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Basic Advice

Glass vs Acrylic Aquariums and the Art of Scratch Removal

Aquariums big or small are available in either glass or acrylic. Each is a fine product which has pros and cons such as the glass aquarium when in smaller sizes is generally much more affordable than acrylic. Acrylic aquariums are actually stronger than glass as the material is chemically bonded together instead of being held together with silicone like glass. One factor to keep in mind about acrylic aquariums is that since it is a softer material than glass it is more prone to scratching. The good news is those scratches can be repaired. Here is a recent repair we just performed for a client.

Ok, Ok, let’s not get into how the scratch happened. Let’s all just be assured that fixing scratches in acrylic aquariums is a piece of cake, inside or out. This particular scratch was quite deep and rather than using one of many hand held scratch removal kits available, we brought out the heavy artilery.

First a fine grit, wet or dry sand paper is used to “buff out” the scratch. What is actually happening is the acrylic is sanded down to below the scratch, thus removing it.

Secondly a high speed orbital sander is used with various buffing compounds to begining repairing the damage done by the sander. This will leave a “haze” still on the glass but very smooth to the touch.

Next a low speed polisher is used to clean up the material.

Lastly a soft cloth and light, liquid polish is used and the tank is as good as new!

If the scratch were inside the same method would be used however the water obviously would be removed. This can be done quickly by using high speed submersible pumps and large holding tanks to keep the water, fish and decor in.

Thanks as always for reading my blog. For more information feel free to email me at

About Jon Wolf

Servicing Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan, Blue Planet Aquarium Services has been the most trusted name in aquarium design, installation and maintenance since 1999. A company large enough to be dependable but small enough to still watch out for your best interests, Blue Planet is the only company to call if you are planning to install an aquarium or have one maintained.

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