Citric Acid Concentration for Cleaning...?

VBMike

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Hi Randy- citric acid has piqued my interest as a means of soaking/cleaning pumps, skimmers, etc. because I don't care for the smell of vinegar and I'm scared for my kids and pets around muratic acid.

It looks like it may actually be cheaper than vinegar, too... here's 5lbs for $14 on Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OZFECU?th=1

To achieve a similar acidity to vinegar, how much of this stuff do I mix with water? Do I just dump it in and mix it?

Thanks!

:)
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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The exact concentration is not important, as long as there is excess. I'd add about a quarter pound per gallon on the low end. More is fine.
 
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Hello Randy,

I am planning to disinfect my Red Sea Reefer 170 by running with a solution of either bleach, citric acid or vinegar. Because it is a rimless tank I’m concern that these acids may weaken the silicone seam. Would like your advice on which is safest to use in this regard. Thank you.
 

TeotheCoral

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You're welcome.

Good luck and let us know how it works out. :)
Hello Randy,

I am planning to disinfect my Red Sea Reefer 170 by running with a solution of either bleach, citric acid or vinegar. Because it is a rimless tank I’m concern that these acids may weaken the silicone seam. Would like your advice on which is safest to use in this regard. Thank you.
 
REEFTIDE
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Redfoxtang

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I only use citric acid to clean equipment as well. Not a fan of vinegar or muriatic acid either. I use a old chinese soup container to soak powerheads and it works like a charm. I also use this
Milliard Citric Acid 5 Pound - 100% Pure Food Grade NON-GMO Project VERIFIED (5 Pound) I like it because I can zip it back. Been using it for about a year so far and have had no issues.
 

jccaclimber

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I think I’m around a cup per gallon, maybe a bit more. Typically it’s a add more when it stops bubbling sort of thing.
Ziplock bags rolled up for long or thin stuff, cup/bowls/jars for things like wet sides.
If I want to reuse it I’ll keep it in the fridge so it doesn’t mold, but it works better warm, so gets a quick trip through the microwave.
 

reefiniteasy

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I just cleaned a couple of pumps. I filled a 5 gallon bucket with 3 gallons of water. I did 1/2 cup per gallon. So it was 1 1/2 cups citric acid to the 3 gallons. I let the pumps run for 4 hours and they came out sparkling clean. I then rinsed them in fresh water.
 
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jccaclimber

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I just cleaned a couple of pumps. I filled a 5 gallon bucket with 3 gallons of water. I did 1/2 cup per gallon. So it was 1 1/2 cups citric acid to the 3 gallons. I let the pumps run for 4 hours and they came out sparkling clean. I then rinsed them in fresh water.
Did you pull the apart? I’ve found that running my pumps in citric acid shines them up, but doesn’t get the area at the back of the impeller very well. For this I pull impellers out, tilt the pumps up, and pour in a scoop of citric acid with warm water.
 

ScottB

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I only use citric acid to clean equipment as well. Not a fan of vinegar or muriatic acid either. I use a old chinese soup container to soak powerheads and it works like a charm. I also use this
Milliard Citric Acid 5 Pound - 100% Pure Food Grade NON-GMO Project VERIFIED (5 Pound) I like it because I can zip it back. Been using it for about a year so far and have had no issues.

I also use Milliards. About 1/2 cup to a gallon and I am pleased. Works as well or better than white vinegar. A downside was that it would funk up after a week or so growing a bunch of nasty slimy bloom whereas vinegar would keep forever.

Got a helpful tip from another reefer here: a tablespoon or two of sodium benzoate seems to preserve it fairly well so far. Amazon cheap.
 

reefiniteasy

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Did you pull the apart? I’ve found that running my pumps in citric acid shines them up, but doesn’t get the area at the back of the impeller very well. For this I pull impellers out, tilt the pumps up, and pour in a scoop of citric acid with warm water.

Took them apart when I rinsed. Everything was sparkling clean.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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You could, but it will be much less effective per unit of citric acid used. The carbonate will keep the pH from getting as low, and all the calcium and magnesium will complex much of the citrate.
 

hllb

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You could, but it will be much less effective per unit of citric acid used. The carbonate will keep the pH from getting as low, and all the calcium and magnesium will complex much of the citrate.
Darn! Thanks though! I don’t have a ton of citric acid on hand so I’ll use freshwater
 
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