First off, what’s acrylic?
Acrylic is a plastic made using one or more types of acrylic acid. Polymethyl Methacrylate acrylic, or PMMA, is one of the more widely used forms of acrylic because of its exceptional weather-ability, strength, clarity and versatility.
Why Acrylic Aquariums?
Acrylic aquariums are attractive because of their unique properties; clarity, strength, and versatility. However, they do require special care during cleaning.
To begin with all about establishing an acrylic aquarium, let us begin with support; always use a solid surface to support your acrylic aquarium. Use of a perimeter support stand will lead to sagging and undue pressure on the seams. Use of a perimeter stand will void your Tenecor Warranty. Talking about cleaners; do not use any product which contains Ammonia, Alcohol, or Abrasives, such as Windex, Comet, Ajax, or other commercial cleaners when cleaning an acrylic aquarium. Use of such cleaners will cause the acrylic to permanently lose its clarity. A soft cloth and water, or a polish made specifically for acrylic, should be used for cleaning.
You should take care to not to expose acrylic to paints, varnishes, turpentine, or their fumes. Exposure to these chemicals will cause crazing and loss of clarity. For regular maintenance it is recommend cleaners that are specifically designed for acrylic, such as Novus and Plexus. Many other cleaners contain chemicals which will penetrate the pores in acrylic and cause damage which shows as fine lines or haziness. Plexus aids in the removal of fine scratches and abrasions and will actually help protect the acrylic from accidental exposure to harmful chemicals.
Cleaning Aquariums With Bleach
On occasions where a complete cleaning is required, such as a change from saltwater aquariums to freshwater fish tanks or after prolonged storage, the use of chlorine bleach can be very effective. A half gallon of bleach mixed with 20 gallons of water or more is great for sterilization and is perfectly safe for acrylic.
Polishing Clothes & Sponges
Acrylic should always be cleaned with a good quality soft cloth. Special polishing clothes are available at your local hardware or automotive stores and are the best guarantee of a lasting finish. As a substitute, a soft cotton cloth or high grade paper towel can be used occasionally. Do not use commercial grade paper towels or newsprint.
You should not use coarse sponges or pads to clean acrylic aquariums. If you do use a sponge or pad, make sure it’s designed for use with acrylic aquariums.
Removing Calcareous Algae and Diatoms
Some aquarium growths, such as calcareous algae and diatoms, are very hard and can be difficult to remove with standard cleaning pads. Simply use a plastic card such as a credit card, driver’s license, or plastic putty knife to scrape growths from the acrylic. Using the edge will transfer more pressure to the growth, reducing the work, and because the card is still relatively soft it won’t damage the acrylic. Several scrapers designed specifically for use with acrylic aquariums are now commercially available.
So, acrylic aquariums thus could always remain your eye catching beautiful stuff with strength no doubt.