Got scratches on side wall - do you guys buff them out?

bakbay

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Bought a used acrylic tank last weekend and discovered some scratches on the side wall. I'm planning to make the frag tank as an anemone-dominant tank + frag tank. The dimensions are 60x30x12 and 1" thick on 3 sides. I'll be looking from the top down most of the time but...do look at them on the side on occassions.

Curious: do you guys buff them out or accept that the frag tank is a "workhorse" tank and let the algae grow?
 

mh0ward

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Have you leak tested it yet? There’s a decent chance you won’t even notice the scratches once it’s full of water.
 
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bakbay

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Have you leak tested it yet? There’s a decent chance you won’t even notice the scratches once it’s full of water.
I'm gonna test it tonight, along with the skimmer -- The frag tank was full of water when we took it down so high probability that it will be fine. Build thread is here: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/bakbay’s-360g-carpet-dream-tank.1036322/page-3#post-12663705

Got a quote from a local pro that did my 360g -- it's too expensive to have someone else buff it. I don't have time, patience, expertise to restore the frag tank back to his glory.

I'm on a fence wrt buff or not to buff, knowing that 80%+ of the time, viewing angle is from the top of the tank...
 

LadyMac

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Scratches annoy me if I know they’re there, I’ll hyper focus on them sometimes. Being acrylic the option to buff is nice. Mine are glass lol. Honestly though if they aren’t too Dee/ noticeable or affecting the workings of the setup, I would personally not bother with it.
 
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bakbay

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Scratches annoy me if I know they’re there, I’ll hyper focus on them sometimes. Being acrylic the option to buff is nice. Mine are glass lol. Honestly though if they aren’t too Dee/ noticeable or affecting the workings of the setup, I would personally not bother with it.
Exactly. I have scratches on my 175g glass that cannot be buffed out hence the upgrade to acrylic knowing that I can always do, but at a cost.

The thing that bothered me was paying someone the same cost of the used tank to restore it! Labor cost has gone up dramatically— I used to think that specialized trade is $50/hr but it’s really $150/hr! Ugh
 

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I do mine regularly with water and fish corals in. Wet/dry sandpaper. Start with rough grit ~3K and progress to 12K. Ends up like new.
 
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bakbay

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I do mine regularly with water and fish corals in. Wet/dry sandpaper. Start with rough grit ~3K and progress to 12K. Ends up like new.
Can you share where you got the sandpaper? I can try to do this myself first. I’ve tried Novis + an orbital sander — no luck!
 

JGT

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Can you share where you got the sandpaper? I can try to do this myself first. I’ve tried Novis + an orbital sander — no luck!
Amazon. They sell a pack that has a range of grits. Was like $15.
Novis is good for really light scratches. Need sandpaper for anything substantial.
 

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Dry. You can really get in there and sand. Just keep things wet. With water in you have less access and typically I use magnets which I attach the sandpaper to.
 

Solo McReefer

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I would recommend sanding and buffing, even if its a "work horse" this is the best time to do it. Take you like a solid hour to get it nice and new.
It would bother me

Knowing they are there. Seeing them there

It's acrylic, pretty easy

(Ps, there's an easy trick to bypass the last high grits and polish stages. Shhh, secret)
 
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bakbay

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I bought a Dewalt cordless sander and some 1000-5000 grit sandpapers from Amazon. It took my son and I 3 hours and we got nearly all the scratches out. I could have kept going but it got dark and dinner was waiting! Anyway, it was not that bad for us beginners.

Thanks for everyone’s input. Now I can buff the exterior if some kids decided to scratch the tank in the future!
 

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