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FAQs on Glass Aquarium Repair 4

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Related FAQs: Glass Aquarium Repair 1, Glass Aquarium Repair 2, G lass Aquarium Repair 3, Glass Aquarium Repair 5, & FAQs on Repairing Glass Tank: Scratches/Blemishes, Cross-Braces, 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

Some added force may be expected from inhabitants striking the inside panels occasionally... Like basses.

Broken hexagon tank repair  - 2/21/2006 Hey guys I have a hexagon tank about 45 gallons (GUESS).  The bottom was broken when I found it so I removed it and tried to replace it with a piece of fibreglass/plastic from Home depot. <... not easily done with these materials. I would use glass>   I used silicone to glue it down then siliconed around the bottom I then filled it and the bottom fell out.  I was wondering what adhesive I should have used to glue it to the glass and what thickness of glass I should be using. <Likely 3/8" (or thicker), and 100% Silicone (Silastic)...> Also can I use fibreglass/plastic bottom if the rest of the tank is glass will it adhere correctly.   <Not likely> And can you let me know where to get the adhesive from... <... Lowe's, Home Depot, or such... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm and the Related FAQs linked above. Bob Fenner> Thank you very much... Shawn in Canada.

Frame for 55gal glass tank   2/10/06 Greetings WWM crew.  I did look through the faq's for my answer, but did not see what I needed about constructing a new frame (I also Googled "DIY aquarium stands"). <See Ozreef.org re this last> I need to replace the black plastic frame, and would like advice how to construct one from wood.  Please see attached drawing, which proposes the use of 3/4 inch oak. <I do see your graphic (thank you)... and would not put the bit of frame under the bottom glass... best to just enclose/wrap-around the outside bottom.> Background information is my 55 gal glass tank began to leak.  I repaired by replacing the silicone seams inside, but must not have used a thick enough bead (I used a popsicle stick to smooth the bead - <This inside bead is largely non-functional... the glass to glass bit is...> next time I'll find something with a larger radius). <My Eheim tanks, other European brands lack this bead entirely...>   It soon began to leak again. This time I decided to do a complete tear-down, and in the process had to destroy the black plastic frame (which needed to be replaced anyway, as it had many breaks). <This also is largely non-structural... for looks> So I wish to build a new frame using 3/4 inch oak, rather than try to find a replacement plastic frame.  I think it will look nicer too. One concern submitted by a local pet store is that a wood frame would crack from the weight. Another concern is whether or not a frame is needed at all - perhaps only for cosmetic use? <You are correct here, the latter> Or is the purpose to provide a flat (planar) support for the tank, in case the table or stand is not perfectly flat, and also as a barrier between the glass and a stand. <Nope> Would strips of Styrofoam insulation be recommended along the edges of the stand between the glass and wood? <A flat rectangular piece is better> Thank you for your time and comments.
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Frame for 55gal glass tank  - 2/11/2006 Bob, Thank you for your comments and the OzReef link.  The original plastic frame must have been largely cosmetic then. <Yes, assuredly> I will take your advice and simply construct a wrap-around trim, if anything.  The tank itself will rest upon a flat surface with a thin foam pad between. Cheers!
<Sounds good. Bob Fenner>

Hi my question is can a scratch turn into a crack.    2/7/06 The scratch is not to deep but i can fill it and its on the outside. <Can... but rare... filling glass or acrylic won't help. Bob Fenner> Re: overflow question  02-05-06 Bob, thanks for the quick response.  One point of clarification...you mention making it 1 1/2" and cutting over the existing hole.  From my understanding, the bottom glass is tempered.  This can't be re-drilled, can it? I've drilled holes in non tempered glass quite a few times... Thanks, Peter <Is an issue... am given to understand that there is technology for cutting through nowadays (have never had success with myself), but if I were doing so here, I would likely abandon the one present hole and drill the larger through the back. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Help about silicone  - 2/4/2006 Ok here's what is happening. I have a 7 year old tank and the silicone has some bubbles in it. What should i do because i don't have enough money to buy a new tank and i was told bubbles are not a big deal is that true. <... depends on how many and where. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help about silicone  - 2/4/2006 It's not between the glass and there's only 5 i was told on this sit it only matters if it is between were the two glass pieces connect? Is that true? <The only Silastic that matters structurally is between glass to glass surfaces... the excess bead is mainly useful for keeping razor blade type scrapers from cutting in here. Bob Fenner>

Glass tank frame replacement   2/2/06 Hi I purchased a used 55 gallon tank with the plastic rim around  the top and after filling it the rim split in a few places. It pulled apart at  the middle of the frame allowing the lights and lids to drop  and bowed out  some. My question is are these frames replaceable and if so where can they be  found. Any info would be appreciated. Mike <Are replaceable... put the words "glass aquarium frame repair" in the Google search tool on WWM... and look at the cached referents. Bob Fenner>  

Averting disaster (tank repair), coral feeding   2/1/06 WWM Crew, Today, to my horror, I noticed a couple of air bubbles in the seams connecting the front panel to the sides of my 75 gallon reef tank.  I  had never noticed these bubbles/gaps before, but I was never really looking for them before.  The aquarium is glass and measures 21 inches high x 48 inches long x 18 inches wide.  I have about 2 inches of gravel on the bottom and 60 pounds of live rock.  The reef has been running for about 8 months now. As for the bubbles/gaps in the seam. There are two small bubbles on the left side (appear as one in the photographs) that account for about half of the seam's width.  On the right side, there is a larger bubble that takes up about the same space.  Both areas are about halfway down the tank. Also, the gaps come to a very small opening on the outside of the tank. I have included photographs that show you what I'm talking about. I am concerned that a leak may not be far off. <Me too... or worse, a separation of the seam> I have some suitable silicon (all-glass brand), but I feel that application will be difficult if not impossible, as the outside openings are the size of a pin hole. Should I try applying silicon with a small pin? <Definitely not, no> Also, should I try to remove some of the silicon on the outside to make application easier, or is this to risky for starting a leak? <Correct. Do NOT do this> Or, am I possibly out of my league....do I need to call a professional or in the worst case get a new tank? <You can likely effect a repair, resealing, but this requires taking the tank down entirely>   Any help you can give me is very appreciated! Also, with the help of your site, I have realized the need for feeding my corals and am about to start a regimen.  I just would like to make sure that I am getting everything right.  I have three SPS corals: one 3.5 inch Acropora gomezi, one 1.5 inch Acropora tortuosa, and a 5 inch Stylophora pistilla with a commensal crab.  The polyps on these corals are out for most/all of the day, so I assume I should feed them during the day.  From your articles, I understood that I should feed these SPS corals zooplankton once or twice a week and that I don't need to supplement with phytoplankton. <Mmm, this is a matter of dispute... offering a mix of single celled algae is to be advised IMO> I plan on using "Sweetwater zooplankton".  Will this be enough or should I vary/add more to the diet? <More diverse> I also have 2 Platygyra, one that is about five inches in diameter.  I have been feeding my fish frozen "Brine shrimp plus" by Ocean Nutrition and frozen Mysis shrimp.  I plan on feeding these to my LPSs, as well as a couple of blue Ricordeas, three to five times a week.  The polyps on my large Platygyra are out for part of the day and I have yet to see the polyps on the smaller specimen, so I plan to feed these corals at this time of day.  I will mince the food and feed with a syringe or turkey baster. I am not real certain on the anatomy of the Platygyra, however.  Can I place the food anywhere on the coral, or should I be specific/random with placement? <On the top, near center... corallites will share> Also, should I supplement these will zooplankton as well? <A good idea, yes> Thanks again for all your help! Tim <Do take a read over WWM re Coral Foods/Feeding/Nutrition... You would do well to read over Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation" and Borneman's Microcosm title on Aquarium Corals. Bob Fenner>

