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FAQs on Glass Aquarium Repair 1

Related Articles: Glass Aquarium Repair, Acrylic Aquarium RepairCleaning AquariumsMarine Tanks, Stands and CoversUsed Gear for Marine Systems, Designer Marine tanks, stands and covers

Related FAQs: Glass Aquarium Repair 2, Glass Aquarium Repair 3, Glass Aquarium Repair 4, Glass Aquarium Repair 5, & FAQs on Repairing Glass Tank: Leaks, Chips/Cracks, Whole Panes, Tools: Cutting Glass, Silicone, Moulding/Frames; Techniques; Olde Tank (Slate Bottom, Metal Frame, Pecora...) Repairs, Troubleshooting/Repairs, & Acrylic Aquarium RepairUsed Aquarium Gear

Do box me in. Acanthurus nigricans (Linnaeus 1758) Whitecheek to science, Powder Brown Surgeonfish to aquarists.

140 Gallon Leaker Hi, I have looked but don't see the answer that is quite like my problem. I have an 140 gallon tank that I have had for 8 years. I raise African Cichlids in it. Last night went upstairs and see a fine stream of water coming out of the tank about halfway down. If I didn't know better I would say someone stuck a pin thru the silicon seal. How do I fix this? Thanks, Mike Melcher <<Hello, You need to slowly drop the level of the tank until it stops leaking, so you can find out exactly where the leak is. Use a bath towel to keep drying the outside so you can pinpoint the exact location of the leak. Then you must try to fix it. Lower the water level a bit more, then take a sharp blade to scrape away the silicone inside the tank, then wipe with a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean and dry it, then you can re-seal it with new silicone. Make sure you follow the directions carefully! Silicone must cure for 24 hours before you can re-fill the tank. If, after you do this, the tank continues to leak, you will need to drain the ENTIRE tank and completely re-silicone it. Make sure the tank is still level, after 8 years something may have changed. The tank must be level or more leaks will appear. -Gwen>> <Mmm, RMF suggests going ahead and draining, removing all... drying, removing all internal Silicone and re-doing ALL the inside seams... you will find (as I have on a number of occasions) that the apparent "origin" of such leaks... is not at all where they seem... The only means to fix such possibilities is to remove and replace all.> This Old Tank  >Hi WWM crew, hope all is good.  >>Well enough, my friend.  >I'm hoping you can help me out, I just bought a 108 gallon Hagen tank {72x18x20} . I got it for a good price but when I was cleaning the calcium off I came across some shortcomings.  >>Used tank, yes?  >First - The silicone in some spots is lifting along the edge of the seal and I'm worried about leaking.  >>As well you should be.  >Second - There is two small chips on the corner of the tank on the outside, one near the top one near the bottom.  >>If the chips extend into the silicone seal, then this is indeed a problem. If NOT, then a resealing should do the job.  >Third - The plastic trim has come apart at the corners. Are all these things I should worry about or is this normal for an old tank. The tank is 15 years old and was not used for the last 5 years.  >>Wow, yeah, that's pretty normal. The moulding is protective in nature, but isn't normally relied upon to maintain the integrity of the tank itself. They should be glued together, as the protection they afford round the edges is needed for safety reasons.  >I would have liked to fill it up outside but the ground is soft and I'm afraid it would crack.  >>No concrete pad or patio/driveway area to use? You really MUST fill it in a safe area first.  >I had the help to put it in our bedroom at the time so I took it, it's stupid heavy. Can I slowly fill it and see what happens, my wife is worried it's going to blow apart or something because of the age. It didn't leak when they stopped using it. Any help is good help, great website and thanks. Troy  >>That may be, but the sealant is lifting. At this point my VERY BEST advice to you is to reseal the tank, rather than taking the risk. It is indeed very possibly that it could quite literally burst, but just as bad is any leak, as they never get better. When it gets bad, it gets bad very quickly.  >>I believe we may have tips on resealing posted on site, but if you can't find instructions on how to strip out and reseal a tank let us know and I'll fill you in (I've done literally hundreds). Marina

Tank Repair Hi- I need some help.  I'm a freshwater virgin and I want to do this right (but I'm also incredibly cheap!). <Me too, Home Depot is a great store, and rubber maid makes great containers.> I've acquired a couple of small tanks (10g - 20g) that came with fish (and been given more since) and I want to move them up to larger tanks. <Awesome, the bigger the better.> I've searched the site, but can't seem to find if anyone has had a similar problem.  I have a 30g All-Glass that was drilled for a different filtration system (from a fish room).  I would like to patch this and use an UGF and HOT.  Would sealing the hole on the inside and underside with All-Glass sealant and 1/4" glass be sufficient?  (See photo- hole is in lower left on bottom)  I will be using this as a backup/transfer/nursery tank in a utility room for the convict cichlids that I have right now (the little bunnies that they are). <Someone once wrote in a magazine that convicts would probably breed in a half can of beer.  Love those little guys.  The only sure bet is to replace the entire piece of glass, and that is a pain.  I would use the 1/4" glass and seal it with 100% silicone.  In a tank of this size I would be willing to bet that this would hold.  Let it fully cure and test it outside, and if it blows up, remember that i suggested replacing the whole piece before you get mad at me.> Also, from the same place, I purchased a used 75-80 gallon that does not have a center brace on top- doesn't appear to have ever had one- Should I be worried that it will bow?  The plan is to build a stand and canopy for it- would the canopy be a sufficient brace? <Some tanks are made without the center brace, and will bow a little bit.  Building the canopy with the intent of bracing the tank is not a bad idea, you may never need the brace, but it is better safe than sorry.> I kind of jumped headfirst into this after reading about every FW book in our library.  The fish were "free" (nothing is ever- I know) and so far, I must be doing something right- the only one that died was one of the comets I got for the black shark's dinner! <It can be fun to watch fish munch other fish, but it is not always the healthiest of diets.  That black shark is going to need a much larger tank down the road, if it is a Labeo chrysophekadion it can reach up to 3'!  Best of luck, Gage> Thanks for the help! Shel

