New Acrylic Aquarium, how should I buff it?

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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-15, 14:15

Hey everyone, I just picked up a 140g acrylic aquarium and I was looking to buff it. Does anyone know where I can buy Novus #1, 2 & 3 locally rather than online? The Container Store in Tukwila I hear has it, but they're only 2 oz bottles, so I don't think it's quite enough; however I could be wrong since I've never buffed an acrylic aquarium before, so any tips on how to do it and how much Novus I would need would be greatly appreciated Smile
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Post  DMD123 on 2014-08-15, 14:23

I ended up buying it on amazon so not sure where to get it local.
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Post  Madness on 2014-08-15, 14:47

Agree, Amazon or Ebay is the best bet. And it is actually really cheap.

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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-15, 14:56

Sounds good, there really isn't any deep or "heavy" scratches, so is #3 really necessary? There is a light haze on the tank and maybe a tiny scratch here and there, so should I apply #2 and #1 afterwards and is sanding the tank with 1000 and 2000 grit sandpaper necessary? Thanks Smile!
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Post  DMD123 on 2014-08-15, 15:09

You will be surprised how much 'elbow grease' will be required even on what you think is not so bad...
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Post  Madness on 2014-08-15, 15:15

If you do the sanding then you need to buy the kit and do the entire routine, dont just skimp on it. As for the Novus, also dont skimp use all 3 the exact way it tells you.

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Post  Aquarium Co-Op on 2014-08-15, 15:18

In my experience it's more trouble than it's worth. I own a sander, and polishing wheel, and all the products and sandpapers to do it... Doing it once, the results were definitely better but not perfect and I decided that if I ever needed to do it again I would pay to have it polished.

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Post  Madness on 2014-08-15, 15:27

I agree  Same here. if its just a small spot or 1 or 2 scratches, sure I will tackle it, but the entire tank? Yea I just let a pro do it.

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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-15, 15:28

I see, any recommendations in regards to who can do it?
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Post  Madness on 2014-08-15, 15:30

If it serves me correctly theFishPimp had his done for a good price, try sending him a p.m. and ask him.

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Post  Aquarium Co-Op on 2014-08-15, 15:33

I know Jason at Clear fabricators INC does it, but I don't know the price.

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Post  Anthraxx on 2014-08-15, 16:35

i second the professional option. its a lot easier this way (given how much time youd spend buffing it yourself) plus if it gets screwed up its not your fault Smile GL to ya, hope its not too costly. id definitely be interested to see how much it would cost, ive been wanting to switch to acrylic tanks for awhile now.
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Post  zach_discus on 2014-08-16, 00:04

Ahh buffing out a acrylic tank is easy. A good orbiting auto buffer, Novus 3 part, and 2000-3000 grit sand paper. Taking your time and wet sanding the tank make s a huge difference. Note is add a little dish soap to the water mix for wet sanding. A 8" buffer makes the Novus 3 part much quicker also Smile
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-16, 00:09

I ended up buying all 3 bottles 8 oz each for $18 at The Container Store and some wet/dry sand paper at Wal-mart, let the project begin Smile
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Post  zach_discus on 2014-08-16, 02:02

make sure your sand paper is ultra fine grit. Should almost feel like paper.
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-16, 02:38

Should be the 2000 grit then Smile I've heard of adding soap to the water, but of course have never tried and wondering if I should on my first go lol
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Post  zach_discus on 2014-08-16, 16:20

Yep 2000 to 3000 grit and definitely use soup in the water. Another couple hints,1. get a foam block to wrap the sand paper around and sand only in two directions roughly 45deg to each other (never in a circular motion!!!!)2. is to always keep moving. Never let your buffer rest/set in one spot for very long. Hope this helps, Zach
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Post  DMD123 on 2014-08-16, 16:39

zach_discus wrote:and definitely use soup in the water.
But no chunky soup or with noodles.  LMFAO 
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Post  zach_discus on 2014-08-16, 20:00

I'm partial to Italian Wedding. Hard to beat chicken meat balls!! Lol

Odd auto correct fix there Smile
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-16, 20:20

Currently buffing, not really sure how long to buff for (I'm using a Palm Polisher) O_O
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-18, 01:43

Here are the before, after sanding and the final product pictures. Now have to strip the paint off the stand, sand and repaint it to my wife's liking, hopefully will have the tank up and running by Tuesday  or Wednesday night.

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Post  DMD123 on 2014-08-18, 08:54

Came out very nice! Cant wait to see it all set up.
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-23, 18:24

Well finished sanding/painting the stand and got it and the tank in the living room now. Now, I just got all the plumbing re-connected and glued, but the one thing I'm worried about is that inside the PVC pipes, there's some salt residue from the old system that the previous owner had for his saltwater tank. I'm going to be running a cichlid tank (African to be exact) and was wondering if there was a way to flush out all the salt? Maybe have the tank running then do a water change, then re-fill the tank and put the fish in?
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Post  Anthraxx on 2014-08-23, 21:40

i use salt water argonite for my substrate. honestly i doubt it will be that bad. the ph can get quite high at times within the lake. just let it disolve back into the water column i say Razz
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-23, 22:06

Yeah I was thinking to let the salt dissolve back into the tank and do a water change to get the pH down a bit, but if the pH stays at around 8.0-8.2, I'd may as well leave it at that.
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Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-23, 23:54

DMD123 wrote:Came out very nice! Cant wait to see it all set up.