Fish Tank Chip  - 1/30/2006 Hello, I happened across your site today and I spent about 3 hours reading through your advice.  You have answered many of my questions already, but i have one more that is fairly specific.  I have recently moved and have set up my 50 gallon tank for saltwater for the first time (I have always had freshwater).  I have invested a fair amount of money into the tank to get it properly cycled, and I have started stocking with fish.  I have since noticed a chip in the corner of the tank about a third of the way down, which must have happened during moving.  This has created an air gap that nearly reaches to the water/glass seal barrier.  I have purchased some aquarium silicone and tried to push some of it into the air gap with limited success.  I have also applied a thin layer of silicone to the outside of the tank in that area as well. <Mmm...> Should I be worried about this chip? <Maybe... the .ppt didn't come through. Please send a sized jpg if possible... Ah, was able to pick up on the home machine>   I am hesitant to drain the tank and apply an inner layer of silicone due to the inconvenience and potential loss of fish, but I don't want to purchase more fish and rocks if it needs to be done.  Please give me your advice!!!  The tank has held water for 3 months now with this chip, and the chip/air gap has not appeared to have grown. <A very bad sign> I have attached the best picture of the many I have taken, along with some description.  Thanks for your help!!! <I would not trust this tank... perhaps it can be modified, drilled, used as a sump (with the application of more pieces of glass in the inside/outside and Silastic... being partly filled even... as a sump, refugium... but I would not "sleep well" here. Bob Fenner, concerned> Nick

100 gallon tank sprang a leak!  Call the Bucket Brigade  12/21/05 Hi Crew, <Hello Vev> I'm an old marine aquarium hobbyist and have been keeping the same FOWLR set up for about ten years. It's a 100 gallon tank (too huge - but well worth the effort). As it's an old tank it sprang a leak a year ago. However, I patched it up but it will never be fixed - I guess. Any ideas on how to fix the leak? If there isn't a quick, permanent fix then I plan to tear the whole thing down a start again (Yikes). I have a spare 22 gallon QT tank and 50 gallon existing sump tank connected to the 100 gallon tank that I plan to use during the tear down stage of the main tank. I plan to place 'most' of my LR in the sump tank and the rest in the 22 gallon tank with the critters. I think this will be a 6 month project. At least! Patience, patience, patience. What do you think of my plan? <To do this properly you would want to re-Silastic the entire tank.  I don't know how handy you are but this would be a pretty good project.  If it were me, I'd probably just buy another tank and eliminate the hassle and stress that will be placed on the critters for that length of time.  James (Salty Dog)> Cheers in advance....<And to you> Vev

Reptile Tank Covert (007?) to Fish Tank  11/21/05 Ok i <I> was given a 55 gallon reptile tank. Was told it was a freshwater fish tank. Upon taking it home and cleaning it out I found a quarter size hole in the bottom glass. Which I knew to be for reptiles or the such for the heat rock cord to go thru.  So my question is; Is their some type of plug or patching that can be done to make it a freshwater fish tank? <Mmm, no... not practically... the glass itself is not strong enough...> Or would you have any other suggestion?  Thank You Stacey <You could patch the hole, fill the tank part way (like one quarter... use as a vivarium... or turtle system... or...? Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> 

Resealing Old Metal Framed Tanks  11/15/05 I have an OLD 10 gallon fish tank from the 1960 - 70's. The seal between the glass and the 'chrome' has dried, cracked and fallen out since I have had it in storage for a few years. I would like to reseal it . What would I use? The gap between the glass and the chrome is about a 1/4 inch. Should I fill it all with silicone? The stuff that fell out looked black, like a sealing strip or something. I would like to restore it as it was my father in law's tank when he was single 35 years  ago and it is a beautiful little tank. Sandra < The old putties were tar and linseed oil. It is very difficult to make and is probably dangerous. Go with the black silicon for now. Fill in the gap first and let it set before resealing the interior part of the tank. I have lots of old aquariums and agree with you that they are very nice when set up.-Chuck> 

Scratch in Glass, English 101, homonyms, time to check all 11/2/05 Hi there. <Howdy> I just picked up a used appox 125 gallon tank. While cleaning the sand off the bottom of the tank I noticed two scratches appox 5 inches a piece on the outside of the bottom glass. They are light scratches (Barely can catch your finger nail on them) <Good description, measure> and NOT Cracks all the way through, But I am Concerned about them. The Tanks Demotions <Heee!> are 60 long, 24 tall, 18 wide, The scratches like I said are on the outside of the tank on the bottom piece of glass. This bottom glass is not touching the stand, there is about a 1/2 inch space between the glass and the stand (Frame holds it up and off) The tank was made by Oceanic Systems inc. and was build in Aug 1 1995 ( There is a sticker on the top ) The tank should not have tempered glass on the bottom, because there is a 1 1/2 Bulkhead drilled in the glass, and I heard that tempered glass can't be drilled. <Not easily> Ok now that you have a background on the tank, my question is. Can clean the bottom of the glass and take and place a 3/16 or 3/8 peace of glass and 100% Silicone it to the bottom of the Bottom peace of glass or should I place the peace of glass on the inside of the tank, witch would be stronger. <I had hoped the advent of the Net, email would make the general public better "letter writers"... Not likely a real need to bolster the strength of the bottom here (I wouldn't add a piece of glass)> This way I am Laminating these two peaces of glass together. Also I will be placing the tank on Styrofoam so that the tank stays level and does not have more stress on it. I really don't think that these two scratches are going to hurt the tank with water and the base sand, But what happens when I place 100 pounds of Live rock in the tank. I really just want to no if I place another peace of glass under the tank will it hurt anything <I share your concern, but I don't think you will have a problem here... However, if you'd like, adding a piece of glass with Silicone to the inside or outside is possible. Bob Fenner> 

2 broken glass questions, one a terrarium, not aquarium 11/2/05 Hello crew, I had a large (I think) 100 gal aquarium that I got for free when a friend had an unwanted snake and gave me the serpent + enclosure. The base plate was Plexi, so I drilled some holes in it and put some bulk head fittings in for a sump for frogs. After plumbing, I filled it as high as I could with water ( the glass is 1/4 of an inch thick. <... not made to hold water...> I now think it was not made for fish!) and one of the length panels of glass split wide open. Is it ok to patch this with a piece of Plexi and silicone if it is not going to hold water? <I would not> How thick should the Plexi be? How wide should it go over the crack of the original plate glass? <I would abandon this tank for aquarium use myself... less expensive to just buy a replacement of proper construction... the other 1/4" panels and acrylic bottom are problematical if this tank is to be filled with water> I also have a 20 gal long that I wanted to incorporate as a refugium in a reef system that is not yet set up. One width panel is shattered, so I was thinking about replacing the 1footx1foot panel with a piece of Plexi and drill an overflow out of it myself. Will this hold even with the old molding put back over it, or should I just get a new piece of glass cut and drilled? <For this size tank, the Plexiglas should work> Thank you guys so much for any input! Steve Balogh <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Silicone Repair Question  10/19/05 Hello Bob, <Scott> I need to replace a center brace for an Oceanic 140 Gallon Reef Ready tank. I have already removed the old broken center brace and am prepping the surface areas. <Okay> Oceanic sent me a tube of GE Construction 1200 Series Sealant (Silicone) to use. However, after reading the back it says: "Not for use on stovetops, fireplaces, concrete, marble, limestone, lead surfaces or below water." <Not to worry... is the same as "is" used for making aquariums...> Oceanic said this is the silicone they always use for their tank construction. However, it states on the back that it isn't intended for under water use from what I am understanding. <A liability disclaimer...> Now the center brace is above the water but will more than likely come in contact with it often. <Yes> Let me know if everything should be good to go. Just wanted a second opinion as Sean at Oceanic can be a royal jerk when he wants to be. <Mmm, perhaps we can all be> Thanks! Scott <100% Silicone is 100% Silicone... 100% BobF>

