Heya all - new member here. I've been Googling this topic all day and I keep ending up here in the search results, so I figured I'd best join.
I used to be fairly heavy into aquaria but a career change about a decade ago forced me out. Times have changed and now my daughter is madly taken with aquaria, which is great.
She's moved up through her tanks over the last few years (with great success under my guidance) and currently has a healthy 20 gallon setup. But of course, she wants more.
Today, courtesy of a co-worker, I got a free 50 gallon setup with probably $100 worth of decorations, substrate, plant-gro top, etc etc. I'm pretty happy overall, and my daughter was over the top when I brought it home.
However, upon teardown for clean up we discovered that the bottom of the tank was broken. Since it had spent the last 2 years neglected and being pushed around from one spot to another, I guess this shouldn't be surprising.
I tore it down this evening and it currently sits upside down on my bench.
I've precisely measured the dimensions of the bottom panel and intend to call around for some replacement price quotes tomorrow. I'm not scared whatsoever of the replacement procedure based on everything I've gathered here and elsewhere..but I have a question.
I know that silicone will not stick to silicone...so how do I seal the bottom edges inside the tank? The silicone in the corners, of course, comes down the inside edges and meets at the bottom. Once I replace the bottom, at some point the new silicone (holding the new bottom glass in place) and the OLD silicone (holding the side panels together) will have to meet.
At this junction, what do I do? Use a heavy amount and careful blend the two, the new over top of the old? Should I somehow dovetail the two?
Basically, how do I accomplish a watertight seal here?
Also, I noticed that the plastic trim piece that was on the bottom of the tank was cracked at one edge where it sits flush with the short edge of the tank, on the side. Best as I can tell although the trim is designed to meet (and support) the BOTTOM pane of glass, it serves no purpose structurally for the side panes - is this a good assessment? Accordingly, cosmetics aside, it should be fine to rebuild the tank using these same trim pieces without fear of structural problems?
Any guidance appreciated here!