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Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles

Discussion in 'HH General Discussion' started by thead11, Aug 7, 2008.

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  1. thead11

    thead11 Elite Member

    We have acquired a used tank from some family members, and I am unsure of how to clean it properly. As far as I know, it used to house some freshwater fish.
    We are going to use it for our semi-aquatic turtles. What is the best way to clean it and to kill any icky things that still may be there?
    Should I go and buy something at the pet store to do it, or are there any good household tips?
    Thanks!:)
     
  2. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    I usually use a little bleach diluted in water.
    Make sure to give it a good rinse out afterwards.

    I'm not sure if that is safe for turtles though. Since there will be water reintroduced.
     
  3. thead11

    thead11 Elite Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    Yeah that's what I was thinking. I know that I can't just rinse it out, it has to be CLEANED.
    I just found this:
    How To Clean an Aquatic Turtle Tank | eHow.com

    Does anyone know if white vinegar and baking soda are really okay to use?
     
  4. tuffgi2001

    tuffgi2001 Elite Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    Never heard of using those, but I know a ratio 1 part bleach to 10 parts water will do the job. Just wash it out thoroughly and you are good to go ;)
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    I'd go with the 1/10 bleach solution. And rinse thoroughly.
    If you still smell bleach rinse again.
    Turtles, though aquatic, still have tough hides. They aren't like frogs or fish.
     
  6. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    The 1-10 bleach solution is your best bet. Just rinse really well and let it sit for a day to dry and evaporate. If 1-10 is OK for frogs, its OK for turtles. ;)
     
  7. kharnifex

    kharnifex Active Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    yea, 10% bleach solution, and a razorblade.
     
  8. untsmurf

    untsmurf Elite Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    You don't need to use bleach!!!!!!!!!!!!!! White vinegar will do whatever you need. Use a razor blade to scrape off any algae or hard water stains, then rinse with a vinegar solution. Don't put baking soda in it as that will just neutralize the vinegar. Vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base, combining them neutralizes them. You don't want to use bleach because you don't have to, it can be harmful if you don't rinse it out properly and that can be hard. I say go with vinegar.
     
  9. Bigtyny

    Bigtyny Active Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    I use bleach then let it in the sun since bleach is clorine, it gets cleaned and then the bleach goes away. I still rinse but there is no need. I use it in all my fish tanks even when I first buy them.
     
  10. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    Yup, all you need to do is let it sit a day or two, and all the harmful chlorine evaporates. Not saying that vinegar doesn't work, its just an alternative.
     
  11. belle

    belle Elite Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    I have 15 fishtanks and have been keeping fish for a while! Many of my tanks have needed to be "nuked" or so it's called in the fish world.

    For nuking glass tanks I use a ratio of 1:9 bleach to water. For acrylic and plastic things (like ornaments) I use a ratio of 1:19 bleach to water. You don't need to fill the tank with the solution, you can simply use a spray bottle. After doing this, you rinse rinse rinse. THEN...use a dechlorinator at ten times normal dosage. My dechlorinator of choice is called Prime. You can find Prime in most stores, including big box chain stores. I like it because it's cheap and a little goes a long way. It also helps greatly when cycling fish tanks. Prime is also sold under a different name for reptiles, but it's the same thing.

    In any event, use the dechlorinator at ten times solution. Rinse this out. At this point you will no longer smell any bleach in the tank.

    This also works with if you get bleach on your hands.

    I know that vinegar may work, but bleach kills everything (except for fish tb, but that's a different topic)...and bleach is very easy to remove (which is why it's never ever ever advised to nuke a tank or to clean fish things with soap).

    I also clean my gecko tanks out this way.

    hope that helps. :)
     
  12. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    Re: Proper Cleaning of Old Fish Tank for Turtles??

    Plain old table salt, a non-abrasive pad, (the salt is the abrasive and doesn't scratch the glass) and a little elbow grease, and your done!
    No extra costs, the salt kills the bacteria, and it is easy to rinse out. I've probably cleaned 2-300 tanks with salt, and never had one fatality!
     
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