 I agree 

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Post  Aquarium Co-Op on 2014-08-24, 03:01

That amount of salt wont make a difference really. I wouldn't worry about it.

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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-24, 03:34

Aquarium Co-Op wrote:That amount of salt wont make a difference really. I wouldn't worry about it.


Thanks Cory  Very Happy  In that case I'll put my media in the sump instead of just running it for a day or two  Smile 
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Post  JimA on 2014-08-24, 08:20

Nice job! Honestly it looks bigger than a 140?

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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-24, 11:42

Took the measurements, it actually comes out to 139, but with the internal overflow it's a bit less since the overflow obviously isn't... Overflowing lol
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-25, 16:12

Actually I was wondering, aside from manual removal, how would the waste be collected since there's no intake? I'm guessing some powerheads or wavemakers to push them towards the overflow, but that's a pretty far stretch?

Worst case, I'll position wavemakers to push the waste to a specific corner so I can spend 30 seconds a day to remove them via turkey baster.
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Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-25, 20:50

SonicsDC25 wrote:Actually I was wondering, aside from manual removal, how would the waste be collected since there's no intake? I'm guessing some powerheads or wavemakers to push them towards the overflow, but that's a pretty far stretch?

Worst case, I'll position wavemakers to push the waste to a specific corner so I can spend 30 seconds a day to remove them via turkey baster.
Forgive me me if I am off track with your question. What I see is 2 water returns. For me they are in kind of an odd spot. I am thinking someone custom drilled those holes to be positioned in the center. The way my mind is taking me is eventually you'll invest in a power head or two to aggravate and create surface current.  

The way it is set up now you would point the jets angled down. The water current would spread across the substrate kicking up waste. The current would then curl up the sides and the overflow would suck debris toward it. Large debris would get caught in the teeth of the overflow. Small debris would stick in the prefliter sponge.

The way this is currently set up would be a planted tank nightmare but would work out okay in a rock type environment. You may end up with dead spots (still water) depending where you position rocks.
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-25, 21:45

Yeah there are 2 outlets in the very corner to return water from the sump, then there are 2 other outlets and intakes drilled into the tank that hooks up to a 2nd pump, which is a bit odd. I don't use it though because the pump is EXTREMELY loud. Also the flow from the sump's return outlets aren't that strong, plus I point them towards the surface for agitation and I just hooked up my 750GPH wavemaker to the left side, did clear a lot of debris from the center and the waste is now primarily on the outside by the left/right walls =\
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-26, 19:48

Anyone know how long I should wait after spray painting the canopy before putting it onto the tank? Don't want to risk anything after all this work to have something potentially harmful from the canopy ruin it all O_O
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Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-26, 22:49

SonicsDC25 wrote:Yeah there are 2 outlets in the very corner to return water from the sump, then there are 2 other outlets and intakes drilled into the tank that hooks up to a 2nd pump, which is a bit odd. I don't use it though because the pump is EXTREMELY loud. Also the flow from the sump's return outlets aren't that strong, plus I point them towards the surface for agitation and I just hooked up my 750GPH wavemaker to the left side, did clear a lot of debris from the center and the waste is now primarily on the outside by the left/right walls =\
okay, I see all the water returns now. This is typical in salt water set ups for optimal water movment. Technically with an open sump you don't need much surface agitation. Aeriation happens in the filtration process in the sump. I used to play around a lot with my returns for optimal water circulation and current. You will have to play around and make adjustments according to "were you want waste to end up", to eliminate dead spots and of course make your fish comfortable.

SonicsDC25 wrote:Anyone know how long I should wait after spray painting the canopy before putting it onto the tank? Don't want to risk anything after all this work to have something potentially harmful from the canopy ruin it all O_O
Maybe 24 hours. I waited 2 days for the stain to dry on my stand.
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Post  SonicsDC25 on 2014-08-26, 23:03

Sounds good, thanks Smile Glad you clarified about the aeration in the sump, now I'll move those outlets around to figure out the perfect circulation Smile
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Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-26, 23:29

Your welcome. I've spent about 6 years messing with my tank. My tank is 7 foot long and only 16 inches from front to back. The current set up - the overflow is at one side of the tank, water return 7 feet away on the other end. There is 2 power heads attempting to create a smooth flow from one side of the tank to the other. All debris end up on the overflow end where I net everything out. This is a fully planted tank so there is a lot of debris.

I've tried every combination of overflows and water returns you can imagine. In the end a natural flow from one end of the tank to the other seemed to fit the fish I house the best.
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