Major leak 07/22/03 Went onto your site, looking for some kind of quick, emergency (Mcguyver) type repair- I was in another room, heard a strange 'snap' sound went to check it out and found H2o gushing out of our 55g. while the 2 huge Oscars inside seemed to be enjoying the whole situation.  I thought quick to stop the leak; put some newspaper along the inside of the crack, from almost center of tank to corner; while being attacked by the monsters inside, was no fun ! Mean to the fullest of their names worth.  The leak subsided, I siphoned 50% of the water out,  the leak slowed. I really needed some technical advice at this point; so I went to your site, but no help as to any type of quick 911 repair. Maybe the newspaper, was it.   <Well, did you check here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm there's two pages of FAQs on aquarium repair. In all honesty, I think you'd be better off with a new tank. Even with a repair, the tank could break again. Look at it as an opportunity to upgrade, 55g is really to small for Oscars. A bigger tank might well improve their disposition, check here for more: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/oscars.htm. Have a good day, PF>

Broken Tank? Just Get A New One! Hi guys <Scott F. this morning!> Sorry for the long delay in my reply. I just wanted to say thanks a million for your help. I have decided to just buy a new/used tank. I think that'll be cheaper and hey, it'll give me an excuse to upgrade to a 75 gal.! Ya hooooo! <that's my kind of move! Ever noticed how fish geeks like use manage to get new tanks out of bad situations like that? It's a skill, I tell ya...!> Thanks again for constantly being my lifesavers with your wealth of info, and I don't even want to think about what it would be like without you guys! <And I can't imagine the hobby with out people like you! Not a day goes by when we don't all learn something!> Keep up the brilliant work! Cheers! Dee <Right back 'atcha, Dee!  Scott F.>

DIY tank... almost Hey, <what?!> My dad is building a 200 gallon aquarium, <this doesn't sound like a good start already> and a light was sitting up against the glass, so the glass got so hot that it cracked. <bummer, dear... I am sorry to hear> There are a few cracks and they are in the back of the aquarium. I was wondering if there is a way to seal those cracks and prevent the glass from breaking even more, without replacing the piece of glass. <not at all... a patch would be structurally unsound and the tank would burst in time if not immediately> (because the piece of glass is huge and rocks are glued to it). please help! THANK YOU Sheri <I wish I had better news for you, but it is bad. Not only does the broken pane have to be removed, but the entire inner seal of silicone in the whole tank(!) has to be scraped out. The seam of the glass needs to be sanded down with very fine sand paper (to get the old silicone out of the micropores) and the whole tank needs to be resealed. The reason for this is that new silicone does not stick to cured silicone (even when it is only a day or two old). So if you try to only take out the broken piece but not all of the silicone too... old will meet new at some point and that is where the tank will leak or burst next. Some people say that it is such a big deal that the whole tank has to be cut down and disassembled to be sure of a leak free tank. Best regards, Anthony>

Aquarium silicone (re-sealing a glass aquarium) I have a question... I am getting ready to reseal an aquarium, 65 gal. show tank. My plan is to cut the old silicon out with a razor, clean the area (maybe w/alcohol?) <Or other solvent, yes... a good idea. Wear rubber gloves> and apply new silicon. No one seems to do this type of repair or at least that I have found) they say if they do it would cost as much as buying a new tank. Okay I can agree with that, so am ready to do the project myself, but want to be prepared to do it right! <I've done this many times... not that hard... am not great with tools> My questions are... Is the clear silicon from a hardware store the same as something I could/would order online? <Just make sure it's "100% silicone"... other types have mildewcides (like for windows, tub and tile...) you want to avoid.> (by the time you pay shipping it triples *at least* the cost) What would be the best way to go about doing this? Best way to prep the glass? Anyone have experience in doing this? Please Help :-) Thanks, Monette <In a nutshell: Clean the tank, dry thoroughly, cut away old sealant (Single edge razor blade, watch your fingers!). , wipe off residue with clean rag and solvent, let dry completely. Run a continuous bead of new (100%) silicone in seams, wipe bead with tongue depressor, Popsicle stick, clothes pin, your finger... to smooth out... Let cure for at least a day... trim off excess (if so) with single edge razor blade... Put tank on level surface with newspaper under and fill up to test for leaks... Bob Fenner>

