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A local aquarium dealer sells used tanks, some of which have a cloudiness to the glass surface that the dealer describes as "etching". The dealer further stated that when filled with water this etching would be undetectable. I would appreciate any reactions to this advice and whether this is the case.

Thanks.
 

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If it's on the outside, untrue. I picked up a used 10g a while ago with etching on the back, outside of the tank and it's quite visible when filled. A background or painting may help, it's a fry tank so I haven't bothered. I don't know if it would be visible on the inside when filled.
 

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Why not ask him to fill it for u?
 

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I had a 60g I bought used with etching. It also had a refraction issue too. Definitely have it filled and inspect it carefully before purchasing.
 

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also wanted to add that since its use it could have a leak so havin them fill it up would b the best move
 

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I would not buy that line at all. My tank that is etched is now up for sale as there is no practical way to clear it and it is too ugly to keep. It will make a nice large herp tank or maybe a giant sump.
 

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The etching is not something done but something that happens. In my case it seems to be from using it as a salt tank and not doing any cleanup on spills and water running down the sides. The glass itself seems to have a haze or blurred streak in patterns like water running down. It would seem that it would be easy to fix. NOT! I have tried all remedies suggested and it is still there. You can't feel it and when you wet the glass it seems to disappear until the glass dries. No amount of work has changed it much including buffing with power tools and various compounds. My best advise is --never buy the tank to start.

 
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