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Old 10-31-2004, 01:41 AM
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Default Is Windex safe to clean the glass of a dart vivarium.

Hello, I am building a dart vivarium out of an old aquarium. The glass has some residue on it that wouldn't come off with vinegar. Is it safe to use Windex? I can probably find some ammonia-free windex if I need to.

Also, still wondering if anyone has any suggestion on what a good size is for a breeding vivarium. Is 25-27 gallons too big for one pair of azureus?
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Old 10-31-2004, 01:02 AM
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Windex kills fish when used on the outside of tanks, so I wouldn't use it.

As far as the size of the breeding tank, others can answer. I have a pair of tincs (I think...) in a 29 gallon and they are together constantly. Still no eggs though.
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Old 10-31-2004, 09:27 PM
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Thats a simple: NO!
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Old 11-01-2004, 12:56 AM
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Well, wait a minute. I would think you could use windex on the empty tank to clean it before setting it up. You would have to rinse it afterwords with a bleach solution, then water.

However, the residue is probably lime deposits, so I'm not sure Windex would remove it. Good aquarium shops sell a fish safe lime deposit remover, I belive it's called Python Glass Cleaner, that would probably be the safer choice.

Tim
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:02 AM
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I would be very careful on using ANY chemicals in a tank. It does not take much at all.
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:09 AM
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Between a vinegar solution (right out of the bottle) and a flat razor blade I've not had any problems taking off deposits other than a couple things that may permenently bond to the glass (so I was told, but I haven't had trouble getting stuff off old fish tanks with the above method). After a good soak with vinegar the deposists usually come right off with the razor blade.
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Old 11-01-2004, 10:07 AM
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Water and a flat razor works fine for me.
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745
I would be very careful on using ANY chemicals in a tank. It does not take much at all.
So no water then? Sorry, couldnt' resist.

Most people agree that vinegar and water is safe to use but be aware that heavy mineral deposits can actually etch glass so there are times when no amount of cleaning will restore the clarity of the glass. It would have to be polished at that point... or just cut out the bad panel and replace it.
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Old 11-02-2004, 01:23 PM
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Shouldn't posts like this be in the beginners discussion area? Seems like several topics are coming on advanced discussion that would be better classified under beginners.
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Old 11-03-2004, 01:54 AM
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this is the beginner forum....
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Old 11-03-2004, 02:16 AM
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Ok ok good point...

I guess be careful with what you use. If you are cleaning a tank before use a 10% bleech solution is a ok idea as long as it is rinsed out afterwords. I'm sure windex would be ok if rinsed afterwords on a tank before it was built, but I would not risk it. I would not use either though in a tank with frogs in it. I would not use anything other than water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrock
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1745
I would be very careful on using ANY chemicals in a tank. It does not take much at all.
So no water then? Sorry, couldnt' resist.

Most people agree that vinegar and water is safe to use but be aware that heavy mineral deposits can actually etch glass so there are times when no amount of cleaning will restore the clarity of the glass. It would have to be polished at that point... or just cut out the bad panel and replace it.
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Old 11-03-2004, 01:27 PM
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how can windex kill fish when used on the outside of the tank??? :?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorjosh
Windex kills fish when used on the outside of tanks, so I wouldn't use it.

As far as the size of the breeding tank, others can answer. I have a pair of tincs (I think...) in a 29 gallon and they are together constantly. Still no eggs though.
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Old 11-04-2004, 02:12 PM
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Glass is highly permeable to certain substances. The windex simply diffuses through the pores in the glass, into the tank, and kills the fish.
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Old 11-04-2004, 02:46 PM
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For those that were wondering - it was moved from the Advance to the Beginner forum.

s
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this is the beginner forum....
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Old 11-04-2004, 03:01 PM
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news to me, I used windex for years and never lost a fish. This smells a bit fishy to me :?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydia
Glass is highly permeable to certain substances. The windex simply diffuses through the pores in the glass, into the tank, and kills the fish.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty
news to me, I used windex for years and never lost a fish. This smells a bit fishy to me :?
If you have an ammonia test kit like most big fish hobbiest do, take a water sample test the ammonia level. Then clean the glass with windex or simular product, test about every two hours for ammoina you should see a nice spike. If you have been doing this to your fish you might want to stop.