Re: aquarium silicon Thank you for replying so promptly!!! I was amazed you were so quick, and apologize that I have not sent a Thank You before now...3 kids /3 dogs and several (and growing in count all the time) aquariums keep me busy! <I just have the dogs... and have no time!> Again... a sincere Thank You!!! You answered all my questions plus! very helpful, Thanks to Susan aka Starsdawn I found your website! <Ahh, glad to make your acquaintance.> Have a Wonderful Day :-) Monette <Thank you. You as well. Bob Fenner>

Glass Tank Repair My question is this, I have a 30 gallon glass tank, with all necessary components. I am very much on the empty wallet side, and want to set it up for my daughter. Everything was used but working. During the move, there has come a leak from the bottom of the tank. There is no cracked glass, and I removed the caulking, in order to reapply. The local stores have said to use regular silicone from HD or Menards. I have read the labels and they are not recommended for aquariums. <Do look around some more. My Home Depot has almost 50 different silicones and it took me sometime to find the right one. You are looking for 100% pure silicone. The tube I have says nothing about whether it is safe or not for aquariums.> I am afraid of off-gassing from the silicone into the water and contaminating it. <The smell will go away in 24 hours. The unsafe part is from certain formulations with added mildew and fungus killing components.> Is there a special silicone to use? <100% pure, no additives> Or how about an epoxy that is clear and very permanent? <Better to use silicone> I do not want to do this again, and I don't want to let down my little girl. I also have concerns about flexibility. Where can I go to get these products? <If you cannot easily find it at a hardware store, call some more shops. Some of the local shops around me carry silicone from All-Glass (a tank manufacturer).> Please help, Todd <Good luck to you Todd. I would recommend test filling the tank outside or in a garage or something after your attempted repair. -Steven Pro>

Cracked Tank Dear Bob, This is my first time visiting your site. <We are glad that you found it.> My son cracked the front panel of my 150 gallon fish tank which I use for my red eared slider. I only fill it about half way with water. The crack runs from top to bottom. Is there any way to fix this or am I out of luck? <It can be done, but it is not a simple task or guaranteed. The broken panel must be removed and all the old silicone, too. The new silicone will not stick to the old silicone. You may want to pay a store to do the work (if they will and will guarantee the work) or trade the tank in for a new one. If you do replace the panel yourself, be sure to test fill the tank outside or in your garage beside the floor drain incase your seals do not hold.> Thanks, Terri Anderson <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Scratches or a Crack in a Glass Tank A little history: This is our 42 gallon bow front tank. It is two years old and has been moved four times. We had it sitting on a home-made stand up until five months ago when I went for the real-deal stand. We have torn it down (full tank cleaning) at least four times in it's life. For the past nine months we have been using shale in it. It's a little difficult to work with (and heavy) and we always took care not to crack anything. This is the important part: When we inspected the tank prior to fill-up we noticed these scratches on the outside and are concerned. I filled it up (outside) and let it sit overnight <A very good plan.> with no leaks but I'm not confident in the tank after reading your board. For now we put the fish back and left the water level below the major crack, right where it is in the pictures. We don't know what to do about this and don't trust the fish store advice. They all want to sell us a new tank! Thanks very much, Doug <Unfortunately, neither of your pictures came through. If you would like to resend them, feel free and I will advise you as best as I can from the images. In the meantime, I will say that if the tank is cracked, I would strongly urge you to get another one. Repairing a tank is a lot of work and not worth it, IMO/E, for anything under 90 gallons. Sell the cracked tank to someone else for a reptile or small animal and buy a new one.> Here is the major crack/scratch. The depth is "just" detectable with a fingernail. It is not cracked thru the glass and looks like a scratch but I'm not sure. Here you can see the second scratch/crack starting at 4 and ?" and runs downward thru the water line at (4 and 3/8") and ending at 4 and 5/8". <Good luck to you. -Steven Pro>

Aquarium Repair Sir <cheers> One of the end panels on my tank has a serious crack in it. Rather than just put a new piece over the old, I'd like to remove the broken end panel. <that is the best way> Now comes the problem, What's the best way to get the old panel out? The edges of the panel are still held very firmly, the break is right down the middle. <it is very laborious work with a lot of single edge razor bladed> I could take a hammer to the broken panel, but that would mean risking breaking one of the other panels. Any ideas on how I can remove the panel safely? <indeed... after the broken panel is removed, you also have to cleanly cut the entire inner seal out of the rest of the tank!!! Else, when you replace the broken panel, the new silicone will not stick to the old (never does and the tank will leak again). Some aquarists play it safe and totally take apart the entire tank (fully), clean all edges with razor blades, sanders and solvents... and then reassemble> Thanks and regards, Steve <I generally don't recommend aquarium repairs... they often fail unless you are VERY experienced and have the tools (glass grinders, etc). Not worth the aggravation. Sell the aquarium as a terrarium for reptiles and go buy another, my friend. Anthony>

