How Do I Clean My RedSea After Removing Corals?

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HaveFishWillTravel

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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
Equipment:
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
Filter Socks

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…
 
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ZombieEngineer

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You might want to consider just selling most of the equipment and using the proceeds to help your son buy some equipment local to him instead of cleaning this, storing for 6 months, and then blowing a ton of money shipping this halfway across the country.

Saving and shipping stuff like the apex, radion, mp40 that is lighter and less bulky would be worthwhile, but the tank itself is not gonna be easy or cheap to ship. Would also give your son the experience of building a tank rather than just putting this one together.
 
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HankstankXXXL750

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308506FE-4215-4DD8-A71C-3310B3430351.jpeg
251FE18E-025D-46F7-A158-431015CC9048.jpeg

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
Equipment:
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
Filter Socks

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…
Ok makes more sense now lol. In the lights they should be pretty water resistant as they sit above water in a highly humid environment so I would say that spraying them with condensed air to clean away loose grit would be good then wiping them down with cloth dampened with RODI to not leave behind any hard water residue should work.

As far as cleaning and running vinegar through the system, some manufacturers say it can damage the rubber seals. I use Walmart white vinegar as directed by humblefish.com for sterilization of tanks and equipment between tank transfers and have had no problems, but those are 20 gallon petco tanks and HOB filter, heater etc.

But diluted there shouldn’t IMO be enough acidity to damage these rubber seals. Plastics are fine as vinegar comes in a plastic jug. I would refill with RODI and flush it out so that it doesn’t stay on any seals etc.

Packing and shipping a whole other issue. Definitely would need to be crated with sufficient padding. Using styrofoam sheets from a building supply store like Home Depot etc to tightly fit the tank in a plywood box would be good. Based on weight would
probably need to ship via truck freight vs ups or fed ex. I would also cut styrofoam inserts to wedge in the interior of the aquarium to maintain the integrity of it.

once clean and dried, I don’t see an issue of the seals “drying out”. Silicone doesn’t dry out in applications that I use it for in construction. I have purchased older tanks that had to be re-sealed but more because the bead of silicone running I. The corners had separated from the glass I think more from scraping during cleaning than sitting empty (I could be wrong) but I have stored aquariums for extended periods in the past and not had a problem.

sorry you are getting out of the hobby. Hope your son gets the bug and loves it as much as we do.
 
Tidal Gardens
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HaveFishWillTravel

HaveFishWillTravel

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You might want to consider just selling most of the equipment and using the proceeds to help your son buy some equipment local to him instead of cleaning this, storing for 6 months, and then blowing a ton of money shipping this halfway across the country.

Saving and shipping stuff like the apex, radion, mp40 that is lighter and less bulky would be worthwhile, but the tank itself is not gonna be easy or cheap to ship. Would also give your son the experience of building a tank rather than just putting this one together.
I have been trying to sell the inhabitants, the aquarium and the equipment since last October with very few interested parties and no takers. I finally was able to find someone to take my corals and the fishes for a little money.
I had a total of six aquariums that I had to decommission, most of them were freshwater and I sold them and the equipment. There is not a lot of money in used aquariums or equipment. It was such a shame. Not just the money, but all the time and energy. I poured my heart into everyone of them, especially the RedSea. I hated to see it go. I’ll check on the cost to ship stuff and will make my decision. The equipment is only two years old and should have quite a bit of years left.
My son is in the Marine Corps and they don’t make very much money. I totally get the part about building his own, he has always been pretty independent. All of your points are very good ones. I guess this is just where I am right now. At this point, I have to have some sort of plan and this is it for now. So, I have to figure out how to clean it and store it so that it will be in decent shape if I do want to do something else with it.
There are all sorts of extenuating circumstances, like it will be here in Washington and I will be in Montana for one. I suppose I could take all of the equipment over to Montana and try to sell it online from there. I am just so over it after spending six months tearing down and selling off my animals and aquariums. It’s been pretty rough. Big Sigh…
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. JL
 
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HaveFishWillTravel

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Ok makes more sense now lol. In the lights they should be pretty water resistant as they sit above water in a highly humid environment so I would say that spraying them with condensed air to clean away loose grit would be good then wiping them down with cloth dampened with RODI to not leave behind any hard water residue should work.

As far as cleaning and running vinegar through the system, some manufacturers say it can damage the rubber seals. I use Walmart white vinegar as directed by humblefish.com for sterilization of tanks and equipment between tank transfers and have had no problems, but those are 20 gallon petco tanks and HOB filter, heater etc.

But diluted there shouldn’t IMO be enough acidity to damage these rubber seals. Plastics are fine as vinegar comes in a plastic jug. I would refill with RODI and flush it out so that it doesn’t stay on any seals etc.

Packing and shipping a whole other issue. Definitely would need to be crated with sufficient padding. Using styrofoam sheets from a building supply store like Home Depot etc to tightly fit the tank in a plywood box would be good. Based on weight would
probably need to ship via truck freight vs ups or fed ex. I would also cut styrofoam inserts to wedge in the interior of the aquarium to maintain the integrity of it.

once clean and dried, I don’t see an issue of the seals “drying out”. Silicone doesn’t dry out in applications that I use it for in construction. I have purchased older tanks that had to be re-sealed but more because the bead of silicone running I. The corners had separated from the glass I think more from scraping during cleaning than sitting empty (I could be wrong) but I have stored aquariums for extended periods in the past and not had a problem.

sorry you are getting out of the hobby. Hope your son gets the bug and loves it as much as we do.
Hi there, thank you so much for providing me with detailed answers to my questions and reminding me about the APEX probes. You have good ideas, I actually copied and pasted your reply into another document and printed it!
I turned everything off, took as much detritus as I could out of there, I had a bare-bottom tank.
I emptied the display tank and half of the sump.
I am planning on running 1 gallon of distilled white vinegar for ~24 hours in warm freshwater.
That is 50 gallons of water to 1 gallon of vinegar. Then, run clear RO for ~24 hours. If it isn’t clean enough, I’ll scrape, rinse and repeat. Clean it all up and dried and ready to be packed away. I still have all of the original equipment boxes. I’ll take the stand apart and I’ll protect the tank the best I can, until the next step which will either be shipping it or selling it.
Not quite as fun as setting it up was, for sure ;-(
 
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