*This is also a good experiment for a science fair if anyone is interested.

Doug
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:26 PM
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I don't have any fish these days, just darts. I use amonia free plexi glass cleaner now..

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpotter1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty
news to me, I used windex for years and never lost a fish. This smells a bit fishy to me :?
If you have an ammonia test kit like most big fish hobbiest do, take a water sample test the ammonia level. Then clean the glass with windex or simular product, test about every two hours for ammoina you should see a nice spike. If you have been doing this to your fish you might want to stop.

*This is also a good experiment for a science fair if anyone is interested.

Doug
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Old 11-04-2004, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorjosh
Windex kills fish when used on the outside of tanks, so I wouldn't use it.
Windex will not kill fish when used on the outside of the tank, as long as you don't spray the Windex into the tank.

Originally posted by Lydia -
"Glass is highly permeable to certain substances. The windex simply diffuses through the pores in the glass, into the tank, and kills the fish."

And I'm sorry but glass is not permeable, period.

While it may not be a good idea to use Windex inside a tank prior to making a Vivarium, misinformation needs to be addressed.

Tim
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:11 AM
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I've got to agree with Tim and Marty here. Doug, if you're seeing a spike it might be because you have ammonia in aerosol form floating its way into an uncovered aquarium (or even through small holes in the top), not permeating glass. If glass was really selectively permeable, we would never be able to use flasks twice in chemistry labs (yes, I know it's now Pyrex, but it used to be glass before Pyrex).

This is definitely the stuff urban legends are made of.
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Old 11-05-2004, 02:56 AM
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I know there is some permeability to glass, but nothing near the levels you're claiming. A quick wipe with windex will not harm fish in the tank... NO WAY ! If glass was permeable to amonia, you wouldn't need to remove it from water. it would just naturally seap out of the tank, you'd just need a little trough to collect it, hhehe

I do know that glass can dissolve in water if left submersed for centuries. Divers that pulled out glass artifacts from ship wrecks
noted that there were no more sharp edges and glass was much more thin, etc... that could be attributed to some other stuff present in water... I'm no expert ....but I digress :wink:





Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer
I've got to agree with Tim and Marty here. Doug, if you're seeing a spike it might be because you have ammonia in aerosol form floating its way into an uncovered aquarium (or even through small holes in the top), not permeating glass. If glass was really selectively permeable, we would never be able to use flasks twice in chemistry labs (yes, I know it's now Pyrex, but it used to be glass before Pyrex).

This is definitely the stuff urban legends are made of.
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:19 AM
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Here are my 2 cents, from my past saltwater reef tank experience. Ammonia is disastrous for small saltwater tanks (especially nanoreefs). A little squirt will throw the water chemistry way off. Ammonia is a byproduct of the nitrate-nitrite bacterial process, which finds a pinpoint balance in a well-settled tank. I used to play with my water chemistry with a tiny little pipette, so you can see how a squirt or two of uber strong ammonia is a bad idea.

As for glass being permeable, wouldn't the Alanis Resort be pretty wet if glass was even partially osmotic? One cool fact about glass, is that it is actually a liquid. Over the period of 100-150 years, a 10mm pane of glass, installed perpendicular to the floor will flow down, so its top will become knife edge sharp. If you ever go to an old abby or church, check out the windows. The glass will have flowed over its channel on its base.
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty
I do know that glass can dissolve in water if left submersed for centuries. Divers that pulled out glass artifacts from ship wrecks
noted that there were no more sharp edges and glass was much more thin, etc... that could be attributed to some other stuff present in water... I'm no expert ....but I digress :wink:
Even the thinning and smoothing of glass in water over years is not caused by a permeability or simple dissolving, but by the abrasive action of water molecules bouncing off of the surface of the glass as ocean currents or simple stream action smooths edges and takes off tiny amounts of the surface material just like super fine sandblasting. Further, as Joe pointed out, glass displays the characteristics of a supercooled liquid, showing surface tension and an ability to flow over time.

