Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > DIY Projects

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 10-30-2010, 02:03 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4
Help! 4000 gallon tank leak.

Hi! I'm Tony, currently stationed here in Saudi Arabia, and I'm fairly new to the forum but I'm posting here in behalf of a friend who's being frustrated by a DIY tank of his that's been causing trouble. It's because of that problem that I found this site, and we're both hoping someone could help.

My friend's built a 9.1 x 2.0 x 0.8 meter glass aquarium. That comes around to 4000 gallons if we figure correctly. The glass is 31mm triple-layer laminate panels, with each panel at 2.0 x 2.0 meters. (For the long sides, that is.) The joints are supported internally by 10cm-wide laminated glass strips and silicone seals, externally by a frame constructed of 10cm-wide, 10mm-thick U-beams.

After the aquarium had been assembled, the silicone was left to cure for 30 days. Then we filled it up and left it full for 15 days to see if any leaks would show up. No leaks were found, so we assumed it was fit for use. We emptied it for cleaning, then refilled. After two days, traces of a leak had shown somewhere around the midpoint.

So we emptied it again, stripped the secondary seals inside, and laid down a new layer of silicone. Then we set this new seal to cure for 15 days as well. When it was all good and dry, we filled the tank up again, but in a few days, the leak had returned and in roughly the same area.

There wasn't any bulging detected on the glass, so we've no idea what else to follow up on. We've tried to find consultants here, unfortunately, no one has experience making tanks this big.

Just to give you a feel for the size of the thing:

And to illustrate the measures that I've mentioned before:


My friend has stated some concerns regarding the silicone seals that were used (both primary and secondary). He's asking how big a bead of silicone you need to use for something this big, and if too much silicone could in some way cause the leak. This is 'cause he's seen aquariums roughly the same size in other countries that didn't use a lot of sealant.

I hope you guys could help, or at least point us in someone who can, as this project has been giving us a lot of headaches for too long a period already. Thanks in advance!

raiyan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2010, 03:37 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: LaVista,NE
Posts: 586
Send a message via AIM to maxst2 Send a message via MSN to maxst2 Send a message via Yahoo to maxst2 Send a message via Skype™ to maxst2
Holy cow!

maxst2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2010, 03:42 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
Fastfossil's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: United kingdom
Posts: 285
Sorry I have not had that problem with mine so far. Hee hee
Hope you get the assistance you need
I intend to live forever. So far, so good.k:
55 Gallon build from scratch
Fastfossil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
HN1's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ga
Posts: 8,169
First of all... I agree. WOW!

Metal frame bent or warped? I can't think of any other possibilities. If you built that, you obviously know more than I do. lol

Sorry, good luck, and keep us updated! Welcome to AA!
Question everything you see on the internet. ~ George Orwell
HN1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice FINatic
the_fish_man's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 988
Is the leak getting bigger?
The_Fish_Man otherwise known as Scooby
"Each tank is a different world....... Bored of yours go into your fishes":p
the_fish_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2010, 07:12 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
libbyb's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: From Baltimore, now in New Jersey
Posts: 649
Holy cow! I want one!
I'll be watching...
Fish are people, too!
My tank is clean but my house is dirty.
To the world you may be one person. But to one person you may be the world.
libbyb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2010, 07:20 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
WhiteDevil's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 60118
Posts: 2,438
Original poster, nice tank, cant help less maybe try a different sealant, possibly tar sealant.... good luck with it, its an awesome tank.

stationed? as in active duty? if so, Thank you.
That's not a planted tank. That's a jungle with glass around it- MFDROOKIE Circa 2011
WhiteDevil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2010, 10:16 AM   #8
AA Team Emeritus
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Whitby, Ont,Canada
Posts: 2,753
The too much silicone question is of interest. There is obviously a void somewhere in the area of the leak. When applying silicone from a caulking tube there is a maximum size of bead you can apply. If you do multiple beads or pile it up you risk gaps which could lead to the leak. The inner fillet bead is just insurance to protect from leaks caused by voids. It does not need to be large to work.
Join a fish club. Don't have one in your area? Start one.
BillD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2010, 10:33 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
BigJim's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oak Forest, IL
Posts: 4,388
If the leak is occurring in the same area again, I'd inspect the frame and the glass for imperfections. It could be something as simple as a little oil on the frame preventing the silicone from adhering.

What are the plans for this tank? I think I speak for everyone here when I ask that you please start a build thread. I'd love to see your take on filtering, heating, and, if it's in Saudi Arabia, possibly cooling a tank of this volume.
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
Floyd R Turbo's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,682
Have you had someone dive into the tank (SCUBA, so they could stay down for a long time) and try squirting some dye near the seals to see if they could detect the exact leak point? That's the first thing I would try. I'd do it myself for free A) if I was in your city and B) just to say I did it

Way cool setup. Bummer about the leak.

My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
Floyd R Turbo is offline   Reply With Quote

leak, tan, tank leak

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Will the 180 gallon tank I built leak/break once I fill it? sgossett9 DIY Projects 18 12-16-2010 11:42 AM
Repairing a leak in a 30 gallon aquarium DinoManDraves General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 0 09-01-2010 09:23 PM
My 29 gallon Oceanic BioCube has a leak. Prinzessin Saltwater Reef Aquaria 19 03-29-2010 02:34 PM
Ok i just setup my tank...now i have 4000 questions lol kylebacc Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 62 01-28-2006 09:37 AM
Mr. 4000 kribbz Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 6 10-24-2003 08:54 AM

» Photo Contest Winners

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.