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Rough White Buildup around my fish tank? Answered

I had a beta fish for a couple of months, and every time I did a water change, rough white residue was on the lid and around it on my desk.

Sadly he has passed away and the white rough residue is on my wall and every time i try to clean it, it comes back. 

If anyone knows how to clean it properly or if you can tell what it is and how it happened as well as preventing it. Please comment.




2 years ago

Although I highly doubt anyone will come back to check for answers it might still help the next guy or grl who knows how to do a topic search (not that ever happens....).

IMHO tank water does not need replacing, only topping up.
In a properly set up tank you have a litte ecosystem that includes the bacteria in your filter medium.
Only far too small tanks or those out of balance require water changes to keep the unwanted stuff away from fish and plants.
I had several tanks for breeding purposes when I was half my current age and the main tank was only topped up for over 7 years straight....
Back to the topic:

White buildup is caused by minerals, in most cases "hard" tap water.
Anyone starting with a tank should test and check their tap water before even putting a gold fish in.
Most shops offer this service as well as testing your tank water for little money if you unsure how to do it right.
A good alternative is rain water unless you have a lot of industry around you that causes pollution.
For a new tank or after a complete cleanout you might also need a "starter".
The starter removes unwanted chemicals from the water and some even add some good bacteria to help the filter going.
With good water available a normal water conditioner should be enough if you have enough plants in you tank.
If you see that dried drops of water on the hood or outside your tank form white spots it means you have too many minerals in the water.
Don't get me wrong, most fish and plants won't mind that but some do.
But if your fish is very sensitive than it won't be your first tank and you already know how to keep a good tank.
To get rid of the build up you will need to find out what mineral is too high in concentration, usually it will be calcium, especially if put natural sea shells in your tank or use cheap stone ware for decoration.
While there are a lot of chemicals and conditioners available to get your tank back to normal after the yearly cleaning a small tank can overcome this problem with vegetables or flowers - don't laugh yet, read on ;)
A small tank, like those for a single betta fish often lacks the size and ability to keep a decent plant and enough bacteria in the filter in good health.
Here you can use mother nature to help you out by feeding strawberries or tomatoes with your tank water.
I prefer a pot with washed peat moss or coconut fibres - the stuff needs to be washed with warm water until the water stays clean and will no longer get a brown touch otherwise it takes a few weeks to clear up in the fish tank.
Put a seedling or two in there and fix a hose that goes in the top.
The water from the filter goes into the pot and what comes back out flows back into the fish tank.
Might not work with the tiny, cheap pumps that come with the tank but use your phantasy to get it together.
It helps to have the top of the pot covered with some black foil where the seedling comes out through a small hole, otherwise you have too much evaporation.
Once you seedling is growing good you only need to add water when required and even overfeeding your fish won't harm it as you external plant will be happy transforming that into growth and fruits.


Answer 2 years ago

We got into fish for a while when my son showed up with a few and needed a place to keep them. (Yeah we got the fish first, talk about backwards). Anyway, after using the well water we had all kinds of problems and that is when it was discovered that the well water was very alkali. It took a bunch of sulfuric acid to finally get it to neutral. For a science fair project my son took water samples from all over, including river water and in town tap water and did an analysis of it. Turns out the only water that was not alkali was the river water and reverse osmosis water from a machine in the store. We tried river water in the tank and that went badly. The tropical fish could not handle the microbiology of the river water and got sick and infected with all kinds of things. So after sterilizing everything we set it all up again using RO water. That finally worked but we had to add salt and other things to counter the fact that is was basically distilled water. But once it was finally balanced topping it off with RO water kept minerals from building up and everything stayed happy.

When I lived in Hawaii there was a guy who was trying to keep a salt water tank stocked with fish from a reef that a diver frequented. But everything kept dying. He was very puzzled as to why since he only used fresh sea water to top off the tank. Then it finally dawned on him that he was adding more and more minerals to the water as it evaporated and he added more sea water. He started adding distilled water instead and things finally survived.


2 years ago

This glass vase with rough white residue will dissolve away with simple tap hot water.

Walls need steam cleaning with towel wipe.. or wet vacuum.

Some of your fish tank water solution splattered on your wall and the moisture evaporated leaving soluble crystal powder behind.. Every time you wash the walls the powder dissolves and appears to disappear until the moisture evaporates again to reveal the soluble powder.

I would be nervous about using strong cleaning products on the fish tank because chemicals may hide where the glass walls meet and fasten together releasing poison to new fish...


2 years ago

There are minerals dissolved in water, tap water included, as well as other things added to the water for sanitation. The water that evaporates from the tank is pure water with no minerals. The minerals are left behind as the water leaves. When you add water to make up for the evaporation you add yet more minerals. Eventually all these get more and more concentrated. The white stuff is the minerals that have been left behind. Since these become progressively more concentrated anything other than brine shrimp and some bacteria dies because the minerals make the water toxic. You have to add distilled water to the tank to prevent the build up of minerals. If you use tap water then you must change it often to prevent the minerals from building up in the water.

CLR can often remove hard water scale from surfaces. That is what it is usually called.


Answer 2 years ago

I think that there are also chemicals that you need to add if your tap water contains Fluorine.

Or is it Fluoride? It shows that I've spelled it incorecctly...

Jack A LopezYonatan24

Answer 2 years ago

It's fluoride. I mean the stuff they add to public water some places, ostensibly to improve dental health.

Also floride (F-) is an ion, with -1 electric charge, the reduced form of flourine.

F + e- = F-

To make this picture more clear: when they add fluoride to water, the compound actually used is typically a fluoride salt, like sodium fluoride (NaF)

When this fluoride salt is dissolved in water it dissociates; i.e. it breaks up into (+) and (-) ions, and these mingle with the water molecules.

NaF = Na+ + F-

Also worth mentioning the fluorine (F or F2) lost its oxidizing power when it became fluoride. F atom, or F2 gas, is very strong oxidizer. In contrast, NaF is not an oxidizer.

Confusingly, it is kind of the opposite story with chlorine (fluorine's next door neighbor in the halogen group) with respect to water treatment. When chlorine is added to water, in the context of water treatment, it is done because they want small amounts of chlorine as an oxidizer, for to kill microbes in the water.

Yeah, right, so that's an interesting story. Of course what you're probably more interested in is a method to remove these chemicals from your water, or maybe a political method to stop those government monkeys from putting chemicals in your water in the first place.


2 years ago

White vinegar should help remove it if it's a mineral deposit (which I *think it is). CLR is a commercial de-mineralizer that also could be used. If you're not an adult, I'd ask your parents. if you are an adult, welll then...my apologies, I looked but found no age.