Extremely Difficult to Remove Coralline. Help!

Itchy Trigger

New member
I've got a build up of coralline algae that runs above the sand line at the bottom, all the way around the tank. The tank is 1" thick acrylic, and I have tried every magnetic scraper I could find - Mighty Magnet (with algae dozer), Algae Free Great White, Flipper Cleaner... None of them will work on this stuff. And it's just getting more and more built up. Cleaning it with a hand held wand is tough too - the tank is 36" tall, so even with a long handled cleaner, by the time it gets down that far, it's impossible to get enough force behind the blade to remove the algae. I've tried. Again and again...

The only thing I can think to try is a metal blade, but that makes me nervous. I don't want to scratch the hell out of the tank because buffing out scratches down at that level would be a major, major ordeal.

Can anyone offer some advice? Perhaps a great product I've never heard of? An amazing DIY trick? Or am I stuck with an ugly tank? :uhoh3:
 

mcgyvr

New member
If its harder than acrylic it always has the potential to scratch it..

Tried an old credit card yet?
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
If I were to attempt a DIY solution, how about a length of PVC pipe with a slot cut in one end, so that it could hold a credit card? The PVC would be more rigid than the bendy 36" wand, which would allow me to apply more pressure...

Open to other suggestions though! :)
 

smatter

New member
I wore a snorkel and mask when I used clean at the sandbed of a 3' wide 3' deep acrylic tank I used to maintain. A long-handled scraper with a plastic blade worked with a bit of effort. Sorry I don't have any secrets for you.
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
I just HAD to have the 36" tall tank, didn't I? Not sure I'm ready for the snorkel and mask just yet, but I guess it may come to that.
 

toothybugs

New member
Sea urchin. I have found those little *&^%$& will eat coralline. I do not want them to eat my coralline. LOL

Because of this recommendation, Itchy's urchins will only eat rock-bound coralline and refuse to touch the walls of the tank. Any efforts to make them do otherwise will probably result in them going vegan.

:)
 

Spiffy

Cheesy Poofs!
Because of this recommendation, Itchy's urchins will only eat rock-bound coralline and refuse to touch the walls of the tank. Any efforts to make them do otherwise will probably result in them going vegan.

:)

True. My Pencil Urchin munched all of my rock-bound coraline in about three weeks after being cut loose in my tank. Occasionally I will find him traversing the walls or even poking around behind the overflow box in search of more. I didn't want him to eat as much as he did, but he's a peaceful member of the tank, so I just let him eat.
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
Only a few of the shortspine urchins won't scratch acrylic. The Royal and Tuxedo are the only two I would use in an acrylic tank and from my experience they are not aggressive enough "chewers" to make a dent on coraline. In addition to trying a DIY scraper (I use PVC and credit cards all the time like you mentioned) you might try blocking the light to it with multiple layers of blue painters tape on the outside and piling sand up against it on the inside. My guess is you would need a week or two of darkness to weaken it to the point it would scrape off easily though.
 

albano

SALTWATER since '73
Premium Member
The PVC would be more rigid than the bendy 36" wand, which would allow me to apply more pressure...

Open to other suggestions though! :)

Put your 'bendy 36" wand' thru a ~30" length of 1/2" PVC and now it won't flex and break...plastic blades MUST be clean and sharp, so I sharpen them with a small 'plane' from my X-acto knife set
 

Jscwerve

New member
My two urchins keep it at bay. Except in the exact spot you are trying to get rid of it. They just cant reach the corners. I have to scrape it manually as well. I have glass though, so I've got nothing except a useless comment.
 

JMorris271

New member
Trya stiff 3 inch hard plastic puddy or paint scraper. You can sharpen that some if you want but you shouldn't need to
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
Ha! Yeah, no urchins for this tank. :)

Albano - I like that idea and will try it out!

JMorris - that sounds good too. If I can find plastic paint scraper with a long enough handle, I'll try that too.
 
You could always go swimming...

How do you do any maintenance on the bottom of the tank? If you drain it partially to reach the bottom, you may have to do that here. I would never want a tank that deep where I couldn't reach.

You could also try mag scrapers. Tunze has one that works pretty good. Just find ones that work on acrylic and keep scraping those spots down. I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum and wish I had more coralline in my tank. I just reintroduced some a while back after not having any for a few years after my pincushion urchin completely eliminated all coralline algae from my tank. Its nice to see a little bit of pink in there again.
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
You could always go swimming...

How do you do any maintenance on the bottom of the tank? If you drain it partially to reach the bottom, you may have to do that here. I would never want a tank that deep where I couldn't reach.

You could also try mag scrapers. Tunze has one that works pretty good. Just find ones that work on acrylic and keep scraping those spots down. I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum and wish I had more coralline in my tank. I just reintroduced some a while back after not having any for a few years after my pincushion urchin completely eliminated all coralline algae from my tank. Its nice to see a little bit of pink in there again.

I can reach the bottom for maintenance (siphoning or stirring sand), moving a rock or two, etc. It's just that applying adequate force to remove this algae with a long-handled scraper is very difficult.

I've tried several different magnetic scrapers (see original post), but none has been able to get the job done.
 

slief

RC Sponsor
Premium Member
Just get a coraline scraper with the metal blade. They used to be made by Kent Marine but are now sold as Continuum Aquatics scarpers. The ones that are made for glass. i have several different lengths in my arsenal. That's what I use on my acrylic tank for my once a year deep cleaning. Use some 600 grit wet sand paper to keep the edge de-burred. Get extra blades so you can swap them out when you bend them. I've done this countless times and not scratched my tank. Even if I did scratch my tank, scratches are easy to remove on acrylic even if the tank is full.

This is the short length version. I have this one as well as a few different lengths for reaching harder to access areas. They peel to coraline off like butter if you get the angle right.
http://www.marinedepot.com/Continuu...s-Continuum_Aquatics-4C31009-FIMTASHH-vi.html

Before coraline removal..
image_zpsgrnuq9zu.jpeg



After removal.. This was just done a few weeks ago.
IMG_3803_zps8aktuufk.jpg
 

albano

SALTWATER since '73
Premium Member
Just get a coraline scraper with the metal blade. They used to be made by Kent Marine but are now sold as Continuum Aquatics scarpers. The ones that are made for glass. i have several different lengths in my arsenal. That's what I use on my acrylic tank for my once a year deep cleaning. Use some 600 grit wet sand paper to keep the edge de-burred. Get extra blades so you can swap them out when you bend them...

+1... I also use the metal blade and even a razor blade on 'hard' coralline on my acrylic tanks... HOWEVER, I use my dremel to round off the 2 corner edges so there is little chance of scratching... the 1/2" PVC around the handle helps strengthen the scraper tool
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
Awesome - that's what I'll do! I've got two or three brand new metal blades lying around. Probably a length of 1/2" PVC too. Thanks everyone!
 
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