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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of setting up my first salt water tank. It's a 135g previously used as a freshwater planted tank. The water was very hard, so there are a lot of hard water stains on the glass brace that goes across the top of the tank. I think these stains have a significant impact on the amount of light getting through. Any good ideas on how to clean the hard water stains from the glass? I've tried vinegar and it didn't work all that well. Thanks.
 

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i was going to suggest vinegar
 

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My 75 gallon came the same way, full of stains but it was dirt cheap and nice so I bought it. I tried vinegar and scrubbing, nothing.

I used a product called lime away. It was a strong chemical, probably muriatic acid (which people do use on LR so you know your ok there). It got it right off. I cleaned the tank thoroughly afterwards, and filled and drained it a few times.

I have never had a loss in that tank other than a LTA almost a year after and I think it was dying when i bought it, so it seems safe when rinsed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any idea how to use muriatic acid? Do I wipe it on or spay it on? Should I wear gloves, and if so what kind? Do I dilute it at all? Any other suggestions?
 

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Well I dont want to recommend muriatic acide because I am not sure thats what it is, but that is what Lime away smelled like and it worked.

When I used limeaway I sprayed it on the stains, let it sit for a bit then scrubbed them off. I did this with a bit of water in the tank (just a very small amount) so it couldnt pool and was diluted.

I didnt use gloves, however I work on cars and build things alot so I am just abusive to my hands, you might want to. For lime away simple dish gloves (the long yellow ones) would be fine.
 

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Oh ok I looked it up, lime away is about 10 percent sulfamic acid.
". When compared to most of the common strong mineral acids, Sulfamic acid has desirable water descaling properties, low volatility, low toxicity and is a water soluble solid forming soluble calcium and iron-III salts."

Looks like its not that bad of stuff and is common for alot of household and medical uses.
 

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I go straight from vinegar to muriatic acid. I don't know what all is in lime away (though I use it often for other cleaning) and have never used it in a tank.

I mix acid and water and then clean with a scratch pad. You want to wear gloves and not breath in the fumes. I got curious once about what it smells like. It smells like pain. :doh:
 

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I had the same on the rim of my used 75 gallon. Used a spray bottle with vinegar, a couple wash cloths, a razor blade, and about two hours to scrub and scrape it all off. Looks great now.
 

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I go straight from vinegar to muriatic acid. I don't know what all is in lime away (though I use it often for other cleaning) and have never used it in a tank.

I mix acid and water and then clean with a scratch pad. You want to wear gloves and not breath in the fumes. I got curious once about what it smells like. It smells like pain. :doh:
Haha I have done the same thing while cleaning floors, yeah muriatic is much more toxic than limeaway which is just sulfamic acid and citric acid and water. well the one I have is. I think they have a heavy duty kind as well.
 

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Straight distilled white vinegar is safe to work with indoors or out, has no fumes, will not burn you and is cheap at about $1.48 a gallon at WalMart. Use it undiluted, lay the tank on its side and either pour enough in to cover that panel or soak an old rag or towel in it and let it soak.
After that a light scraping or scrubbing and its good as new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Straight distilled white vinegar is safe to work with indoors or out, has no fumes, will not burn you and is cheap at about $1.48 a gallon at WalMart. Use it undiluted, lay the tank on its side and either pour enough in to cover that panel or soak an old rag or towel in it and let it soak.
After that a light scraping or scrubbing and its good as new.
Thanks. I think I will try vinegar again before moving to the heavy stuff. The problem is, the glass brace is at the top of the tank and is horizontal from back to front. The hard water stains are on the underside of the brace. Also the tank is big and really heavy so it will be difficult to soak the glass.

By the way, should I be expecting these kinds of stains to happen again once I get the tank up and running with salt water? If so, any ideas how to prevent hard water stains going forward?
 

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Just wiping off the salt creep with a damp cloth now and then will suffice. It takes a lot of disregard for a long time for that buildup to happen. Wipe it all down every week or two and you'll never have that problem.
 

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Thats not easy to do on the underside of a center brace. My corals grow close to the surface and the water level is within an inch of the brace so getting to it is not as easy thing. When I do a water change I can reach up under there, often with a long handled scraper razor blade.
 

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Yea I use 2:1 White Distilled Vinegar. It's super cheap, usually fill the entire tank, let it sit for a few hours in super hot water, then scrub, scrub, scrub with an algae pad and voila, seems to do the trick for me just fine. Sorry to hear Vinegar isn't working for you. Whatever solution you find, make sure you rinse the tank super well. Good luck!
 

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While we're talking tank cleaning, Best think ever for the outside is mr. Clean magic eraser. Even gets off the dreaded epoxy-mixing fingerprints, and no chemicals.
 

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One thing I do at least every month is take my class canopy lids, lay them across my double sink and then I put paper towels over one side and pour enough vinegar over the towels to saturate them. After about 20 minutes or so, I rinse the glass thoroughly and presto, all the deposits are gone! I've found the one big difference between keeping freshwater fish and saltwater is those glass lids sure get a build-up on them really fast.
 
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