Glue Hello there. <<Greetings...>> I need to glue together a piece of plastic that broke off of my protein skimmer which sits in my sump. Could you please tell me what kind of glue I can use that will not be toxic to my reef water? <<Well, I would repair it with silicone adhesive, the type used for putting fish tanks together. You would still need to dry off the skimmer and remove from the system while the silicone cures.>> Thanks for your time and thank you for having such an informative website. I'd like to give a shout out to my peep, Randy, who reads this site all the time and has taught me so much about reef tanks! <<so be it.>> Bryan <<Cheers, J -- >><Mmm, what sort of plastic? If acrylic or one of its variants, I would use a heavier bodied (more viscous) solvent by Weld-On... RMF>

Removing Scratches from Glass Hi Bob. I will be moving soon would like to remove some scratches my tank has obtained over the years. Do you have any suggestion on the best method to remove light scratches from glass. Is buffing the best method or is there a filler that is safe to use? If buffing is the only way, what will I need to do it? <On glass... better to actually ignore... maybe see if you can turn the tank around 180 degrees (with the hope that the current "back" side isn't as bad. Buffing out can be tried but is really a LOT of work... and can weaken the glass... heat burnishing can be tried on very thick glass tanks... by professional glass folks... but is rarely worth it for home hobbyists... maybe the present container can serve as a sump for a newer tank? Bob Fenner>

Bit of a crack (repairing aquariums) Hi there, I just broke a panel on a 180 gallon tank that was given to me, they are not very light, do you think I can patch it, or replace the whole panel? <Replace the panel.> I need that cheap option, as a replacement tank is quite unaffordable. All the cracks are quite well aligned, there has been little movement. Thanks for any help you can offer. Matt Adlam <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Used Gear Hello to all, <Howdy Gage> just a quick question. I read the section buying used gear, definitely the way to go when working with a budget. I am looking at a 100gal glass tank, 10years old, used only for freshwater, currently housing some cichlids. 10 years seems a little old to me, would you recommend resealing the tank before set up, or "if it ain't broke don't fix it"? remove as much of the old seal as possible then re-seal with aquarium silicone, or just seal over the old stuff? <Mmm, a tough one... I might well re-silicone the inside joints. If there's silicone there (as opposed to just between the glass piece joinings), gingerly (with single edged razor blades held at an angle... to prevent cutting into the joints) remove the old sealant, clean thoroughly with an organic solvent, rub dry with paper towels... and put in a good, new bead... maybe taper/flatten with a tool (tongue depressor, finger...), trimming away excess a day or more later...> Thanks. let me know if I am abusing your kindness by writing too often. I try to find the info on my own first, I read your site religiously. <You, we're doing just fine my friend. Bob Fenner> Thanks,

Plastic molded tank trim?... Bob, I am setting up an old 30 Gal. tank that use to belong to my father like 30 years age. It looks Identical to the newer tanks with the plastic molded tank trim on the top. Before even considering using it I filled it up and left it for a few weeks and it seemed to be tight, but I did notice that the corners of the molded plastic tank trim on one side were cracked. It appeared to be cracked a long time ago and I was worried that maybe if they broke the tank would fall apart. <Might> Then I found this article on your site and it said the trim ?#8364;little or no structural support'?. So is this something I don't need to worry about? <Actually, yes... if the trim doesn't offer continuous support on the bottom... If the bottom is not "free-floating" (i.e. it rests on just a narrow, flat edge of the plastic bottom), you may be able to just go with it as is, or patch the cracked piece/s with silicone sealant...> And if that does not provide the support to the tank what does?  <The silicone between the glass panels, at the edges where they are joined. In most cases, the plastic "framing" provides a simple frame to assemble the tank and "looks" only> Also I was going to use an Eclipse 3 System for my filtration. Is that good enough for a 30 Gal tank? <A very nice unit. Fine for most freshwater and with a skimmer added, marine set-ups. Bob Fenner> Thanks Eric (Your Article) Tank Trim Sorry I was not clear. What I am looking for is the plastic that covers the top edge of the tank. this provides the lip for the glass top, which I have. Dwight Triplett <ahhhh...yes. This is the molded tank trim. If your tank was commercially made (Perfecto, O'Dell, etc) look up some of the mail order companies on the net... many sell this tank trim. I know that Perfecto makes a lot of them... but they are expensive and offer little or no structural support. Many aquarists have nicely stained/painted crown molding mitered and polyurethane and silicone sealed in its stead rather than spend $30 for replacement trim on a tank that is only worth $65. Try some of the big dealers advertised on this site or That Fish Place if you are near Pennsylvania. Best regards, Anthony>
Re: Plastic molded tank trim?... cracks in the top tank trim corner. Now that I look at it harder I think they are from when someone pried it off to reseal the tank. <Ahh, not an uncommon occurrence. Should be no problems... Do read here re stands: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tksstds.htm Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Eric

