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FAQs on Glass Aquarium Repair, Leaks

Related Articles: Aquarium Repair, Acrylic Aquarium Repair, Cleaning Aquariums, Marine Tanks, Stands and Covers, Used Gear for Marine Systems, Designer Marine tanks, stands and covers,

Related FAQs: Glass Aquarium Repair 1, Glass Aquarium Repair 2, G lass Aquarium Repair 3, Glass Aquarium Repair 4, Glass Aquarium Repair 5, & FAQs on Repairing Glass Tank: Scratches/Blemishes, Cross-Braces, Chips/Cracks, Whole Panes, Tools: Cutting Glass, Silicone, Moulding/Frames; Techniques; Olde Tank (Slate Bottom, Metal Frame, Pecora...) Repairs, Troubleshooting/Repairs, & Acrylic Aquarium Repair, Used Aquarium Gear,

It is nearly impossible to discern where a leak actually originates... First, make sure the tank is actually leaking... drain, fill up (empty), outdoors, on newspaper... If it needs re-sealing, cut out all the inside beads, and re-silicone/replace them

55 Gallon Leak    4/17/12
I got a free 55 gallon tank!  It leaks.  My question is, can I just apply some silicone?  This tank was a snake cage for a class room, and most of the inside silicone was gone already.  Thanks.
<Best to remove the inside beams, apply w/ a tool, trim... Read here re:
and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

55 Gallon Leak   - 4/18/12
(I just sent this email without a picture I took, sorry about that). I got a free 55 gallon tank! It leaks. My question is, can I just apply some silicone? This tank was a snake cage for a class room, and most of the inside silicone was gone already.  Thanks.
<Same answer and link as yesterday. BobF>


Re: 55 Gallon Leak    4/21/12
I was reading up on the FAQs for repairing the leak in my free 55 gallon and one of them said someone could move one of the tank sides a little and you said that was very bad.  So, I went and pushed the side that was leaking and sure enough I could move the glass (but just barely).  My question is, should I remove that piece of glass to re-glue the seam, or can I get away with the original plan of resealing just the inside?
<IF you intend to disassemble one side, you should take all apart... I'd try just re-sealing the one seam>
 And if I need to take the side off and re due it completely, should I also do that to the rest of the tank?  Thanks, Paul.
<Yes you would. BobF>

Old Bamboo Tank -- 06/26/11
I was recently given an old 50 gal. aquarium that is beautifully decorated with bamboo around the tank, has a matching "lid" that looks like a roof and matching stand. The problem I have is that it is leaking, have read your info on how to reseal it. Started scraping the old sealant off and found that there is a gap between one of the side panes of glass and the back glass that is a good 1/8" wide from top to bottom, full of sealant(all other joints seem to match up glass to glass).I'm pretty sure(hard to really tell due to the bamboo covering all corners and bottom) that the leak is coming from the side with the gap due to the mounds of silicon that have been added to this side. Do you think that this can be resealed by either getting the old silicon completely off the glass throughout the inside of the tank and resealing ,leaving the old sealant in the gap and sealing over it or try and "gouge" the sealant out of the gap and fill in the gap with silicon?
<Best by far to remove all the olde sealant, including that between the panes/panels of glass and re-do... but you can try to just cut away the inside seams, clean up with an organic solvent... and re-do the seams...>
Or is it hopeless that it will ever hold water again(doesn't start leaking till water level is about 4 inches).Do you know much about these aquariums ie. history of them, what the are worth?
<Mmm, yes... what folks will pay for them. There are collectors for such; even areas of online placement...>
Found on your site where someone had a 35 gal. one that sounded similar and you mentioned that they came from the 1960's.
Thanks for the help.
Kevin Peters
<Mmm, you might contact Gary Bagnall of ZooMed... he's an avid dealer in such. Bob Fenner>
re: Old Bamboo Tank 6/27/11

Thanks for the quick response. I'll try and give it a shot and clean in between the panes. If I can't get it all out, will cleaning with organic solvent be detrimental to sealing over the old sealant that is left in between the panes (intend to wash well with water after cleaning with solvent)?
<It will not be... don't pour the solvent on (my fave, Toluene, is often available) but place on clean paper towels and wipe/rub after removing most all w/ single edged razor blades>
Hate to not try everything possible to restore this unique tank.
<I agree. BobF>

Salt creep leak giving me the creeps... 1/6/11
Hi WWM crew, you all have given me so much knowledge so far, and I have a (mostly) successful reef move to thank you for!
Seems like everyone here talks about severe leaks or cracks, but I have a (hopefully) smaller problem. I just purchased a used 90 gal reef setup, moved and setup the whole thing in a day. Exhausting!
<I bet.>
There were no leaks before the move. Inspecting the tank two days after the move, I'm noticing salt creep starting to creep up from the bottom of the tank where the frame meets the glass, in a spot about 18 inches wide as shown in the picture. Needless to say, it's giving me the creeps! It's nothing urgent, or at least I don't think so.
<I don't think so either.>
Do I need to tear the tank down (again!) to reseal, or is there another way to deal with minute leaks? Also, do you think this is one leak, or several over those 18 inches? Would that indicate stress on that joint?
<I am doubtful you have a leak at all here. If there were a leak your salt would not be dry (it appears to be dry from what I can see in the pic). Draining the tank, moving rock in and out, then moving and reversing the previous steps is very hard to do without getting some water in the bottom frame. I suspect the salt you are seeing is just from that water from the move evaporating. I would simply clean it up and then just keep an eye on the area for the time being. We do get a fair bit of inquiries about leaking tanks here, but the reality is for the number of glass tanks out there, very few leak!>
Lucas from SoCal
<Scott V., just a few miles north of you!>

silicone seal leak 12/7/10
Greetings, a small portion of my aquarium corner has sprung a leak. I have located aquarium sealer at a pet store. They don't open until tomorrow morning. I went to a hardware store to get regular silicone sealant just for tonight, the guy said he wouldn't recommend using it because it could get into the water. What can I safely use until I can get the aquarium use sealant tomorrow? I'm running out of towels! Thanks
<Just lower the water level... inches to several inches (do lay your heater/s down on their side/s to keep submerged)... and this should slow to stop the leak in the short term. You'll need to drain, clean, dry the tank to re-seal... IF indeed the leak is from there... It happens that such apparent leaks are from capillation from the top, other sources of splash and spray at times. Please read here re:
and the linked files above where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

Leaking Tank/Aquarium Repair 8/4/10
Hi guys,
<Hello Brendan>
We just had our kitchen remodeled and the construction guys moved my 55 g Saltwater tank several times. More like shifted it across the floor I would say.
Anyway I looked at it last night and at the bottom where the plastic part meets the glass there is a tiny bit of a gap and a small amount of water is seeping out. Still very slowly, about 2 cups in 8-10 hours. I would really like to avoid removing all of the water to use silicone or another sealant if possible. Do you know if there is another type of sealant that will work when wet? Aquarium glue of some kind?
<None that I could recommend or know of.>
My thought was just to fill the gap with a substance in that area that has the gap to keep the water in.
<I'm afraid you will need to tear down the tank and repair or replace.>
I would appreciate any help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Brendan Bellefeuille

Emergency leak in my 180 gallon! 4/20/10
Dear WWM crew,
First of all, let me congratulate you on being *the* source for all things marine related. =)
I had my 180 gallon reef tank spring a leak near one of the bottom seams last night...NIGHTMARE. Fortunately, I had recently set up a 70 gallon reef nearby (I loved the big one sooooo much, I had to set up another) and I was able to corral all the critters, remove the live rock, and drain the big tank to re-silicone the seams. My concern stems from two factors; 1. The new tank had only been cycling for 2 and a half weeks
AND 2. I have a lot of animals in a 70 gallon aquarium.
Here is the list:
Mandarin Dragonette (2 inch)
Lawn Mower Blenny (3 in)
Naso Tang (8 in)
Sohal Tang (6in)
Yellow Tang (4 in)
Snowflake Eel (16 in)
Humbug Damsel (2 in)
Lunar Wrasse (5 in)
Rabbit Fish (4 in)
Yellow-Tail Damsel (2 in)
30 hermits
12 snails (Turbo, Nass., Astrea)
4 serpent stars
1 sand-shifting star
<Feed VERY sparingly if at all... Monitor ammonia, nitrite... Have a good deal of water on hand, pre-mixed>
The coral is all in large 30 gallon tubs with 1 powerhead in each for water movement. I didn't want to put the coral or LR in the new tank, as the old one had a touch of the Aiptasia and I didn't want to contaminate the new tank. The Sohal and the Naso don't seem very happy about these developments.... and I can't say I blame them. Would I be better off moving the two large guys to separate tubs with the coral?
<Mmm, maybe float the Sohal in a large plastic colander in the 70>
The silicon takes 48 hours to set and harden, but I am worried about keeping this much livestock in an uncycled tank until tomorrow night.
The coral and LR is in the original big tank's "old" water...the water in the smaller tank is only a few weeks old, but it has been cycling with 40 lbs of LR almost the whole time. Should I do a water change in the smaller tank tonight to help alleviate the burden?
<Depends on NH3, NO2 readings>
Keep the lights
on, or off?
<I'd leave some outside light on, the tank light/s off>
Is the full 48 hours to let the silicone set necessary in your experience?
I feel very anxious about all of this, lol. I appreciate your help.
Thank you,
Kevin Clark
<Steady on. Bob Fenner>

my 25 year old 90 gallon aquarium sprang a leak 4/21/10
I just refilled my 90 gallon aquarium yesterday, no problem, tonight the front glass and top corner brace separated and almost all the water gushed out the side.
Is it repairable?
no cracked or broken glass, need to know if it's worth fixing or should I purchase a new aquarium?
<Mmm, depends on how much you value your time really, how much you're willing to "risk" in attempting a/the repair...>
never fixed a leaking aquarium like this. it separated from the side glass right down the corner seam.
<Happens, and am glad no one was hurt. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/glsaqpanes.htm
and the linked files above, till you understand the process, what you're about here. Bob Fenner>