Mid-strip tank repair 10/16/05 Hi, I have a 90 gallon tank and recently the plastic strip in the center of the tank that helps hold the top on broke and I was wondering if this is something that can be fixed and is it costly? <Can be fixed, not costly, posted on WWM> I am worried about the pressure the water is now putting on the front and back of the tank and that if something is not done the tank is just going to "blow Out" Please help! Thanks. TW <Might... better to fix... please either learn to/use the Google search tool or indices on WWM... or read all here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm and the linked files above, until you find what you are looking for... and more, what you need to know to "make a decision"... as in "nothing is decided till it's done". Bob Fenner> 

Question regarding cracked molding/trim on aquarium 10/8/05 Hi guys,  <Hello Lisa> I so very much enjoy your site and I patronize it often. The wealth of information collected there has saved me more than once! After reading through your aquarium repair FAQs, I do have a question for you. Forgive me if I am asking something you have already answered. I found similar scenarios but nothing that is quite what I'm looking for. My question is this:  I purchased an All Glass 75 gallon aquarium back in April. This (as well as a 125 g for my basement.. yay!) was to replace my once beautiful Oceanic 90 gallon bowfront that gloriously failed one evening due to a faulty black silicone the manufacturer is no longer using (or so I was told). BIG mess and mega stress but happily, no fish deaths. Since this particular tank is to be situated on the second floor, I felt more comfortable going with the less heavy 75 instead of another 90.  Anyhow, after I brought the tank home, my schedule was so hectic that I frankly didn't have time to really pay much attention to it and it sat empty on its stand for several months. I finally got it filled yesterday to check for leaking. I left it up for several hours and it seemed ok, so I drained it.  Today, I removed it from the stand to put a background on it and noticed that the plastic molding that trims the bottom is cracked completely in half about two inches to the right of the bottom brace. Not sure when this happened but I don't believe it was like that at my LFS; it might have happened when the tank was filled.  Anyway, I am concerned that this may affect the integrity of the tank since only the very rim of the tank will be sitting on the stand (the stand is 'open air' in the middle), right on top of the cracked area. After the catastrophe of the deceased 90 gallon, I'm more than a bit wary of the thought of 50+ gallons of water on my living room floor.. I'm also not thrilled at the prospect of repairing or replacing yet another tank. Like most people, I don't have a bazillion dollars.  If it was the molded trim on the top, I would feel a bit more confident about just setting the tank up regardless and keeping a close eye on it but since it's on the bottom, I just don't know.  The trim and the brace seems to be one solid piece of plastic, which also concerns me as I wonder if this might affect the strength of the brace. The aquarium is braced on both the top and the bottom and as I said, the top molding is perfect. It is very frustrating to me that a bit of cracked plastic trim can potentially put a brand new tank out of commission. I know I can purchase the trim but not sure if will come with the brace piece. Any ideas, suggestions or advice would be most welcome. I'd really like to get my South American set up running again.  <Lisa, I suggest you forward this to www.all-glass.com.  These tanks are warranted and I'm sure they can help you with your problem. James (Salty Dog)> 

Eheim Wet Dry and broken tank  10/3/05 Hello, <Hello Scott> Many on WetWeb do not like Eheim Wet/Dry's. Why? If you are one of the couple who like them; then would you still be willing to list the reasons that others do not like them please? <Eheim has a reputation for producing excellent long lasting products.  The only reason I can see that discourages people from buying them is the cost.  You can get into a sump/overflow with pump much cheaper than the cost of an Eheim Wet/Dry.> <<RMF doesn't like these units because they work poorly, don't have much "carrying capacity" and are a pain to work on>> Secondly - the center brace broke on my 55. I want to tell you how I repaired it. WetWeb does not note my repair solution, and since this was my first time fixing one, I hoped you might tell me what you think please:     -- The tank is about a year old. It broke due to my own error attempting a modification. I slipped and broke the brace. So the plastic brace is not old,  fragile and brittle. The break occurred at the rear of the brace - a centimeter or so from the rear wall of the tank. Instead of using  glass and silicone to create a new brace as WetWeb recommends, I used a heavy metal L-bracket with a 1 inch bend on one end. I clamped the tank back together to hold it while I worked. I placed the metal bracket on the top-side of the brace. I scuffed up all areas with sandpaper for better adhesion. I chose "Gorilla Glue" for bonding (it's waterproof - not animal safe I imagine; but this is an outside repair and none got into the aquarium).  I then placed the metal L-bracket over the damaged area with the "L" portion of the bracket hanging down the back. I used 3 screws to hold is down (It came with screw holes) along with the glue. The screws acted like a clamp while it dried. After drying I pulled hard on the tank and it wouldn't budge.  I later decided to keep the screws in permanently, so I coated the small bit protruding from underside of the (now repaired) plastic brace with aquarium silicone. No problems with it as of yet. When the brace is broken, I noticed that even with a full tank it is very easy to push the center back together. The pressure is not as great as I would have thought; so I'm satisfied with this. The "Gorilla Glue"  brand is supposed to be one of the strongest on the market. What do you think? <Sounds OK, I guess time will tell.  This question should be directed to the tank manufacturer for their input.  In the future don't send a query with two separate subjects.  Most of these queries are placed in the FAQ's by subject and need to be sent that way.  James (Salty Dog)> <<... a poor idea/fix... this brace needs refitting with Silicone. RMF>> Thanks for any assist; Scott Crack in new marine tank  9/28/05 Good Day Bob <Good morrow David> I am currently building a marine 3m x 800 x 800 tank +- 2500L. While in construction the tank was standing supported on my pool table. Two weeks ago Noticed a crack about 100mm long. <Ohhhhh> This crack has not moved but I am worried even if I brace the inside of the tank the crack will run. <Me too> Can I drill a small hole below the crack and then brace the inside and the back ? (glass thickness 10mm) <Mmm, not really... the best, only "repair" is to affix another similar thickness pane below the existing cracked one... with silicone all along the edge, the crack and randomly twixt the new and old. Bob Fenner> DAVID C KING

