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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! First post on this forum, so please don't judge harshly :) My husband is in a process of setting up a 65 g tank that will eventually become a discus tank. We just set it up last week, started cycling, bought the plants and... screwed it up. I left our nearly 3 year old near aquarium without supervision and she started playing with the magnetic cleaner and sure enough - the glass is now scratched. Some scratches are just barely visible, some are deep enough to feel with the fingernail. We read about using cerium oxide and wool pad to buff the scratches out (yes, i know, very hard to do and could be impossible on the deep ones). But here is a trick question - even if we manage to buff the scratches out, would this tank be safe for discus? Could even the trace amounts of cerium oxide harm the fish? If anyone who keeps discus could share their experience that would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Will you not empty the tank before polishing and then clean afterwards (I am assuming the inside is scratched).

I looked up cerium toxicity and it looks like it's low to moderate, and in low doses causes nothing more than skin irritation. Even vinegar can do that. So if you were to clean it up and rinse well afterwards, it would be no more hazardous than chlorine (in fact, less).

Another suggestion is to turn the aquarium around 180 degrees so the back is now the front. Can you do that? Then you won't have to polish it at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We were thinking of draining the water, but leaving the substrate (it's 80 pounds of substrate in a tank where I can't even reach the bottom with my hand and I'm 5'9). The idea was to use plastic wrap and tape it to the aquarium, covering the substrate. I am afraid that we will scratch the tank even more if we try to get the substrate out.
As for turning the tank around - that was my initial suggestion, but apparently the front has different type of glass. I was trying to find that tank online, it's Oceanic 65g, but no luck so far. It almost feels like it's easier to buy a new tank.... And thank you so much for the reply. It's good to know about the toxicity.
 

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hydrochloric acid works for buffing out scratches in glass too, rinse it really well when done and then fill it and put in some baking soda - all gone.
 

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It has a Starphire pane in the front? If so, they're a bit softer than regular glass. I've never polished glass before, but by accounts of all the car detailing guys I talked to, it requires that you know how to run a rotary buffer properly, and I've only had a random orbital (PC7224).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, it is Starphire pane. I think the biggest problem with polishing is that if the scratch is deep, polishing will create a distortion. I suppose it being softer will make the job a little easier. However, it still seems like the substrate needs to be taken out. At least it is known how to de-chlorinize the water, but I can't find anything on neutralizing cerium oxide. Another question, where do peple buy aquariums around here? We got ours in King Ed's, but those guys are not exactly customer support fanatics. Where else can I look?
 

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J&L. I am sure Jeff can get you anything that King Ed's can and will be much nicer about it. I got my cube from there.



Polishing will distort the glass in the area. If you already spent the big bucks, and want to have a show tank, why not just sell this one and get a new perfect one and let someone else deal with the scratch (or not) who doesn't mine a starphire pane with a scratch on it?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's my train of thought too. However, it is hubby's dream tank and he is so very disheartened with what happened and doesn't want to deal with buying/selling. Since the kiddo scratched the tank on my watch I feel very guilty too. That's a great cube btw. Black background looks good (we were just talking about black or mirror background yesterday). I phones J&L, but they don't carry Oceanic. I will need to phone them back and ask about the dimensions. I phoned April earlier today asking if she knew anything about cerium oxide and discus, but she says she just lives with the sctratches and is fine with them :))
 

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Just ask Jeff to make you one exactly the way you want it, starphire on all sides if you want. Drilled, overflows, Eurobraced, whatever, they can get it done. They don't do it. They have a builder do it for them. Mine has polished edged, is drilled and eurobraced, but I cheaped out on the Starphire glass. The black I just painted on myself in the garage. Easy to do.

Oceanic makes nice tanks. I've seen the ones at King Ed's. I guess you can also try Island Pets Unlimited (North Road or Burnaby) to see if they can get you the Oceanic. I know lots of people rave about their service and also Grant the owner's dedication to the hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How long does it take to actually make one to order? And I will definitely call Island Pet's. The more I think about the more I'm sure we just need to buy a new tank and start over. Now only to find a tank with the proper dimensions....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's a long time to look at those scratches and not do anything... :) If I would want to sell the Oceanic and buy a new one - the plants and fish need to be transferred over right away and I don't have a spare tank. I guess they can stay in a bucket for a day... Imagining the whole process makes my teeth hurt.... However, polishing the scratches out just might be even worse.
 

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Rubber made tub and sponge filter. Get one going now. You can have the fish in there for weeks (If you're on planted tank you should know Scolley had his in there for 4 weeks while he got his Starphire 180 when the big Kahuna leaked spectacularly). As for the plants, you can have them in a bucket with a few hours of light a day and they'll get beat up a bit but live, unless you're doing high tech with CO2 injection in which cases the losses will be higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I like that idea! Now only to convince my significant other.
Called J&L, they don't have 65g in stock, but could order one in two weeks. Island Pets simply said they don't have and recommended phoning King Ed's. And those guys did not even pick up. I am so reluctant to buy another one from them though...
Planted Tank is a fascinating read, but I haven't gotten to that story just yet. No CO2 injections, all the plants are "just from the store" - less than a week.
It seams doable when you say it like that. Thank you for the advice, it is all very much appreciated.
 

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You're welcome. I just reread the thread and realize that you're just starting, so the tank isn't even cycled. Unless you have tons of plants, I would just sell them all and start fresh. No hassles. As for the fish, did you do a fishless cycle and what kinds of fish and number do you have? Maybe a pic of the tank?
 

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You're cycling with the danios? Did you get them all that from King Ed's?

Your investment is small so far, so I would just sell what you have for plants and fish and start over. It's simpler. And read up on a fishless cycle.

If you decide to do that and want plants to start over, PM me when you're ready. I'll have Java Fern and Anubias and other plants I can donate to your cause as we both live in Burnaby.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not everything from King Ed's. The tank and the danios. The plants are from PJ Pets and Aquarium West. I guess reading up would be a good thing in any case.
 
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