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Old 04-26-2013, 01:24 PM   #1
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Help! Aquarium reseal emergency?! :O

Hi there!

I'm really scared and have noooo idea what I should do at this moment.

About 5 days ago I got a free 30 gallon tank from my friend. She's had it for about 10 years, but it's been empty for about 6 of those years. The silicone was old and crumbly, and when we water tested it outside, there was a leak on one side edge of the tank so I knew I would need to reseal it. Well, I got it home, dried it out, cleaned it out, etc. Then, I went to Lowe's and bought some Loctite aquarium safe Silicone sealant http://www.loctiteproducts.com/img/p...t_silicone.png This is a pic of the stuff I used.

Ok, soooooo I came home, got all the old silicone out with my razorblade and such, and I went ahead and resealed ALL of the edges sides and bottom. THe frame around the edge they originally said in the tutorials to take off, so I had run a knife up under the edges of the frame and tried to pull it off, but I couldn't get the top of the frame up, so I gave up and left it. Ok, sooooo I resealed everything and ran my finger in the groove to smooth out the silicone etc, and then I left it alone to let it dry for 24 hours. After 24 hours, I moved the still curing tank from the floor where I had sealed it to the wooden stand. *deep breath*

THEN I left it for another 2 days (a total of 3 days it was left alone to dry even though the time said it only needed 48 hours to be safe, 24 at the least), So I waited 72. Ok, so after the 3 day, I felt the stuff, and it felt like new rubber should but it wasn't sticky and it had stopped smelling. SO, I took it outside, and put it on my concrete back porch. It was at a slant a bit, but I couldn't level it out anywhere else. I filled the whole 30 gallon tank FULL of regular cold water from the hose outside and left it for about 5-6 hours while I slept. I woke up, and the tank was fine, no cracks, leaks, etc. I then proceeded to empty it out and I moved it back inside to the wooden tank stand. Ok, soooo TODAY after I got off work, I was going to fill the tank up with water now that it is in the house and on the stand. Then, I was going to let it sit for about 12 hours before putting the gravel, decorations, etc in it.

Ok, so I start filling it up with water (The water was hot, not sure if that matters) and everything is fine until I get the tank about halfway full. At that point, I am hearing a very slight crackling (Like the crackling you would hear when ice starts spider webbing from warm water) I freaked out and stopped pouring the water, and when I did, the crackling immediately stopped. I waited and looked around the tank, but there isn't any cracked glass, and there isn't any water leaking. I can't see anything wrong with the glass or tank, so I start pouring water again, slowly to see what happens. I start to hear it again after a second or two and so I stop. I leaned on the tank to put some pressure on it and see if it was the tank, but I didn't hear anything, and I put my hands on the inside of the tank and pushed on the sides with my hands to try and put a little pressure on them and again test and see if there would be crackling, but no noise. I even rocked the tank back and forth a little bit on each side, but no crackling noise. Only when I pour water into the tank do I hear any noise. Does ANYONE have any ideas on what could be going on? I've thought of some possibilities maybe. Please let me know what you think. I don't want to keep going if it is going to bust, and I would MUCH rather do a BUNCH of tests to check and make sure the reseal I did is good enough because I can always reseal again with the GE sealant everyone recommends that I found out about AFTER the fact. Ok, soooo my thoughts are:

Could it be:

1) The wooden stand creaking? Let me know if I can test the stand somehow. I did already sit on it and put my full weight on it without any noises or movement happening (I weight 175lbs)

2) The aquarium sealant coming loose from the glass? How can I test THAT? I don't want to fill it with water, have it last a week and then...KERSPLOOOSH!!! NOOOOOoooooo...

3) The glass itself? I felt the glass panes that had some smudges/lines on them to see if they were cracks, but I don't feel anything but smoothness.

4) The fact that I was pouring hot water into an aquarium with cooler glass?

These are all the things I've thought of and I'm out of ideas. Please help meeeee!!!! Waaaaaaah!!!! Any ideas you have PLEASE tell me a way to test out your theory!!!!!

