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Resin Aquarium Ornaments; How to manage them.

Date Published - 28th November 2013 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

Choosing and placing ornaments within your aquarium is a big part of the pleasure of keeping fish! Creating a beautiful environment for your fish is a fun thing to do and many people want to keep their ornaments in tip-top condition but wonder about the safest ways to clean and maintain them when they begin to look grubby due to a build up of algae or slime.
Given that most (or many) aquarium ornaments are made from resin or plastic, some care needs to be taken when cleaning them as they are not in general waterproof and will absorb the cleaning agents which are used.  Many people worry about using bleach when cleaning their aquarium ornaments…the thought of such strong chemicals near their precious fish, corals and plants is disturbing to say the least! However if used correctly, bleach can be an effective cleaner for your less-than shiny ornaments.
If you have purchased new ornaments on the other hand, then you will still need to give them a rinse and then soak them in some of your existing tank’s water. This will ensure that they are not leeching any dyes or odours into your tank. Soak new ornaments for at least a couple of hours before introducing them to your tank or more preferably, overnight.
To clean your existing ornaments, remember to do them a couple at a time and not all at once; this is because your ornaments will be hosting beneficial bacteria and if you remove them all, then you lose the bacteria as well as the dirt!
To begin with, remove the ornaments which you want to clean from the tank and place them in a container with a little tank water at the bottom. Using a toothbrush (new), gently scrub out all of the debris which has built up. More detailed ornaments will usually collect grime in the nooks and crannies of the surface and this needs to be completely removed.
If you find that light scrubbing does not remove all of the stains, you may need to boil the ornaments or to soak in a light solution of bleach…some ornaments will not withstand boiling, especially delicate faux plants which will often melt!
Remember that resin is porous…i.e. it is not waterproof and so your ornaments will absorb whatever you clean them in; it is because of this that your bleach solution should only be 5% bleach and 95% water. Try dipping your brush in the solution and scrubbing at the dirty spots…if this does not work, then place the ornaments in the solution and leave them overnight.  When removing the ornaments it is vital that you take steps to remove all of the bleach which may be present in the ornaments. Because the solution used is a weak one, there won’t be a lot…but even a little can be damaging so take the correct steps and safeguard your aquarium!
First run the ornaments under cold water and rinse very thoroughly in de-chlorinated water; prepare your de-chlorinated water by mixing three times the usual amount of solution into a bucket or other suitable container. This will ensure that the traces of bleach are completely removed.
Replace the ornaments once you have rinsed them again in some tank water. This will coat them with a little of the “good” bacteria and your fish should not feel any ill-effects at all.
A clean, well maintained tank looks much brighter and more attractive than one which is suffering from the effects of a build-up of slime and grime. Although the care of your ornaments may be a little time consuming it is more than worth it because your fish, plants and corals will remain bright and healthy…which is the point of a beautiful aquarium after all!
You have just read another great aquarium blog post by iQuatics. If you would like us to blog about a specific subject or have your own aquarium blog content you would like published on our website, please get in touch. Together we can help grow the iQuatics aquarium blog into a vast resource full of combined industry knowledge.

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