First time acrylic with sump setup questions

Towely

Feeder Fish
Feb 12, 2017
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0
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Now that the wife and I are back to work we decided to get another large tank but after a near disaster years ago with a glass we looked for acrylic this go-round.

Found a 182g acrylic with oak stand and 40g sump with pump for 500 and jumped on it. I don't know how old it is but it doesn't leak and looks in pretty good shape. I do have a few questions though.

First I can't find any info on Clarity Plus, I know they were bought out years ago but I'm trying to find out if there's any chance they used extruded acrylic. The tank looks clear but I'm concerned about yellowing in the future as the tank will unfortunately be catching some sunlight and my understanding is cast does a much better job of staying clear than extruded. Anyone have any info on Clarity Plus tanks or is there anywhere on the tank that should be marked?

Also there are some small scratches, can't really notice them at all when the tank is filled but I'm sure there will be more to come. I don't plan on doing anything but a deep cleaning to start, that said, how involved and delicate is scratch removal(both exterior and interior without emptying)?

I'll probably run a powerhead or two and could set one up as a surface agitator but would running airstones in the sump help with aeration any or is my understanding of water aeration completely wrong?

For decoration I'm not wasting my time with plants, fake or otherwise, because the tank will have new world cichlids in it and I know how much they like to redecorate. I'll be using heavy stone and wood only, set directly on the bottom, then add substrate. Is pool filter sand ok with acrylic? Trying to avoid scratches and best I can tell that seems like the best option as long as I'm careful when cleaning. Not going to set any decor on top of the substrate because I watched more than a couple times as one of my NW cichlids would dig the sand out from under a piece of driftwood or stone enough that it would tip over and into the glass.
 

Oughtsix

Dovii
MFK Member
Apr 9, 2011
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Redmond, OR
All of the Acrylic tanks I have run across have been cast acrylic. Cast is stronger than extruded so a manufacturer would have to use thicker extruded acrylic than cast. Cast is also generally flatter than extruded.

Nova polish is generally used to polish acrylic. I would never try to polish the inside of a tank that is filled. The exterior can be polished at any time but might be easier to polish empty when you can turn it on its side to polish the oposite side easier. Polishing acrylic is a lot like polishing a car, not hard to master but does involve a fair bit of labor.

I like putting air stones under the bags of bio media in the sump. This makes sure that the bacteria get plenty of oxygen and also oxygenates the water as well as keeps the air stones in place.
 

Towely

Feeder Fish
Feb 12, 2017
2
0
6
32
For a first time attempt would you recommend sanding or just go right to novus 3, 2, then 1 and see how it turns out or without sanding is that not going to improve anything?

None of the scratches are very deep at all. At worst I can barely feel the worst ones with my fingernail so I'm hesitant to go nuts with any sanding when I can barely see even the worst scratches when it's full of water.
 

Rocksor

Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
Nov 28, 2011
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San Diego
For a first time attempt would you recommend sanding or just go right to novus 3, 2, then 1 and see how it turns out or without sanding is that not going to improve anything?

None of the scratches are very deep at all. At worst I can barely feel the worst ones with my fingernail so I'm hesitant to go nuts with any sanding when I can barely see even the worst scratches when it's full of water.
If you are not bothered by the scratches when filled, then I wouldn't even polish the inside of the tank at all. Over time and depending on the fish you keep in the tank, scratches that you cannot see when filled can develop on the inside of the tank.
 
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