Repairing and/or cleaning old tanks

Steve O'Shea

Colossal Squid
Our FIRST post (LOL)

...... so, we are now the proud owners of a rather large acrylic hex/or octagonal tank (forgot to count the number of sides... :D ). There's quite a bit of calcareous alga on the rear wall, and the walls themselves are a tad scratched and pitted (radula and misc damage). Does anyone have any experience with cleaning these things up (it's not too bad at all, but it would certainly look better if repolished).

We've been told Hydrochloric acid treatment or vinegar for the algae (but I'm nervous about doing this), and 120 grit to 1000+ grit paper for the walls, but it all sounds rather time consuming. I'm not sure whether an orbital sander (I've several, large to quite small and able to get into corners [Black and Decker 'Mouse']) is the way to go, or whether a belt sander would be better, or whether by hand is the best (and then whether an orbital scour motion is better to that of working the paper in one direction). They tell me wet and dry paper too (which would mean we'd not be able to use the electrical tools :? ).

Suggestions anyone? (hope we're not doubling up on any earlier post - real sorry if so)


Staff member
Sounds like a heavy-duty tank you've got there... how many gallons?

BTW, the OCTO (Octopus and Cephalopod Tank Owners) Database will be launching soon, I hope...


Colossal Squid
Sorry for mising this one Steve!

I havnt a clue! never had to work with a big acylic tank, just glass.

I think I would phone a sea life centre or similar cuz they use acrylic on their tanks??? might work?


O. bimaculoides
I've heard of a special paste to remove scratches from arcylic aquariums. This polishes it out so lot of work. Hagen based in the U.S. (a pet product manufaturer) used to sell it in small quanitities.
I think any scratches/pitting will take quite a bit of elbow grease to remove.


Steve O'Shea

Colossal Squid
Thanks all; a water blast got rid of a lot of the algal deposits, a little vinegar got rid of some more, but a repolish is required to get the radular (radula being noun) scratches/marks out (and some deeper gouges); overall the tank's great; will be picking up more soon.

Will check out those links; thanks Lawfish.

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