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Hal
06/26/2017, 12:38 PM
I want to wash the glass of my empty tank with muriatic acid to remove any remnants of coralline algae. I'm tentatively planning to dilute the acid into water at about 1 part acid to 10 parts water. How bad are the fumes? Will I need a basic respirator ($16 at Harbor Freight including cartridge)?

My tank is indoors and due to the size (250g), I'm not able to move it, so all work will be in my living room.

If I mix the acid into the water outdoors, will it stop off-gassing after some period of time? If so, I can wait until then to bring the mixture indoors and start to use it.

mcgyvr
06/26/2017, 01:07 PM
Can you crack windows and throw a box fan in the window?
It shouldn't be "too bad" really when diluted I've used it indoors before on concrete floors without issue.

BUT I'm fairly sure that the harbor freight respirator is useless against the vapors as its a particulate (dust,etc..) cartridge in those..

Hal
06/26/2017, 01:26 PM
Maybe on the fan. Sadly I only have a single stand fan.

Maybe on the respirator. It claims to remove airborn particulates and resist organic vapors. Some customer reviews discuss using chemicals with it, such as for removing mold. This is the heavier duty one that looks like a military gas mask, minus the eye protection. It's not the one that looks like a surgeons mask.

Hal
06/26/2017, 01:27 PM
Also, does anyone know if the fumes are heavier or lighter than air? My tank sits in a room with 18 foot ceilings, open to the upstairs bedrooms.

EDJFA
06/26/2017, 01:30 PM
I used to use muriatic acid all the time when I was working with swimming pools and it was nasty stuff full strength. I got more than a snoot full on a few occasions. That's no fun.

I used it again when I soaked some rock I bought for my tank. Once it was diluted, I could stand right next to the tub the rock was soaking in. But then I was outside.

If you use it inside, lots of fans blowing in fresh air and out the bad air.

Oh, and it'll eat your skin. Make sure you wear good chemical resistant gloves.

Google says the fumes from muriatic acid are heavier than air. However, the process of the acid reacting to stuff will cause heat, which will cause the gasses from the reaction to rise.

mcgyvr
06/26/2017, 02:30 PM
Maybe on the fan. Sadly I only have a single stand fan.

Maybe on the respirator. It claims to remove airborn particulates and resist organic vapors. .

Thats "sneaky" marketing.. The face piece itself (aka the mask not the filtration cartridge) is resistant to that.. aka.. it won't melt on your face when you are in a room of organic vapors...

nereefpat
06/26/2017, 02:58 PM
I don't think that respirator will do anything for you. HCl is neither an airborne particulate nor an organic vapor.

I would mix up outside, then bring the solution inside.

tmz
06/27/2017, 11:52 AM
The fumes are harmful.

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002498.htm


I would not use it indoors ;certainly not without some form of extraordinary ventilation.

Hal
06/27/2017, 01:20 PM
The fumes are harmful.

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002498.htm


I would not use it indoors ;certainly not without some form of extraordinary ventilation.

Agree if I had a choice. No way am I going to move my 250g tank outdoors and then back in.

Sharpimage
06/27/2017, 02:04 PM
what about vinegar. I always threw a few gallons in, filled with water and let it go for a few days. Coralline just falls off

Hal
06/27/2017, 03:20 PM
I already did a spray bottle of vinegar and credit card. I want to try something stronger.

Sk8r
06/27/2017, 03:24 PM
Go to Lowes and get a chemical mask. And goggles. And gloves. A hospital event is much more expensive.

jayball
06/28/2017, 11:06 AM
I already did a spray bottle of vinegar and credit card. I want to try something stronger.

If you soak paper towels in vinegar and stick them to the glass it will increase contact time to the point that it will scrape off fairly easy.

I have no advice for the MA other than I would not do it in my house, mixed outside or not, but I have kids and animals to worry about as well.

Dan_P
06/28/2017, 02:00 PM
Your plan to dilute muriatic acid to 3% might still be overkill for dissolving carbonate. Make a small amount of 0.3% (1 part acid, 99 parts water) and test it on your cloudy aquarium surface. This should dissolve the carbonate fast enough even if you are impatient. The heavier than air fumes will be minimal. The residue might not be pure carbonate though, in which case a razor blade might be needed but only if you are dealing with glass.

Someone suggested applying a paper towel wetted with vinegar to the cloudy area and letting it sit overnight. Good idea. This will work with the 0.3% muriatic as well.

There are nonvolatile, strong acids to consider.

tmz
06/28/2017, 03:28 PM
For others who want to clean off precipitant and algae indoors vinegar on a soaked rag left for a few hours is slower but works and is much safer, IME.

ReefKeeper64
06/28/2017, 04:11 PM
You don't want to use Muriatic acid indoors. The odor is strong and will send you out of the room fast.

jda
06/28/2017, 07:54 PM
Mix it with the water outside in a 5G bucket. The fumes will be nearly non-existant once you dilute it.

Hal
06/30/2017, 10:00 AM
For others who want to clean off precipitant and algae indoors vinegar on a soaked rag left for a few hours is slower but works and is much safer, IME.

Painters tape on the rag/paper towel to keep it against the glass?

jayball
06/30/2017, 08:54 PM
Painters tape on the rag/paper towel to keep it against the glass?



Most paper towels will just stick to the side when wet, if not a napkin or toilet paper will.


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goneawayfarm
07/04/2017, 08:02 PM
This may be a little late but just in case. CLR available at most grocers and Walmarts will do what you are trying to accomplish.

devastator007
07/06/2017, 07:22 AM
I have a respirator that I bought specifically for use with muratic acid and it works great for me. I use it full strength and can't smell it at all and no discomfort from breathing vapors. Of course you still have to ventilate your room so you can eventually take the mask off. But great for using while you work. The cartridges I use are made by advantage and are the GME-P100. I think I bought them from MSA for about $40/set. a worthwhile investment if you use muratic acid for anything.

Hal
08/06/2017, 07:57 PM
This may be a little late but just in case. CLR available at most grocers and Walmarts will do what you are trying to accomplish.

Not too late as I've been busy building my basement fish room, however I don't have a good way to rinse away the CLR as the tank is in my living room.

ostrow
08/06/2017, 08:59 PM
I use it all the time at 10-20%. Yeah some fumes but not too bad in my 15 years.

That said I am using quart size buckets and cleaning pumps etc.

At 250g....well....be careful

Radioheadx14
08/07/2017, 09:30 PM
For acid, organic vapor cartridge (black) does nothing as its just carbon, you need acid gas for the vapors (white or yellow). Particulate filter may catch mists or droplets, but it will do nothing for true vapors.