Natural Calcium Buildup Remover for Fish Tanks

Calcium buildup can make your tank appear discolored.
Calcium buildup can make your tank appear discolored. (Image: Photodisc/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Calcium buildup occurs when the water in your tank has a high mineral content. Calcium buildup tends to form a crusty layer on the walls of the aquarium and can make it difficult for you to observe your fish properly through the glass. You do not have to use chemicals to remove calcium buildup from the walls of your aquarium. Natural cleaners will work to get rid of the debris.

Aquarium Scraper

An aquarium scraper is one of the simplest tools you can use to remove calcium buildup from the sides of your aquarium. Scrapers use no chemicals of any kind to clean away calcium; your aquarium scraper features a solid, stiff edge that you rub against the glass to scrape away the calcium buildup. The buildup then enters into the aquarium filter and is removed from the water.


Vinegar is a good alternative to chemical cleaning products because it is non-toxic and generally won't harm your fish if they are exposed to small amounts of it. Remove your fish from the tank with a net, drain the water out of the tank and then spray a mixture that consists of half a cup of white vinegar mixed with a gallon of water. Use a washcloth to scrub away the calcium deposits after you've sprayed them with vinegar.

Boiling Water

If you need to remove calcium buildup from aquarium decorations or fixtures, you can place them in a pot of boiling water. Boiling water will help dissolve the calcium deposits.

Maintain Your Aquarium

Regularly performing partial water changes will help prevent your aquarium water from becoming heavily contaminated with minerals and can help prevent a calcium buildup from occurring. Also, if you notice your aquarium beginning to look cloudy or crusty, take measures to clean it as soon as possible.

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