If you’re like me, your aquarium needs a thorough cleaning, to get back into shape. One of the most versatile weapons in your saltwater aquarium arsenal is vinegar. Why is vinegar so useful? It’s a food, it’s an acid, it’s inexpensive and easy to find.
Here are 5 ways to use vinegar to help your saltwater aquarium look and perform its best
Give powerheads a rejuvenating bath
If you have a sufficient level of calcium in your aquarium, your rocks should get encrusted with the often desirable coralline algae—but the algae don’t know it’s supposed to stay on the liverocks. It will grow anywhere, including on your powerheads. Those purple spots are a sign of a healthy tank and may look cool, but they can reduce the flow of water and make your pumps work harder.
My preferred way to clean these powerful pumps is to give them a rejuvenating bath in white vinegar, to dissolve some of the coralline algae and make cleanup a breeze.
Soak a rag in vinegar to more easily scrub away stubborn salt creep
Anywhere the saltwater splashes or bubbles up around your tank will eventually become encrusted by salt creep. As the water from the splashes evaporates, the salt left behind crystalizes and makes…well…a mess.
Get that tank in tip-top shape before company comes over by soaking a rag in vinegar and use that to get rid of the salt creep.
Rinse your quarantine tank with vinegar between uses
Want to get your quarantine tank good as new before you add your next fish or coral? Go get that jug of vinegar and use it to clean the QT—inside and out. Make sure to rinse it out with fresh water when you’re done.
Get that front glass shining like new
Over time, drips of water, greasy fingerprints (can you tell I have kids?) and dust can gunk up that front aquarium glass. Vinegar can also help you get that front glass on your aquarium shiny, streak-free and looking like new.
Blast away nitrates with it
Last, but not least, vinegar can lower nitrates in your tank by boosting the growth of beneficial bacteria that will chomp on the nitrates. Dose small amounts of vinegar, slowly over time to act a food/fuel for beneficial bacteria that will chew up those nitrates and spit them out…er…I mean chew up those nitrates and make them go away.
Here is where you can learn more about dosing vinegar in a saltwater aquarium
Do you have any other uses for vinegar that we haven’t talked about?