To reseal or not to reseal?  9/22/05 Hi there, Currently I have a 40 gallon hex tank set up with fresh water inhabitants. I know for sure the tank has been set up for 3 years, maybe longer. I'm planning on taking everything down and turning it into a marine tank. I have no problem now, nor have I ever had any trouble with leaks. Do you think I should reseal when I make the switch, or is it better to leave well enough alone? Thanks for your help. Jeff <I would not attempt to reseal this tank... only when "very old" (decades) or obviously faulty should such be done. Bob Fenner> Aquarium repair Hey crew!  I hope you all are well these days.  I read so much of your site, that I feel like I am acquainted with most of you (at least your philosophies on housing fish and critters, what goes with who or doesn't, and how much to a tank), and I appreciate what you do.  I have written once before and got exactly what I needed to know from EricR (thanks, man).  But alas, I have another problem. I bought a used 125 gallon setup, had it drilled w/ internal overflow boxes installed, plumbed the sump and a closed loop, filled it up with freshwater, and much to my dismay, there was a leak in one of the front seams.  This by itself didn't worry me, I just hopped on WWM and began reading about aquarium repair.  I found a post from Marina with the "blow by blow" on resealing.  No problem, right?  Well it turns out, one of the little strings of silicone I thought was leftover from the installation of the overflow boxes is a crack, about 6" long, running from one edge of the drain hole, parallel to the back panel. <Ooohhh> Of course, in my opinion, this pretty much renders the aquarium useless for water-weight bearing applications, not to mention rock and sand.  (The joker that drilled it and "never had one crack" seems to think I can just silicone some glass in to stop the crack; however, this would make the plumbing difficult and probably cause me to toss and turn at night). <Me too>   So, the question.  Is it imperative that tempered glass be used for the bottom panel? <No>   It seems to me that most new (modern?) aquariums have tempered bottoms, but I can get a pre-drilled replacement panel that is not tempered for about half of the price of a tempered one.  If I have to get tempered glass, I might just as well buy a brand new aquarium.  (Of course, it might serve me to just do this anyway, but I enjoy the challenge.) Also, I found an online calculator that figures how thick the glass should be based on the dimensions of the aquarium.   http://www.fnzas.org.nz/articles/technical/glass_complete/ It determined around 3/8", but it just accounts for water weight, not sand and rock, so I am checking prices for 1/2" glass panels. <Good>   Do you think this will be thick enough even if it is not tempered?  And should I spring for having them polish the edges? <Mmm, if you are very careful, have good eye-hand coordination I would not have the edges beveled... not only will this save you money, the larger "contact surface area" will make the tank/seals stronger... just be careful when handling as it is very easy to cut ones hands with "un-polished" edges... maybe have two folks handle, never one... four hands are better.> Lastly, should this email find its way to Marina, I have a question for her. <She's on holiday> I have decided (for now, it changes from day/week to day/week) that in this 125 gallon aquarium, I am going to keep a snowflake eel and a yellow tang.  Yes, that's it for fish.  I wish for most of my display to focus on coral, so I am keeping it light on the fish (and the inverts, just some snails for clean-up duty, maybe a starfish, if I can find a suitable one that won't starve or eat everything).  Marina said in one post that she doesn't care for this particular eel, she has been "doinked" by them twice.  Did she like them before she was "doinked"? <Can't say... I like them...> Or is there some other reason?  I assume that if doinked means bitten, that would be plenty reason enough.  I am just trying to make the most informed decision possible before I make livestock purchases.  Not that I can really worry about that now, as I can't even hold water yet.    Thanks to the entire crew for all of the help, advice, and admonition when necessary.  I would be in big trouble with this project if not for all of you, and of course, the readers like me who solicit your input, opinions, and experience.  Great job, people. Sincerely, Jessica Groomer <Thank you... for your kind words, and sharing. Bob Fenner> Repair of slate bottomed tanks  9/13/05 G'day Bob <Peter> It seems like you know a little bit about slate bottomed tanks.  From what I can find out they were originally sealed with a tar - linseed oil mix (although I'm not sure if the whole tank was sealed with that, or just the bottom).  Seems though that most folks try and reseal them with silicone, which doesn't stick to potentially oily surfaces very well. <Correct... have to absolutely clean>   I have a half dozen 55 gallon tanks that would be nice to get sealed.  Am I better off to try and reseal them with tar-oil, or clean them off with Palmolive and try resealing again with 100% silicone?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any help. Cheers Peter Unmack <Well, the semi-purist in me would like to encourage you to go with the old tar-seal... the actual lazy person I am would clean up the tar, lay a thick silicone bead down/twixt the angle of the glass walls and bottom, and the practical person would insert a piece of glass in the inside and silicone that in over the slate... Bob Fenner> Aquarium trim  9/12/05I recently purchased a 75 gallon stand that came with a 75 gal AGA tank. I bought the stand for a 75 gallon RR <Reef Ready> tank that I already have. I wasn't planning on buying another 75 gallon but they only charged me ten dollars more for it so I purchased it. <A bargain> When it came time for me to put the 75 RR tank on the stand it didn't fit. I measured both tanks, the 75 RR has thicker glass but they still measure the same, but the 75 RR tank has a thicker trim. The thicker trim is what is not allowing that tank to fit on the stand. Can I swap the trim on these tanks. If so how do I go about doing this? thx <... not easily done... or suggested... is Siliconed on... the same sealant as the glass to glass surfaces... I would instead get/cut a thick piece of plywood ("marine", coated in polyurethane to resist rotting) and fit this entirely under the RR tank, place this in turn on the stand. Bob Fenner> Resealing Glass tanks 8/22/05 Ok, I spent a LOT of time reading all the repair FAQs here and postings on other forums and gave a whirl at resealing my 180 gallon tank today. First off, it is a drilled tank with overflows at each end in the back corners, at least it did till I cut them out. Nobody addressed this question elsewhere so I figured it would be best to cut them out in order to do ALL the seams. Hopefully this wasn't a bad idea but I digress. <Sounds like the right decision to me, since leaving them would prevent you from getting to parts of the tank seams.> So I scraped out the old silicone, which seemed to come out a little too easily to me, the tank is only supposed to be about 6 years old but I'm not so sure. Anyway, I them rescraped till I couldn't feel any resistance to the razor, wiped with alcohol and tried to scrape any possible leftovers afterward being the over compensator I am. I then enlisted the help of a friend to lay a bead of silicone while I followed with a spoon dipped in alcohol to finish the seams behind him. This went horribly. I think it was just a matter of us not getting the feel and rhythm of working with silicone but it wasn't as clean or as fast as I hoped so we stopped after one vertical seam and a foot of the base. I didn't use a solvent so maybe it was best we stopped anyway. Hence my questions which I haven't found specific answers too. <This job definitely takes a good bit of practice and finesse!  It isn't easy to make it look good the first time.> How important is the size of the bead? I was under the impression that more is better so I cut the Silicone tube at about the largest point in order to get a good 3/8 inch bead. <Actually, it isn't all that important as long as the glass is perfectly clean.  Most of the strength of the joint comes from the silicone between the panes of glass.  The bead on the inside is mostly "extra insurance" against small leaks.> I was thinking of spreading it with the spoon about ½ inch onto each pane of glass by dipping it in alcohol and sliding the spoon the length of the seam but because there wasn't a uniform bead this turned a little messy. I see tongue depressors recommended also, is it easier to just use your finger, offering more control?  <This is a matter of personal choice, but I have found that some kind of tool makes a more consistent finish. If you do use a finger, I would suggest wearing a tight fitting glove to keep the silicone off of your skin.> My feeling now is that the laying of the bead is much more important than the finishing. With a tank this large would it be best to lay a good thick bead all the way around the base first, then do the vertical seams and finish the verticals after they have all been beaded, not even worrying about finishing the base, or does finishing out the seam add to its 'leakproofness'? I'm pretty sure by the time I lay a good bead around the base the starting point will skin over and get a little tricky to work with. I am thinking in terms of how you arc weld, you have to go a little slower to get a high quality bead or should I just whip that puppy out as fast as possible (still avoiding bubbles) and finish it with the tool of choice?  <A good quality interior bead will add to the "leakproofness", and I agree that getting it in an well adhered to the glass is better in this regard that a nice finish.  Do keep in mind that getting all of the seams done in one operation is ideal.  The silicone will all cure together in one monolithic piece, leaving no weak points.  The best technique for the amateur is to quickly but carefully lay in a thick bead, strike it off with your tool of choice, making sure that the tool is held tightly against the glass.  This will squeeze any extra silicone to the sides of the tool and main bead where it can easily be cut away after curing.> Finally, the overflows would have to go in last I presume. I marked on the outside of the tank where I wanted them to line up. It looked like the original mfg put a bead on the bottom of the overflow and just mashed it into place followed by regular finished seams at the base and sides, does this sound about right? Any magic trick regarding this (they are acrylic by the way). Thank for the great website! Granger <My guess is that the manufacturer uses a template to know where to apply beads of silicone to the glass (bottom and sides), presses the overflow into the silicone, and then strikes off the bead.  Make sure to get all of the old silicone off of the overflows and seal them well... leaking into the overflows will allow the tank to drain down in a power outage.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

