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Everything posted by acrylics

  1. acrylics

    Anyone know a good acrylic polisher?

    the torch trick *kinda* works, still leaves the scratch, just polishes the white part, but it stresses the material so don't advise it. 3 other good choices: * Novus 2/3 by hand, #1 does squat for scratches, just a cleaner. I you use 3, be sure to use 2 after * Small buffing wheel in a drill, use Novus 2/3 (I hate 3 but has it's place) - just make sure to use lotsa Novus so you don't burn the acrylic. * Micromesh, the *complete* kit, the kit available at Woodcraft is not the same kit available at Micro-surface.com (kit NA-78-1 or MA-1) There are a coupla other kits out there, but cost much more $$ James
  2. acrylics

    Cracked Bulkhead

    If 1 5/8" is the size of the hole in the bulkhead, it's 1 1/4" PVC which has an OD of ~1 5/8". So really, it's a 1 1/4" bulkhead. Most LFS should carry those. James
  3. acrylics

    Frag tank build idea

    Yep, Tap stopped carrying Acrylite and they just carry Chemcast now due to their need to maintain 200% mark-up. I've replaced a number of tanks made from that material; the joints just fail after a couple years with no apparent warning. Most tanks were made professionally :( James
  4. acrylics

    Large Cylinder Tank

    If the tubing was brand new - it'd be worth about $2500 or so. Used and stressed, maybe $400-500 or thereabouts. Depends on the mfr of the tube, if it's Spartech tube (old Townshend/Glasflex) it would be worth more than if it's Reynolds tube. Anyone can glue Spartech tube, not the case with Reynolds. If you need a home for it, lemme know, but the above is about what it's worth unless you can find someone who *really* wants it Wouldn't be very good as a jelly tank with those dimensions, too tall and narrow - wouldn't get the proper current pattern. HTH, James
  5. Can't touch GC's pricing for that glass tank, but given the height of 14" or so - making it out of acrylic with no center brace is easy stuff James
  6. acrylics

    How to cover top of tank?

    IMO it depends on why you have covers in the first place. If you have covers to keep jumpers in, then use egg crate, bird net, or similar. Acrylic is bad choice for such things for several reasons but is still commonly sold with tanks. If you want a full cover like you have, I'd use polycarbonate rather than acrylic - it wont warp out nearly as bad. FWIW, light blockage by acrylic will end up being about 7-8% - mostly from reflection (given clean acrylic) HTH, James
  7. acrylics

    Newbie ?? To plenum or not to plenum?

    There was a good article a few years ago by Rob Toonen called "Are Plenums Obsolete" His emphasis being on deep sand beds IIRC IMO to say they are "destined to fail" is a bit of a stretch but they are by no means necessary nor the best method. Plenty of folks have had good success using plenums through the years. James
  8. acrylics

    Overflow Calculation

    I'd probably cut it down about an inch or so, which would leave ~3/4" above the waterline. Depending on head pressure, a 1/4" x 1" slot should yield ~40GPH +/- so 17" should yield ~1500GPH + some for the absense of surface tension. HTH, James
  9. If it helps at all, the tank is made completely from 1/2" Polycast brand cell cast acrylic, the overflow may be thicker than that though, in fact it's probably 3/4" black. $550-600 is the going rate for the tank alone so you can basically look at this deal as if the sump & stand are free. Heck of a deal IMO James
  10. Smann, Wires are used on almost all joints, and certainly anything tank related. Thin material like 1/4" or 3/8" gets .008" wires while anything thicker gets the twist-ties which are .014". Just works for me, but experiment and see what works best for you Solvents will vary & material will vary, so wire size and "soak time" can/will vary as well. Mike, So proud and happy for you, keep up the good work (rock2) HTH, James
  11. acrylics

    tank building

  12. acrylics


    If they have the little "leaf" looking thinks on the "tentacles" as the pics show, they are most likely Cassiopeia sp., usually Cassiopeia andromeda (usually all tan to brown IME) or Cassiopeia xamachana (often with some blue parts IME.) Happens from time to time with new rock but rare. Most often though, they are hydroid polyps strobilating into the medusa stage of certain species we get in our tanks. They'll be translucent white to clear. More common and my off-hand guess without seeing an actual pic. Hopefully the names above will help you ID the little critters James
  13. acrylics

    New Ultimate Acrylic Cleaner

    Hell, I'll try it, I have enough scrap around. Send me one, or are they sold in grocery stores? James
  14. acrylics

    Quick Way to Tap Holes

    They actually sell a device called a Tapmatic which is made for this. You chuck it up, and drive the tap through the hole then an internal clutch reverses the tap and pulls it back out, handy little tool if doing a bunch of holes. If doing a lot of these, try a spiral fluted tap, really helps to keep the chips from packing, comes out as long threads. As for doing it with a drill, I do it all the time, in any thickness. If the tap is good, material thickness shouldn't matter much. Best/easiest lube IMO is a 50:50 mix of Palmolive and water. Slippery and water soluble James
  15. acrylics


    aww come on, spring for an ACOG DOH!
  16. acrylics

    Acrylic cements

    IMO use 3/8" at a minimum with a top brace, preferably 1/2". Material should be good quality cell cast, Polycast, Cyro Acrylite GP, or PlexiGlas G, in that order of preference and no others, other brands don't even compare. Solvent should be Weld-on 4 or give me a shout for better stuff HTH, James
  17. acrylics

    55 gal Water changeing system

    I'll take it Shannon, let me know what's convenient for ya. James
  18. acrylics


    PlexiGlas is just a brand name of acrylic (poly methyl methacrylate) so no, no difference in that regard. Many companies make acrylic under such names as Polycast, Acrylite, Lucite, Crystalite, and many others. There are several types of acrylic though; extruded, continuous cast, cell cast, cross-linked, etc., the differences have to do with method of manufacture but for practical purposes the differences have to do with molecular chain lengths which determine the ability to handle stress. I've never seen the brand PlexiGlas at HD/Lowes or any other big box, usually Crystalite or some other extruded acrylic. The extruded like these *can* be used for aquarium stuff but the material is really not designed to be used in pressure vessels (tanks) of any kind nor any other application which will be under stress. Big boxes generally sell these to replace windows in garages and that sort of thing. Best commercially available solvent (glue) would probably be Weld-On 4, available at Tap Plastics or probably Multi-Craft since you're down in Eugene. HTH, James
  19. Last I heard, Brown's Camp was closed. I don't know of anything in the Vancouver area. For the larger shindigs we go up to a quarry off Memaloose Road out past Estacada. If it's just be and a buddy, we'll go to TCGC or out in the woods near Vernonia. From what I've seen, the days of pulling off the road and poppin' some cans are long gone :(
  20. acrylics

    acrylic polishing

    Many local fish shops sell it. Tap Plastics sells it as does Multi-Craft Plastics and most plastics distributors also do. HTH, James
  21. acrylics

    Scratch removal

    Hi Jay, There are two companies that make good kits. Micro-Mesh is available at www.micro-surface.com and look for kit #nc-78-1 should run ~$40 or so. Second is the Everclear kit available at www.etr-inc.com Both hand kits are very safe to use in a fully stocked tank. It is tedious but very doable by anyone following directions, just don't rush it. HTH, James
  22. acrylics

    Acrylic Magnets

    www.micro-surface.com look for kit #nc-78-1, should run ~$40 or so. It's tedious, no question, but works very well and is completely safe to use in a fully stocked tank, just don't try the cream underwater HTH, James
  23. Thanks for the kind words, truly appreciated James