How to Remove Scratches & Scuffs From Aquarium Glass

Those scratches and scuff that seem to appear like magic on the your aquarium glass can be removed if they are not too deep. All you need is cerium oxide powder, an electric polisher and a felt buffer pad.

Run your finger nail across the scratches. If they are too deep you will have no chance to remove them. If they are just on the surface, they should pose little problem.

Transfer your fish into a spare tank. If you leave them in their normal tank, the noise and vibration of the electric polisher will cause them stress.

Add a 1/4 cup of cerium oxide powder to one cup of water and mix well.

Attach the felt buffer pad onto the round disc at the end the electric polisher.

Smear a thin layer of the cerium oxide paste on the buffer pad cover with an old knife or old bit of plastic. If it is big scratch, or there is more than one, you may want to add a little more of the paste.

Press the buffer pad gently against the glass and turn on the polisher to a low setting. Your aquarium may have been weakened by the scratches and scuffs, so you don't want to apply too much pressure.

Move the buffer back and forth over the damaged areas until the tank is clear of all scratches and scuffs. Add more cerium oxide if needed.

Wipe away any excess cerium oxide paste with a damp cloth.

Items you will need

  • 1/4 cup cerium oxide powder
  • 1 cup water
  • Electric polisher
  • Felt buffer pad
  • Cloth
  • Spare tank


  • You can purchase cerium oxide paste, otherwise known as jeweler's rouge, from a jewelry supply store.
  • The longer you use felt pads, the better they work, so don't become frustrated if you fail to clear the glass at your first attempt.

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About the Author

Simon Thomas has worked as a writer and journalist since 2004. He has contributed articles to several online publications, including Smashing Magazine, an art-and-design e-zine. Thomas holds a B.A. in film and media from Winchester University.