70 gallon question 8/19/05 Hi Bob!  I have what I think is a 70 gallon aquarium that I got from an old-timer aquarist.  He moved to Florida and gave me this tank for free. <Quite a gift!> He was using it for tropical plants and said that it surely held water.  I tried it out the other day and it seemed to be free from leaks.  It has probably been water free for about 10 years.  I wanted to get the bottom drilled for plumbing.  All of the glass looks to be about 3/8 inch thick - including the bottom.  I know the tank is old, but I don't know if the bottom is tempered or not.  Do you think it is ok to have drilled? <Is not likely tempered... and the folks who drill it will/would be able to tell>   If so, do you think I should redo the silicone on the inside - even if it doesn't leak? <Mmm, tough call w/o seeing it... I would likely not re-do> I was a former aquarist for Seaworld Ohio before it was sold and shut down and I consulted my former aquarium curator and supervisor and they weren't sure about the drilling.  I would love to hear your advice!   Thanks, Steve Balogh <You've got it Steve... unless the Silicone was obviously bunk... very hard, perhaps losing adhesion... I'd leave it be. Have some tanks that I made back in the late sixties (the first SeaWorld here in 63...) that are still up and secure. Bob Fenner> 55 gal Hex rebuild  8/16/05 I have a commercially built (don't know who) 55 gal. hex that has set up dry for about 8 years. I recently added water to test for leaks and had a near disaster. The silicone failed to the point of water shooting from one seam through a 1.5" rupture. Luckily this was on my patio. <And no one was hurt...> While I was bailing water I noticed that one of the panes of glass was slightly bulging at the point of the seam midway up the vertical (at the same exact spot the silicone failed). I would like to rebuild but have concerns that (1) the corners are not 90 degrees, <Mmm, most modern hex glass tanks have their glass cut at an angle to maximize surface area... intentionally not ninety degrees> (2) the glass is about 3/16" which seems thin in light of the bulging, <Unusual... all the 45's I ever saw were made of triple strength, 1/4" plate... or larger.> (3) the plastic hex framing that is glued to the top and the bottom is cracked. - Is a rebuild and/or repair possible? <Yes...> - Will I need to build a new frame or purchase one to replace the cracked top and bottom ones? <Mmm, the frame is mainly for "looks", and to help hold the panels in relative position during construction... you can buy or make...> - Do hex seams require special methods not mentioned in the repair/rebuilds instructions you have published for 90 degree projects? <Nope... samey same... cutting out all old seams, cleaning away the old silicone...> Thanks for your help. Great site you guys have. Sean Mullikin <Enjoy the project. Bob Fenner>

Aquarium Repair 8/3/05 I have a 29 gallon high tank that was used for salt water. It has a hole in the bottom between the size of a quarter and half dollar. I am wanting to  use it for salt water as well but without the hole. I am new to the saltwater scene as far as tank repairs go. Please help  <In my opinion, this tank is not even worth repairing.  The best way would probably be to get the glass spotlessly clean and then silicone a 6"x6" or so piece of glass over the inside of the hole.  Unfortunately, there would still be a great risk of the bottom completely failing as well as leaks AND, the cost of silicone and glass would be almost as much as a whole new tank.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

A unique disaster... actually just re-sealing/Siliconing a discolored glass tank 7/14/05 Hi Bob, i believe i have a unique problem. I've just today found your website, and so far its been a Godsend.  I don't know how many fish shops, company's and sites I've contacted and no one can answer my question.  But so far your questions and answer page has helped me 80% of the way.  Here is my problem. I have a 28 gal.  Euro-bowfront by Perfecto.  I've had it set up for about 6 years, it's great.  But in the last year or so I've noticed a brown algae growing on the inside of the seal.  That is btw the seal and the glass, and its causing the seal to lift up, and in some places be eaten right through.  I've recently moved to South Dakota (only God knows why) and decided its time to be concerned.   <Interesting... not Dakota, but the seal> So my fish and frogs are cramped in a 5 gal. tank, and i really want to return them to their old-much larger home. However I've got to decide what do about this tank.  I can refill it and hope for the best, now that being dry for two weeks the algae seems to be all dead, hope that it wont regrow or the tank isn't too weak to be reused.  Or i can try to reseal the tank using all the tips i found on your site. <This is a good idea, the route I would take> My questions are:  You make it sound real easy to do myself, is it if I've never done it before? <Is easy... and simple... only requiring a few hand tools... time... and patience.... a minimum (this is all I've got) of eye-hand coordination and strength> The algae problem only seems to be on the front two seals, not the back, should i do both sides at once or one at a time? <I would do all> Do i take every precaution to not allow the glass to separate? <It won't, I assure you> My take is "double sealed for extra protection."  I'm thinking that means there is a second seal behind the one i can see, or do i remove both?   <I'd leave the glass to glass seal/Silicone in place> If i am to replace both sealants, what does that mean i do, apply the sealant twice?   <No, just once, unless you want to disassemble the panels and re-Silicone altogether> Or do i take off the whole bowed front panel to ensure proper cleaning and removal of sealant and debris? <Again, I would only remove, replace the corner beads> Do I need to do anything to keep pressure on the sides as they are curing, to keep it all together or will the brace do that?  (Which seems to be cemented to the glass panels.) <No need for bracing if just doing the beads...> What do i do to prevent the algae from recurring?   <I would fill the tank now, as it is, add a few cups of household or swimming pool bleach (take care not to spill on your clothes, carpet... I'd do in the garage...> It is a brown algae.  I heard they like less light, i had a timer on my tank which provided 11 hours of light a day. <Could be any number of types of organisms... not even just algae> (Then there was the incandescent lighting which remained on after the tank turned off.) Sometimes you mention using sand paper when doing repairs and sometimes you don't.  When is it necessary? <Almost never... Just single edge/d razor blades> How do i not scratch the tank with it? <You will... don't use it> How long do i wait with it filled up with water to see if it will leak or burst? <Two, three days> Could it still do that a week later, or is "fixed" fixed? <The latter> I know this is a lot of questions, but after reading your answers so far to peoples problems, i have faith that you can help me out here.  Thanks so much. Steven Young <Have someone help you here, at least look over your shoulder... You'll be able to find them through the LFS or a local fish club. Bob Fenner>

