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Old 01-29-2012, 06:13 PM   #1 
purplemuffin
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Help sanitizing OLD 55 gallon

This tank held a kingsnake for 15 years. It's been resealed with aquarium glue by the old owners so it does hold water, but it is totally filthy.


When people have their fish die I see them clean out the tank with vinager or bleach with water. Would I need to do more cleaning than that since this is from a snake that wasn't kept in the best conditions(we've got some stuck sheds, dirt, urates, feces going on here) how much more intense should I go with this.

My plan was to take a vinegar/water mixture and a sponge and just scrub the living heck out of this tank. If I need to go for the stronger stuff I'll be happy to use bleach. I have months before I stock this tank anyway.

About the bleach solution--should I also like soak the tank with it? Cause that's a lot of vinegar/bleach! But I'll buy that much if needed. Or is it just a long soak in water? I can't remember.

Just give me a list of what all I need to do to make sure this tank is a-ok!


Also---what would be needed to sterilize a big piece of driftwood?


Just double and triple checking. :D
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:44 PM   #2 
callistra
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Fill the tank up to the top with diluted 10% white vinegar or 10% bleach (the other 90% being plain tap water) and soak for about 10-15min. Then rinse rinse rinse. A quick sponge bath won't do much.

Driftwood is hard to sterilize because it shouldn't be bleached. You can boil/bake it but the only 100% way to sterilize this is pressure cooking, which is not practical for most people because pressure cookers are very expensive. If you boil it make sure you use treated water.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:50 PM   #3 
Sakura8
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Purple, if you use bleach, then use extra dechlorinator the first time you fill it with water.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:11 PM   #4 
callistra
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I rinse it until zero bleach smell remains and I'm 100% sure it's done. Then I fill it to the top once more and add a super amount of dechlorinator then let that sit 10 min then super rinse again and outgas 24 hours. This should be very safe. I've never had issues.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:39 PM   #5 
purplemuffin
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I figured it would need some serious elbow grease, I just wasn't sure how much was TOO much, I know how overdoing it with chemicals can be just as bad if not worse!

The tank will be scrubbed first to get all the hard stuck on pieces off, then will soak, and probably will scrub some more to get the rest off that is loosened up by the soaking!

Then just in case I plan to set it outside while full of water for a week or so to double check that it doesn't leak! If it has leak problems I already have aquarium silicone! :)

Good to know about the driftwood. It's big so boiling may be difficult, but I will do my best. I have prime for one betta so I have plenty of extra dechlorinator to do this with.

Thank you for the help!
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:37 PM   #6 
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you can put the tank on it's side, throw some paper towels in, and then soak the towels with vinegar/bleach. Rotate the tank and repeat till you hit all sides.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:51 PM   #7 
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+1 ^
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:53 AM   #8 
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Interesting ideas guys. It's going to be a lot of hard work but a lot of fun! Can't wait.

Once it's clean and everything it will go in my room to be filled with plants. :) After a few months of making sure the cycle is there and strong and letting the plants grow in..I get to stock it!
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:13 AM   #9 
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1 liter of white vinegar + the 55 gallons of water. Leave it for 48 hours then rinse it with water till the smell goes away.. Continue to do so till the smell is GONE. Works like magic.. Your tank will look almost new.
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