Question regarding the trim base on a 150 gallon tank 4/20/10
Good afternoon.
<Yawnnnn! AM here now, sorry>
I purchased a 150 gallon tank that was in incredible condition in November of 2008. I did not have a stand for it until this past weekend. Yes, it sat on my garage floor for almost 1.5 years. The silicon was still very pliable, so I didn't fear any problems.
I had the stand bad <made?> by a wood working cabinet maker. When the tank was placed on the stand the bottom trim sat flush on both ends of the six foot tank, but in the middle the tank was maybe 1/8 of an inch above the stand surface. I hoped this would not be a problem.
<Mmm, could be>
I placed about 100 pounds of pea gravel and then filled the tank about 80% full. The tank is for an aquatic turtle. I had no issues that night. The next morning I awoke with maybe 1/2 gallon of water in the floor. It was running along the trim on the bottom of the tank and then down onto the floor. No water was coming from anywhere higher than the bottom trim.
<Leaks can/do originate elsewhere... just "make their way out" at the bottom>
I drained the tank, removed the gravel and have dried the tank. The tank is currently on the stand with shims under each corner so that it dries completely underneath. I have inspected the tank closely, but find no obvious leak. I did find a small hairline fracture in the plastic bottom trim. It is near the corner on the front. It goes from top to bottom of the 1 inch visible trim.
<Mmm, these cracks are usually not problematical. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/glstkmoldng.htm
I also noticed that a few inches from that crack is another one that is under the tank, the same thing a really hairline crack in the trim. It doesn't appear that the two cracks are connected making for two distinct pieces of framing, but I can't tell. The top and bottom trims both have two middle supports running from the front to the back.
I have done some searching today and from what I can gather these trims do not support the tank? Is this correct?
<For the most part, yes. Are more for "holding all together" while being assembled, "floating" the bottom...>
Since there are girders in the middle connecting the front and back I am assuming they do have structural support to the tank.
<Not much, no; though can be important if not supporting the bottom about evenly all the way around>
Right now I am perplexed as to what to do.
<Likely there is a "split seam" in the Silastic somewhere along a joint>
I am thinking that probably the silicone needs to be replaced since the tank sat in the garage and was in temperature extremes. If I were to simply reseal one corner, maybe a foot each direction from the corner, would that do anything to help? I would remove the old silicone and wipe down the glass
<With a solvent, after cleaning thoroughly w/ single edged razor blades...
before reapplying, but my question lies in the area where the old meets the new. I really don't want to remove all of the silicone and redo the entire tank.
<This is really the best approach... unless... do you want to try partially filling it... let's say 50% and seeing if the leak persists?>
My other question is in regards to the frame. Will the slight crack in the trim on the side/visible face or the one that is on the trim that is under the tank cause me issues?
<Not likely, but please send along photos ...>
What about the fact that the surface of the stand doesn't touch flush to all four sides of the trim uniformly. I read about putting Styrofoam under the tank, but that would be unsightly, though I would do it if needed.
<I would shim/support the under-surfaces of the two long/length runs of this stand... with a piece of wood turned long end up, underneath the current pieces... looking like a "T" from the end if you understand, with drilling, long screws... And check the tank again for leaks, possibly cut out, reseal>
Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question regarding the trim base on a 150 gallon tank 4/20/10
Thank you for your help! Much appreciated.
<Again, welcome>
I will try to email you some photos tonight. The micro crack that is visible on the side of the trim will be easy to photograph, but the one on the bottom might be difficult, since my wife won't be able to assist in lifting.
<Do take care here>
I hate removing the perfect silicon job, but I think I will have to go that route.
<Mmm, I would wait, hold off... see if "straightening the stand" solves this slow leak issue. Commonly does>
I will go ahead and remove all of it along the four bottom seams and the four vertical seams. The silicon that lies between the glass joints, will that remain when I remove the portion that is within the tank joints?
<Yes. I would definitely NOT cut this out at this stage/juncture>
Also, I am uncertain about the shimming of the stand. The stand is made of hardwood (oak) and has six legs that are 3"x3". the surface of the stand is the only portion that is plywood.
<And this is "very" securely attached to the top of the six uprights? The lateral runners? And still there is the aforementioned 1/8" gap? I might shim another piece of ply atop this, and screw down through the existing... to make the top level AND planar. Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqstands.htm
and the linked files above>
The builder didn't have a planer wide enough and we decided to just make the top out of plywood and he trimmed it with oak.
<This is fine>
Once the tank is on the stand you don't see the plywood only the oak trim.
We thought this would take care of any irregularities on the surface. With a tank of that size I was unsure how to determine if the tank bottom itself is warped.
<Highly unlikely>
I am assuming that the 'sag' in the middle is the stand.
<Yes, almost assuredly so>
Are you recommending putting shims under the middle two legs to see if that boosts the 'sag'?
<Not the legs, but twixt another piece of ply atop the existing one.
Doesn't need to be very thick>
I would feel much better if all four bottom edges of the tank trim were flush with the stand,
<Yes... this is necessary>
but not sure how I go about doing it.
<Please read where you are referred, and do write back if my writing isn't clear, complete. BobF>
Re: Question regarding the trim base on a 150 gallon tank 4/20/10
Thank you Bob!
<Welcome Matt>
I will speak to the builder and ask if he has ideas on making the top stop sagging.
The stand is very well made, probably weighs about 200 pounds. Everything is mitered and jointed together. It could easily support 3-4 times the weight.
<An adequate "margin of safety">
I just need to figure out how to fix the problem without having to tear up the stand I paid $600 for. The sag in the middle is probably less than 1/8", but you can definitely tell it doesn't sit flush. Would placing a small strip of cardboard under the trim along the middle 3-4' of tank length do anything?
<Mmm, not enough>
The stand has a flat top, no border so anything placed under will be seen.
<Perhaps adding a "decorative strip" around the front, sides, after the leveling piece of ply is added...? B>
Re: Question regarding the trim base on a 150 gallon tank 4/21/10
Spoke to the builder and he is going to stop by tonight. I am going to delay removing the old sealant and resealing. We will see if we can get the top flush with the bottom of the tank and I will fill it up again. You believe that it is possible that a leak can be fixed in this manner?
<Yes... as I prev. stated...>
Not saying this will diagnosis my problem, but curious if a leak can be stopped purely be adjusting the flushness of the stand surface and not messing with the sealant.
<This is so... please see my resume, posted on WWM. I am an olde timer in this trade, interest>
The builder said that when he attached the top (it is about 1.5" thick) to the stand body the screws pulled the middle down slightly. He loosened the middle screws and put a 1/16th shim between the top and the middle of the body-length.
He thought that had created a flat surface. He used a 4ft level and didn't notice a sag. We are hopeful that maybe when the tank settled the stand that it created this 'sag'. He said it would be easy to loosen the screws to see if the sag fixed itself or to add another 1/16th" shim on top of the other.
If doing this doesn't fix our 'flushness' problem I have another question.
Rather than attempting to put a new top on to create a perimeter flushness what are your thoughts of inserting a 1" wide shim in the middle of the front and back right at the center of the trim length? This would not create a 100% perimeter flush trim, but would create a strength point at the center of the 6ft length. Would that be suitable or just a poor solution to the problem?
<Worth trying... but I would place a number of shims... thicker in the mid-spaces twixt the uprights, thinner toward them...>
It would make my day if fixing the surface solves the problem. This is my first tank great than 75 gallon and it opens up another world of concerns regarding structure that so many don't even think about. I thought I had all bases covered, but guess it only takes a small error to expound greatly as the size increases.
Have a great day and thank you for all your help!
<Welcome. BobF>