Re: Resealing glass tank 7/16/05 Thank you so much for answering my questions so quickly, i have just one more: this is in regards to the tank with the sealant that is being eaten by the algae, I'm going to strip the old sealant off on two sides and replace it with new, however the sealant going to the bottom of the tank is attached to sealant that goes along the bottom of the tank, holding the bottom panel to the 4 sides.  And i know you cant make new Silicone stick to old, so what do i do about where it meets at the bottom, please don't tell me i need to strip the entire tank. <What? Just cut out the sealant at the corner beads> rereading your response you said only do the corner seals, so will the corners stick to the bottom seal? <...? The bottom seal? I don't follow you... Leave the silicone in place that is between the glass itself. Bob Fenner> Steven Young

Re, Re, Re: Resealing a glass tank 7/17/05 Let me try to explain this tank, it has a glass bottom, as most do, there are the seals that hold the sides to each other, 4 of them, then there is a continuous seal that goes along the bottom corner of the four sides (on the bottom -inside the tank) holding the sides to the bottom panel. As if you follow the seals in each corner (inside) down to the bottom of the tank, you find another seal that goes along the inside bottom perimeter of the tank.  So if i cut the corners out, as i cut downward, eventually i will run into the bottom seal.  At some point I will have to stop cutting, and at that point, when i reseal, the new silicone will meet old silicone. What do i do about that point? Steven Young <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm and the Related FAQs linked above. Bob Fenner>

Re: re, re, re, resealing a glass tank 7/19/05 <Read... WWM> One last question, what is a good "solvent" for cleaning up old silicone? Steven Young <Toluene, acetone. Bob Fenner>

Re: a unique disaster... actually neither unique, nor a disaster... a ruined glass tank repair 7/27/05 Hi Crew, OK, so this is what I've done: I've cut out the two weak seals in each corner, but I fear I've just made my situation worse.  My tank is "double sealed." <As are almost all glass aquariums...> I guess that means that besides the seal that you see in each corner, the ones I've cut out, there is also a seal between each glass panel.  You already know that, <Yes... as would you... if you had read where you were directed...> I'm figuring this out as I go. <...> Well, as I was cutting out the corner seals, they wouldn't come loose, so I really worked my single edge razor blade into those corners to pry it loose and cut away all the seal I could. <More finesse, less strength...> But what I think I ended up doing, unknown to me, was cut at that second seal.  I pushed that blade right in between the two glass plates until the blade actually I pushed right out the other side (from inside to outside.)  I did this not all the way up and down, some area all the way through, some only halfway.  And only In one of the two corners. I've done a lot of reading on your web site and this seems like the worse thing I could have done. <... should have read first> SO, have I just ruined the tank and now it needs to be completely taken apart and redone to ensure the seal between the glass plates? <Only trying to fill will/can tell> Assuming I am not capable of repairing this, since I assume it means taking the whole tank apart and re-sealing all joints, can I get away with just maybe forcing silicone into the outside crack? <No> Has the damage I've done weakened that joint so the tank might burst? <Possibly, but unlikely... if you've gouged, cut through only part of the glass to glass bond, it might dribble, leak...> It is 28 gal, maybe that isn't enough to create pressure enough to burst it?  I don't know anyone around here who can re-seal a tank, (I'm in Southeastern SD and new to the area). Just checking on it again, and I can shift/move the glass plates a little. How dangerous is this? <Very> The frame won't hold it, will it? <No... the plastic frames are really only decorative, not structural... use is principally to hold the panels in place for the "first" seal... so the maker can apply the second...> I really need that seal, don't I? <Uh, yes> Also, you suggested I check out my local LFS.  Well, I've put that into my browser, and you won't believe how many organizations have those initials.  So what does LFS stand for, <Livestock Fish Store> and how do I look them up, since even the web pages that were found dealing with a "fish theme" LFS were only references and not the organization itself.  Again, I'm in SD, does anyone there know anyone who lives here?  I thought I saw one Q&A article say that Bob was here, is he still here, and where? Thanks and HELP!!! Steven Young <Do live in SD about half the year, am out in HI currently... you might try the phone "Yellow Pages" directory... under "Aquariums", "Tropical Fish"... Bob Fenner> Stained tank, Malachite Green Hi: <Hello there> I would really appreciate any help you can give me on this subject.  I have ruined my new fish tank by treating a fish for ich with Rid-Ich+.  The silicone seals have stained blue. <Yes... Malachite Green...>   I know that the label on the bottle warned of this, but I was trying to save my fish and wasn't too worried about that at the time.  Well, now the fish is better and I am left with a stained tank.  Is there anything I can do about this? Thanks so much! Laurie van Raalte <Unfortunately, no. The stain is permanent. Bob Fenner> Partitioning an Aquarium 6.11.05 Hi, I have a 125 gallon aquarium that was freshwater, then it sat for a couple of years because of a leak.  I am looking at resealing the aquarium and maybe making two out of it.  I would like to make it half salt and half freshwater.  Is that possible?  If so, what should I do. Thank you. Emma <Hmm, never really thought about doing that before.  When you reseal the aquarium be sure to remove as much of the old silicone as possible, use either "Aquarium Silicone" or 100% Silicone to reseal the tank.  I would use glass for the partition.  Thick plexi glass would probably work too but if it bends or bows for any reason it could bust your seal and you would end up with one big brackish tank.  It would not be a bad idea to incorporate a brace for your partition.  Depending upon the current aquariums brace you might be able to notch it to fit your partition, I am not sure it might take some tinkering on your end.  If you go with no braces I would try to fill both sides at the same time to ensure equal pressure on both sides of the partition, this might be cumbersome when you are doing water changes.  Once the silicone has cured be sure to test the tank outside to make sure there are no leaks.  Maybe make one side ridiculously salty and the other strictly fresh, After a few days test the salinity to make sure there was no seepage, leakage, osmosis, etc.  Try to do some more research online to find more ideas why it should not work, I've never tried it myself and do not see why it should not work.  Other things you might want to consider, keep species that are going to like the same water temperature, most likely your two tanks will have different lighting requirements, you are going to need twice the filtration (which might get noisy, hot, expensive, confusing, etc.), any fish that jump the border are going to be very sorry that they did.  Sounds like a neat idea, keep us posted.  Gage> Leaking Aquarium Hello, your website seems like a lifesaver to so many fish hobbyists! I own a custom built 90 gallon aquarium and after my recent move we have noticed two leaks coming from the very top of the aquarium, I know its good its at the top because I can still have my fish in there, but it's also very annoying to see water dripping down the front of my aquarium, and the leak has just gotten worse and worse.  My husband scraped off all the old sealant and resealed it, which we have done several times with past tanks, then we filled it 48 hrs later, and they still leaked. My husband said that as he was taking off the old sealant and putting on the new sealant he noticed that there was several chips out of the glass leaving a good size gap between the top of the glass and the top frame. So needless to say, after all the hard work, my aquarium is still leaking. What should we do?  We really don't want to have to take off the old frame and put on a new frame, I'm on strict bed rest and he has a full schedule, so we don't have the time or energy right now. Any other ideas? Thank You Very Much, Heather <Assuming you have an all glass aquarium with silicon sealant, this problem is more common than you would think. Many manufacturers neglect to adequately seal the upper frame to the glass. As the moisture accumulates it wicks down the front of the glass leaving a white residue. I would drain 25% of the water and leave it low. I would then get a single edged razor blade to remove all of the sealant around the upper frame. The chips may require a little special attention to get it all out. Make sure that the areas are clean then apply an aquarium recommended silicon. Overlap the old seal. You don't have to be too neat but you do need to get plenty of silicon up in the area that the frame meets the glass. Let it dry and fill'er up. If it still leaks then I would get a small thin piece of glass and Silicone that piece up under the frame to close the gaps between the chips.-Chuck>

