Aquarium scratches - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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Aquarium scratches

So we had a visitor who's child decided to use my magnetic algae remover on my tank. I have fluorite and she managed to pick up some iron rich substrate particles on the magnet and put a few choice scratches on the aquarium glass before I could jump in and stop her... any suggestions on how these could be buffed out whilst keeping the tank active? Many thanks


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 03:19 AM
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Honestly, you will have to empty the tank. Anything that will remove the stretches will never work.

As for fixing the scratches, first check if the scratches can be fixed. Run your finger nail across the scracth, if you can not feel the scratch, then just buff it out with scratch remover.

If you can feel it, then you will either need to live with the scratch or call a professional. The professional will cost you about the same price of a new tank.

The last scratch that required a professional was on my 220 gallon Cost almost 300 bucks.

Anything that will tell you can remove scratches with a set up tank is lying to you.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 05:13 AM
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You're stuck with them. Like thedarkfinder mentioned, the tank will need to be emptied (or at least below the scratch if at the top) to buff. Even with buffing by yourself, you may run into issues with looking through the glass if you buffed too much.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thedarkfinder: what exactly is a scratch remover? I tried to "blur" out the scratches with 800 grit emery paper (under water by hand). It did soften the effect of the harder scratch lines. Just wondering what the scratch remover is that you have mentioned? Thank you both for your replies.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 06:28 AM
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There is really no scratch remover for glass, that is for an acrylic tank. For glass use jeweler's rouge. You can get it on amazon,ebay and other places. If you don't have a pneumatic buffer, use what you have. It won't be easy. If its too deep, you won't be able to completely remove it but at least it will be a tad bit better than what it was. Use this for reference.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6-L0zvGWfY Joey does alot of great diy stuff on youtube.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 01:47 PM
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If the scratches aren't too bad, you can use cerium oxide to buff them out.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 03:28 PM
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Waste of time as far as I have found. I have lots of tools and buffers and none have worked for me. I have found I can turn a small scratch into a big scratched mess! Far better to ignore or replace the tank.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Cool. I have a dremmel tool. I am tempted to try the cerium oxide, however I really don't want to shut the tank down while doing this, instead lower the water level (risky I know since the tool is an electric power tool). Wondering if the buffing residue will be harmful to the fish and plants? There's bound to be splatter into the aquarium water...

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 04:34 PM
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I own a window company and scratches can be removed, but it isn't easy and it often leaves buffing marks in place of the scratches

Chances are that when you stop thinking about them, you won't even notice them
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 04:56 PM
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From my go at it, a Dremel is not nearly enough. I started with an empty tank which is a definite advantage. After using the Dremel until it got too hot to hold, I could see no change after using three different buffing compounds. I moved up to a power drill and worked for another 30-40 minutes with no change. What I was trying to get out was the round scratched spot which somebody had made while using steel wool on a scratch. It was not a deep scratch that I could feel with a finger nail. I moved on up to an industrial size drill that I normally only use for concrete before quitting and painting the end of the tank as well as the back!
After burning through about a day of hard labor over three days and $20-25 of compounds, I would not try it again.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 05:34 PM
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I would not try it again.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Tbh I found the blurred buffing marks with the emery paper better than the hard scratch lines. Hmm may just try a finner grit paper to blur out further... better than hard scratch lines that catch the light.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 08:31 PM
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Thedarkfinder: what exactly is a scratch remover? I tried to "blur" out the scratches with 800 grit emery paper (under water by hand). It did soften the effect of the harder scratch lines. Just wondering what the scratch remover is that you have mentioned? Thank you both for your replies.

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Jewelers rouge is what it is called. Use it to remove some pretty nasty scratches out of some camera lens.

It can work, but it takes an insane amount of time and effort.

The rouge will harm everything in your tank, you will need to remove everything and clean the tank before and after.

You are looking at about 60 bucks to start the project, plus 4 or 5 hours of hard work.

If you are using it on a small tank, it is just better to ignore it, or buy a new one.

There are a lot of products out there that can "mask" the scratch, but will always come off.

Honestly, if you are not willing to toss 100 bucks at a few scratches I would move on.

PS. You will need a electric buffer. Trust me.
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