Re: Question regarding the trim base on a 150 gallon tank -- 04/22/10
We attempted to create a stand surface so that the entire tank trim would sit flush, but were unable to do so. After checking the stand surface it appears level and flat. All that we could guess is that the trim itself is not 100% straight. I have to wonder (I assume you would know from your experience) that the trim is not glued on by an exact science...even a little extra sealant on one portion could create an uneven surface.
We experimented with different combinations of 1/16" and 1/32" shims between the stand top and the stand body. We attempted to create a surface that mirrored the tank, but were unable to do so.
<Mmm, have you "flipped the tank over" and used a six foot or longer... or support for a smaller level, to check the levelness of the bottom frame?>
We did make the gaps between the tank and stand smaller in thickness and in length. I have not placed water in the tank yet. I am going to cut some of the 1/32" shims down and place them directly under the tank trim under the places that have the longest lateral gaps. This will obviously cut down dramatically how much the tank could possibly flex.
<Mmm, okay>
When we moved the tank from the stand to work on the tank I found that water was trickling out of the empty tank from within the trim. I had mentioned that there is a crack in the trim that is on the side (visible face) and extends onto the bottom of the trim, under the tank. I could press the area around the bottom crack and water would slowly bead out. I do know now how large the 'void' airspace is within the trim,
<About half the total volume>
but it does have a small amount of water within. I am going to attempt to get all of that water absorbed out so it won't deter from determining if the leak is still present.
I do worry about the crack on the bottom. The stand builder is an engineer by trade, but doesn't have the experience with aquariums. He asked where does the tank load apply the most pressure downwards? Is it in the corners?
All along the bottom edge... gravity. There is some translational torsional force in addition at the corners, but this is generally insignificant in terms of structural integrity>
It appears to me that the load should theoretically be uniform along the perimeter of the tank (i.e. the trim) since that is the only area that touches the stand.
<This is so>
The girders in the middle of the tank that connect the front and back trim are flush to the tank bottom and do NOT touch the stand surface (by design).
That crack just makes me feel uncomfortable since the load will be pressing directly on it.
<Mmm... I would contact the tank manufacturer... ask their assistance here.
Perhaps request a replacement frame, cut away the old, Silicone on the new. If it's possible annealing the present>
As mentioned, the visible gap between the tank bottom trim and the stand was in the center of the 6ft lateral length. After making our adjustments we now have to flush corners (diagonal from each other) and the center.
BUT, two diagonal corners do 'hover' maybe 1/32".
<This should be fine>
I will place the shims under those corners and fill with water in stages over the next few days and see what happens.
I will let you know. Take care and have a great Thursday!
<And you. BobF>

Leak, fixing... Glass tank 4/7/10
Hi crew just wanted to ask what is the best thing to reseal with ? I have 125 gal. that started leaking @ one of the seams. Or should I start with a new tank.
<Just regular old 100% silicone will do the trick. Nothing with biocides or mildewcides. Uncured silicone will not stick to cured silicone well at all, so ideally you should cut and scrape out the bead inside the tank while leaving the silicone between panes intact.>
You guys are great !!!!
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Help repairing 110gal bowfront aquarium 11/6/09
Hello again, Unfortunately after attaching the new top and letting the silicone dry for 30 hours I test filled the tank and found a leak halfway up the side seam.
The water pressure is bowing the back glass away from the side a tiny bit midway up and causing a leak. From reading your pages it would appear the only correct way to fix the tank is to completely disassemble the tank and reseal it all.
<Mmm, maybe not disassemble...>
I would love to just seal the leak, but structurally that would be setting me up for a disaster correct?
<Too likely to suit>
Attached is a picture of the leak.
Resealing an entire bowfront tank of this size looks to be a daunting task and not one I am sure I would trust.
<Mmm, it's not all that hard... I wouldn't disassemble the pieces of glass.
I would cut out the corner beads and clean (see WWM:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/glstksilastic.htm and the others linked above)
these areas with a solvent, and reseal (with Black Silastic, 100%) the beads... This really should do it>
I purchased the tank used from a very highly respected and strictly reef only store. The store owner swore to me it didn't leak and held water right up to the top pointing to the still visible water line. I assume this is simply what he was told. Do you have any suggestions for how to approach the subject when I talk to him?
Thank you, Alex
<Show him the pix. There is a possibility that the moving, setting of the tank on a new surface gave rise to this leak. Again, I would not despair.
Perhaps ask your dealer if he will help you... with supplying single edged razorblades, solvent costs... the cartridge of Black Silastic... and guidance if you want such. Taking your time here is requisite... Use a tool
to smooth out the new Silastic, let cure (a day) and trim the excess... I have done this hundreds of times... Not hard to do. BobF>

Re: Help repairing 110gal bowfront aquarium 11/6/09
Thank you Bob.
<Welcome Alex>
Cutting and resealing the inside seam I am not afraid of and will try. I think it has already been done once since the top and bottom horizontal seams use clear silicone, and the four vertical seams are black.
I was under the dreadful impression that once the structural seal along the edge was compromised a complete reseal was needed.
<Mmm, not with a slow leak like this... If it were me/mine, I'd do the inside seams only>
If I push the back away from the side it will move about 1/64th inch causing a faster leak. It appears the weak structural area is about 1 inch long in the center of the seam.
Your advice is once again appreciated. I will let you know how it turns out.
<Please do. BobF>

Re: Tank seal -- 09/03/09
Have I offended you guys somehow?
<Mmm, don't think so>
Maybe I simply wasn't clear enough in my question. I replied to a previous email from the crew with an update question two weeks ago and have yet to hear back. I thought maybe I'd rephrase here.
<Okay! I do think, BTW, that I'd remember your email if I saw it... Have a friend here in San Diego with a son with your same name. For you and browsers... our ding dang (pardon my language) spam-sorter has a "mind of its own"... and though I try (when I do it) to sort through what it has pulled for discarding; methinks a good deal of real mail is not getting to us>
I put together a glass only tank a year ago and filled it up to test. It did hold water for about 2 months. So I decided to drain it in preparation for moving it into the house to set up. At that point I noticed some fatigue/stress in the glass to glass seams. I emailed pictures and the verdict was that the risk was too great. I subsequently let it sit until I could decide what to do next. One option was to cut the seams, separate the glass, clean, and reseal.
<Am with you so far>
I haven't done that to date and frankly, it looks to be a nearly impossible job.
<Nah, just a pain in the keester... have done it a few times m'self>
I have a glass workers special tool that he said I could use to cut the seam (basically, a glorified razor blade with an extended handle). But there is essentially no gap in the glass to glass silicone seal. I view this as very difficult if not nearly impossible to separate as I wouldn't even be able to get the razor blade in between the glass panes in order to separate.
<Mmm... with care to not cut yourself, such blades can be forced... actually do make a gap...>
One other thought I had was that perhaps I might just take off the inner seal, glue in another full pane of glass next to the original side panel of the aquarium, and then redo the interior seams.
<A worthwhile possibility!>
It seems to me this would reduce some of the pressure load on the original piece of glass, basically an extended bracing job. I just don't know if this will work or not.
<I do think it would. Such repairs are done on Acrylic tanks that fail... with good success>
In your experience, has this type of action been done successfully and saved a tank from catastrophic failure?
<Am not familiar with such attempts with glass... but don't see why it would not work>
I know it wouldn't be the most visually appealing tank (at least from the side), but would it provide the desired functionality?
<If in a back corner or corners not likely obvious at all... and if done well in all four corners, might well be ornamental in appearance... In all cases, in time I doubt anyone will notice.>
Tank was 1/2" thick all panes. 72" L x30" W x29" H all panels resting on a tempered glass bottom panel. Side panes in between front and back panes
of glass.
<Do please take some pix of the before and after job and send them along for others edification. Bob Fenner>
re: tank seal
Wow, quick reply. Thank you. I'll let you know how it turns out.
<Please do Mike. BobF>

Leaking tank bottom trim 7/23/08 I just purchased a used 40ga eclipse tank the man said he thought it had a small pin hole leak in the back lower corner. <Mmmm... these can be the devil to actually locate...>> But upon testing I found that the whole back bottom edge is leaking. Do I have to remove the bottom trim to repair this? <Mmmm, maybe... but I'd try...> Or can I just remove silicon from inside and repair that way? <This first> If I do have to remove trim, How? <Cut away the Silastic from the glass... that is twixt it and the plastic frame; but first just try cutting out all the internal seal and replacing it/this. Might repair it alone> I could use any type of help before I start this project. Thank You! Denise <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/glsaqleaks.htm Mmm, and some of the files above... Do ask your LFS, fish club about... if there's someone who can come on by, give you some "hands on" instruction. This work isn't hard to do (once you know how...), but messy, and dangerous if you don't have much experience with single-edged razor blades. Do write back with specific concerns if you'd like. Bob Fenner>

Aquarium Repair Issue... Urgent, Please -- 10/13/07 So, I recently completed what was for me my largest aquarium project ever, a three tank propagation system, two 29 gal tanks and one 55 gallon sump/fuge. <<Neat!>> I really took my time with this project. It has been up and running for a month, and I was so pleased with the result. I even took photos of it two days ago to post on my favorite web forums to share my work. Wouldn't you know I jinxed it. I came downstairs last night to discover the 55 was leaking. <<Uh-oh>> Pretty significantly. <<Bigger uh-oh>> I have yet to find any crack, but after talking to Marc Levinson (Melev's reef) he thinks that my bubble trap may have been too wide and I essentially pulled the damn thing apart from the inside. <<Mmm, is possible I suppose'�but didn't you notice it being too wide/too tight when you installed it?>> As of right now, I am going with that theory, seems to make sense. <<Okay>> So, I have two options. Repair this tank or buy a new one. <<You will likely find the latter to be the better solution considering the trouble/time spent'�and for the 'peace of mind'>> Finances are tight and my wife is already more than pissed off about this. <<Ah well, been there mate'�have put more than a few gallons of saltwater on the floor myself over the years>> I know generally where the leak is coming from. Since all of the zones in the tank are each watertight, I can isolate it. If I attempt a repair, I will need to remove all of the stuff I glued in, repair the tank, then put everything back in. So either way, I start from a fresh tank. OK, let me ask these questions one by one and try and make this easy. (1) Should I attempt a repair? Are the odds of success in my favor or should I buy a new tank? <<Repairing the tank can be done if you're willing to empty the whole tank and remove/replace the entire seal on the mal-affected panel>> (2) Is there a solvent that will aid in the removal of silicone? <<Not that I'm aware'� Removal will require the careful use/application of single-edge razorblades (3) Can I re-seam the area I know to have the problem, or do I need to do the whole thing? <<You will need to re-seal the entire panel where the leak is located. You have to be able to remove and replace the panel to obtain a seal 'between' the panels>> (4) Does that include the sides? <<Just as stated>> (5) I have been back and forth on the silicone issue. GE 100% pure silicone is not recommended for aquarium use. Says so on the package, that's also what their customer service folks told me. True? Not True? What should I use? - I have limited options unless I order and wait... <<Unless it contains fungicides and/or modifiers, any '100% silicone' will do the job just fine>> (6) Should I start drinking now...? Or later? <<Hee-hee! Now seems like a good time'�>> Every time I start to think I know what I am doing in this hobby, something turns around and totally kicks my ass. <<Is that thing called life'�>> I am starting to lose my enthusiasm for it - nearly called it quits last night. Jeff <<Regards, EricR>>

