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Discussion Starter #1
My 180 gallon has arrived at my door. I have been searching for a deal for 6 months now and I got this 180 rr on ebay for $255. I have not had an acrylic tank before and I need to clean it and repair a few scratches. Where and what can I get to clean it and repair the scratches.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It is a nice deal if it holds water. I don't know when I am going to be able to leak test it. Thanks though.
 

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good find! hope it works great for you, there are several products made for polishing acrylic tanks, mainly a series of super fine sand paper, ive heard great things about them, but im a glass tank guy so i really dont know from experience. but good luck, and dont forget to post lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of pictures.
 

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I've used the rubber sponge backing with the increasing levels of fineness to polish out the prop tank scratches, it is aq BEAR to do by hand, so plan a good bit of time and don't try to do it ll in one dqy. If you have complete panels of the acrylic that need repqair/polishing, it is easiest to do while the tank is empty, placing the panel to be polished at a 45 degree angle with good support. You will need to keep the grades of paper wet the entire time you are working the panel, so the 45 degree allows easy access while keeping a puddle of water at the base of the pane. Wrap the paper around the rubber block to keep it flat against the pne and still not gouge the acryic. Work in one direction, so that your scratches are all in one direction, strting with the most coarse (1500 grit for the worst scratches, paying special attention to any deep scratches in the panel first). When the entire panel is sanded, go to the next grit and work at 90 degrees to the previous direction. This will allow you to tell when your work is ready to go to the next level. Take your time, take many breaks, and get some Advil, your arms will be sore the next day... :D

Continue to work each grit, making sre to keep your work wet and that you remove ALL of the scratches for the previous grit before advancing to the next level. By the time you get to the 12000 grit cloth you will be seeing your finished product, including any areas you didn't completely remove the initial scratches from (which means starting again to get the results you want, so make sure to completely remove each sandings's directional scratches, and change direction for each grit change).


Time consuming, and using the drill attachment often results in burned areas unless used by someone with an experienced hand using the buffer. I do like the results of the hand process, but it is very demanding of your time and energy, so plan accordingly. If you want to do just a small aea, use a grease pencil to mark the initial area on the outside of the panel, then draw a circle around the area an inch larger in diameter for each grit change to remove all the swirl marks up to the 12000 application (it will look like a bullseye).


Good luck on your process, Post pix of the progress!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was reading in the foster and smith mag that they make a buffer attachment that takes out minor scratches. Does anyone have experience with this product? I have also read about a 3 part solution that can be used that needs to be rubbed in. Something like nova 1,2,3. Thanks for the help. It seemed that the buffing wheel looked like cloth and that was all that was needed to remove minor scuffs. I don't suppose it would be that easy though
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oops, keep forgetting to ask. Does, Home depot carry these types of sandpaper?
 

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home depot probably does not, its going to be really really really really fine sand paper. you can try some of the other things, if they are minor scratches, sometimes they dont even show up when the tank is filled!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When I rub the inside of the tank hard with my thumb most of what I though were scratches dissapears. So I guess I need to simply clean the tank first. What can I use to clean the acrylic that is reef safe and where can I find this stuff.
Thanks.

p.s. and the tank is holding water!!!!!!
 

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if the tank has water in it, i would just try a small hand towel or paper towels to clean the glass, they make lots of acrylic safe scrubbing pads, check with your lfs.
 

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The scratches are often only visible when algae is growing in the scratch, and rubbing your thumb along the scratch will remove most of this algae. It will be visible again once the algae grows back. it will also catch occasional bubbles, and if they are bad enough, will act as small mirro9rs in the pane and reflect light from the surface.

As far as availability, you may need to check with an acrylic supply house for the finer grits (greater than 4000) like US PLASTICS or MCMASTER-CARR. Many aircraft sites or boating or motorcycle sales will have them as well (for buffing canopies and windshields)


HTH
 
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