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Old 11-26-2012, 12:28 PM   #1 
aemaki09
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Nicotine stain cleaning?

My boyfriends parents gave me their old 10 gallon the other day to use so I wouldn't have to use 1 gallon bowls for the new ones I have coming in.
Problem is, this tank hasn't been used in years, and there is nicotine stains on everything, gravel, decorations, in & outside of the tank, what is the best method I can use to clean this? I dont really want to use bleach or vinegar I dont feel 100% confident that I could wash it all out and I can't leave the tank out to airdry in this cold weather.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:48 PM   #2 
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The best thing to use for stains like that is Vinegar...It is safe to use, easy to rinse and even if you have some residual it shouldn't cause any problems for the fish-especially in a 10gal volume.

With bleach, you can use a little extra dechlorinator to make it safe for fish.

IMO/E-both vinegar and bleach are two of the safest products to use on aquarium.

Vinegar is what you want to use to cut soap residual on items you want to use for fish/aquariums-like coffee mugs, bowls for temporary QT's...etc....

You do want to avoid using these products on organic like items-like driftwood or items that could absorb them and leach into the aquarium.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:52 PM   #3 
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Thank you! I guess I'll have to use vinegar then. How should I go about cleaning the gravel with it? I don't really know the best method there?
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #4 
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I would put the gravel in a bucket-using hot water and vinegar at a 10:1 ratio and let it sit and soak for awhile. Or scoop off the dirty top layer and toss it and just clean/soak the cleanest or toss all of it and get new gravel altogether...

If the tank has sat dry for awhile-you might want to do a 24h leak test. Sometimes the seals can dry out and crack and you end up with a leaky tank.

If its glass, you can also use a razor blade to help remove some of the stains along with the vinegar. I use vinegar full strength to clean the used tanks I get-I pour a small amount in the tank and use an algae scrubber to dip in it and scrub the walls inside and out.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:25 PM   #5 
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Thank you so much! I'll try this tonight
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:12 AM   #6 
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Mr. Clean magic erasers are also WONDERFUL for cleaning tanks because they don't have any chemicals in them(the plain ones). I use mr clean for basically everything. :D
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:15 AM   #7 
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They don't have chemicals? Hmmm...I'll definitely have to look into that
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:23 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
Mr. Clean magic erasers are also WONDERFUL for cleaning tanks because they don't have any chemicals in them(the plain ones). I use mr clean for basically everything. :D
Neat, I have always wanted to try them in my kitchen/house.....never thought to use for aquariums.....I didn't know some didn't have any chemical in them...Sounds like something to look into...Having more options is always good....

aemaki-if you try one-let us know how they worked out for you

Butterfly-how much do they cost compared to a regular algae cleaner and are they somewhat like an algae cleaner regarding texture...I love finding regular household items to use in my fish room-especially when they end up being cheaper...lol.....
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:40 PM   #9 
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Are you sure it's not just brown algae (dead, dried, and stained)?? I've never seen nicotine really stain much of anything, but it will make everything in the house smell that way. I would only think this is staining from smoking if it was cigars, otherwise it was probably a tank over run with diatom algae and emptied later but never cleaned.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:43 PM   #10 
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The magic eraser is actually an abrasive material. It will etch glass. Ask me how I know.
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