Aquarium Repair Issue... Urgent, Please ­ 10/14/07 Hi Eric. <<Hello Jeff>> Well I hadn't heard back from anyone, and so I just did the math. <<My apologies for that'�we have definitely been remiss in keeping up with the backlog/making timely replies for the past 10 days or so'�in Bob's absence>> If I attempted a repair, it would cost money for silicone and razor blades, as well as several hours of my time. <<Mmm, indeed'�and likely more than 'several hours' if you haven't done this before>> I'm a pretty busy guy. <<Aren't we all? [grin]>> That, and a decent possibility that it could/would leak again. <<Agreed>> My LFS offered me a new 55 gallon tank for $89. <<Cheap by comparison'�>> I took the deal. <<No doubt>> But here's where things get weird. <<Huh?>> Just for shits and giggles, I set the old tank up on the patio outside my door to see if I could really find the leak, and guess what? <<You didn't>> It didn't. Not a drop, near as I can tell. So now we're working with a new theory. <<The plumbing?>> As you could see from the photo, I am using heavy gauge steel industrial racks as a stand. <<No photo with this query, so you must be referring to the photo that came previously'�but I do recall>> Looks nice, works well. <<If you can keep them from rusting'�agreed>> However, this tank must sit on two racks, and it looks like it may not be 100% level. <<Indeed a problem, if the tank does not sit level and flat/planar>> Pretty darn close, but as you know, close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, thermonuclear weapons and women. <<Ha! (Spoken like a true GI?)>> So, the baffles are still a contributing factor, but now we're also assuming that the tank got tweaked from the stand. <<Maybe so'�but still means the tank has a breached seal>> So how do we stop this from happening again? <<Perhaps by topping/bridging the stands with a piece/couple layers of ¾' plywood'�measuring to be sure all is level and flat and placing a piece of rigid foam insulation on top of this. Or, if the floor is the problem'�place the plywood on the floor under the stands. Or, if the stands themselves are just too uneven'�level them individually. Or, perhaps 'building' a stand to fit the tank and the space is the better option'�>> Here's the plan. First, a piece of 1/2 to 3/4 inch plywood or MDF. <<No MDF here, use 'exterior grade' plywood'�and nothing less than ¾'. Anything less is just to flimsy/bendy for 'support'>> On top of that, a piece of rigid insulating foam. <<Ah, great minds'�>> On top of that, the tank. I can also shim the MDF before we fill the tank. <<Again, no MDF'�best to stick to the much more water resistant and 'long grained' exterior plywood sheeting here. And if shimming is required, be sure to provide support along the entire 'length' of the shimmed edge>> What do you think? <<Like you say'�sounds like a plan! [grin] EricR>>

R2: Aquarium Repair Issue... Urgent, Please -- 10/15/07 ** <<My apologies for that, we have definitely been remiss in keeping up with the backlog/making timely replies for the past 10 days or so, in Bob's absence>>** Bob's absence? Where's Bob? >He's been to the Bahamas (back yesterday I believe)...diving and drinking, drinking and diving. Oh, and shooting a few pictures too...<>Heeeee! Am back... and thanks to all for trying to keep up... Oh, and saving all this to post! RMF> **Not a drop, near as I can tell. So now we're working with a new theory. <<The plumbing?>>** No, definitely not the plumbing. Leaking was coming up from the bottom of the tank, on both sides of the plastic trim >Okay< **Pretty darn close, but as you know, close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, thermonuclear weapons and women. <<Ha! (Spoken like a true GI?)>>** I wish. Nope just a clever saying. The original was " hand grenades and horseshoes" and I added "thermonuclear weapons and women" because, well... It's true :) >[grin]< **So, the baffles are still a contributing factor, but now we're also assuming that the tank got tweaked from the stand. <<Maybe so...but still means the tank has a breached seal>>** Yes ** Here's the plan. First, a piece of 1/2 to 3/4 inch plywood or MDF. On top of that, a piece of rigid insulating foam. On top of that, the tank. <<No MDF here, use 'exterior grade' plywood...and nothing less than ¾'. Anything less is just too flimsy/bendy for 'support'>> I can also shim the MDF before we fill the tank. <<Again, no MDF...best to stick to the much more water resistant and 'long grained' exterior plywood sheeting here. And if shimming is required, be sure to provide support along the entire ³length² of the shimmed edge>>** OK I will check the prices on 3/4 and 1" exterior grade plywood and the foam tomorrow. I figure 2" larger than the footprint of the tank should be sufficient. >Agreed...could even reduce this to 1'< Got most of the acrylic pieces made for the sump today, looking nice, especially the bubble trap box. >Cool< Should come together nicely. What's the use of doing an expensive project twice if you don't take some time and improve it, even slightly? >Ah yes...am always 'tweaking' my projects as well< FWIW my wife still isn't talking to me. >Mmm, is REALLY upset then< Know any chicks who think prop tanks are sexy? I may need some phone numbers... >Ha!, have met a few...< Thanks Eric...
>Happy to help, Jeff. EricR<

Aquarium joint too large.. and leaking. 7/9/07 Hello, I received a leaking 36x18x24" 65 gallon aquarium. It is of the recessed bottom variety, where the bottom panel meets the side panels on their insides, rather than the side panels sitting on top of the bottom (hope that makes sense). <Yes, it does...> After removing the old bottom seal, I could see that this bottom panel appeared to be a bit too small. On three sides there is a 1/16" or smaller gap between itself and its adjacent side panel. On the fourth side (long), this gap is 1/4" and filled with more silicone sealant (photo attached). <Yikes... MUCH too large> It's not in great shape and has some gouges, slits, etc. It originally leaked somewhere out of this side. Since the gap is so large, I know I can't make a proper glass to glass seal over it (already tried, holds up until aquarium is almost full, then leaks.) <Correct> Based on what I've read here, my first thought was to have a 36 inch strip of glass cut. I would shove it into the length of this side so that it overlaps this 1/4" gap by an inch or two, then seal it in place. <Yes> Does this seem like a good idea, or am I looking at a terrarium here? Thanks, Eric Dreyer <This is what I would do as well. Take your time cutting away the old Silicone, cleaning the area with a solvent. Bob Fenner>

Re: Aquarium joint too large.. and leaking. -- 10/30/2007 This is an update to a question I posed about 4 months ago. I wanted to have my success posted in case anyone else might run into a similar problem. The interior length of the tank was 35 7/8", so I had a piece of glass cut -- 35 13/16" x 2" x 1/4" thick. The first time around I simply placed the glass in the tank and siliconed anywhere glass met glass. The tank leaked, and the weight of the water actually cracked the glass (must have not been completely flush with the bottom.) <Mmm, yes... needs to be nestled... oh, I see this below> I had a second piece cut and applied silicone to the entire surface of that piece before laying it down. I carefully pressed the glass as far down and into the corner as it would go. Then I applied silicone as usual to all glass to glass seams and weighed it down. No leaks in 3+ months. Thanks for your help; this site is a terrific resource. <Ah! Congrats! Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Possible Capillary Leaks 7/2/07 Hi, <<Hi, Carolyn. Tom here.>> I'm hoping you can help me. <<Carolyn, I hope so, too.>> I purchased a Juwel aquarium last year and to cut a long story short have now had 3 leak! <<Ouch!> The first was replaced by my supplier, the second he gave me my money back and the third, from a new supplier has just started leaking. I spoke to a lady at Juwel today and she says it sounds like capillary leaks rather than damage to the seals. As I understand it this means that the tank isn't actually leaking but that water is coming over the sides? <<Sounds like this is what she's claiming, Carolyn.>> I don't fully understand why this has happened or how to prevent it from happening again and wondered if you could help? <<Let's see.>> There is no obvious water running down the outside. I don't use an airstone, the tank is as level as I have been able to get it on my floor (<1mm off level - would this be enough to be a problem?) and sits on the proper stand, and I fill the tank to the level indicated as the maximum and never any higher. I do have the filter outflow pointing upwards to increase aeration but I assumed that given I haven't overfilled this wouldn't be a problem - the water from the outflow isn't obviously running over the side (I checked this carefully when tank 2 leaked!) but I guess just could be splashing occasionally. The woman at Juwel told me to empty the tank and dry it off, and then to refill it slightly lower and to be careful when doing water changes (which I already am!) and to make sure the tank is absolutely level (which I tried to do last time!). My concern is that even if the tank is undamaged I'm going to need a new stand as this has been water damaged - the one I have costs about £50 (I'm UK based!) to replace and the last thing I want is to pay out that money only for this to happen yet again! Can you help?? Many thanks in advance, <<While I'm unfamiliar with the Juwel brand of tanks, I did take a look at their website. Very nice, at least from their web display. A few questions for you, perhaps rhetorical. When you checked the level of the tank, did you do so from both side-to-side and front-to-back? Did you also check for level with the hood in place rather than just the tank itself? Also, were the entire 'set-ups' returned or just the tanks? I ask because water, even if not 'splashed', can/will condense on the hood/cover of tanks, particularly if they're warmer, i.e. tropical, tanks. The tank itself may be perfectly level (or near so) but, if the cover is not (as it sits on the tank body), moisture collected beneath it can run/'wick' to the lowest point of the cover and leak over the side (perhaps in a spot -- in back? -- that you might not have noticed). It seems to me, though not out of the realm of possibility, that it's highly unlikely that three different aquariums would have the exactly the same leaking problem. Just doesn't follow. I'm surmising there's a 'common denominator' somewhere in the mix and I'm betting on the hood.>> Carolyn Hope <<Cheers, Tom.>>

