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Old 12-18-2010, 04:26 PM   #1 
LeroyTheBetta's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Australia
Buying used acquarium... how to safely clean it?

Hi everyone, I'm Julie and never had fish before but I just bought Leroy. He's currently in a small bowl, and I'm going to upgrade to a small tank very soon. I'm probably going to buy a used tank & equipment (filter, pump, heater, fake plants, ornaments) and would like to know the best way to clean the used items for them to be safe for my new little guy!

Thanks for your advice!

Oh, one other thing.... I'd like to put a live plant in the tank when I get it. I'd get it via mail order because availability of things isn't that great here. Do the cuttings of the plants just get stuck into the gravel and they take off from there?

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Old 12-18-2010, 05:09 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
I only get used aquariums and have not had any problems with them as far and health and disease go.....however, leaks can be an issues-depending on the tank size and type- if it is glass or acrylic-with larger glass tank-sometimes moving them even empty- one little twist can crack a seal or if they have been sitting empty for a long time the seals can dry and crack or just age itself

When I get used tanks the first thing I do-set them up on a level surface in an area that it won't matter if it leaks (usually outside depending on the time of year) I fill with diluted bleach water (20:1) and if it came with filters I put them on too and run the filter with the tank full of the diluted bleach water for at least 24 hour-to watch for leak and to monitor the filter-this also kills just about any bad stuff
After it passes the 24h leak test I clean and drain it-if it has mineral deposits-I use vinegar after I get the bleach rinsed out and elbow grease and on glass tank I also use a razor blade-you don't want to use razor blades on acrylic tanks-you have to be careful with acrylic and not scratch them with some products

I then fill and use extra dechlorinator with the final fill

Live plants-if you get stem plants-then yes, plant the rootless stems in the substrate or anchor them down with something like a rock, wood or decoration of some type...rosette type plants, like sword, vals, sags etc...should come with roots and you want to plant the root in the substrate and pull the plant up just enough so the crown is above the substrate for best growth-same with crypts....plants like ferns, mosses, anubias need to be tied to something and not planted in the substrate, bulbs, corms, like apons and lily-do best it allowed to sit on top of the substrate-they can be buried partly in the substrate but less than half the bulb/corm should be buried

Plants don't have to have any special substrate-but you will get better growth if you use substrates designed for plants or small size gravel if you don't want to spend the money on the special plant substrate...personally I use dirt or potting soil with a cap of sand-but to do the NPT you need lots and lots of plant to start out with or the tank can crash and you will have a big mess.....

Good luck, look forward to seeing pic and hearing about your new setup.....
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:18 PM   #3 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
Hello Julie and welcome to the forum.
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