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Old 06-29-2006, 11:19 PM   #1
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Huge tank is leaking

I have a 150 gallon tank that I bought used, the previous owner neglected to tell me that its *beep* leaking.

Please tell me what to do to fix it. The casing around the bottom and around the top is cracked. That has to be part of the problem, or the full problem. Can I get a new casing, or build one or something. I'm really pissed off, tired, upset, disapointed....angry....sad....depressed...let down..

You get the idea.

Please help me.

I'll post some pics here in a second.

I'm starting this thread in two places because I want some answers.
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:29 PM   #2
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Dude I feel your pain there....that would have hot as all heck too.

I guess the repair (if possible) will depend where and how bad.
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:33 PM   #3
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Can you show us pics of where the leak is? If it's the silicone seal it's reasonably easy to fix. You get a razor blade and scrape off the old silicon, then apply new silicon, then let it dry. If it's a crack that you can't find the source to, that's a pain. I've been there and done that and it sucked.
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:35 PM   #4
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The cracks shouldn't really matter I don't think...It's the glass that holds the tank together...not the plastic that surrounds it. But the water was leaking out the crack down there at the bottom in the middle of the tank. The center brace underneith the tank has started to crack a little also. I think I will put a full top on the stand, take all the old silicon off, reseal it, then go from there....I just don't know now though...****

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Old 06-29-2006, 11:49 PM   #5
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You are looking at some work, lol. First don't mess around and rig something up. You are dealing with a lot of water. You will need to drain and clean the entire tank. Then cut the silicone seams and completely disassemble the tank. Then clean all silicone off the glass and reseal. I would replace the tank frames. Most likely have to LFS see if they can get you new tank frames "casings". You can make your own also. Might be a good time to buff any small scratches out with cerium oxide before reassembly. Just do a search for building tanks/repair, etc...

This should get you started (forget the rim less idea).

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...ada-style.html
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:12 AM   #6
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:24 AM   #7
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I don't think I'm going to take it all apart...I'm sure I'll mess it up even more like that.

What I'm planning on doing is creating an exctrememly ridged bottom (or top of the cabinet) to support the weight of the tank, rather than letting the bottom bow down under so much preasure.

So the combination of a full supporting bottom, which will be shimmed up into place under the glass (to get added support), and caulking the crap out of the bottom edges and corners.

I think that should get it. I'm going to let the tank dry for a couple days before I put water in it again. I wish I had a water hose....I have to fill/empty the tank with 6 gallon buckets and a syphon.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:27 AM   #8
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O.k. that really sucks. I saw your other post and thought nice set-up too.

I would just offer this as food for thought: Time is money. You don't know what is causing the leak. If you completely strip the silicone and re-seal that is days of work considering the drying time, etc. And, you still might not fix the problem. If I were you, I would buy a new aquarium with the same footprint. Most of the money goes into the stand and canopy anyway (which by the way looks very nice).

I would sell the tank itself on craigslist or something - perhaps you can get $50 for it?
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:30 AM   #9
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I bought the tank and stand, painted it, and built the hood for under 380 bucks.

A new tank alone cost 600+tax.

I'm going to fix the problem. Or at least try a couple more times. heh
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:38 AM   #10
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O.k., I admire your tenacity.

Just remember, the leak could be coming from *anywhere* and it may just be coming down the middle crack because that is the path of least resistance. Water is pretty lazy that way.

One other suggestion: The python is generally loved on this forum and you can get one at Petsmart (go online first) and that will help you drain and fill the aquarium (the 6 gal. buckets sound painful). Since I only have 18 gallons to work with, I haven't taken the plunge yet.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:39 AM   #11
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I had considered DIY tank a few monthes back.Was quite sure I was going to do it too....until it got more expensive then a puchased one.

One thing I do remember about looking into the whole thing (a few weeks worth of looking before I got glass prices lol) was that the sides must support the tank.All four of em.

The tank bottom needs to be support free because its supposed to bow under the weight...however slightly.

Thats just some info pasted on from a guy who never built a tank so wait for more replies or look it up before deciding I'm right (but I kind of know I am)
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speakerman
The cracks shouldn't really matter I don't think...It's the glass that holds the tank together...not the plastic that surrounds it.
The plastic reduces bowing, which can weaken the seams in the middle, or even allow the glass to crack. Cracked bracing needs to be repaired or replaced. You could replace it with glass eurobracing if patching the frame seems too daunting.
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:47 PM   #13
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If the glass itself isn't cracked or compromised in any way then yes you can definitely fix the tank. It's sounds like you are on the right road with what you are doing. I wish you the very best - I would be so frustrated if it were me. Thankfully I have a hubby that can fix anything.
Just a parting comment for anyone reading --- always, always fill a used aquarium with water to make sure there are no leaks before buying it. Two of the three used tanks I have bought had fish and water in them when purchased so I knew they were good. The third had been sitting in a friends shed for years. We filled it with water and let it sit for about a half an hour to make sure it was good.
It is possible for a tank that held water at one house to actually develop a leak in the moving process too. Thus - always move a tank with nothing in it - even substrate if possible to keep as much extra weight off it as possible.
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speakerman
I don't think I'm going to take it all apart...I'm sure I'll mess it up even more like that.