Re: Possible Capillary Leaks 7/11/07 Hi Tom -- <<Hello again, Carolyn.>> Thank you so much for your prompt reply and good advice! <<More than happy to help out.>> After doing some tests I have concluded that it was in fact water coming over the side (I still haven't found the evidence but leaving the level lower and altering the direction of the filter outflow seems to have stopped the leaking for the moment until I can get everything sorted). <<Good to hear, Carolyn.>> I have discovered that Juwel will sell me just the damaged top panel of the stand rather than me having to replace the whole thing so that's also good news! <<Sounds like a good company to deal with, Carolyn.>> I hope this will be the last you will hear from me on the subject!! I only wish I had managed to discover all this earlier.... <<Well, Carolyn, for your sake, I, too, hope this is the last of your 'trials and tribulations'. Nice to hear about a vendor that's willing to deal positively with its customers, as well. Will make a mental note of this. :) >> Best wishes Carolyn <<Best regards and good luck. Tom>>

Question about an old aquarium, glass sealant repair? 5/14/07 Howdy! I was recently given a 80 gallon O'Dell glass aquarium by a generous individual. The story with this tank is that its over 3 decades old (33 to be exact). Its built pretty thick and it has very few scratches. About 12mm thick, green glass on all panels, and support with 4 piece plastic moldings on top and bottom. The seals, however, might need some work. I plan on making this tank a reef tank, but I wanted to get an expert opinion before diving into it. Should the tank be ok to use? I've heard some folks mention that glass may become brittle over time. Thanks in advance! You guys rock! -Vic <Was the tank "kept/stored in-doors?"... If so, and the Silicone seals look, feel okay (still semi-soft/flexible) it should be fine. I might test it (outdoors) on the intended stand, with a bit of newspaper underneath (to detect small leaks)... a day or two ahead of filling it indoors. Bob Fenner>

Leaking Tank 4/26/07 I just purchased a used 55 gallon tank. <Neat.> I also just realized I stupidly trusted the person selling the tank when he said that he was sure it held water. The aquarium does not look like it was stored all that well; it has no cracks or damage, but it is quite dirty and has a bit of sand in it. Judging by the sand, chances are he did not actually fill it with water and test if it held water. How easy is it for an aquarium to get damaged enough to leak? <With older glass aquariums, easily. However, it's not to big of a task to remove the old silicone and replace it. See WWM re:.> Also, I live in an apartment complex with not a lot of room to test for leaks, are there any alternative methods to test for leaks other than the one suggested on WWM? <Any surefire ways, no...do you have a friend with a garage or backyard? Adam J.> 90Gal Repair.... 4/17/04 Hey I have read all the pages of your FAQ <Doubtful> and I still have a few questions left unanswered: The story is my friend is starting getting into the hobby of caring fro fish! <Ones with bushy hair-dos?> He is very excited and likes to do things the right way. We started with a small 40gl tank and now he bought a used 90gal with leaks. We are attempting to re-seal his tank, and have already scraped the bottom edge. <Need to "scrape" remove all the inside Silastic... clean up the areas with single edged razor blades, a solvent...> After reading through the FAQ I am convinced that we need to scrap the rest of the silicon off, that should be no problem. A flag that arouse is: Should we take the entire tank apart? <I would not> or do think it would be sufficient to re-seal the tank from the inside only? <Should be> If you advise us to take it apart how do we remove the plastic caps on the bottom and the top of the tank with out breaking them? <I would leave the frame/moulding in place...> Are the solvents mentioned in the FAQ's safe to use on plastic? Will they just melt the silicon away? <Mostly the latter if applied "correctly"... I'd keep the rags, what have you with the solvent away from the plastic...> Or do we need to wipe the silicon off with the solvents in place? Thanks, Ozzy <...? Don't follow you here> PS- Great site keep up the good work. <Please read what you think you're writing to someone, amend before sending. Bob Fenner>

-Tank Leaking- - 04/15/06 I have a 150 gallon show tank. Last night I noticed a leak coming from somewhere on the bottom of the tank. <Not good> I do not see any cracks. I have removed everything from the tank and now I am trying to figure out what to do. I have read some of the postings on your web site regarding leaks. My question is I think the inner seal on the back side - bottom of the tank is where it is leaking from. Do I need to just remove the silicone on that side and reseal it ? <Probably that is all it needs, however if it is down and apart, you might as well reseal the entire edge or the tank. if one seal gave way, the others might not be far behind.> or do I need to disassemble the whole bottom of the tank and reseal? The leak itself was a slow steady drip and water was as even around the top of the trim on the tank. That being said do I also need to remove the trim and reseal that as well? Any advice will be very much appreciated. Thank You Zoltan <Resealing just the side that is leaking should fix the issue, however a complete reseal of that panels inner edges will probably be wise. Is the tank not level on its stand? If it isn't it can cause undo pressure on the seals and create a leak.> <<RMF would definitely at least try resealing all the inside seams (can leak in one area on the inside, a totally different area on the outside... and for sure, test this tank outdoors before re-setting up inside>> <Justin (Jager)> Leaking 300g Glass Tank - 05/15/2006 Hi, I read through all of you FAQ's on tank repair and did not find my problem, so here goes... <Alright....> I have a 300 gallon tank purchased many years ago, last year I moved it into a new house and moved the tank. Heavy Machinery vibrated my house and the tank sprung a leak (lost about 200 gallons onto new carpet and into the basement!) <Yeeee-ikes!> I drained the tank, took out the old silicone, cleaned the seams with alcohol and put in the new silicone. It held about a year! And last night sprung a leak again (in the exact same place!) <Nooooo!> about 8 inches from the bottom. My wife is sick of the tank ruining the house.... and wants it gone! <Understandable.> I love the tank, but I don't know what else to do? Is there an epoxy or something stronger I can use? <Just silicone.... Maybe a thicker, wider seal this time.... But I find it disconcerting that it leaked in exactly the same place again. I would be concerned about a problem with the glass in that spot.> The Tank has a frame on the top and bottom with screws that could be tightened, I am scared to tighten them with fear of going to far and cracking the glass. <Not knowing enough about your specific tank, I'm not qualified to make a recommendation on that.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. <To be quite honest, I would suggest that you look into getting an acrylic aquarium, or having one built to match the dimensions of your current tank so you can re-use your same stand, canopy, etc.... And you can approach your wife with the reassurance that a professionally built acrylic tank is pretty unlikely to leak under normal circumstances. The expense of the acrylic tank may very well be worth it, considering the money you'll save in carpeting the next time the glass one springs a leak.... Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Leak Repair Advice Needed :) 6/4/06 Hello Crew, (my heroes) <C> Thank you for all the valuable info, effort, experience, and time you put in for anyone who might be lost like me here. LFS fish store I work at had a problem with one of the "feeder" (I hate this term) tanks. Basically a 90gal tank with a leak at the right bottom part and in the middle. <Sounds like a Marineland unit...> Silicon kind of stretched and started a minor leak. This I assumed cause by the weight of the water leaning on that side because after looking I saw it was not level. <Could easily be...> The tank was under warranty so I got the "trash". Questions: 1- Well would the razor/reseal trick work in this case and be reliable? <Should do fine... if all is cut away, replaced> 2- And/or Should I patch the repair job with a 90degree acrylic piece all the way to the corners? <Mmm, no... acrylic to acrylic bonds poorly with Silastic, acrylic to glass even more poorly> 3- Also should I completely remove the trim or just try to clean it up with razor/acetone and not mess with the whole trim? <I'd do the whole inside trim for sure.> A million thanks CBora. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Repairing a 30g Leaker 6/19/06 Hi <Hi John, Pufferpunk here> I found your website and was wondering if you could help me. I recently bought a 30 long on a very nice wooden stand, as I have several large convicts I was happy to find it. When I filled it I found a leak on the upper right front side coming through the seal I immediately emptied it below the leak line and went to repair it with aquarium grade silicone. I went far below the leak line and all the way up to the top. I waited 48 hours and filled it. The leak had slowed but was still present. Now I live in CO and it's very arid here but I was wondering if I let the tank dry out in that area for a couple of days and then go at it with the sealant again am I just beating a dead horse. I guess my question is. Do I need to do anything special to repair the seal on the tank in that area and is there something I can do that's not too drastic. <I have repaired many a tank, from a 10g hex to a 125g tank. Be sure to take a razor blade & scrape off all remaining silicone, all the way to the bottom of the tank on that side. Clean thoroughly (no soap, Oxyclean works great) & wipe with alcohol. Let dry & try again. ~PP> Thanks for your time, John G <<Need to do all inside seams... you'll see. RMF>> Durango CO

