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Old 10-04-2010, 07:47 PM   #1 
celine18
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Question fixing up an old 10 gal (many questions)

so, i've had my guy in his 1.5 gal bowl for a week and i'm already fed up with doing water changes every other day, so today i went out in the garage and dug up my old 10 gal tank from waaaaayyyyy long ago (its been out there for probably 5+ years). in the past i had fish get sick and die in it, so i'm really worried about cleaning it and its filter out good. (the filters from back then, i don't even know if it still works, but if it does, i'm using it, if not, i'll buy a new one.) i'll also be buying a larger heater.

so, i've searched the site and i can't find anywhere that says how to clean a tank like this (this thing was naaaaasty. like all dusty, scummy, and buggy D:). i have washed it out with vinegar & salt, scrubbing, and i rinsed it a good 5 times. i did the same with the filter, and all its parts, to the best of my ability, since it was hard to get to some parts. now it looks nice and shiny and new! :D well except for the hood, which is pretty much beyond saving :'( so i'll probably get a new one so he can have a light.

1) do i need to do anything else? i was planning on washing the tank and filter with vinegar again tomorrow, is that enough to make it safe???

2) also, i'll be doing a fishless cycle, using pure ammonia, but can i buy the starter bacteria at petsmart/petco? i've been reading info on how to do cycles, so i'm pretty sure i know what all to do, but in case not, you'll be hearing from me again ;)

3) also also, i would like to add a live plant, should i wait until after i get the cycle fixed to put it in, or would putting it in while doing it help? would the pure dosages of ammonia and high nitrite/nitrate hurt the plant?

4) also also also, i would hopefully like to put some corys or mollys or something in with my guy in the future, how long after finally gettin him in there should i wait before adding tank mates???

aaaaaaallll right, i do believe that's it!!! i really appreciate any input!!! thanks!!! :D
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:00 PM   #2 
JorgeBurrito
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1) That sounds good, you could try a 5% bleach soln followed by lots of rinsing and a final bath in water with 3x dose of dechlorinator present, but if the tank looks good it is probably unnecessary. Just being out in the air for so long with no water present will have killed just about any aquatic disease the tank might of been harboring.
2) Most of those started bacteria culture don't work. The bacteria has a limited lifespan and they just don't get sold quick enough. Seachem stability or Tetra Safestart is the only two I would recommend and even those seem to get mixed reviews. The better solution is to seed your bacteria via gravel or the filter medium from an already established, disease free tank.
3) You can put your plants in pretty quickly. It will likely help your tank cycle faster actually. One of the nutrients plants use is nitrogen, and ammonia is an excellent source of it.
4) If you do a true fishless cycle and it is 100% finished (checked via test kits testing both ammonia and nitrates/nitrites) you can add them in as soon as the cycle is finished. Maybe a little safer to wait at least a few weeks after adding your betta just to make sure the cycle is stable though.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:32 PM   #3 
Capricorn
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I've cleaned out my fair share of dirty tanks (for fish, hermit crabs, etc) with nothing but hothot water. The light bleach solution is an idea as well.. make sure you rinse it very well, no matter what you use. (:

You may just want to replace the filter, too.. something about using an old filter wigs me out, haha. Good luck!
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:17 PM   #4 
celine18
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jorgeburrito: thank you! thats all very helpful!! :D

capricorn: haha it doesnt have any filter media stuff, its just the plastic container part, so id hope cleaning it thoroughly and putting new stuff in it shoud be ok. actually, i dont even know what kind of filter stuff to put in it since i dont know what kind of filter it is, i dont think i have any info sheets about it either >.<
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:29 PM   #5 
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If you got it from your garage, make sure no one has sprayed chemicals in there to get rid of rats/mice/bugs. It could get on/in the tank/filter.
I don't know, washing it probably would rid any of that, but just wanted to let you know.....:)
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:39 PM   #6 
celine18
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oh thanks, i hadn't thought of that! it was up on a shelf pretty high up, and i don't think we've sprayed for anything, so it shoudl be ok!!! (crosses fingers)
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:14 PM   #7 
Omega3
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Thanks for asking! I just a got a used tank from Goodwill and need to clean it!
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:48 PM   #8 
celine18
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haha your welcome. be sure you wash your tank out real good, oh and i tended to forget, scrub up under the little lip, theres some nastyness that you might miss there!
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:54 PM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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I would also do a leak test for 24 hours before you set it up- tanks that sit dry the seals can crack and what a mess 10g of water can make.....I know...lol.....also if you have any doubts about anything in the tank a good rinse with vinegar after the diluted bleach cleaning will usually cut through it.
I like to sit my old/used tanks up outside and fill with the diluted bleach water, hook up the filter and run it for 24h during my leak test so I can check both tank and filter.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:40 PM   #10 
Tomsk
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Once your happy with how clean your tank and filter is and that its water-tight,you could add substrate & live plants and should be able to add your Betta the following day.A 10G tank with live plants and only one fish shouldnt need to be cycled before-hand.The bio-load would be small for that set-up and the plants would help too (even better if you use exisiting substrate/deco from your other tank).Just keep an eye on the water parameters and if all is well and you only need to do a once a week PWC after about 2 weeks start to add more fish (not too many at a time,you need to raise the bioload slowly).

Tomsk
Edit: Make sure you have some places for your Betta to hide in,a 10G tank is a BIG space for a Betta after his 1.5g tank (plants can be used to screen off a corner for him)

Last edited by Tomsk; 10-09-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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