How to Remove Hard Water Stains from an Acrylic Fish Tank

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from an Acrylic Fish Tank

Whether you have a small aquarium or one large enough to divide two rooms, it will need to be cleaned occasionally.

Fish that like a clean environment can become ill and diseased in a dirty aquarium. Hard water stains will not harm your fish but make it hard for you to look at your fish.

Not all aquariums are made of glass; however, acrylic aquariums need the same care when tackling hard water stains.

In addition, acrylic aquariums are safer than glass fish tanks. They won’t shatter as easily as glass if they get knocked over.

They also need to be cleaned occasionally; however, you can use chemicals on glass that should never touch your acrylic aquarium or your equipment.

Read on to learn how to remove hard water stains from your acrylic fish tank.

How to remove hard water stains from acrylic fish tank

White vinegar is the best and safest way to remove hard water stains from acrylic fish tanks. You can use it at a 50:50 ratio to start and if it fails to work, use it straight. Vinegar will not harm your acrylic fish tank, but hard scrubbers or hard items can. You may need to let vinegar soak a few minutes before the stain releases, but give it time, scrub it gently, then rinse, and you will have a transparent fish tank again.

What is acrylic?

Acrylic is a thermoplastic that is a shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Due to this attribute, it is used in many products in place of glass.

For example, it is used to protect tabletops and make windows, TV screens, and even shelves made from acrylic.

The tubes that run beneath the pools of many large public aquariums are acrylic. It is holding back millions of gallons of water, not just a few gallons.

Wouldn’t you like to remove hard water stains from that size piece of plastic? Unfortunately, you will need a tanker truck of vinegar and a lot of help.

Supplies are needed to clean your acrylic fish tank

The supplies you need to remove water stains are as simple as vinegar as a cleaner is. You need to gather the following items together before you begin cleaning.

  • A spray bottle of diluted white vinegar
  • Soft cloth and microfiber work well
  • Freshwater

To remove the hard water stains from your acrylic fish tank, spray the area you are working on thoroughly with vinegar.

Let it sit for a few seconds, then wipe it with a clean cloth until the stain is gone. Follow this procedure for every pane in the fish tank until they are all sparkling clean.

Use a gentle touch when wiping away hard water stains or algae from your fish tank. Even though acrylic plastic is tough, it can still be scratched.

There are special products made to clean stains and algae from acrylic; however, they cost more than vinegar.

Also, never use cleaners that contain ammonia or alcohol on your acrylic fish tank as it can damage the plastic.

Rinse your acrylic aquarium well before refilling

Be sure to rinse your acrylic fish tank well, as vinegar is acidic and doesn’t need to be in your fish water. Fortunately, it is not poisonous to fish.

However, it can change the pH balance of the water.

Therefore, the pH of the water in your fish tank must be balanced, or it can cause problems.

Be sure to adjust it when you refill your fish tank.

Whether you have a fresh or saltwater fish tank, you should clean your aquarium every few months.

Then, use regular tap water to refill your fish tank. However, suppose your water has excessive chlorine.

In that case, you need a dechlorinating kit for your water before you put it in your fish tank.

This procedure will not help with your hard water issue, but it will keep your fish from dying because the water has excessive chlorine in it.

Once your fish tank is cleaned, free of hard water stains, and rinsed, gently wipe it dry to remove any water spots that might remain.

Now you can refill it and then check the pH balance of the water before your return your fish to their home.

Frequently Askes Questions About How to Remove Hard Water Stains from an Acrylic Fish Tank

Can I use dish soap to clean hard water stains from my acrylic fish tank?

You can try, but it will take a mild acid to break down the calcium of the stain, and dishwashing soap has no acid in it.

Can I use lemon juice to clean the water stains on my fish tank?

Lemon juice is acidic, but it also has sugar in it. So, although it may work, you may have more of a mess than you had before you started. Besides, lemon juice is much more expensive than vinegar.


A clean fish tank keeps your fish healthy

Although cleaning a fish tank is a pain, it is necessary if you want your fish to remain healthy and free from illness and disease.

A glass fish tank is easier to clean as they don’t scratch as easily. However, acrylic fish tanks are much safer.

Whether you have a glass, fish tank, an acrylic fish tank, or one of both, you can remove hard water stains with vinegar and a soft cloth.

Then, be sure to rinse the tank before refilling and check the pH balance before returning your fish to their watery home. It’s as simple as that.