What I'm planning on doing is creating an exctrememly ridged bottom (or top of the cabinet) to support the weight of the tank, rather than letting the bottom bow down under so much preasure.

So the combination of a full supporting bottom, which will be shimmed up into place under the glass (to get added support), and caulking the crap out of the bottom edges and corners.

I think that should get it. I'm going to let the tank dry for a couple days before I put water in it again. I wish I had a water hose....I have to fill/empty the tank with 6 gallon buckets and a syphon.
*Screech Screech Thump* - Please excuse me while I bust out the soapbox here for a minute....

I'm sure I sound like I'm beating a dead horse, but every time I see someone say they don't want to break down an aquarium, I put my own personal experience into it. Please see this picture:



We got a 75 gallon surprise at 4:30 in the morning because I cheaped out and didn't repair something that I thought "might" be an issue. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember two very apt sayings:

1: "If you can't find time to do it right the first time, you'll find time the second, third, forth, or fifth time..."

2: "Remember your seven P's: *edited word for pee* Poor Planning Produces *edited word for pee* Poor Products".

Let me tell you EXACTLY WHY you should take the silicone off and reseal it. I didn't because I didn't want to replace a teeny tiny (size of a 1/4 thumb nail in all dimensions) chip inside the glass. I was conerned about breaking the glass, etc. But, mainly, I was concerned about the time it would take and draining my tank, etc.

"Original-don't-want-to-do-it" scenario:

Draining, scraping and resealing an aquarium: 6-7 hours if you're not good at it. 3 if you're handy with tools and a rag. Especially a "standard" fishtank with no overflows, bowfronts, etc. Total cost: 4 bucks at home depot for silicone 2, maybe $20 if I had to replace a pane of glass.

"How-it-worked-in-real-life" scenario:

Exploding tank clean up:
1 hour (4:35 - 5:35AM) wet-dry vacing remnant water *out* of tank before it leaked through cracks onto the floor.

30 minutes assembling "trash-can" makeshift tank for my Danios.

4 Hours wet/dry vaccuuming *TANK WATER* out of carpet.

1 hour pulling carpet up and assembling fans.

30 minutes calming down 2 1/2 year old because "Googly's house broke".

30 minutes calming down 2 1/2 year old because he tripped over brace in carpet and skinned his knees.

1 hour reassembling carpet and stretching it.

1 hour steamcleaning carpet 5 days later.

1 more hour steamsleaning carpet 7 days after-the-fact.

2 hours driving, picking up, and unpacking new tank.

I won't include tank setup time, since you'll have to do that either way. But, instead of getting away with spending 4-20 bucks. My plan was to buy a friend's 72 gallon bowfront and have a cichlid community and my show tank for danios and livebearers. BUT, what I got was the pleasure of paying $450 for a new tank,stand,and light to replace what I had and spending 6 EXTRA hours that I didn't need to...

Moral of the story is that when dealing with water, I wouldn't mess around with major items like tank structure too much, because if you do, you'll end up doing it the hard way like I did

BTW, your hood and stand look awesome! I'm considering painting mine now!
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:41 PM   #15
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If you are going to reseal the tank, do the whole darn thing. It took two tries to completely seal my hexagon. The first time I just sealed the sides leaving the top and bottom alone, big mistake.

Also the "medium" sized tube of silicon I used was still had 1/4 of it left even after two sealings. Stuff goes a long way and we put it on THICK.
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:32 PM   #16
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I'm definately going to replace the silicone, but what I'm getting at. I'm not going to replace any glass. None of it is cracked.

A small thing of silicone will not do the job in this tank. Before I put any water in it at all, I had sealed the bottom, what I thought was good, with a whole tube of Silicone II.

I'm going to peal all the old silicone off, and do it all over again. Should take around 1.5 full tubs. I'm going to put a 1" bead on the bottome and probobly a 1/2" bead on the sides. 1" bead on top.

Plus I'm probobly going to get somebody I know to build me some braces out of angle iron.
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:44 PM   #17
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Angle iron braces could have a cool retro look, like the old metal frame and slate bottom tanks.
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speakerman
I'm definately going to replace the silicone, but what I'm getting at. I'm not going to replace any glass. None of it is cracked.

A small thing of silicone will not do the job in this tank. Before I put any water in it at all, I had sealed the bottom, what I thought was good, with a whole tube of Silicone II.

I'm going to peal all the old silicone off, and do it all over again. Should take around 1.5 full tubs. I'm going to put a 1" bead on the bottome and probobly a 1/2" bead on the sides. 1" bead on top.

Plus I'm probobly going to get somebody I know to build me some braces out of angle iron.
Sweet! Angle Iron will look awesome!
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:58 PM   #19
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Silicone rules. Once we cracked the bottom of a 20 gallon QT we used for feeder fish. It cracked from side to side. We busted out a tube a silicone and covered the whole bottom of the tank with it and let it try. Dry as a bone. You gotta love it.

Sorry to hear about your tank. My heart goes out to you, I dream about a 150 every day.
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caincando1
I dream about a 150 every day.
hahahahhaha. yeah man its awesome...but you really don't want 150 gallons of water covering your entired house.

I'm going to take my time fixing this problem.
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