Removing Limescale from top of the tank

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Nano Jake, 21 Jun 2008.

  1. Nano Jake

    Nano Jake Member

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    I get a fair bit of limescale buildup around the top edge of my tanks at the waterline. Anybody got any tips on removing this?

    I read that vinegar works but not sure if thats safe to use with fish in the tank??
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi,
    Yes, limescale is a calcium or magnesium carbonate which is dissolved by any acid. Vinegar is a weak organic acid, otherwise known as acetic acid. If vinegar or the dissolved product gets into the water the effect would be to lower the pH which is not really a big deal. Otherwise, in small amounts there should not be any toxicity. If you wanted to play it safe you could just do a water change afterwards. Organic acids are constantly being produced in the aquarium so this one is not a big problem. I'd prefer to use vinegar than to use some of those commercial limescale removers.

    Cheers,
     
  3. bugs

    bugs Member

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    I just scrape it off using one of those cheap glass scrapers. Get some traditional razor blades for the scraper. They get ruined in fairly short order but generally do a good job.
     
  4. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    thats what I do too.. get a bulk lot of stanley knife blades.. cut a slot in a 12 inch bean pole.. push a blade in and voila.. home made algae scraper. :) works a treat for anything like that
     
  5. Nano Jake

    Nano Jake Member

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    But doesnt that just scratch the glass? dont fancy scratching my opti tank!!
     
  6. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    no.. using a stanley knife blade thats perfectly sharp is also perfectly flat.. therefore cant scratch the glass. Same as using a razor blade. Its by far the best way of removing algae and so long as you use good condition blades, the easiest way of doing it without scratching the glass.
     
  7. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    I.ve wondered about pumping co2 into a small container of v.soft water would get the pH down really low so it would be a strong acid and using that to get limescale off but I've not go around to doing it yet.

    Sam
     
  8. Nano Jake

    Nano Jake Member

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  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Sam, Carbonic acid can never be a strong acid. The pH attained is not the definition of strong/weak acid. If you wanted a low pH solution to use for cleaning limescale why go through all that trouble? Just use Coca Cola, or bottled sparkling water which I believe has a pH of 3.5 via carbonic acid. :rolleyes:

    Gee, I wonder what the active ingredient of JBL "Bio-Clean" will turn out to be? My guess will be acetic or citric acid, or both. I mean, get real guys - go to the supermarket and buy some lemons/limes or vinegar or Coca Cola. Even a jalepeno pepper will work. :wideyed: There is no need for rocket science here, this problem was probably solved by the Babylonians over 5000 years ago. :idea:

    Cheers,
     
  10. Nano Jake

    Nano Jake Member

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    Is it safe to use lemon juice on a tank with fish in? obviously during a water change when the water level is at its lowest.
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    Fair enough! :lol:

    Sam
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, there are so many folks who use "pH Down" in their tanks and that is a strong acid (it might be sulphuric). Your tank also produces copious quantities of nitric acid and other acids I just don't see the big problem here. The CO2 that you add to your tank adds carbonic acid and drops the pH by a full unit which means a ten times acidity increase. Obviously you would want to add a gallon of lemon juice but the amount that will drip into the tank is nothing. There is no need to fret about weak acids in the water because we add weak acids to the water every day with CO2 and there is very little harm.

    With any of the weak acids like citric or acetic you may not dissolve all the limescale right away depending on the thickness. Just let it sit on the limescale for a while or do several applications and eventually it will dissolve the limescale.

    Cheers,
     
  13. swackett

    swackett Member

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    I've also got white water marks on my old tank and want to remove them, I’ve tried using kitchen/bathroom cleaners and lime scale removers (viakal) and a razor blade. This has been partially successful but there is still noticeable white marks on the back of the tank.

    Any ideas? I've not too bothered how toxic it is as the tank is empty so I can give a good clean before I start to set it up - I just want to remove the marks!

    Cheers
     
  14. JamesC

    JamesC Member

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    Once the glass has become etched then there isn't much you can do. The glass cross braces on my Rena have become etched and I've tried really hard to clean them up. I even removed them and used a glass polishing compound and then bufferring which helps a lot but doesn't make the glass look like new.

    James
     
  15. swackett

    swackett Member

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    Thanks for the reply James, I guess it must be etched as I can't seem to shift the some of the white watermarks.

    Steve
     
  16. Egmel

    Egmel Member

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    Kilrock descaling gel is really good (but obviously not fish safe!)
     
  17. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    Again not fish safe but awesome is cillit bang. Hate the adverts but it does work bl**dy well. Not supposed to use near food prep areas either...
     

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