HenryC Posted August 13, 2020 Share Posted August 13, 2020 (edited) Hi guys! This is still a work in progress but figured out I could post this here in case anyone is wondering how to polish/restore an acrylic tank. This was the first time I've ever done anything like this and it's my first acrylic tank (and it's big!), and after much research in old forums and asking around, I ended up with this result. I'm pretty satisfied with the result! It was a learning experience! I bought this SeaClear system 2 100g acrylic aquarium for $150, complete with the stand and canopy (I ended up discarding these though.) As you can see, the tank is extremely dirty, scratched and hazy, it seems it wasn't used for quite a bit of time. Came with these ugly discolored gravel lol, no way I will be using that! It seems to be a really old school type? It comes with the original bio balls used for the back, sump-like compartment as well as the pump, can't beleive it still works! Dude had it outside in straight up desert climate. I might have to change that in the future. The background integrated sump. It had crusted up mulm and some rainwater lol. A quick hosing to do a general cleanup. Wet sanding the scratches End of the first day, you can tell by my fat guy "OOF" that I was tired as hell haha. It was a killer arm workout. Must polish until you achieve a frosty looking acrylic. I used 400 - 800 - 1200 and 2000 grit, but you will get better results if you use a wide variety of numbers! The amount of work you have to do also increases though. I did 2 sanding rounds with each grit. I bought that small sandpaper holding thingy at harbor freight, for $5. It definitely made the work much, much easier to be able to comfortably sand. Tutorials said you could use an electric sander if you want to do the work faster and easier for you, but you have to be careful not to electrocute yourself, as you will be using water with these sanding papers. I did not have one and decided to do by hand. Get someone to help you if you can lol, my uncle helped me with all the process so it took me less time than if I did it alone. You could get the whole family to help out one weekend! They will feel proud when they see the beautiful aquarium all set up for sure. Or get some friends, some cold beers/snacks and sand away lol! After 3 days of sanding, it was time to polish the acrylic. I used Mother's car headlight polisher, along with a drill and a polishing bonnet with drill attachment: The bonnet was $9 at harbor freight, but it ended up breaking! I guess the heat of using it too much obliterated it. I suposse they were made for a quick headlight polishing, not for a giant 5ft. acrylic tank lol! We ended up moving to a buffer instead of the drill. It had more power and was more comfortable to use. Felt the Mother's polishing cream wasn't enough, so I bought a Novus polishing kit. That did the trick! I achieved this result with it: Now with custom made stand. I felt the one that came with it was too flimsy. We did one with multiple 2x4's. Can't take chances with 100g of water and a huge oscar in earthquake prone area! (Baja California, Mexico, close to San Adnreas fault lol.) Now I need to finish up the stand (needs doors and paint) and I need to purchase a few pieces of the sump system that are missing. It seems it uses a "drip tray" of some sort to "rain" down water onto the bio balls below! It is a wet-dry filtration system, I have never used one of these, not even a regular sump, but it will be a learning experience as well! The guy is anxiously waiting for his new, forever home to be finished! Stay tuned for the next round of work! I need to complete the stand, (paint and doors) and reinforce the acrylic seams with Weld-On 40 acrylic cement! Edited August 13, 2020 by HenryC 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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