125 Gallon Tank Rebuild A couple months ago I purchased an older All Glass brand aquarium.   This tank is older style tank and its frames have no center supports. So I  have decided to replace the old frames and replace them with two All Glass  dual support frames.  I have had two All Glass frames and one Perfecto  frame setting around for some time now, all of which will fit 125  gallon tanks of the same matching brands. <Good> I have already replaced the top frame and I'm getting ready to install the bottom frame.  However after removing the original miter frame I have  noticed that the bottom panel of glass is off center. <... do you mean the bottom glass is mis-cut? It's not perfectly rectangular, but a parallelogram?>   The new frame will  not fit because of this panel being off center, about 1\16".  Another  thing is that the bottom panel is not 1/2" thick, its more like a 1/4"  thick. <... not good> So I guess I will have to remove the bottom panel and re-center it, but  I not sure how about to cutting through the silicone to free the  panel. <Carefully... with single edged razor blades... and a sturdy tool to hold same (not your fingers alone)... to "dig into" the seam... separate it all the way around... then clean off the old Silicone> When I do remove the panel I'm wondering if I should use  the panel or use another 125 gallon bottom panel which I have  that is thicker, 1/2". <If you're cutting away the old one, I'd replace it with a thicker bottom> What would be the best way the remove the  panel and when the time comes should I use the thicker bottom panel?  Let me know. Thanks <Well-written, 'cept my lack of understanding of the bottoms dimension. There is no simple way to make the new frame fit the tank as it is?... Lots of work, but otherwise I'd replace the bottom with a thicker one... Bob Fenner>

Re: 125 Gallon Tank Rebuild Thanks for emailing me back. Just to clear things up a bit, I wanted  to let you know that the bottom panel, for the 125 gallon tank, has perfect dimensions.  For some reason when this tank was constructed the glass was now centered correctly.  For the rear panel of glass the bottom  glass panel is offset 1/16", for the front panel of glass panel  the bottom panel over laps by 1/16".   Looks like I will have some fun with this project during my free time.   Thanks  again.     <Lots of razor blades... patience... will see you through this project. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Tank bottom cracked! 7/11/05 Hi Bob, congratulations on having such a comprehensive website. I was wondering if I could ask your advice on something please? < Lets hear it.  I'll do my best to make up an answer. > I recently bought a large tank (120x45x45cm), which I was intending to develop into a reef aquarium. The tank is supported by a wooden stand, and rests upon foam supports. 2 wooden beams support the tank weight (roughly 10cm from either side of the tanks edge), but the middle portion (roughly 100cm of tank) is not supported at all. < Okay, I think I follow. > I filled the tank with water and sand last night. When I woke up this morning a sizeable crack had developed almost in the very middle of the tank, running sideways, from one side to the other. All of the water had leaked from the tank, destroying my carpets, electricals and the downstairs apartment (major catastrophe!) in the process. < Surprised it didn't just blow out on the bottom.  But still better now, then later. > I was wondering - can you guess why the tank may have cracked (seemed fine when i got it, and my floor is level). < Stress from twisting is my guess.  In other words, shipping, carrying, things like that can cause stress fractures.  The other common problem is having something (like a very small pebble) under the glass.  If so, all that weight is sitting on that one little point. > The base of the tank was 6mm thick. The tank manufacturer scratched his head about the cause of the incident, and denied any liability, but I'm wondering if the lack of proper support along the base, and inadequate glass thickness, may have contributed to this unfortunate event. < I'll doubt, if it is a mass produced tank.  If this one a one time custom tank, then maybe so.  Otherwise I think manufactures know what they are doing.... their business depends on it. > I hope things are well with you, thanks again for your time. <  Sorry to hear this.  I'd recommend some cushioning or foam under the next tank. > Kind regards, Luke <  Blundell  > Bottom cracked 7/7/05 The bottom is cracked on the bottom of my 150 gal tank!! It is around the over flow running from the back corner to the front corner on the out side of the overflow box.I want to cut the overflow box off and place either a heavy peace of glass or Plexiglas over the crack and glue it in place. Is this a GOOD IDEA? THANKS Roger <Might work... I encourage you to seal a piece (either glass, but I would use acrylic) over the entire bottom... cutting out the existing Silicone seal and replacing this. Bob Fenner>

125 gal. tank renovation 7/7/05 Hi, I have received an older 125 gallon tank and am fixing it. It was a custom built tank and has no center brace and has no mfg. sticker. I filled it yesterday for the first time and it appears to bow. I like bowed tanks and have a 29 gallon, but something tells me this tank should not bow. lol. <Not much more than half an inch> So, I was thinking of resealing the tank and adding a center brace. <I would> As for the resealing, I was thinking of just adding pure silicone (from all-glass) over the existing sealant. Would this be ok? I don't even think it needs it, but since  it is old, I am adding it as a precaution. As for the center brace, I have  a 200 some odd gallon tank with a HUGE crack, and I will be  taking the brace off of that. It is glass and about 6" wide and pretty  thick. I plan on attaching it by using silicone and attaching it directly  beneath the thin, existing lip and siliconing on all sides. How should I hold it  in place? Clamps? Tape? <Could... but if cut about the right size, should wedge just in place> After all of that, I plan on putting 8-10 Discus, 4-6 Angels, 2 rams,  2-3 large Plecos, some Corydoras and a dozen or so cardinal tetras. Will that be ok? <Too many Discus by about half... and am not a fan of mixing Angels...> Do you have any other suggestions? <Keep studying> The only complication I see is that  my water is moderate, slightly hard. Will this be a problem? <With wild-caught fishes, yes> It will be a  planted tank, and I plan on using Eco Complete substrate. Is this  compatible with a gravel vacuum? (Will it get sucked up with mulm?) <Should be mixed with a lower, screened off layer of substrate> Also, when using a python system, when should I add aqua safe? <Before adding new water> OK, last question, do I really need a Co2 system to grow healthy  plants? <No> THANKS, sorry about all the questions, but I am a beginner. I appreciate your response, Anthony <Keep reading... Bob Fenner> All-glass 180 bowfront 7/7/05 Bob,     I have a 180 all-glass bow-front tank. The top and bottom molded frame Has been cut in-to by an idiot. I would like to order a wood-grained set. Could you please help? I do not want to test this tank without all the support I can get!                                                  Michael Cook <Michael... where're the spaces between your sentences? Do contact the manufacturer re the framing, its replacement. Bob Fenner>