Leaking Aquarium Repairs - 1/24/07 Hi, <Hey Ryan, JustinN here.> I bought a used tank (about 5 years old) from my LFS about 6 months ago, its a 77 gallon Hagen tank (thick glass, about 3/8" I'd guess). <Ok> I set it up as an African cichlid tank and all was fine for about 4 months then it developed a leak from the front left-hand bottom seam/ seal. <Not good> I was home at the time and caught it as it started (didn't drain very fast or loose much water) and had a spare 55gal kicking around that was empty at the time so I moved everyone over to that tank till I could repair the 77gal. I had resealed a couple of other tanks previously (including the 55gal backup tank) and all had turned out fine. I repaired the 77 gallon tank using 100% silicone black RT sealant and rubbing alcohol and let it sit for 2 days before test filling it. <...? You did remove and replace all silicon here, right?> It tested fine and sat full of water for about 2 days I guess. I set the tank back up and moved everyone back into the 77gal. It was fine for 2 months and then we had to move. Got the tank moved and set back up again in the new house. It was fine for about 2 weeks when I got a call from my girlfriend saying she came home from work and found the tank completely empty and all but 4 fish dead on the bottom. <Yeeikes! Sorry for your losses, my friend.> She got the live fish into my other tank and cleaned out the 77gal tank. It leaked from the same corner as before, but this time it was much worse. The tank wasn't perfectly level in the new house and did lean towards that corner. SO I'm guessing that could have been the cause (my fault, was in a rush to get the tanks up and the fish out of the coolers, learned that the hard way I guess) <Likely added to the problem, yes.> So now my girlfriend is trusting of the tank anymore but I'm stubborn and refuse to give up on it (love the tank and it was perfect for my Africans) <Yes, but I do understand her sentiment: a leaking tank will make quick work of many other of your possessions.> So this time around I'm thinking I should cut the tank right apart and start with fresh everything instead of just sealing the inside seams. <Oh, yes. You just sealed over the seams on this (and previous) tanks? This is hardly a solution for a leaking aquarium. The new silicon will not bond properly to the old silicon, it does not matter how much you clean it with rubbing alcohol first. This was bound, destined to leak again eventually, regardless of the levelness of the tank.> How should I go about this and do you recommend using the black RT or the clear silicone? <Either silicone will be fine here, my friend. Information and procedures for tank repairs such as this are posted, thoroughly here on WWM my friend. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm and scan through other peoples experiences, and formulate your own attack plan as such. This is the strength of the wonderfully powerful tool Bob has built here at WetWebMedia -- a medium that doesn't encourage, but essentially forces the end user to educate themselves.> Also was wondering if I should add a center brace to this tank (doesn't have one) as it seems to bow quite a bit when full. Sorry for the length, I just want to make sure I get this one right so I don't have this problem again. Thanks for reading. Ryan (BC, Canada) <Adding a center brace is entirely up to you, though I do put a great deal of merit on peace of mind purchases and additions. Good luck to you! -JustinN> Leaking Aquarium Repairs -- a follow-up - 1/25/07 Hello again, forgot to put it in my previous email, but yes I did cut out all the old silicone seal on the inside of the tanks I repaired being careful not to cut into the seams. Followed by cleaning all edges with rubbing alcohol and letting dry before running my new beads of silicone. <Mmm, no, this is not a repair my friend. This is at very best a poor stop-gap solution. The bond and leak-proofing is not made by bonding silicon over the gaps, its by the silicon in the seam sealing, and creating the bond and seal between glass panels. The overflow of silicon in the inside edges of an aquarium is simply a side effect of properly filling these gaps. Any tank repaired in the manner you describe here, will fail eventually, every time.> How much bow is acceptable to have in a tank without a center support and 3/8" glass? Thanks again, Ryan <Any visible bowing, beyond more than a quarter inch of deviance from the original (non-filled) point would merit a center support, for me. With a tank this size, if I was already going the full nine and removing, cleaning, and resealing ALL glass panels (which, you must do, or you WILL have another leak), I would add the center brace just for my own peace of mind. I would rather spend an extra 20 bucks and be confident in my setup, then save the money and always worry about that "maybe". Good luck! -JustinN>

Leaking 125 gallon tank 02/17/07 My 125 gallon tank has sprung a leak. I have cut out the silicone on the inside on the side it was leaking from. I resiliconed the seam let it dry 48 hours and began to refill. The tank fills to 2/3 full then begins to leak slowly. I drained tank removed silicon inside tank again cleaned area with alcohol dried area resiliconed and waited 72 hours for silicon to cure. Refilled tank and it leaked again when filled a little more than previous time and started leaking again. Should I reseal tank completely inside? <Ah, yes... "at least" this cutting out, cleaning all corners, and re-sealing... As it is not possible to tell where the leak (internally) is actually originating. At the "worst" you may be faced with cutting out all Silastic, dismantling all the glass panels... removing the frame... and re-sealing all... Let's hope not. Bob Fenner>

Possible tank leak?? I think my tank is leaking and now I am concerned. I am losing up to about 3 gallons a day on a 120g at first I thought it was a evaporation thing. Today while filling up the tank I noticed where the doors join when closed salt creep. <Mmmm, maybe splash or spray...> I have checked bulkheads all seem fine. The outer edges where I can see where the tank joins from sides to bottom is free of salt. no salt evidence down the seams. The plywood the tank is sitting on seems dry.... I really do not want to break everything down again, Suggestions comments welcome, Lee <Try taking some toilet tissue and wiping about at all plumbing fittings, joints, seams of the tank... even a small amount of water should show. Do check about for errant spray, splash as well... this "adds up" over time... may come from a pump discharge, mechanical aerator... Bob Fenner>

Possible tank leak I've read most of your posts about resealing tanks. (great info) I found a post where you actually didn't recommend resealing a tank under 100g because it will leak again in 2 years or so. Do you still feel this way? <Mmm, in this case "size doesn't matter"... Don't know exactly what the post you're referring to might have been about> I bought a 75g used from a fish store that went out of business. The tank is 1 year old and it seemed to leak a little so I resealed the inside bottom seam only. <... best to "do the whole thing." As you now know> I refilled the tank after 1 week and in a couple of days noticed some moisture underneath the silicone. It wasn't producing a drip on the floor just looked like condensation. Could this just be condensation or is leaking somewhere? <One or the other...> Any info or help is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Mark <I would at least put a bucket of some sort under the area... and if the occasion presented itself to have the tank dry, clean, empty... cut out the entire inside silicone and replace it. Bob Fenner...>

Commercial Aquarium leak in Ireland Heh, sorry to send a private message but couldn't find anything on the forums; I think it may be because I need info about a commercial tank and most posts are about private glass tanks. <No worries. Welcome> I am a member of staff in a 35 tank native marine aquarium on the west coast of Ireland. The supervisor recently resigned and left me (completely inexperienced, I was a chef in a previous life) with the task of managing said aquarium. Anyway, I have a large 8 cubic metre tank <Now, that's a tank!> that houses conger eels. <Neat animals... around the world these largish eels can be approached (even handled) with impunity> This tank is made of what appears to be concrete with a 2 metre square Acrylic window set about 1 metre off the floor. A very slow leak has appeared to the right and below the level of the window. I drained the tank and re-siliconed the window panel on all three sides but had a gut feeling the leak had nothing to do with the window. <Happens> I could have sworn I saw some kind of suction or movement in the base of the tank when there was a couple of inches left in it. <Yikes... dangerous> Now the tank is refilled and conger back in. I think I need to find the location of the leak so I know what I am up against, does anyone know how I might find it? <This can be a very trying ordeal... as the water can actually originate most anywhere within (or even outside...) the system and appear most anywhere outside... there are some techniques using dyes of differing densities... but I encourage you to go the perhaps expensive route of having a structural engineer firm come in and inspect the system (and all others of size there)... and consider the route of draining, drying, and resurfacing the entire inside (I would remove, clean the race/facing panel, and re-silicone the viewing panel after this) with a water-proof material (likely an epoxy)...> Some kind of dye? Or is there product I can put into water that will automatically be sucked into the leak? Thanks for any help you can offer Alex Stewart Lahinch Seaworld, Ireland <Oh, see you're aware of the dye... these can be carefully placed in layers (by density) and a spectrophotometer used on the subsequent leak water to detect at which level/depth the water is escaping from... As stated though, I would have the system inspected for structural integrity overall... and re-fit, re-do the entire inside. Bob Fenner> Lahinchseaworld@eircom.net