However, I have never heard or seen of any solid evidence (or even any claim as such until this thread) that glass is a permeable material.
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:54 PM
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This is a good discussion.

Here is a link to an abstract that tested three gasses and how much they permeated silica glass. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-b ... ..47.1987T

Here is another one showing that glass is permeable:
http://www.rsc.org/CFmuscat/intermediat ... 08267e.PDF

Those are all that I have time to find, maybe I'll come across more clear examples later.

Now, I what I do not know is if gaseous ammonia is small enough to permeate glass, but glass IS permeable to whatever is small enough to permeate it.

When I did another search, I did not find any academic sources that said using Windex on glass would in fact kill fish. I did, however, find several hobbiest sources that said using windex anywhere in the vicinity of their fish tanks would cause ammonia spikes in their water. I'm assuming that this is because when using a spray bottle, not all of the stuff that comes out goes where you point it. I also found that the hobbiests, when they did use windex, they used it sparingly, diluted it, and poured it directly onto a cloth and then wiped it onto the glass. Also, marine keepers were more careful about this than freshwater keepers.

Back on topic- while windex may not permeate glass like some of us previous fish keepers thought, it still does leave a residue so, like some of the posts above stated, it may not be safe to use it on the inside of the tank at any time. Also, it does aeresol, so it is not safe to use at any time when there are frogs in the tank, unless you pour it directly onto a cloth.

Another interesting fact I learned that I did not know: Using windex and other abrasives on some acrylic will eventually cause etching.
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:24 PM
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As I read it, the first article cited (according to the abstract) indicates that glass may be infused (permeated) by helium (He), hydrogen (H), and Deuterium (an isotope of Hydrogen) when glass is heated between the temps of 693-763 K (roughly 400-500 C or about 775-900 degrees F).

That most likely is not a good indicator of permeability of glass at room temperature, particularly to much larger molecules like ammonia (NH4).

The second article cited permeability of mesoporous glass: silica processed/engineered to form a glass having micorpores in the 3-30 nm range--not what we use in fish aquaria, but something used to make a fairly inert fine filtering media. That is a glass that is engineered to be permeable by having small holes in it.

So, while I am now more dubious than before about the permeability of glass in fish aquaria, I do think your points regarding the aerosolization of ammonia are right on. That seems a much more likely, and explains why even using Windex in the vicinity would cause ammonia spikes.
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:30 PM
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Nicely put Marty! How easy it would be for fish keepers if only ammonia really did seap through glass!

bluetip

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If glass was permeable to amonia, you wouldn't need to remove it from water. it would just naturally seap out of the tank, you'd just need a little trough to collect it, hhehe
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Old 11-05-2004, 06:04 PM
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I found these products from coralife but I think that theyare for external use. I have never used them but they look good.

Terrarium
http://www.esuweb.com/cardfile.asp?I...lationship=163

Acrylic
http://www.esuweb.com/cardfile.asp?I...elationship=70

Glass
http://www.esuweb.com/cardfile.asp?I...elationship=71

-Blake
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:24 PM
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I have to agree with Marty. I have been keeping Saltwater reef tanks for over 10 years now, one 90 gallon and one 30 gallon. The saltwater that drips onto the glass just smears if you try to clean it off with just water, you need ammonia to cut through it..So I have used regular old Windex ever since I've had my fish tanks, and have NEVER had one problem. Not one.

I think as long as the tank is covered to prevent any overspray from entering the tank, windex is just fine to clean the glass.

Dan
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