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Old 09/11/2019, 08:35 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: NWI
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Dried Coraline algea removal

Hello everyone,
I'm getting back into the hobby after a 10+ yr break. I'm attempting to clean up the tank I've had in storage and need help removing the dried algea. I've used hot water and vinegar and it's not budging. I'm planning to sand down and buff out my tank this w/e and need to know if I need to worry about removing the algea beforehand or just get it off while sanding??

TIA , QuestionGurl
65gal acrylic AIO tank

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Old 09/11/2019, 08:53 AM   #2
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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usually some elbow grease with a scraper and vinegar do the job for me.

if you want to up the game, hardware stores sell Muriatic Acid for etching concrete. might be worth a try, but keep in mind that it is nasty stuff and you need to take precautions before using it (eye protection, dilution, skin protection, nitrile gloves, work outside, etc).

conversely, leaving it there won't hurt anything, and eventually it will get covered with new coraline.

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Old 09/11/2019, 09:01 AM   #3
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Did you apply the vinegar full strength or did you dilute it? Full strength vinegar should break down the calcification allowing it to at be removed with a bit of elbow grease. You could either brush it on full strength, or perhaps even better, if you have some old towels just hang those over the sides with the coralline and soak them in vinegar. You may need to pour the vinegar on, let it set, remove some of the coralline, and then repeat. If the coralline is thick, the vinegar may break down the surface a bit without getting underneath. But each time you repeat the step you should be able to get closer to getting it all. I used this method to clean a tub with bad deposits caused by a leak faucet. A couple jugs of vinegar is not that expensive. I wish you luck.

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Old 09/11/2019, 09:03 AM   #4
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If you are sanding/buffing the tank anyways that process will certainly remove any coralline algae and there is no need to remove it before the sanding process..

If you are sanding/buffing JUST to remove the coralline algae and want to know if you can just leave it then sure.. More is likely going to grow back anyways.

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Old 09/11/2019, 09:37 AM   #5
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I usually use hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) to remove encrusted calcifications on tanks and equipment and it works very quickly.
But I would only use it outdoors as the process can produce potentially harmful gasses.

Assuming that this is a plexiglass tank, I would advise against sanding the calcifications off as that may lead to uneven glass thickness.

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Pairs: 4 percula, 3 P. kauderni, 3 D. excisus, 1 ea of P. diacanthus, S. splendidus, C. altivelis O. rosenblatti, D. janssi, S. yasha & a Gramma loreto trio
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Old 09/11/2019, 12:06 PM   #6
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Could pick up cleaning vinegar its 6% so stronger, then fill the tank full of hot water & vinegar solution and let it sit a day or two to allow it to soften the coralline like it would be in a full tank & should then be easy to scrape off. Just applying hot solution without a full soaking is doubtful. I use vinegar at work all the time but only works if doing a complete soak in full concentration quickly. Anyway its what id attempt as was said vinegar is cheap and this way would save you the sanding effort probably, just takes full soaking & some time.

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