Emergency move! 30-gal Tank got a leak Dear WWM crew: <Paul> I never start an email to you guys without thanking you for everything you do... So thanks! <Welcome> It seems I am running into bad luck after bad luck starting up my aquarium. I converted my 30-gal FW to SW and got a 10-gal as a QT tank. My fish (two clowns, one Gramma, 5 hermits) seemed happy, ate relatively well, and were moderately active. The Gramma mostly came out of the live rock for feeding, after which he would promptly go hide again. <Typical. Give it time> I woke up one morning to find a huge puddle on the floor and a good portion of the aquarium's water level gone! The aquarium was leaking, so I decided to put everything in my 10-gal. I filled the bottom with sand, put as much live rock as I could without stacking it while still making caves, filled it with water, and got my fish to safety. Now, here's where my confusion comes in. My fish are much more active! At feeding time, they are extremely anxious to get food, and will even take it out of my hand if I do not let it go in time! The Gramma no longer spends his time hiding within the live rock. The crabs are much faster than before. Is this a bad thing? Should I take this to mean the fish are happier, or just frantically claustrophobic? <Something/s are different... maybe you've raised the temperature... perhaps just a good water change...> I know small aquariums are dangerous because it's harder to keep the water quality consistent. However, if I have the water tested by a LFS weekly, would it be impossible, and would the fish be unhappy? <No store, no agency is able to actually test for all...> Since I live in a small apartment, the small aquarium looks much better than the large one, the fish are more active, eat better... everything seems to be better, except the actual size of the aquarium. I have been maintaining this small 10-gal mini-reef like this for the past two months. I've been changing 25% of the water weekly, and the water I've been taking out of the aquarium, I've been getting tested the same day. If I am diligent about these parameters, is it possible I may keep the aquarium as is? Or is it still ridiculously small? <Mmm, you may have good success for a good long while... much of the probable negative interaction twixt and between the clowns and Gramma has been eliminated through their introduction in the larger tank> I only ask because my 30-gal is useless, I can't afford a new tank at the moment, and I'd have to give the LFS back all my fish and live rock... and something close to a $500 investment will have been wasted. Thanks for your time! Paul Ghica <Paul... did you actually ever find the leak in the thirty? Very often such "leaks" turn out to be gear failures, splash and spray from a powerhead, diffuser... I would definitely set this tank up (outside) with newspaper under it, and CAREFULLY fill it, check for the actual source (if any)... and even IF it did leak, I would simply reseal (silicone) the inside corners... easy to do. At the very least, sell all to someone who will test, repair it. Bob Fenner> Marine tank leaking 5+ gallons a day, brackish algae problem Hi all at Wetweb. <Craig> I am not going to beat around the bush I have a major problem. My marine tank started leaking 2 days ago. I am up to 5+ gallons a day. <Yikes... where from? That is, have you been able to identify the specific region of the actual leak?> So I set up my spare 55 gallon tank as a marine tank yesterday. I have the temp up to about 78 degrees right now, and salinity matches my other tank. My problem is I have to transfer all 3 of my fish, about 10 crabs, and a whole lot of live rock 50+ lbs, with tons of life on them including some stony coral that just sprouted on the rock over time (I have absolutely no idea what kind they are, two are green and one is cream really pretty). I have to transfer this stuff all today as the mess from the other tank is just too much to live with. In other words no cycle in the new tank. Am I going to have a massive die off, most assuredly the tank they are in now will give out and all will die for sure, if I do nothing. <Should work out fine... do vacuum, let settle the water itself in moving... decanter the solids (throw them away)... and carefully re-stack all... upside up!> What things do I need to do to help the emergency tank change. I am sure you guys have personally experienced tanks that start to leak to the point where they are unusable, any pointers to help me ease the major upheaval in my marine aquarium's life would be greatly appreciated. Also my sand at the bottom of the tank is very full of life I want to use this in addition to the new substrate but I am not sure what to do here. The old sand is more than likely full of phosphates and other icky nasty stuff. How do I clean this without killing everything in the sand or totally polluting my new tank? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, above)> By the time you answer this I will probably have made my decision on what to do, as I am doing this today. But how to take care of the substrate for future reference will be nice to know. As this 55 gallon is a bit smaller than the 80 gallon tank I am moving it from, so a new tank move will be in the future. Now to question number two. I have a 120 gallon BW tank with a snowflake eel about 20 inches long now, a dragon fish 16-17 inches long, a lot of sail fin mollies (they are proliferate baby makers too), a gourami (odd he is in there and thriving. Why is he doing so well? I thought he was a freshwater fish only... <Mmm, can tolerate considerable salt> ...he is a blue common gourami, and he has been in there 3 years now). Anyway my eel eats ghost shrimp and guppies. I have a guppy problem there are millions of them now, this is recent too, and they always seemed to stay about the same in population, way to many for my eel, and gourami to eat. Although they eat a lot of them. I would like to know what BW fish I can put in the tank to cull the guppy population. Salinity is 1.011. I was thinking 3 or 4 figure 8 puffers. <Better to simply net them out... the puffers will/would likely keep nipping...> Next one: I have an algae problem too in my 120 gallon tank, never been a problem before. I read on the internet that I could put a Plecostomus (sp) in a BW system. Seems to good to be true. So I was wondering what I could put in the tank that would eat the algae off the rocks and tank glass. <You might be able to acclimate (over a period of weeks) a Loricariid species to 1.005 spg or so> Ok I realize there must be a source of phosphate causing this so I upped my weekly water changes from 15 to 30 gallons and it is not helping. 30 gallons a week is a major job and I do not want to have to keep doing that. Also I changed how long my lights are on. Thanks in advance for your help. Craig <There are other means of algae control. See WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Re: Marine tank leaking 5+ gallons a day Hi again I did the change and I found the leak in the 80 gallon tank. I was in the right back corner of the tank under the substrate. It was actually cracked. On the bottom glass panel. <Yikes!> The tank is now being relegated to the garbage. <Mmm, might be able to be salvaged... as a paludarium... or patched and partly filled for... turtles, amphibious plants...? I would list it and sell it> The change went well all things considered, but now I have one more question regarding care of stony corals in a newly set up tank. What kind of husbandry am I going to need to do to keep them alive? <Same as you've been> I understand a new tank is hard on stony corals. The tank they came from was set up for about 3 years and really well established. I am using my metal halides with the 55 gallon and other than that I know nothing about corals, as I never intended on having any in the first place. Just a FOWLR tank, as a matter of fact I did nothing to promote them after they started growing. They just do their thing. I leave them alone and they do fine. Now I moved them... So as you can surmise I have none of the equipment to check for proper conditions for coral. All I have is a hydrometer, and a test strip kit for nitrates, nitrite, and ammonia. P.S. I also found a small yellow starfish about the size of a 50 cent piece must have been a hitchhiker and a green crab also about the size of a 50 cent piece, but it has huge claws, it scared me because the thing jumped out of a live rock piece onto my arm, I dropped the rock lol. I think I scared it more than it scared me. I also found several Bristle worms, one about 12 inches which I removed. I kept the small ones. They eat detritus as I understand it, not living stuff. But the strangest thing I found was a little crawdad thing, really bright red about 1 inch long. None of these things I found were consciously put in my tank, but I think it is wonderful how life can survive being taken from the ocean to the distributor, to the pet store to my house. Put into my little slice of the ocean and thrive, then surprise me years later by being seen for the first time. Makes me wonder what else is in the tank, that I still have never seen. Just simply amazing to me. Craig <What a planet eh? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm re: stinging-celled life care. Bob Fenner>

Can Not Find the Leak Hello, <hi there> I'm really hoping you can help me out. I recently added a 6th tank to my collection, it's a 90 gallon that will be a big community tank. I bought it used, and noticed when picking it up that the guy I bought it from had siliconed the bottom very heavily! I'm talking likes LOADS of silicone. His floor behind the tank had serious water damage. He claimed that his impeller in his Aquaclear 500 broke and it flooded his floor (Sounded like a large lie to me).... <Mmm, have never heard of such a leak source myself> After removing the tank from the stand, I noticed that the stand had water damage in the front left and rear right sides, but it looked like the water flowed from the front to the rear right leaving a distinct trail. I've fixed a 29G before, no big deal, just added a piece of glass to the inside... <Good technique> So far, me and my father have found ABSOLUTELY no leaks... Yet we both have a gut feeling it's a leaker. We cut away all the excess silicone, poured water into it and it still didn't leak. We took notice of the bottom frame looking slightly cracked. The bottom left corner (where we think the leak is, though can't prove it yet) frame is not flush with itself. The left side panel also is not flush against the glass, but unless this guy brought the tank to a professional repairer, I don't see how he could've done such a nice job on the sides (the bottom on the other hand was him.. ha)... The left side is off by maybe 1-2 millimeters, not much, but I noticed it by running my hand down it. The left backside was perfectly flush, it's just the front left. Sorry for rambling on, here's my questions.. If we can find no leak, should I just believe his "impeller dieing" story? <I'd believe what you observe> The side panel not being totally flush, will that cause any problems? <Likely not if it hasn't to date> Should we take the panel out and just redo the whole side? <I would not> And finally, is there any easier way to repair a leaking tank, other than totally removing the whole pane of glass you suspect is leaking? <Yes... first thing to do is (of course) to figure out IF there is indeed a leak (often equipment, splashing from air stones... is a cause), second, to cut out and replace "corner" silicone, third to affix a panel over a "bad" area and third also... to cut out and replace a panel...> The 90 uses 1/2" glass and that stuff is massive and seems like it's going to be hard to do much with properly, <Yes, difficult to remove panels in larger size tanks> plus, we're still trying to figure out how to make a brace since this tank was made without one and we have glass panel tops! <I'd consider running two strips (of 3 or 4 inches width) along the inside front and back... or one larger (at least a foot in width) piece in-between the front and back panels at top inside...> Oh well, this is going to be a big project! :-) Thanks for your time guys! ~Joe <Is the tank in a place that will cause trouble if it does leak? I would place it there full for a week or so to "test the waters". Bob Fenner>

