...
    A good sand bed is needed for all the beneficial bacteria to live,but some go bare bottom and have Live rock for that..I prefer both
    Your also going to need an RO unit ..
    Is your only experience in aquariums fresh water?
    While its a good thing to have knowledge of ,it is far different from the salt side .
     
    Billme likes this.
  6. Teeto86

    Teeto86 Plankton

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Oh I am sorry, I wasn't clear. I want to change to sand. I am just removing the gravel to go bare until the water is clear and clean.

    Then start the process for a sand bed and starting a saltwater system.

    I don't plan on using gravel.
     
  7. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Bakersfield, Ca
    I agree. The gravel may even have silica and you'd be fighting diatomes forever. Ref sand is a different animal altogether. Really, I wouldn't do anything until the tank is essentially sterilized. It's hard enough to get it running right even when you do everything by the book.
     
    FeedYourMachine likes this.
  8. Click Here!

  9. FeedYourMachine

    FeedYourMachine Feather Duster

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Treasure Lake PA
    OK ,you will want pure water though..That is what the RO(reverse osmosis) unit does,,makes pure water.Its probably one of ,if not the most important things to have (besides the tank) when getting into saltwater ..I highly suggest you get one and fill the whole tank with that water.
     
    Billme likes this.
  10. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    6,344
    Location:
    Dunnellon, Florida
    Actually an rodi unit is what will be needed.As was stated take all the water out and clean the tank thoroughly before proceeding.
     
    Billme likes this.
  11. Teeto86

    Teeto86 Plankton

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Any suggestions on cleaning out the tank entirely if I can't get it outside?
     
  12. zesty

    zesty Sailfin Tang

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,715
    Location:
    Greenfield, WI
    vinegar and elbow grease and lots of paper towels...

    If you can lay the tank down on the side, lay a towel down flat on the inside glass, then pour vinegar on that and let it soak for an hour or so. Then it should scrape right off or even fall off.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
    Billme likes this.