Hope for old scratched tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Hope for old scratched tank?

Recently acquired an old 55 gallon tank, it has some deep scratches and a ton of fine scratches, filled it up quickly outside after dark and shined a tank light above it and it looked like it had cobwebs stuck to the glass everywhere, it was bad. The glass is also thicker than normal, I was told it was very old.

So my question is, is it worth my time to try to fix, and if so what methods and materials work best? If not, then what kind of uses can I do with the tank? Use it as a grow tank and not for show?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 09:21 PM
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Is one of the long sides better than the other? Could you use the best one for the front? If not , then I would just use it for grow out,grow plants,a sump,etc. And if it's that old it may not even hold water anymore . Need to leak check it well.

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 09:30 PM
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Light scratches can be 'sanded' out (Google it). For deep scratches, this trick works with acrylic and may also work with glass: put a good grade paste-type car wax (like Turtle Wax) on the outer surface and buff it like you would with a car. The wax fills-in the cracks and transmits the light seamlessly. Test it on a small area first.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 09:36 PM
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While many promote the idea that scratches can be rubbed out, I DO NOT find that true. I do not recommend trying as I have on a couple tanks. You may here of good things like cerium oxide? Not worth my going there any more! I had a 1/2 HP drill and was able to set up to hold the buffing against the glass and it is now my opinion that it is NOT worth trying. If it is so bad on all sides that it is not usable, ,y next best shot is still pretty iffy but perhaps look at tearing down and swapping out one panel. But for a smaller tank like a 55, the effort involved is not one that I would do as I can find tanks in decent shape set out n the curb around me.
I'm not one to give up easy and it is tempting but no longer where I want to try as I can make better profit picking up cans! Sorry.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 03:26 AM
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@PlantedRich, although I haven't done it with aquariums, I have successfully 'sanded' out small scratches on glass in this manner. However, I agree that using power tools for this process is courting disaster. This is more of a gentle hand-application - more artsy - than macho. Like you said, though, if the surface is filled with scratches, it's not worth the effort as you'd be at it for days. Still, for the exterior surface, the wax approach can mask the the problem as the refractive index is close.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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The inside is what is scratched, and the tank would need resealed honestly. It looks like someone literally scratched the inside with rocks deep here and there and then scrubbed the whole tank with sand... I'm going to take it to an auction I think, hopefully someone has a use that I don't for it. I bought a brand new 55 at petco for half price because right now is dollar per gallon but 40 and 55 are half price. Also picked up a 20, hoping to have them up and planted inside of a couple months.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie Tankard View Post
The inside is what is scratched, and the tank would need resealed honestly. It looks like someone literally scratched the inside with rocks deep here and there and then scrubbed the whole tank with sand... I'm going to take it to an auction I think, hopefully someone has a use that I don't for it. I bought a brand new 55 at petco for half price because right now is dollar per gallon but 40 and 55 are half price. Also picked up a 20, hoping to have them up and planted inside of a couple months.
The part about looking like it was scrubbed with sand caught my eye as that is what I have found when folks try all kinds of things to remove the scratches. They can start with a single scratch and after they work on it for a few hour they find they have an area of light scratches with the big scratch in the middle! They do make good sumps that you can pick up real cheap after folks have done all they can and then give up!
I just recommend giving up first, rather than after the struggle which can make it worse!
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