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What You Need to Know About Cleaning an Acrylic Aquarium

Acrylic aquariums have increased in popularity in recent years. Among the reasons people choose this option is it’s stronger and flexible. As a result, it’s less likely to leak or shatter. Additionally, acrylic weighs less than glass. That makes it easier to move around when you need to. If you want your aquarium to continue to be one of the highlights of your space, it’s essential to clean it regularly. There are a few things to keep in mind to complete the task successfully. Here’s what you need to know about cleaning an acrylic aquarium.

Using water and cloth

The first thing you should keep in mind is to use less force than you would if you were cleaning a glass tank. Be sure not to use products that have alcohol, chemicals, and ammonia. These materials can cause scratches and make your aquarium look foggy. Water is the best option for cleaning because it won’t leave behind marks, and there will be no damage to the acrylic’s surface. Take a clean piece of cloth and get it wet. When choosing your cloth, make sure it isn’t too old, as old cloth tends to have rougher edges that could damage the acrylic. Microfiber cloth is a good option as it’s smooth and will be less likely to do any harm. 

Feel free to use a spray bottle with clean water to keep spraying the surface you’re cleaning. The glass should be wiped from all sides. Make sure not to miss the edges as well. You don’t want to wipe too hard. Otherwise, you’ll potentially leave a scratch. When you’re cleaning the tank, the water supply should be turned off, and all the fish should be removed. Doing this will allow you to get the work done faster and keep all of your fish safe. With the water calm, there will be less chance of any sand or grit floating or getting between your cleaning tools and the acrylic tank. One small particle of sand can easily cause a scratch on your acrylic.

The walks of your tank should be clean before you start wiping vigorously. Additionally, be sure that no particles are floating on the top as you start to wash the bottom of the tank. If you happen to have algae in your tank, water and cloth won’t be as effective. A plastic cord or scraper will be more helpful in removing algae from the edges of your tank. Do it as gently as possible to avoid scratches, and make sure the scraper isn’t stirring up too much sand. When changing the substrate, don’t dump it out, as it will cause abrasions. Instead, use a net or a scoop to remove it.

Vacuuming the gravel

When cleaning the gravel in your aquarium, vacuuming is the safest option. When you have it set up, start moving it over the gravel. Vacuums are usually effective in sucking up even the smallest materials that could be stuck, including dirt. Other items you might end up getting sucked up include waste, dead plants, and uneaten food. Consistently vacuuming up the debris in your tank will keep it from looking messy. Be sure to move your hand slowly when using your vacuum, so you don’t hit the sides of your aquarium. Going slow will also help you avoid knocking any gravel toward the side of your tank.

Using magnets

Another effective cleaning strategy is to use two magnets to clean both sides of your fish tank. This is referred to as a mag float cleaner. Place one magnet on the inside of the tank, and then place the other magnet on the outside. Bring them close to each other, so they attract and stick to each other. Then, you can drag the magnet from the outside and clean the inside at the same time. Using this method works well for removing algae and other waste materials stuck to the acrylic. You’ll want to clean the aquarium with a cloth before using this method. Think of the mag float cleaner as a good final wipe down to get your aquarium looking extra clean. It can also be a quick way of cleaning your aquarium if you don’t have much time. An additional tool you may consider using is a magic eraser. You can put some water on the eraser, and wipe down all the sides and edges of the tank. It will remove the algae and other waste just as well as the cloth would.

How to handle scratches

While you want to do your best to avoid scratching your acrylic fish tank, inevitably, it’s going to happen over time. Fortunately, if the scratches aren’t that deep, it’s possible to get them removed. To do this, you’ll need to get some repair kits and acrylic buffing. The instructions on how to use the kit will be on the packaging. There are various kinds, including some you can use while the water is running, and the fish are in the aquarium.

Be mindful, though, that certain types of repair kits have harmful substances that can kill your fish. It may be best to stay on the safe side and empty your tank before using the kit. After you use it, you should ensure that the tank has been thoroughly cleaned before you put your fish back in the tank. Multiple scratches or scratches that are really deep will be more challenging to get rid of, but in most cases, the repair kit will be able to get the job done.

Cleaning an acrylic aquarium takes time with removing the gravel and waste and cleaning the walls and edges. But then, when done right, you’ll be able to keep it looking clean and nice to look at for your family, friends, and guests. If you really enjoy the look of acrylic and you also have a pool, you might be interested in acrylic pool wall panels. You can learn more about them at this link: https://www.titanaquaticexhibits.com/acrylic-pool-wall-viewing-panels/

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