Ninety gallon tanks sans braces 7/5/05 Hi! Me again... I replaced the black plastic central brace on my 90 gal discus and 90 gal reef Perfecto tanks by two glass braces (two braces on each tank now). Main reason was that I wanted one metal halide in the middle. Now the silicone didn't hold and the tank is bending. <What? Didn't "hold?"> I did wait three weeks <Only needs a day to cure> when I glued the glass with the silicone. The tanks are almost 1" "thicker" in the middle now, to give you an idea of the bending. <Dangerous> It happened two weeks ago with the discus tank and just right now on the reef tank. The tanks are not tempered glass except for the bottom. Now I've got people saying that "such a bending of the glass is fine and normal and you should worry" and "That is a real problem and you tank is in danger...". What is your opinion/advice? Thanks again! Dominique P.S.: Happy Independence day! <Trouble. I would drain these tanks down, clean up the old silicone, make sure the bracing glass is replaced, solidly attached. Bob Fenner>

Question about sealing a tank Hi, I was just wondering if you could answer a question for me. I have a  110 gallon tank that needs to be resealed. How hard is this to do yourself. <Mmm, IMO not hard... takes a bit of time, but like "house painting" can be done "well enough" with some simple tools, patience...> And, after reading all the instructions, I understand how to do it but have a question. Don't you have to clamp it or put some sort of pressure on it to hold together? <Mmm, not pressure per se... but a good idea to use at least tape (I like the strapping types with reinforcing line in them) to hold the pieces in relative position... Wood clamps are nice though for such larger constructs> This is really heavy thick glass, I just want to make sure. <I understand> Thanks for any info or tips you can give me. Our kids are waiting to have this tank done, lol. <Take your time here... maybe have someone who has worked with silicone help you. Bob Fenner>

125 Gallon Bowing-yikes! Hello, gosh I love this website! <Yowzah!> I just bought a used 125 gallon almost 2 wks ago, it has been set up for a week and a half so far. We made sure it was all level before setting it up and its on a nice stand.  Just this evening we were relaxing and heard this crashing type sound, and my water in my tank was moving a lot, we check and nothing had fallen in, so i assumed a fish jumped and bumped a piece of glass. then a few minutes later there was more noise and this time almost everything had fallen in (2 pieces of glass and a 2ft light) and the only thing still on it was one piece of glass and my 6ft strip light. I immediately noticed the middle support had fallen in. <Yeeikes!> My husband lifted the middle support, it was attached on one side, and brought it up to the other side, and it wont reach. So we know the tank is bowing, and it looks like its from the front. <And the back... and sides!> My tank is level so I'm assuming it had bowed a little from the previous owner, and then the weight of the water in my tank, snapped it the rest of the way off. Is there anyway we can fix this? <Yes. This will necessitate draining, emptying the tank... I encourage you to add more glass and silicone the new and old pieces over/under each other to the front and each other...> I'm so disappointed and would hate to throw it away. Thank You Very Much. -Heather <Am very glad to read that no one was hurt... that the tank didn't rupture. I would lower the water level down... Bob Fenner>

Re: 125 Gallon Bowing-yikes! Thank You very much Bob! My husband drained almost half of it last night, <Ah, good> then brought the middle support back up and it now touches the old silicone. Do you there there is a chance that the silicone for the middle support was old, therefore broke, and the weight of all the water immediately made it bow a little? <Yes> Will we still have to drain it all? <Yes... there needs to be nothing very little (just a smear of silicone) twixt the pieces of glass> and when my husband attaches the new middle support do we use a brace or something to hold everything in place? <Can make a sling sort of arrangement out of strapping tape if you'd like... you will find that the old and new glass are a very tight fit...> Sorry for all the questions, I know your busy. I appreciate it so much! -Heather <Everyone has exactly the same amount of time... now... am glad to help you. Bob Fenner>

Re: 125 Gallon Bowing-yikes! Hi, a little bit of clarity for my husband... <Hotay> 1) drain tank. 2) remove the 3/8ths thick center glass that has a plastic brace on top. <Mmm, actually, I'd probably leave the one good side that's attached as is> 3) clean and dry all edges and glass. <Yes... with single edged razor blades... and an organic solvent> 4) take glass to glass shop and have it duplicated. tempered on not? <Measure there at home, and non-tempered> (anything i need to make sure about the glass?) <Mmm, no... about the same thickness> 5) sandwich new glass under old with an X and perimeter continuous lines of silicone (type? is there a type that fits in a caulking gun?) <Just one hundred percent silicone... I like the clear... and yes, there are 10.5 oz. tubes that fit a standard gun> 6) should that cure with a weight or clamp (distributing the pressure) for an amount of time? <Not likely necessary to have a clamp... just squeeze pieces together, up into place on front of glass... with a bit smeared where the braces will come in contact with front, back> 7) run a bead of silicone on the tank edges and on support glass <Mmm, put this on before...> 8) lift glass up into place (using masking tap on the inside tank glass to prevent smearing of silicone?) <No worries re the smearing> 9) silicone underneath on the tank edges <Okay> 10) then clamp from back to front with a long clamp to ensure the support glass doesn't slip <I doubt if it will... but you can run a bit of tape under... and over the edges (front) to hold up if so> 11) wait 48 hours to fill (or more?) <Two days ought to do it. Cures in one> Thank you immensely! Neits And Heather <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

125 gal. tank renovation 7/7/05 Hi, I have received an older 125 gallon tank and am fixing it. It was a custom built tank and has no center brace and has no mfg. sticker. I filled it yesterday for the first time and it appears to bow. I like bowed tanks and have  a 29 gallon, but something tells me this tank should not bow. lol. <Not much more than half an inch> So, I was thinking of resealing the tank and adding a center brace. <I would> As for the resealing, I was thinking of just adding pure silicone (from all-glass) over the existing sealant. Would this be ok? I don't even think it needs it, but since  it is old, I am adding it as a precaution. As for the center brace, I have  a 200 some odd gallon tank with a HUGE crack, and I will be  taking the brace off of that. It is glass and about 6" wide and pretty  thick. I plan on attaching it by using silicone and attaching it directly  beneath the thin, existing lip and siliconing on all sides. How should I hold it  in place? Clamps? Tape? <Could... but if cut about the right size, should wedge just in place> After all of that, I plan on putting 8-10 Discus, 4-6 Angels, 2 rams,  2-3 large Plecos, some Corydoras and a dozen or so cardinal tetras. Will that be ok? <Too many Discus by about half... and am not a fan of mixing Angels...> Do you have any other suggestions? <Keep studying> The only complication I see is that  my water is moderate, slightly hard. Will this be a problem? <With wild-caught fishes, yes> It will be a  planted tank, and I plan on using Eco Complete substrate. Is this  compatible with a gravel vacuum? (Will it get sucked up with mulm?) <Should be mixed with a lower, screened off layer of substrate> Also, when using a python system, when should I add aqua safe? <Before adding new water> OK, last question, do I really need a Co2 system to grow healthy  plants? <No> THANKS, sorry about all the questions, but I am a beginner. I appreciate your response, Anthony <Keep reading... Bob Fenner>

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