Cleaning stains in a fish tank can be exhausting and frustrating. Hard stains take forever to remove, even if you use vinegar while cleaning. Besides, you can’t let them build up the stains build up in an aquarium either. At least, not in one you intend to admire after a rough day!
So, what can we do then? Stronger reagents have a good record against the toughest of stains. CLR is among the reagents touted to make your work easier when dealing with hard stains. Keeping that in mind, can you use CLR on an aquarium?
Well, I don’t recommend using CLR on an aquarium. Especially an aquarium full of fish. CLR, which is short for Calcium, Lime, and Rust remover, is very toxic to humans and fish. It should not be anywhere near a fish tank that is full of fish.
Furthermore, CLR is terrible news for sealants on your fish tank. It will eat away the sealant leaving you with a leaking tank. It is one more reason to avoid using it.
What about in an Empty Fish Tank?
If you are a native of online fishkeeping communities, you might have stumbled upon fishkeepers claiming that they use CLR on their empty fish tanks without any loss of fish. Interesting, right?
I think you should not use it on any fish tank unless it is completely unavoidable. If you have tried everything and the water stains are not gone, you might need a stronger reagent. CLR fits the bill, but you should take care to ensure that you use it safely.
Before we talk about using CLR, it is essential to mention that the keyword is an empty fish tank when using the reagent. It would be best to take everything out of the fish tank before CLR comes into play.
How to Safely Clean an Empty Fish Tank Using CLR?
Extreme situations call for extreme measures. Sometimes, we must put our feet in the mud to get what we want. After everything is done, the results will be worth it.
The argument here is simple: since we use diluted CLR on coffee pots, we can use it on fish tanks. If we can drink coffee from pots cleaned with CLR without any harm, fish will be fine if we are careful about it. Makes sense, right?
As you think about that, here is a step by step process of cleaning a tank using CLR:
- Dilute CLR with water. Mix warm water and CLR in a 1:1 ratio.
- Use a cloth or sponge to apply it to the Glass part of the fish tank. Do not let the solution touch the tank’s frame or lead.
- Leave the solution on for around 2 minutes maximum before you rinse it off. Rinse it off as much as you can- 8 to 10 times with cold water. You can always rinse the glass more times to be thorough.
If some stains are still present, you can repeat the process until the fish tank is sparkling clean.
- Dry the fish tank and use a water conditioner to get rid of the remaining chemicals.
- Fill the fish with water and let it cycle before you add fish. Adding fish into the tank after cycling is done will reduce the chance of losing your fish. It is something you should do if only to keep your fish alive.
Additionally, you should use your aquarium test kit to check whether the vital parameters in the fish tank are stable for fish. The tests will guide you on what to do to guarantee safety for your fish before you add them into the fish tank.