TruVu scratches

Discussion in 'Fish Tank Brands and Kits' started by hnnhflns, Feb 17, 2013.

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  1. hnnhflns

    hnnhflns Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

    Jul 10, 2012
    I just bought a used acrylic TruVu 135.

    I has some scratches in it that I would like to get out before I set it up.

    It also has caked on salt and algae build up.

    Any recommendations for getting the build up off? And any recommendations for a scratch removal kit, and a polishing kit?

    I have looked into the Brilliantize polishing kit that TruVu sells on their website but I haven't been able to find much information about other polishing kits.

    Also, I would rather not have to use power tools to buff the scratches out.

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  3. Likeajeenyus

    Likeajeenyus Bristle Worm

    Jan 23, 2013
    So Cal
    Well no one else is answering up..
    I have only had one acrylic tank in my experience.

    How bad are the scratches?

    Iv'e heard light scratches kinda disappear once filled with water.

    Fill the thing with tap water and see how bad they really are.

    Let the water saturate the dried gunk and get an acrylic safe scraper. Even such, those can still scratch, so be careful.

    Some people clean their tanks with a vinegar solution. IDK if its a bad thing to do with an acrylic tank. I think its safe.

    I have never used a scratch removal kit. Research it. I heard they work. If the scratches are that bad then you kinda have no choice. I wouldn't hesitate to at least try.

    Don't be scared of power tools, they are your friend.

    Sorry I couldn't help more.
  4. Kevin_E

    Kevin_E Giant Squid

    Apr 30, 2009
    I posted this in your other thread:

    IME, you will need to buff out the scratches on acrylic, but maybe there are some better, more modern remedies.

    As for the deposits, white vinegar should do the trick.
  5. Kevin_E

    Kevin_E Giant Squid

    Apr 30, 2009
    ibefishy had some great advice in that thread too:

    "Start sanding. I bought a 100g acrylic thank that was so scratched you couldnt see thru it. I started with 400 grit sandpaper and sanded the whole thing inside and out. Sand until all the scratches are going one way. Then move to 600 grit paper going the opposite direction until all scratches are going the same direction. Keep doing that until you get up to about 3000 grit paper. Then you can use acrylic polish and buff out the really fine scratches.
    Pick up wet-dry paper from an auto body supply store. I used 400, 600, 800, 1200, 2000, 3000 grit paper. With each paper change alternate direction. I dont know how bad your scratches are but it too me a little over 60 hrs to sand mine. Came out great. I've heard you could use an orbital sander but I havent done it that way.
    Oh yeah, use lots of water!"
  6. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

    Aug 13, 2012
    there was a very recent post on here about someone using sand paper on acrylic scratches but it sounded like it was scratched pretty bad and that it was a labor intensive job...I would want to know how bad the scratches are with water in it like Lika has recommended. I'm thinking vinegar should be safe with acrylic. Be very careful (my old tank was acrylic) and I couldn't believe how easily it scratched even with the acrylic safe pad.....I wish they didn't scratch so easily because I really love the look of acrylic.
  7. Greg@LionfishLair

    Greg@LionfishLair 3reef Sponsor

    Oct 17, 2011
    Coastal So. CA
    Polishing acrylic is VERY labor intensive if the tank is in bad shape. And 400 grit is way too coarse to start out with, trust me.

    Get yourself some "crystal bond" AKA "micromesh".

    You'll want to do small areas at a time, and when you lap an area, make sure you lap it as perpendicular to the worst scratches as you can. Once you can't see the original scratches, it's time to move to the next finer grit, but this time, you'll polish at a 90* angle to the scratches you just made. What this does is make it easy for you to tell when you've gotten all of the previous scratches out before moving on (that way you won't go "damn...I missed those!" and have to go back). Do this with each successive grit until you get to the slurries.

    Your grit progression should be:


    Lifeguard has a little kit that contains pretty much what you need, but I get my crystal bond sheets from Rockler if I need them.

    12,000 grit gives you a pretty good finish (I generally skip it and go to a slurry), but if you want a finer gloss, use a polishing slurry. I use a car buffer, but you can use a polishing cloth in a random circular motion.

    With all of these processes, be sure to keep your work well-wetted (a spritz bottle helps a lot).

    Here's a link to the Lifeguard kit:

    Lifeguard Scratch Removal Kit

    BTW, you can use the crystal bond to polish scratches in a FILLED tank as well...I've done it a couple of times.