View Full Version : How would I clean all this calcium buildup on my aquarium?

02-05-2006, 4:43 PM
I haven't been really attending to my aquarium as you can tell in the two pictures. How would I rid the hardware of this white calcium that just seems to spread more every month?

It just seems very disgusting leaving it all over there.

02-05-2006, 5:03 PM
My favorite cleaning tool for calcium buildup is a toothbrush. Just a plain, clean toothbrush- generic brand. You can probably get one for 50 cents at the grocery store.

I use a product made by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals called, "Safe & Easy."

Instead of spraying it on places like the hood and filter parts, I like to just put a few drops on each area to be cleaned. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then use a toothbrush to rub it really well, then wipe away with a clean paper towel or rag.

To clean the front of the glass, obivously it does work well to spray and wipe with a clean rag.

A toothbrush is also a handy tool for cleaning the hard to reach spots such as along the seals in the corners of the inside of your tank. Lots of great uses for a toothbrush in your aquarium. A clean, new, toothbrush.

02-05-2006, 5:13 PM
Soak the affected areas in viniger for two hours and scrub it clean. Rinse really well and it will look brand new and still be fish safe.

02-05-2006, 10:22 PM
I second rrkss's idea. Vineger does the trick quite nicely, a simple toothbrush is also helpfull.

02-05-2006, 10:25 PM
Rinse really well .......

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Rinse very well.

Red K
02-05-2006, 11:29 PM
Another vote for the vinegar. It is stinky but works like a charm and is safe.

02-06-2006, 4:48 PM
How much would the vinegar affect the fish if some drops drip into the aquarium water?

02-06-2006, 6:16 PM
I think the assumption would be that you remove and clean those parts which are removeable. And then for the tank hood and such, you could soak a rag with vinegar and scrub the deposits.

I'm not sure what vinegar will do to the chemistry in the tank, but enough of it would drop your pH to some degree.

02-06-2006, 8:53 PM
try this stuff

02-07-2006, 1:03 PM
Hmm. Lime Off is just phosphoric acid (the same stuff you find in soda pop.)

At $41 per gallon, you could buy 50 gallons of vinegar for that price. Vinegar may work a little slower, but not slow enough to warrant that kind of price premium.

Also, per a discussion in another forum, you can buy a gallon of hardware store-grade hydrochloric acid for around $11. But you gotta be *really* careful with that stuff.

02-07-2006, 1:48 PM
I posted in another thread that I use Barkeepers Friend which is a mixture of a few acids, vinegar included, on anything I can remove from the tank, hoods, filter tops, filter intake if need be, etc and use it on them, then RINSE RINSE RINSE and my last rinse is usually in a 5 gal bucket with dechorinator, don't think the last step does too much but it makes me feel good.

On my tank stuff I can't remove I use a small pocket knife and wet sponge to get it off, it's slow and time consuming but I don't like the risk of using a chemical that could get into the water. Someone else in that same thread suggested the Magic Eraser sponges that are available and I am going to give that a try, mostly because I am lazy and like anything that could save me effort.

Muratic/hydrochloric acid availabe at pool supply, tile shops, hardware stores works a lot faster but carries more risk as well. I would proably use that (cheaper) if I had a place I could store it, and didn't have a small child that will soon be crawling over everything.

02-08-2006, 4:54 PM
I think I'm going to go with the "Safe and Easy" solution because everything else sounds like too much of a risk, and I'm prone to having stuff accidently fall into the aquarium.

I did try the vinegar approach to some of the filter parts, but I'm worried I did not rinse them well enough.

02-08-2006, 7:06 PM
Just soak them in a baking soda solution to neutralize the acid, then rinse with water really well.

Acids are easily dispatched this way.

08-26-2012, 3:25 PM
I know this is an older thread, but just wanted to say thanks for it! I have the same problem, and my tank-top is soaking in vinegar-water right now.

08-27-2012, 4:28 PM
I also use vinegar. I take everything away from the tank. tear it apart, Put it in a bucket with an old powerhead (running) and let it work it's magic! Some times it takes a day or two for it all to come off. Rinse well, re assemble. No need to spend a bunch of money on specific fish tank cleaners.

08-27-2012, 6:02 PM
Vinegar and one of those $5 battery operated toothbrushes they sell at walmart.

08-28-2012, 11:31 AM
It is hard to go wrong with vinegar for scaly build up. If I was worried about an high pH tank, a baking soda rinse and/or baking soda in the tank should take care of any issues.

08-28-2012, 2:15 PM
Soak the affected areas in viniger for two hours and scrub it clean. Rinse really well and it will look brand new and still be fish safe.