Disaster!! (broken tank) Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> Sorry to bother you, but I wanted to run yesterday's events past you. <no worries at all> I have had my reef tank up a year, and yesterday my beloved hubby called me at work to let me know it was leaking (gushing was the word he used) and that I needed to come home.  <arghhhh!> He had caught my fish and put them in the 25, put the corals in buckets, and the live rock in a cooler.  <smart man> However, by the time he got to the live rock the tank was empty, so he just put fresh water on top of it. <I didn't say brilliant man...just smart... hehe. Indeed, hindsight is 20/20. He surely did the very best with what he could/knew> Needless to say, I rushed home and we went shopping -- picked up a new 55 and stand (the original stand was pressboard and didn't hold up well!) Then rushed home and put in the sand from the original tank. I had 3 gallons of water sitting for my weekly water change, so I used that and about 20 gallons from my smaller tank, and the rest was mixed fresh -- didn't know what else to do.  <actually doesn't sound all that bad/stressful to inhabitants compared to the rigors or import> By midnight all corals and fish were back in their home, and my 25 was empty. (Part of the deal I had to cut with the hubby to get a new tank -- he gets the 25 for fresh. I figured using that water was better than all newly mixed, and I didn't want to give all of my stock to the pet store so I was stuck anyway.) <we are quite in agreement> We seem to have been extremely lucky, so far all fish are present and accounted for (mark one up for survivability -- my tiny six line wrasse was not to be found in my 25 -- and couldn't be found in the 55 either. Hubby had forgotten about him and thought he had all of the fish. Amazingly, he appeared this morning for breakfast, so the best we can figure he was either buried in the damp sand we scooped back into the tank, or he was in a hole in the live rock and the freshwater "bath" didn't kill him?) <wrasses are notorious sand sleepers> The stars, conch, snails all appear to be OK. Even my crab (was a hitch-hiker on the live rock a year ago). The corals are a little shocked, I think, excluding the chili corals which were both open and extended both in the buckets and in the tank last night. The frogspawn and hammer coral are open (despite being damaged in the bucket, even the frags that got broken off have opened),  <dose small amounts of iodine daily as a mild antiseptic agent, to increase redox, etc. Follow mfg dose and break down to daily. Also make sure that the skimmer produces very well daily now more than ever> the mushrooms are too but not fully, can't tell any difference in my cauliflower coral (still just looks like 2 clumps of 2 blue fingers sticking up with white fuzz on top), but the leather is open but doesn't have polyps extended and I have one coral that I don't know what it is (white lobes with polyps that come out and look like clove polyps or daisies, also white) hasn't even hinted at opening.  <all fine... in days for most all will be fine. Weeks perhaps for a few> I usually only run the skimmer in the day  <yikes!!! 24 hours always please!> but have had it running since last night and thought I should keep it going . . . <absolutely and indefinitely> Current levels are: Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite/Phosphates 0 pH 8.0 Alkalinity 7 meq/L Calcium 375 I think that I need to get the pH up and the Alk down a little,  <correct> but I am not sure how to do this or if I should wait and see if it is stabilized?  <water changes to even the skew, and then a two part liquid calcium supplement would be easiest (B-Ionic/Sea-Balance)> Baking soda in mornings and Kalkwasser in evenings was my first guess <indeed fine if not two-part liquid additives> but I thought that I would wait to hear from you . . . should I treat the tank with iron/iodine/?  <iodine alone/at least> since it is mostly new water?? Also, I am looking at replacing the powerheads since these keep falling (stupid suction cups) I would like ones that hang on the side. What size/how many would you suggest for the tank?  <somewhat personal preference... less expensive may not last as long, but you may not want to invest in a ten year quality pump either (like Tunze Turbelles or Geminis). Do look at harnessing the wonderful SeaSwirls if you can afford it> In addition to the skimmer I run a magnum 350 with 2 BioWheels so there isn't much water movement, at least not compared to what there was with the 2 powerheads in the tank originally. <wow... get the flow going ASAP... a most critical time after such stress to prevent mucous from lingering on coral and bacteria from proliferating. Strong flow ASAP> Lastly, the tank is a foot longer and a couple inches less wide than my other. Do you think my lights (compact fluor. made for a 3 foot tank) will still work if I put the mushrooms/polyps/low light things on the sides, or do I need to get a longer light? The guy at the LFS could not understand why I wouldn't think I would need a new one . . . but I didn't want to get bullied into a new system if I didn't have to.  <Hmmmm... a three foot fixture really doesn't usually cover the whole three feet very well as a rule. If you do not add another light, be sure to keep all coral under the footprint of the three foot canopy. Fluorescent lights have very poor penetration as it is. Coral will live best in the top 12" from the surface under such lights (Metal halides are a much better bang for the buck)> At this point I can't remember how many watts it is. I know, not enough detail for you to answer (-: Thanks for letting me bend your ear . . . my heart still hasn't stopped racing since yesterday . . .  <indeed a lot of love and a lot of work/sweat. Kudos to you!> please let me know what I need to watch for and/or do to make sure that I don't loose anything I don't have too . . <yes... keep an eye out for excessive mucous or the beginnings of an infection (FW dip or Iodine baths for coral if necessary)>. Cari <best regards, Anthony>

Tank Trim Sorry I was not clear. What I am looking for is the plastic that covers the top edge of the tank. this provides the lip for the glass top, which I have. Dwight Triplett <ahhhh...yes. This is the molded tank trim. If your tank was commercially made (Perfecto, O'Dell, etc) look up some of the mail order companies on the net... many sell this tank trim. I know that Perfecto makes a lot of them... but they are expensive and offer little or no structural support. Many aquarists have nicely stained/painted crown molding mitered and polyurethane and silicone sealed in its stead rather than spend $30 for replacement trim on a tank that is only worth $65. Try some of the big dealers advertised on this site or That Fish Place if you are near Pennsylvania. Best regards, Anthony>

