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Stupid Mistake from a Beginner

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by KellyFrancis, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. KellyFrancis

    KellyFrancis
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    I, being the ignorant Newblet I am, just went and bought an algae scraper for my 55 gal saltwater tank. The LFS only had one on the shelf and without thinking, I brought home a metal-bladed scraper. Having cut myself and not taken the hint trying to get the plastic off, I proceeded to scrape the gunk off the inside of the tank and all four panes later, discover that there are scratches EVERYWHERE. Not happy. Not happy to the point of tears. So I murdered the scraper for murdering my tank.

    Here's the question, what scraper IS safe for my tank or should I just be patient and let the inverts take care of it? (When I get them)
     
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  2. aclockworkorange

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  3. KellyFrancis

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    Glass. A friend said that would happen...after the fact...
     
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  4. aclockworkorange

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    Well on the bright side now you don't have to worry about keeping your tank perfectly scratch free... ;)
    I'd just use a pad for algae.
    What kind of algae is it?


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  5. Slippery K

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    Im not sure what the products called, but I use a magnetic glass cleaner. The cleaning pad has what feels like the rough side of a piece of velcro and the piece on the outside of the tank is a handle. So the magnet holds the cleaning pad inside your tank while you clean from the outside. Amazing product and works fast to, like windexing windows. I think you can order one off big als website, I picked up mine in-store.
     
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  6. skjl47

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    Hello; Sorry to hear of your experience. I have a tank in the basement with scratched glass myself. In addition to algae scrapers other things can scratch the glass like rocks and ornaments.
    I have used different algae scrapers over the years. Among the first was a plastic type with a holder for the old double edged razor blades. That type can be used to remove algae without scratching glass if I am careful. I have to keep a fairly new blade and be careful that the corners do not get tweaked. I will hazard a guess that slightly bent corners may have been the cause of your scratches. I also have to be sure to hold the blade at a shallow angle. I have not tried any of the more modern types with a blade but imagine they will work about the same. The trick is to keep the edge of the blades from getting nicked or bent. A blade can be used many times if it is true. I have placed a sheet of fine sandpaper on a flat piece of glass and lightly stropped blades with success before.
    The type I use most often now is one of the magnet types with a plastic pad. This works well for all but the very stubborn deposits. I have to be careful about the pad picking up gravel or a bit of metal which will get trapped between the pad and the glass and cause a scratch. I have one from many years ago that has blades imbedded into the magnet. I have stopped using it as the blades are bad and there is not a way to replace or make them true.
    I tried one with a plastic blade once but it did not do a good job even when new.
    A soft cloth can wipe light deposits. I have not tried the nylon or plastic potscrubbers as I fear they may scuff glass.
    I use the magnet type called a MAG-FLOAT first and only use the razor blade scraper for the stubborn deposits.
    A scratched tank that holds water can be used as a breeding tank, to grow plants, as a quarantine tank or as a growout tank.
     
  7. aclockworkorange

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    Probably a mag float. Those work well, just be sure there's nothing trapped in between the magnet and the glass.


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  8. KellyFrancis

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    "Well on the bright side now you don't have to worry about keeping your tank perfectly scratch free... ;)
    I'd just use a pad for algae.
    What kind of algae is it?"

    I'm not sure. I got the tank from a friend who was giving up his saltwater career. He didn't care about the algae on the back and sides because it helped filter the tank or something so he just kept the front of the tank clean. But I wanted the whole tank clean. I guess its just your run-of-the-mill green algae...I'm not experienced enough to know...
     
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  9. KellyFrancis

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    Thanks for the advice! And it is my starter tank...my experiment tank...I'll never do that again!
     
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  10. petspoiler

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    the acrylic tank I got 2 months ago was immaculate. I make more scratches every week, doing water changes & 'clearing' the view. :(
     
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