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Discussion Starter #1
I acquired an aquarium that was used for salt water and can't get the residue off the or silicon. I really don’t want to cut the silicon out and re-silicon the tank; will this residue hurt the frogs or is it a benign substance?
Thanks
Brian
 

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Is it just algae buildup from being used as a fish tank? If so, I wouldn't worry. If you're having trouble with hard water stains, there are a couple posts here about the miraculous (natural) powers of lemon juice to clear them up.

-Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Already tried fresh squeezed lemon to no avail. It is a hard mineral deposit. The tank has been rinsed over and over and allowed to dry. My feeling is it probably won't leech out but I don't want to expose my frogs to anything that could be detrimental.

Brian
 

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Muretic acid (swimming pool acid) does wonders for subborn, nasty SW deposits. If the silicon on the tank seams is blue that is from methyl blue or malacite green (used as SW meds) staining the silicon. The coloring is removed easily enough by filling the tank w/ water and adding a bit of bleach and letting it soak -it fixes the coloration issue but am not sure about the actual chemical issues.

It should be noted that any number of fairly nasty chemicals are used as meds in fish only marine tank that are quite long lasting. The main concern would be copper sulfate which would leach in the silicon seams and potentially stay on the glass itself. Just as an aside, it is strongly recommended not to re-use a fish only tank that has been medicated for a reef tank (or containing any other invertebrates) because of this -but of course you'll find people who have done w/o apparent diasterous results.
 

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Copper sulfate is only used in fish-only tanks so if you can find out what the previous tank was, it might ease your anxiety.

Mineral deposits in the cracks and crevices are going to be hard to clean without elbow grease. You usually have to scrape the mass until its chipped off. I recommend you scrape what you can and do a touch up silicone job. Since the tank (assuming) won't be holding water, you won't need a quality bond.

I personally would not leave the deposits there because the moisture of the tank will slowly dissolve it and you might start to get side affects.
 

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I have had my battles with this as well. Long story short, I will not be buying tanks off craigslist anymore, however...

When you say it is a "hard deposit" that only leaves a few possibilities in my mind:

The best problem to have (if you can consider it that, haha) would be coraline algae. It is essential a calcium deposit after being dry for a while and is most easliy removed with a razor blade held at an angle and used to scrape it off. If you have already tried scrubbing though (to no avail) then this is probably not your problem.

The second is hard water stains. Lemon juice works usually, but I feel white vinegar (put some on a paper towel, place the paper towel on the effected area, and wait for about 30 min to let it work its magic) is more effective on heavier stains.

The worst case scenario (that is often encountered when purchasing old tanks off craigslist as I did), is actually etched glass. Over time, hard water will literally etch the panes of glass. in cases like this, you can usually remove the surface stains, but there will always be a persistent 'haziness' present on the glass. To my knowledge (which includes waaay too much research on various aquarium forums) there is no good way to take that off.

The good news is that none of these issues should harm herps. The chemicals I have used trying to remove said deposits are another story though, so make sure to rinse the tank well if you choose to try anything stronger than lemon juice (CLR for example).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The coloration is white which lead me to believe it's some kind of calcium deposit. It started our rather thick and you could break it off by hand, it's the final thin layers in the crevices that I can’t seem to get to. I'll break some off another tank and drop in acid for etching concrete floors. If its lime based it should bubble up. It looks a lot like salt wicking at first. What would the salt do in acid? It's not on the glass, but I have another tank I intend on using as a plant nursery that does appear to be etched.
Thanks for all the good advice.
Brian
 

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The coloration is white which lead me to believe it's some kind of calcium deposit. It started our rather thick and you could break it off by hand, it's the final thin layers in the crevices that I can’t seem to get to. I'll break some off another tank and drop in acid for etching concrete floors. If its lime based it should bubble up. It looks a lot like salt wicking at first. What would the salt do in acid? It's not on the glass, but I have another tank I intend on using as a plant nursery that does appear to be etched.
Thanks for all the good advice.
Brian
It depends on the salt. A salt like calcium carbonate is going to react to an acid but salts like calcium chloride isn't going to react with many acids. Keep in mind that an acid may not get into the pores in the glass to remove the deposits. You can polish the hazing out, but it takes some effort.

If you make it into a verticle tank you can hide the hazing...

Ed
 

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in my broken down tanks when i lived in harder water areas Pure vinegar worked wonders, be very generous and let sit for a while, cover up the silicone with something that will seal or you may loosen it up
 
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