Aquarium Repair - 55 gallon Hi Bob, <Steven Pro this evening.> I have a 55 gal aquarium which I am ready to setup. I noticed a small chip on the INSIDE of the long front glass. It is about 1/2 way down and front and center. I am VERY concerned about putting water in it (55 gallons would be a lot of water on my carpet)! Isn't there a lot of pressure on the glass with the water inside and might it cause the chip to crack? If it is suspicious should I not fill it or should it be fixed (and if so, how)? Thanks in advance for your advice. Linda Ascencio P.S. I read the article about the tank with the chip on the outside but mine is on the INSIDE. Thanks again. <I would give this tank a test fill somewhere easy to clean up, like say outside on the porch or in the garage. If you are really concerned about it, I would not repair it. I would just get a new one. 55's are so common that their pricing is very competitive and the warranty and the time to repair would be worth the extra bucks to me. -Steven Pro>

Repairing Glass Scratches - Lighting a Reef Tank Hello Jason, is Bob still away? <<Hello, he is... he should be back Friday 12/7 although I doubt he'll be back in gear that day.>> I was the one who emailed you about my Lubbock's fairy wrasse. <<ok>> Anyways, I have a few questions. Here is a short history of my tank -its been up for 4 years -38 gallon (36" by 12" 20") with 60 watts of light -Inhabitants include Lubbock's fairy wrasse and a Centropyge argi angelfish, (nice to have a group of fish without compatibility issues) <<not too many arguments to get into in a 40 with two fish - a very good choice in my opinion, and aren't those argi's funny...>> Question 1: The tank is four years old and has quite a few scratches on the inside glass, is there any product that can help remove the scratches? <<on glass, erk... I don't think so. If it were acrylic, that would be a different story. I don't think there's anything that polishes glass that you want to put in your tank.>> Question 2: Since I am only 14, I don't have that much money, but I want to upgrade lighting, and I am trying to find a cheaper way of going (but enough to keep my corals thriving). I am interested in keeping shrooms, zoanthids, leathers and colts, and possibly a few hardy hard corals like bubble coral. I believe power compacts and VHOs both have 96 watts per for a 36" long tank. How many watts would you recommend for the inverts I am interested in keeping? Two power compact bulbs or one? Any other good ways to light my tank, (not metal halide, too expensive). <<ah sure. I'm a big fan of the "get as much as you can afford" philosophy when it comes to lighting so... power compacts, whatever you can afford.>> Also, my dad is worried about upgrading lights because I told him that my Atlantic pygmy angel comes from relatively deep water in the wild (even the fish is tank-raised). Will the increase in lighting harm him? <<Tell Dad it will be fine, the argi will do just fine.>> Sorry to bother you, and good luck keeping up with all the questions! Thanks <<Thanks, need some luck there, I'll tell ya'. Cheers, J -- >>

Transferring Part 2 (chipped, cracked glass tank) Hey Bob, <Anthony Calfo sharing e-mail duty, in your service> Thanks for getting back to me so quickly....gotta like that. <indeed... Bob runs a tight ship here <wink>> Since the last email I sent you, we have decided to keep the iron stand that the 125g came with (dh thought it might have been too low, but alas he changed his mind). <perhaps you folks aren't as short as I am...hehe. I'm sure I wouldn't have hesitated to keep it <G>> So we don't need to worry about trying to switch the tanks using the same stand. The 125g is on the stand and about 1/2 full of water (checking the seams for leaks seeing it is used). But we found a boo-boo (hopefully it won't cause any problems another reason we are testing), there is a slight crack on the corner about mid way up .......HELP! <ughhh> What kind of problems might this cause? We have resealed it with silicone on the inside (didn't go through that far but better safe then sorry),  <agreed...although old silicone never truly makes a water tight bond with old silicone... only used for small details such as this> and epoxy on the outside. The crack is more like a chip. Just a surface chip for the most of it. Can you offer me any suggestions? <ahhh...very good to hear it. For the purpose of this discussion, may we call a chip a planar section or shard taken out, and let us call a crack a concise line or fissure? By that definition, I can say with experience and confidence that a chip the size of a small coin is little matter at all beyond aesthetics. A dab of silicone on the outside to protect fingers is more than enough. A crack of any size however will inevitably run and is a serious risk that I wouldn't take. It sounds like you have a chip and that it is no matter. No worries my friend, you've done a good job with it> We live in Nova Scotia, Canada (right next to the ocean actually...what a beautiful sound at night),  <almost makes you not want to bother with even a tropical aquarium...beautiful!> and only have one really half decent LFS here. We have gotten most of our goodies from JL in British Columbia <my goodness! And I am actually familiar with them... they are just one of two dealers for my Book of Coral Propagation in Canada so far> (would you believe cheaper for us to get it from the other side of the country then right here in town, even with shipping). <gee... that doesn't say much for the LFS! With regards for the dear cost of freight> So back to the original question....(can you tell I'm a woman...like to babble...hehe) how serious would you think that chip may be? <no worries... and by the way, I'm a bloke and just as chatty!> Thanks for all your help and answers. Keep up the good work. <with kind regards, Anthony> Hannah in Nova Scotia

