- May 25, 2020
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Hello All, I just removed all of my animals from my RedSea XL200 Reefer which has a 43 gallon display tank and 11 gallon sump and I need to clean it and all of my equipment to get it ready for storage until April 2023.
It has been operational for 2 years. It was recommended to me to remove the saltwater and fill the tank with warm RO and add a gallon of distilled vinegar and run my “system”. They said that it would turn the Crystalline Algae into ‘goo’ and that it would clean the pumps and the other equipment. It all sounds pretty good to me.
After thinking about it for a minute, I started thinking about the seals in my RedSea and each individual component that I have functioning in my display tank and sump.
I have my own ideas about what I should do, but I thought that it might be a useful discussion to bring this up to talk about how to do this and what equipment should have vinegar run through it and also, I would like to hear about others’ experiences dismantling their saltwater aquariums and readying them for storage. I would very much appreciate any help or guidance.
For starters, I don’t know how warm the water should be nor do I know how long to run the vinegar water through the aquarium to clean it. 24 hours?
48 hours? If anyone has an idea, that would be great! Also, should I run cleaning vinegar or distilled vinegar? You cannot eat or drink cleaning vinegar. You can ingest distilled white vinegar. Which one should I use. Or, which one would be recommended? I don’t want to tear the seals or the plastic apart in my equipment. After it has been cleaned, all of it will be stored until approximately April 2023 and then, I am shipping it to the east coast. I don’t want the vinegar to tear up or harden the plastic components or the seals in my RedSea in any way. I have heard that aquariums that sit for a period of time, the seals can dry up and will fail. I don’t want this to happen. This is why I am writing this to all of you asking for your expertise in this matter.
Here are the particulars…
Aquarium: RedSea XL200 Reefer
EcoTech Marine Vectra M2 Return Pump
Radion XR15 Gen5 Blue Light
RedSea ReefWave25 WaveMaker
Simplicity DC120 Protein Skimmer
Tunze Osmolator Controller 5017 RO Auto Top off
Cobalt 300W Heater
EHeim 150W Heater
Phosphate & Activated Carbon Reactors
APEX 4 Probes
I will remove the APEX Probes and clean them separately. That makes sense, right?
The Phosphate and Activated Carbon Reactors each have 500 gallons/hour pumps that need to be cleaned. I am planning on taking the GFO and the Carbon out of the Reactors before I start this process. I would like to keep the pumps there in the sump so that they have the vinegar flowing threw them and cleaning their impellers, etc. The Reactors will be empty while the vinegar is flowing through the system.
Question? Should I remove the Tunze ATO pump and lines? They should have only have been exposed to RO water and they should be okay with gentle cleaning by moving fresh RO through the pump and the lines. This is definitely open to discussion. I don’t think that vinegar will hurt the pump or the vessel where the RO is kept and it definitely will clean it. What I have seen is that in the sump, there is a bunch of salt that gets thrown around and my guess is that the RO vessel is full of salt and I will end up cleaning it with vinegar anyway. Maybe it makes sense to leave it in there?
I can remove the two reactors or just take out the Carbon and GFO in the reactors and let the vinegar do its job. I think that this is what I should do.
The filter socks are replaceable and I will remove them.
How do I clean the light? I don’t want to mess it up. It’s a Radion XR15 Gen5 Blue. I think that I should l leave the light alone and clean it off with a soft cloth and pack it into its original box, which I still have.
Once I am done cleaning the aquarium and all of the equipment, I will be storing it for about six months in a climate controlled storage locker. In six months, I will be sending it across the country to my son from Seattle, Washington to Jacksonville, North Carolina. If anyone has any tips on exactly how to do that, I am open to hear whatever you have to say about it and it will be greatly appreciated.
I am a bit heartbroken for sure having to stop being a part of this fabulous hobby. I have enjoyed it so much and I have enjoyed meeting so many great people along the way. For the last seven years, it has been an experience of a life time. So much beauty, satisfaction, frustration, anguish and many, many rewards.
I cannot say enough about how enhanced my life has become because of my saltwater reefs and my freshwater aquariums. Beyond anyone of my expectations. It was a beautiful time in my life…