The BEST way to clean "submerged" dirty aquarium equipment?

BRS

How often do you clean your "submerged" types of equipment?

  • Weekly

    Votes: 28 4.1%
  • Monthly

    Votes: 128 18.9%
  • Quarterly

    Votes: 275 40.6%
  • Yearly

    Votes: 103 15.2%
  • Only when they quit working

    Votes: 99 14.6%
  • Never

    Votes: 19 2.8%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 25 3.7%

  • Total voters
    677

revhtree

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Man it sure doesn't take long for your pumps, skimmers, powerheads and all the other equipment that is usually under water to get dirty, covered in algae and coraline etc. Most of the time you need this equipment going at all times and can't have it off-line for too long. So today let's talk about all the ways you have found that works best and fastest when it comes to cleaning your equipment!

1. What are the best ways you have found to clean your "submerged" types of equipment?

2. What are any specific tools that make the cleaning job easier?


image via @eggie
Picture002.jpg
 

Ippyroy

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I clean most of my pumps monthly. For the power heads I put in a 5 gallon bucket with citric acid and run them for a few hours. I also throw in my coffee filter and anything else that could use a good cleaning. I mix a little strong so everything quickly and easily wipes right off. Coralline algae becomes gross and slimy and wipes off with a rag. Quick rinse and back in the tank it goes.
 

Dbichler

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I’m lazy and enjoy watching my tank. I usually clean return pumps yearly and mp40s monthly or they make noise, may go another brand next time for this reason. Protein skimmer cleaned bimonthly. Algae turf scrubber only gets scrapped when it starts to bend my pvc. Yes I know costs more but if I spend more time on the tank the misses would freak out she already says I’m too obssesed. I usually just scrub with a mr clean magic eraser and q-tip no cleaning agents.
 

dbowman5

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i voted other because:
i am new so have not developed a routine that could be standardized as quarterly/semiannual/yearly
i definitely do something when equipment stops working
watching the tanks, i react to build up or interference.
i clean flow restrictions as i see them, the return spray bar has been cleaned twice this year the siphon strainer three times, the refugium screen twice
the skimmer three times (full out cleaning, disassembly), the cup and neck monthly
heaters have failed before becoming fouled so replacement/upgrade
wave makers before failure three times in vinegar water, the spline caps wore out so they may not be ruined
i like the toothbrush, dental pick, peroxide, hot water soak methods.
i have citric acid to soak plastic/rubber/magnets in, but have yet to use it.
 

Arabyps

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1. What are the best ways you have found to clean your "submerged" types of equipment? I remove the power heads and pumps from the tank and place them into a bucket next to the tank with a citric acid solution so they can run as power is still attached. I run them for about 45 minutes. The skimmer and reactors come out and into the utility sink again with citric acid. Everything comes out spanking clean.

2. What are any specific tools that make the cleaning job easier?
A stiff brush, toothbrush and, of course, the venerable towels.
 

Sdot

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Man it sure doesn't take long for your pumps, skimmers, powerheads and all the other equipment that is usually under water to get dirty, covered in algae and coraline etc. Most of the time you need this equipment going at all times and can't have it off-line for too long. So today let's talk about all the ways you have found that works best and fastest when it comes to cleaning your equipment!

1. What are the best ways you have found to clean your "submerged" types of equipment?

2. What are any specific tools that make the cleaning job easier?


image via @eggie
Picture002.jpg

1. I power wash my my 40's in a bucket on my patio

2. I can clean all 4 of my Mp40's in 10 minutes!!

No harsh chemicals or elbow grease! And it cleans very well even the coralline algae
 

MysticSea

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I clean mine weekly if I have the energy to but this is how I do it:
1. Place in hydrogen peroxide solution w/ hot water (sit for 10-15 min)
2.Scrub with bamboo toothbrush under warm water (I use bamboo since its bristles are tougher)
3. Continue rinsing
4.Place back in tank
Thats about all I do...of course I have a 24 gallon cube so I can only imagine what most of you all do with larger tanks. Haha
 

stanleo

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This is hard to answer because I clean everything at different intervals. I clean my power heads every two weeks when I do my water change. My return pump gets cleaned every six months and my skimmer gets a thorough break down and cleaning yearly. I use a tooth brush, nail brush and hot running water to clean everything.
 

vetteguy53081

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1. What are the best ways you have found to clean your "submerged" types of equipment?

With exception magnets, Vinegar and water with 35% vinegar and rest water. For magnets, the new pump cleaner by Sicce

2. What are any specific tools that make the cleaning job easier?


An auto detail brush (auto zone) similar to a toothbrush and scotch brite pads (the green soft ones)
 

Mical

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I voted other because I clean everything differently.

Weekly skimmer cups & ATO sensors get cleaned when I do my weekend tests and ATO top offs. My MPs get cleaned about once a month and my skimmer housings and return pumps get cleaned annually. For the MPs , skimmer pumps and return pumps they get a "deep clean" with citric acid then lubed with kosher grade vegetable glycerin.
 

RedReefer

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So I have read many times and I'm guilty of vinegar use. So far it looks like citric acid is the normal now. What ratio are we mixing the citric acid to a gal of water?

Return pump every 6-12 months. Take it out the sump. Place it in a 5 gal bucket of vinegar/warm water (I know I'm going to switch to citric acid) Let it run for 30 min. Scrub with brushes. Rinse in RODI water. Re-install the pump.

Power heads. 1-2 months or when I see too much build up. Same method as above.
 

reefer_06374

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I’m not going to lie, I use to be a citric acid fan. However, I normally would cycle the equipment out, meaning put a spare in, clean the dirty one, then run the citric acid cleaned one in RODI for a bit. Never felt comfortable putting it back in the system right away. That was all before SICCE Pump Clean! No going back now and never will I use anything else!!!
 
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