Chipped Tank Hey Anthony, <hello, dear> Thanks for a very quick response....I won't tell anyone you're a bloke...hehehe <no, no... please do tell all the attractive, intelligent single ladies you know that like talkative gentlemen <wink>> Okay dh feels a bit better now knowing that the chip should be ok.  <good, as it should be> His only (and mine too) other concern is will that chip weaken the tank once the sand, LR, and water are in? Personally I think he is being overly concerned about this, but see his reasonings too....all that money and hard work for it to crack later on us would not be pretty. <there is indeed some concern about a stress point, although a small superficial chip really is of little matter> I might add here too that if it was not for Bob and the rest of you lovely people (the web page too), we would have been out of the hobby long ago. We have gotten many answers and a lot of help with out tank from yous. <your kind words are overpayment for the work done> The latest was a calcium level of .......are you ready for this........50. Yes 50!  <aiiiieeee!> We lost only a small (smaller then my baby finger round) bunch of pumping xenias. Everything else is still alive and doing so much better now (go figure eh) that the calcium level is about 450. <excellent... indeed on the higher end. I don't complain if it is over 375ppm> I am anxiously awaiting the transfer to the 125g and will send before and after pics to you (I mean you helped get us this far.....why not share in the glory). Thanks a million guys!! <looking forward to it! Anthony> Hannah :) Bluenoser

Tank Repair Hi. I have a 45 gallon tank and the center brace is pulling away from the sides. It is cracked, but not all the way through. Is there any way that I can repair it? <Yes, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm A ready repair can likely be effected by simply siliconing a glass or acrylic panel over/under what you currently have. Bob Fenner> thanks for your help. Lynne

Concerned about refugium repair Hi Mr. Fenner, 2 questions. First what is your opinion on this. I placed on Friday, Dec. 28, a piece of live rock with a bunch of 3 types of button polyps, yellow, and orange sponges underneath, and a section about 4" sq. of an encrusting type of coral that looks like a Favia Fagrum from picture on your website in my tank, and it is about a foot to 15" upstream from my nice toadstool. Since Saturday my toadstool has not been opening up. It is still standing nice, and tall, and full. Everything looks great except it hasn't opened. I've read that buttons cannot be put near leather corals, but even at this distance it still matters? <Yes... chemically> Mind you the toadstool was put in the tank only 2 weeks prior, so is it maybe just finally acclimating to my tank, and the timing is just a coincidence, or would you go with a warfare going on between it, and the polyps?  <Some period of adjustment, detente at least> I have since rearranged the flow in the opposite direction, and now the toadstool is upstream from the polyps. Would this make a difference,(how much time should i wait to see if it helps?) <Days, a couple of weeks> or maybe I should move one, or the other further away( I do have the space, my tank is 5' long). <I wouldn't keep moving them> Second, I want to repair my refugium, which is built from a store bought glass tank. It has Miracle Mud, Caulerpa, and LR in it, and lit 24/7. The problem is when I built it I used acrylic that was too thin for the separations, and now the water flow has made them bend, and the silicone is starting to let go on them. I would like to redo the separations with thicker pieces, and silicone it better. The refugium could be shut-off from the main sump system (bypasses it through a tee with shutoff valves) with no problem to empty out. My concern, and worry is will this do any damage to all the critters, Caulerpa, and the mud bed which is pretty live if I take every thing out for about 2 days (the time to fix, and let the silicone dry)? <Mmm, you need to make provision (another going system) to keep all the live parts live...> My sump would still be running, and circulating the water in the main tank, and I do have a Red Sea Berlin XL skimmer running from the sump, so there will still be oxygen, and filtration from the skimmer happening. Main concern would be the water parameters, and would they change suddenly? <Hopefully not> I have fish, and corals in the tank. The main tank is 120 G. with a 50G. sump ( not including the refugium which is separate). So there is a decent total volume of water to not let it change that quickly.  <Agreed. You should be fine> If I put the mud, and Caulerpa in a tub with a powerhead to circulate, and aerate, would this be safe for the life in there? <Plus a heater, and if you can something in the way of a mechanical filter... like a "cycled" canister or hang on power type> Is this a bad idea to disconnect it from the main system for a couple of days? Concerned, and worried about how to fix it!! Greg N. <Needs to be disconnected to fix. Or another sump made to swap out in real time. Bob Fenner>

New old fishtank (aquarium repair) I live in a house close to a college campus and came upon a large fish tank with a stand, that was going to be thrown away.  <Wow!> I carried it in my house, but on further inspection I found that it was cracked through the back glass. Can I buy a new piece of glass for the tank or use a glue and repair the glass. Or should I just put it back where I found it, in the trash. Thank You Paul <Actually, not all that hard to effect a repair here if this is a simple "crack along one panel"... You can silicone (with 100% silicone from a hardware store) a relatively thin panel of glass or acrylic on the inside (some folks put on the outside, I don't) fit to fill about the same surface area... with the tank empty, cut away the overlapping area where the silicone is now (with single edge razor blades, watch your fingers)... lay a bead of silicone over these cut away areas and along the crack... place the new pane of glass/acrylic over this, lay a heavy book onto this... and place a bead of silicone along the repair edges... either smooth with your finger, a popsicle stick, tongue depressor... Let cure a day or so... Bob Fenner>