Re: Can Not Find the Leak Hello Bob, <Hey Joe> The tank will be going in my room. We have a single story ranch with a basement. The floor is wood, but it now has full carpeting. We're actually going to just put water in it for 1 week and see how it handles since our last attempt at finding a leak(1 hour ago) led to nothing. <I'd put it in the basement... or in the driveway> I spoke to the guy I bought the tank from, he was really serious in saying it was an impeller problem, and that he had no leaks. Said he siliconed the bottom 2 years ago because a local fish store suggested when a tank hits 5 years old, it be re-siliconed... He did a really poor job so we will redo it in a more reasonable manner, not just globbing it on... <Agreed> And here is a question from my father. If we do find a leak and the pane of glass does have to be removed, what do you feel is the best way to support the pane once it is put to set back up? He was thinking about making a large frame out of 2x4's for the interior and exterior to keep the pane in place. <Actually, a few pieces of tape will do... the piece is pretty well stuck in fitting tight with the silicone. Some folks use wood clamps, and if you're going to do a whole bunch of such repairs, jigs can be fashioned, but good masking or strapping tape is fine here.> Also, how long should we allow the silicone to set? The large tube we have suggest 24 hours, but I have heard up to 72 hours. Which do you suggest? <I would go with your three days to allow complete curing. Bob Fenner> ~Joe

Re: Can Not Find the Leak Just thought I'd share with you something related to this persons query. I have had impeller problems with an older Aquaclear 500... the impeller seized and must have damaged the seal around the motor (or something like that)... when I woke up in the morning about 10% or more of my 230 gallon fresh-water tank had siphoned into the filter, then out of the filter, then onto my floor. I was worried that it was a leak also (having just bought this tank used) but it really was an impeller problem. Hope this is useful, Jeremy <It has for me. Thank you. Will post. Bob Fenner>

Slow Leak-What Next? Plans for bigger better Kind Sirs, <Hello! Ryan this morning> I arrived home from vacation yesterday to find my 30 gal aquarium had a slow leak. <I'm sorry to hear that> It seems the bottom seal is starting to give way. <Is it an old tank?> I caught it in time, carpet slightly wet, particle board stand pretty much sucked up most of the water and only about a 1/2" of water missing from the tank. <Guardian angel must have been fish-sitting!> Currently I have a 18 gal Rubbermaid tub filled with tank water and 20 lbs of live rock (aerating), a 5 gal bucket with 2 clowns, feather duster, yellow damsel, and a cleaner shrimp (aerating). I will be moving them to the Rubbermaid later today (wanted to make sure that didn't leak) and a 5 gal bucket with tank water (brown - the 30 gal was a UG setup) and the crushed coral. My current situation has put me into the express lane to purchase the 75 gal I was researching to set up. <Understandably> It looks as though I'll be going with the 75 gal AGA reef set up with only the one corner overflow. I wanted to look into having a tank drilled, but with my lack of plumbing experience I figured I'd better go with something pre-made. <It's not nearly as imposing once you roll up your sleeves. I would recommend you look into more- this may be the last tank you buy for some time. Check out http://www.ozreef.org/ for some great ideas. Corner overflows can be loud- this may or may not matter to you.> Future plans will consist of adding a above tank refugium to the sump. <Great! Ideal> Many questions on how fast can I upgrade to the 75. Can I get away with adding all the water from the 30 (including the brown) to the 75 and then adding freshly made salt water. (I would like to avoid keeping them in the Rubbermaid while the tank cycles). The new tank will have a 1" sand bed and I will put some of the crushed coral in mesh to provide some bacteria to the sand. Or would I be better off to have a half filled 75 gal and slowly add 10 gal a week over i period of time, using power heads to circulate the tank. Or some possible alterative that you might have. <This really depends on if you're adding more live rock or not. If you're buying a huge new quantity of live rock, just use the new synthetic saltwater and the rock will cycle it for you. If you're going to do it slowly, adding pieces of rock gradually, go ahead and dump in the old stuff. Any way you do it, this is going to recycle.> As for the 30 gal. It seems the this will become my curing tank for the new rock I will need to purchase. <Possible QT later as well> As for resealing. Can i get away with just adding sealant over the existing or should I look to remove some of the old and put the new sealant over? <If this is never going to be a permanent aquarium again, just patch it. If you plan on using it, do it right.> Also, I'm sort of reluctant to turn the heater on attached to the Rubbermaid, should I be concerned with melting (?) or would this be ok? <Should be fine, just watch the temperature very carefully for the first day or so.> Any thoughts or links to your sight would be much appreciated. Received the new book, only glanced at it quickly, looks great. I was hoping to make it a slow read, now it seems like it's going to be a crash course. <Dave, this will be fine. Just keep a close eye on your livestock, and enjoy this experience! If you're not comfortable with the whole Rubbermaid deal, go get yourself a couple 10 gallon cheap-o tanks. Take your time! It's easy to rush it with a new tank, especially if you already have fish in limbo. There are many similar stories on the FAQs- they should be very helpful. Good luck! Ryan> Thanks again, DaveK

- Leaky Hex - Hi there! Well, at 3am this morning I woke to water on the floor. I have a 65 gallon Hexagon tank. I could see one of the corners bulging out and water was steady dripping out of it. <Oops... that's no good.> I drained about 2/3 out (not leaking now) and still have my fish in there. Fresh water. I have another tank to temporarily hold them, but my question is how to fix the problem? The tank has been set up for over a year now without a problem and now it leaks. Is this normal? <No, that's not normal but does happen.> It seems it is only at one joint. Should I remove the one seal and replace the silicone, and if so, how do you keep the joint together when resealing a hexagon tank? <With the plastic top and bottom, these act as forms when the tank was built.> Is it the same concept as a regular rectangle tank? <Basically, but slightly more of a pain in the butt to assemble because the joints are not 90 degrees.> And if I do one joint, should I do them all? <I would, just because you don't want to go through all this trouble only to have it spring a new leak down the line.> Thank you for your time! Christy <Cheers, J -- >

The leak that fixed itself . . . Huh? Hello WWM Crew, I recently picked up a Via Aqua 150 (105 gal.) aquarium from a friend. It had started leaking at the base and was ruining his new carpet. He gave it to me to get rid of it. I witnessed heavy leakage from the base of the aquarium when I arrived, but it was too wet to tell where it was coming from. After we drained it and lifted it up, there was a bunch of water all over the bottom of the aquarium that had collected between the tank and stand. I took it home. Removed all the sand and let it dry. The next day, I set it on 4X4's and filled it with freshwater up to 2 inches from the top. I didn't notice any leakage so I let it sit overnight. This morning, there were no signs of leakage. I can't figure it out. The only factors I am considering are that he had salt water in it-which I assume is heavier--and he had a ton of live rock and corral in it--I filled two 25 gallon tubs with rock alone. However, I would think that if the weight of the rock failed the seal that it would still leak once the rock is out, plus I am afraid to put the rock back in because they are in salt water now and I don't want to kill anything by putting them in fresh water. The tank doesn't re-seal itself right? Do you have any idea why I can duplicate the leak and more importantly, what I should do to ensure that the tank doesn't leak again once I get it inside the house? << Yes, don't fill it with water. Okay so I know that isn't what you were hoping to hear. To me, a tank that has once leaked makes a great reptile cage. I don't like the idea of fixing them and trusting that to be the most expensive thing in my house. But to answer your question more directly, I would set the tank up again, put paper towels underneath the tank (they work great for finding leaks) and leave it there for several days. >>Thanks for any advise you can give me. << I hope that works. >> Jeremy << Adam Blundell >>

Perimeter Bracing Hi guys and gals at WWM. Love the site, and you're always the first people I turn to for answers, yet I can't seem to find the answer to this one... I've just bought my 6th tank in the house, though I am in need of it for a semi-emergency. (my 55 gal is leaking about 15 gal a day from a seal on the bottom). It's a 110 gal 72x18x20 with 1/2 inch glass. I got it from a random flea market type place for 75 bucks. couldn't pass it up. anyway, I've already stripped the sealant on the inside, and resealed it, and I've inspected the sealant at the joints holding the panes together, and it all looks good. My question though is this: I was told by one of my LFS that it should have some bracing. The plastic perimeter trim was only on 3 sides, and was broke in the corners...obviously this isn't supporting. Does a tank with these dimensions need bracing as in a cross brace from front to back or perimeter bracing to hold it together (if it even provides any support) or is the glass of sufficient strength to not bow? A few of the previous q.'s on your site concerning trim point to it's non-effectiveness on smaller tanks, yet no one has asked with larger tanks. Thanks a bunch! I tell everyone about the site, and will continue. :D < A 6 foot long tank needs some cross bracing in the center to prevent the glass from bowing at the center front and center back of the long pieces of glass. The easiest way to do this is to cut a piece of glass that is about 8 to 12 inches wide and will fit in the center of the tank from front to back in the upper edge of the center of the tank. It sound be siliconed in place and allowed to cure for a couple of days. A piece at each edge of about 6 inches wouldn't hurt. The perimeter decorative molding would be needed at the bottom to provide the same support along the bottom between the tank and the stand.-Chuck> Jeremy Tanner

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>

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.>

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