Acrylic: normal "scratching"?
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Old 12-15-2004, 10:12 AM   #1
motifone
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Acrylic: normal "scratching"?


Ok, just a curiosity question:

I kind of touched upon this in a thread a few days ago about what my fellow acrylic tank owners were using to clean their tank, inside and out.

I used some acrylic safe pads to clean the inside wall of my acrylic tank of algae -- careful to get no gravel in pad. No visible scratches at all. But, when I drained 25% of the water later in the week, I noticed very fine lines here and there along the virgin acrylic, obviously due to contact from the "safe" sponge. When I fill the water back up, presto, the very fine scratches (if we can call them that) disappear. So why complain or worry? Well, I'm not really. Really! I'm just curious if this is similar to what others experience/see when they drain the water? I guess these lines are akin to micro swirl marks on a car (except they are horizontal, not swirls) and are part of the acrylic experience? To me, this is different than "scratching" the acrylic... or are these the scratches folks fret over and try to remove with scratch removal kits?

True (ugly visible) scratching I imagine results from bumping decor against the sides, trapping a piece of gravel in a cleaning pad and digging into a panel as you wipe, etc. If deep enough, they will show underwater.

Just curious
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Old 12-15-2004, 10:23 AM   #2
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Those fine scratches are normal. Nothing to do with the pad you use. Just be careful when you clean close to the substrate. When you use the pad, some dirts from the substrate tend to float around (make the tank a bit dusty looking). Some of those dirt particle can get trap inside the pad while you're still scraping the algae. I scratched a few of my tanks that way many times until I gave up the pad.
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Old 12-15-2004, 05:17 PM   #3
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Yes, normal.

I regret getting an acrylic tank, not b/c of this, but because of the disfigurement of the top "braces" of my ClearForLife tank. I wish I'd opted for a frameless glass design. The scratch resistance is an added perk with glass.

Oh well ... live & learn.
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Old 12-15-2004, 05:50 PM   #4
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Frameless glass is definitely the way to go if you have the dough (Starfire). Heavier than acrylic, but the clarity is there, and you don't have to worry about scratching it.
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Old 12-15-2004, 07:54 PM   #5
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hi guys

thanks for letting me know

ninoboy -- I'm going to pick up your suggested Kent Pro Scraper for doing any cleaning along the gravel line.

john p. -- I, too, have the clear for life (must be the thing out here in southern california). I've noticed a little downward bowing of the thinnest piece of horizontal acrylic (the piece runing between the 2 big holes and the back hole cutout). Seems to only happen when my 96w light goes on and only noticed it because my sheet of acrylic cover glass wasn't sitting flat on the back part. The light is a good few inches from the acrylic though, being mounted into the underbelly of the canopy. Once the lights go off, the acrylic pretty much returns to normal shape. The disfigurement is mild, seemingly temporary and disguised because of my canopy. However, I can imagine long term heat exposure, more heat, or lights closer to the acrylic surface could cause greater and more permanent disfigurement.
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:23 AM   #6
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speaking of bowing...i have a 55gal acrylic from S&S and if you look at the front from the side, you can definitly tell it bows. Im not sure how much bowing is normal.

BTW motifone i have the fine little lines as well.
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:34 AM   #7
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thanks for the info marc

to help you, yes, I have some slight bowing on my 50g. It's primarily noticeable on the back panel, but I would say within reason. I think the bigger the tank, the more bowing. To a reasonable extent, I hear it is normal.
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motifone
thanks for the info marc

to help you, yes, I have some slight bowing on my 50g. It's primarily noticeable on the back panel, but I would say within reason. I think the bigger the tank, the more bowing. To a reasonable extent, I hear it is normal.
motifone- if you have a taps plastic down in your area, they have a buffing rag you can use. I use this on the outside on my tank. Ive had my tank for more than 5 years now and sometimes accidents do happen
I have a slightly noticable scratch on the front on mine when the zipper of my jacket hit the tank! GAH! I'll have to get something to remove it...such an eye sore!
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Old 12-16-2004, 03:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
I have a slightly noticable scratch on the front on mine when the zipper of my jacket hit the tank! GAH! I'll have to get something to remove it...such an eye sore!
Sounds like the one our cat put on ours as she was trying to "catch" a Cherry Shrimp from the outside. Deep.
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Old 12-16-2004, 07:03 AM   #10
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LOL i can totally see that happening Acrylic tanks are great but man they are just asking to get scratched!
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Old 12-17-2004, 09:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibn
Frameless glass is definitely the way to go if you have the dough (Starfire). Heavier than acrylic, but the clarity is there, and you don't have to worry about scratching it.
Where can I get this starfire glass tank? I use both acrylic and glass tanks but usually acrylic for larger ones. I hate the color some of my glass tanks create. Especially my oceanic tanks, their glass are greener than AGA.
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Old 12-17-2004, 04:05 PM   #12
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Check out Greg's 20 gallon tank:

http://www.aquascapingjournals.com/j.../20_gallon.htm

It's an Amano knock off that he picked up from aquariumobsessed.com . Run a search on it to see if there's a closer manufacturer to where you're at to save some on shipping. Also check check low iron tanks (starfire is basically low iron glass).
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Old 12-18-2004, 07:26 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info I'll check on it.
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Old 12-18-2004, 04:17 PM   #14
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For outside the tank scratches I can highly recommend the Novus line of products. They'll do wonders on anything acrylic. Even with just #3, my motorcycle windscreen cleaned up great. With #2 and #1 it was like new.

One lfs (http://www.aquaticwarehouse.com/) has them on the shelf in small and large bottles, plus single use packets.
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