Silicone sealant... Bob- Do you know of a specific brand of sealant in cartridges that is safe for use in a tank. I bought one at Home Depot that is made by GE and is 100% silicone. Since it did NOT say mildew resistant on the tube (where others do specify it) I thought it might be ok. Once I got home and put my glasses on to read the fine print on the back, it says not for use in aquariums. Thanks. Happy Holidays! Andy <Mmm, my long standing point on such matters... 100% is 100%... though the label may state something like "not for aquarium use"... have used the HD re-labeled products, RTV, other 100% silicones for aquariums for decades... One hundred percent... no mildewcides, other additives... Please take a stroll over the WetWebMedia.com site using the Search Tool and the word: silicone. Bob Fenner>

Gluing the tank brace Mr. Bob Fenner About the tank brace that I must glue, could you tell me how much time needs the silicone to cure in this particular case. <I would give this a good two, three days... though the manufacturer states only 24 hours to cure.> I am thinking of: 1) emptying half tank as you recommended; 2) submerge three small powerheads in order to maintain good water motion because all the water movement by the sump, refugium and skimmers will stop during the curing time; 3) glue the brace, and wait 24 hours? <Better to wait two, three times as long> Could I try to gently remove some of the Valonia on the dried rocks ? <Yes, a good plan, time to do so. Bob Fenner> Thank you very much <Por nada my friend. Nos vemos> Fl?io Ribeiro

Tank problem Mr. Fenner Thanking for your continuous dedication in sharing your knowledge with all of us, and hoping that everything is ok with you, this time I need advice about what to do or not do with a tank structure problem. Just in the center and between the back and the front glass there, use to be glued, at the top of those, and above the water level, a rectangular piece of glass glued with silicone on the inside of the mentioned rear and front glasses.  <Yes, an important element of the tank's integrity. We call this a brace> This piece is a reinforcement with the intention of maintain permanently stable/fixed the distance between those main panels. The tank is a full open top 100 gallons, 1.5 m length, 0.55 m height, and 0.5 m width. For some reason the piece is not glued in one of the extremities, the front one, and as a consequence the main glasses are a little bowed at the central and up area. <Yikes, cuidado my friend. I would add a piece of glass over or under the present one (cleaned up thoroughly of course) with new, 100% silicone and anneal/silicone the two together and onto the front panels of your tank> The width at the middle point, where the bow is maximized is in now 0.51 ( more 0.5 in the back and more 0.5 in the front). Considering that little difference and the necessity of drain all the water to reglue the reinforcement, I am considering the possibility of doing nothing, but..... your experience, practice, opinion, are very important for helping me to decide what to do. <I would drain the tank down a good ways (medio/half or more) to do this improvement. Pues/but definitely do it.> Best regards and thanks Flavio Ribeiro <Nos vemos, Bob Fenner>

Broken tank re-set-up Hi Bob, How are you today? <Fine my friend. I trust this note finds you well> I have the pictures of the new 135 gal tank at http://www.cia.com.au/winone and simply click on the 'The third Tank' link. <Yikes... the broken brace tank...> On Monday 30 October (1 week after the new tank was setup), I lost the orange-spotted goby. I do not understand what went wrong? <Stress, strain...> Everything else is doing great, even the corals that looked like they needed a holiday are looking great today. I do have a SeaChem ammonia alert and it indicated that there was nothing to be alarmed about.  <Don't rely on this device alone...> The 7 other fish are also doing great. Could stress cause this? When I had him in the 2 foot tank, I put no sand in the 2 foot tank. When I put him back into the main tank he was hiding for a few days and then started peering out from under the rocks at the front of the tank and a day later he was dead. I noticed that he was not eating for about 5 or 6 days. It's very distressing when thing like this happens. Warmest regards Lucien Cinc <Is the Eheim pump attached to a line/through put in the bottom of the tank? I would "hard plumb" this, or at least place two secure plastic zip ties/panduits on each connection... If possible/practical, it's better (more disaster-proof) to just run such lines of the top of tanks... Bob Fenner>

Guess what? Hi Bob, You will never guess what happened? <I have a very vivid imagination...> The center brace let go on my fish tank on Thursday morning! <Yikes!> I have taking this as an opportunity to upgrade the fish tank again :) I now have a 72" x 24" x 18" tank, which I am going to pick up in about an hour. Everything is in buckets and waiting for the new fish tank to come. I am getting very good at moving fish tanks now. This is the second time I have had to do this and this will be my 3rd tank now. <Good to be in practice> I will put pictures up on my web site in a few day time and let you know. Warmest regards Lucien Cinc <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Guess what? (tank repair, RO run-in period) Hi Bob, So far, so good. All the fish are fine and the soft corals made it okay. I did lose the feather duster starfish and a hard coral. They sat in buckets for 2 days. I guess that was to long for them? <Yes> I received my RO unit yesterday. I have started it off and will let it run for a few days, before I start using it for the fish. <A few hours is long enough> As soon as I get a chance to prepare the pictures I will let you know. Again, many thanks for your help. It is much appreciated :) Warmest regards Lucien Cinc
<Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

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