Old decorations?


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Dec 30, 2023
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Hello. Not quite a newbie, but getting back to setting up an aquarium after several years. I stored everything, so have it all available. I cleaned the tank (which I had done before storage, so it wasn’t bad). I bought new gravel, a new filter, and a new cover/light. My question is about the old decor. Can I clean it and reuse (if so, how), or should I go with new? I have/will be using silk plants, and decor bought at a store (for aquariums).
If it is natural decor there is no problem. I think that artificial decor is a total waste of $$$ and would prefer a struggling plant over any "good looking" artificial one.

If it is plastic, verify if it's integrity is still good. Anything that looses paint or it's finish or that cracks when pried, I would not use.

If the pieces of decor are stained, you can bleach them and brush to do a deep clean.

But since you are starting all over... Consider going all natural... You will thank yourself in the end.

Gather wood and rocks anywhere you can. Boil them hard if you want to be sure that they are disinfected.

Many peoples plop the pieces of woods "as is" in their tank to preserve as much of the microscopic life they are hosting.

What kind of fishes you want to have in there ?
Thanks! I will likely buy new decor…maintaining live plants (in or out of aquariums) is not my forte! I will get silk, though…nothing plastic! Decor, I typically get natural-looking, but have one or two colorful/whimsical pieces…like if I can find a Perry the Platypus…I’ll likely stick that in!

I’m planning on mostly platys, as I really enjoyed the different colors, and was successful with fry. I’ll be starting off with 4 females to cycle the tank, and then slowly add more, including a male or 2. Likely keep it around 10 of them. Last time, we also acquired a betta (centerpiece at wedding 🙄), and after researching the environmental needs (water hardness, temperature, etc), and seeing that platys are not aggressive, we put it in the tank, adding structures for the betta. That’s the liveliest betta I’ve ever seen, and he got on quite well with the platys for years…so I’ll likely add a betta as well.

We do have a 5 gallon tank for quarantine purposes, that we can keep to the same parameters as the main tank.
I wouldn't be worried about reusing them in your case. But I would try to clean them before reusing for sure. And even if you would scrub the paint while cleaning of those artificial decor that would be only for the good.

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