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Silicone madness!

Devonian
Grafter
Posts: 1,854
Registered: 01-05-2011

Silicone madness!

1 for the diy'ers!
I am currently taking apart and rebuilding a large aquarium.
New silicone wont stick to old silicone, so I have to remove every bit of the old stuff.
I have been using a razor blade to scrape it, and rubbing alcohol, but there is still a film stuck in place that I can't shift, so does anybody have any tips?
Also, any tips for removing a deep scratch on the glass?
Cheers all. Smiley
20 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,286
Thanks: 219
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-08-2009

Re: Silicone madness!

Silicone sealant remover from any diy store. The scratch will be very difficult to get rid of however.
Devonian
Grafter
Posts: 1,854
Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Silicone madness!

I can't use silicone remover because it's poisonous to fish.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Silicone madness!

How deep? regular toothpaste (not gel) with power drill with buffer pad might do it.
Acid should remove silicon, try dissolving several aspirins in a couple of tablespoons of vinegar (make a stronger vinegar)
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,925
Thanks: 515
Fixes: 8
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Silicone madness!

I have a way to remove it that will definitely do the job.
Throw the glass panels away and buy new ones  Cheesy
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: Silicone madness!

How many initially thought this was going to be about more page 3 implantation item(s) ??  Cheesy Wink
Back on topic if you use silly gun silly cant remover although its poisonous to the fish could you not put the glass panels under the shower or hosepipe and rinse thoroughly with W.U.P (Washing Up Liquid or other suitable cleaning fluid ??)


Edit:
Replaced closed bracket that decided to fall off in cyber space (Honest Guv, would I lie to you Wink  Cheesy)
Devonian
Grafter
Posts: 1,854
Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Silicone madness!

@journeys Thanks I'll deffo give the vinegar solution a go.
I'm not to sure I'm brave enough to use a drill and buffer though... although I could practice on the bottom glass panel.

@7up.. That 10mm glass cost me a fortune.. It is NEVER EVER going in the bin.  Grin
TORPC do you have implants then? Wink
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: Silicone madness!

No but I know many a celeb has though Wink
Devonian
Grafter
Posts: 1,854
Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Silicone madness!

Soo... TORPC aka Hugh Hefner.  Grin
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: Silicone madness!

Would I be here if I was Wink thats wishful think but dont tell SWMBO as she'll get jealous oops that dreaded J word sorry for swearing folks Wink Roll eyes
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
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Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: Silicone madness!

Does turning the panels round help, or at least minimise, the problem?
Devonian
Grafter
Posts: 1,854
Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Silicone madness!

I can't turn the panels really, because after all the cleaning over the years they are covered in fine scratches.
When it's full of water you don't see them, when it's dry you do.

@Torpc naughty naughty.  Grin
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: Silicone madness!

well I dont smoke or drink well not drink alcohol as a rule so got to have at least 1 vice I suppose Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,154
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Silicone madness!

How deep is the worst scratch? how deep is the aquarium? where is the scratch?
If the aquarium is very large, and the scratch is very deep, and the scratch is at the lower levels of the tank under pressure from the weight of water when full (which can be considerable) it is conceivable it could be the starting point of a crack.
If the aquarium is not all-round view you could consider replacing just the panel that is scratched and fitting it at the front. I did this once with a 5ft tank that was built into a cabinet so only the front glass was on show. I used a silicone remover but carefully masked off with wide adhesive tape only up to the line of silicone, I never had any poisoned fish.  You could also clean off the old silicone and the turn the glass round so the old lines of silicone are now outside rather than inside.
You might try asking an astronomical telescope mirror manufacturer what they use for polishing their mirrors, they might if its not a trade secret tell you, but I do know its a very long and laborious process and maybe impracticable for large sheets of glass.
As an aside, I'm always slightly amazed that the silicone used to build tanks is capable of withstanding the weight of water inside. I've never actually heard of a tank failing at the silicone joints so its probably much stronger than it looks.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Devonian
Grafter
Posts: 1,854
Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Silicone madness!

Well my tank did actually fail at the joint, however the cause of that was new silicone put over old, and the new silicone failing to hold.
The Aquarium is 30inches tall, 6 foot wide, so quite large, so that is why I'm making sure I seal it properly. Wink
The scratch on the front is more of a graze if you know what I mean, when I said deep what I really meant was it doesn't go deep into the glass, but it's a wide scratch, about an inch long and 2 or 3 mm wide.
I spent a couple of hours this morning with a razor blade, rubbing alcohol, and a scouring pad.. it seem's to be working ok actually.
Petlew, when you did your tank, how long did you leave the tank to cure?
I'm thinking about a week?