~Very sad fishy owner~
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Hummm... I'm thinking that it might be air bubbles in the silicone at are releasing. I would empty the tank and let it dry again ( bone dry) then take a hair dryer and go over all of the silicone on high heat sometimes that can help to cure it better

And as you go over it and make the silicone rubbery push on the glass again and in the corners from all directions.

After that I would take it back outside or put it in a tub or something and fill it back up and stick a heater in it on full blast and if it holds after a few hours of 90 degree water then you should be good

Hope this helps
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:35 PM   #3
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oh god my worst nightmare, since i have even made a tank 240 liters and i am going to test it in a few days filling it with water.
i think you can fill the tank step by step in increments of twenty percent or so and after every filling wait for couple of hours before you fill the next increment.
check if the stand is strong enough. the stand has to take the weight of the water and stand. stand must be quite strong
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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if the water was hot enought to put your hand in, it should not create problem. put your tank in the bath tub and fill up with hot water the exaxt same way you were doing it before . make there is no noise so you can hear the cracking if it does come back. if you are putting the hot water you do need to put a heater. just do a 24hrs water test and if you hear the crack sound again dont worry. because the glass will expand a bit to adjust with the water since it was empty for a long period of time. and stand wont break for sure if u set on it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:23 PM   #5
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I would be careful putting a tank in a bath tub. Mist bottoms are not flat enough for a tank to sit flush against. This could abut lot of pressure on the corners of the tank causing to much stress causing failure.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:40 PM   #6
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or just do a water tank in the backyard or garage. on a flat surface. and you will be fine. all you have to check is for leak cracking sound is just a glass getting adjusted with the water pressure. whats the measurment of your tank. for your wood stand as long as you do not see any cracks on the stand u r good
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:42 PM   #7
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I wouldn't just say that the stand is safe. 30 gallons of water weighs 240 lbs. not including tank weight, decorations, gravel...
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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Why fill with hot water? It is quite possible that is the source of the sound. Regardless, you had a minor leak before the reseal, so why would you expect the tank to blow apart after the reseal? I can't comment on your stand, not having seen it.
This might be a good time to offer a warning about filling a tank outside. If you are going to leak check a tank outside, make sure you have a reasonably level, FLAT surface to place it on. There have been more than a few tanks ruined by leak checks on decks and lawns, and garage floors. There is no difference in the need for a solid, level, flat surface when doing a leak check or a permanent set up.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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Thank you guys so much for your replies and info.

UPDATE: I emptied the tank and took a VERY VEEEERY SLOOOOOOW looksie around the perimeter of the glass and the edges of the tank and I think I've discovered what might be a contributor to the noises....sigh. I was pushing on the edges of the tank to see if there was any noise or anything (not pushing very hard, but just enough to see if there was any give). Well, I discovered that there is one edge, the edge that was originally leaking that when I stop pushing on it, the glass edge separates from the edge. the space is about 2" long before the glass reconnects to the other edge. Sigh, I'm assuming that this means that I have to RE-unseal the silicone and actually take apart the entire tank to reseal the edges with an actual silicone adhesive? Any thoughts or links to info on this?
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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How wide is the two inch long gap? Just a hairline where there is no silicone between the edge of end glass and back side of front or back? Or is the edge of end piece not perfectly straight? Actually any silicone *between* edge and face adds little strength or sealing, its the "flange" of silicone on each inner face that holds it together. .It's possible that area just wasn't clean enough.and silicone didn't adhere.

You may not have to completely disassemble tank or even remove all silicone in that corner.Cut and scrape out silicone at that gap, about an inch longer each end. With razor blade scrape it off face of glass, dig out any bits between glass with razor or X-acto knife. Lay in another bead of silicone, smooth it into a rounded inside corner, smoothing it out onto glass a width at least same as thickness of glass and up and down over caulk already there. Let it cure at least a day. Do another leak test. Traditional advice has been to fill tank in 4 or 5 equal steps ( on that level surface every one's been talkin about) Wait a half day between steps, so its a two day process then at least a day full.
Kinda laborious cleaning old silicone and lots of time to wait. But not as laborious as completly rebuilding.

I have had some success, and probably luck, in similar side corner leaks by applying silicone over the old just at area of leak, spreading it a bit wider on each glass and a bit longer at top and bottom.
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