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Old 01-08-2005, 10:08 AM   #1
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Aquarium and water damages

Hi,

I'm new! Hello everyone.

I don't have an aquarium set up yet, but I'm considering it.

I have a question:

I'm a bit worried of getting home one day and seeing my fish flip-flopping in an empty tank while the water is making damages to the floors.

How often have you heard of people having water damages caused by their aquarium? I've also read that aquariums that have been used for fish and then let dry for a while are quite risky. Are used glass tanks safe with regard to leaking?

Your opinions, stories, comments and ideas are welcome

Thanks in advance
Veronique
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Old 01-08-2005, 10:31 AM   #2
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A true tank emptying flood like you describe is 1 in a million kind of odds. The higher odds would be getting a gal or two of water on the floor and thats still 1 in a thousand or so. You can take some simple precautions and end up with a very dry and safe setup.

Some of those precautions include putting a thick plastic sheet down under the tank. Cut it to fit the foot print of the tank so its not unsightly. Second you can put canister filters in a deep plastic tub so as to catch any leaks that might crop up. This way you can hopefully catch the problem before water gets all over. Third you can use a python to do water changes. Pythons will all but eleminate the use of buckets and buckets can be a major source of spills with aquariums. Fourth check the sylicon seals of the tank on occasion. When using an algae scrapper be careful around these seals so as to not cut into one.

In reguards to used tanks that have sat dry. The issue is the sylicon seals. If a tank sits dry the silicon can dry and crack causing the potental for leaks. If you use an older tank thats been dry for a while its best to leak test it. If its a small tank and you have a spair bath tub put the tank in the tub and fill it with water. Close the tub drain so any water that might leak is caught. Let the tank sit for 48 hours and check on it twice a day for leaks. if its not leaked after 2 days then its probably going to hold water. If you dont have a spair bath tub but you have a garage then you can do your leak test there.
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Old 01-08-2005, 10:33 AM   #3
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It does happen Veronique. Many years ago I had to replace an oak floor because a 55 gallon emptied.in my apartment. The poor people living beneath me... 8O

I'm very cautious about buying used tanks as the silicon seal can dry out and become brittle. Likewise, I'll never own another hex tank. IMO they are much more prone to leaking because of the number of seals and added pressure on each joint.

The good news is that if you make sure that the tank is level and that it holds water, you shouldn't have a problem. The number one reason for tank leaks is being set up not level.
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Old 01-08-2005, 01:55 PM   #4
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[center:4ca69f5df9] Welcome to AA, vero! [/center:4ca69f5df9]
Most often, when there's water on the floor, it's my fault. Not sealing the canister properly or dropping the hose I am filling the tank up with. Every aquaium keeper has a story or two of water every where, but as far as tanks bursting, that very rarely happens. As a renter with 10 tanks, believe me, if it happened often, I'd be homeless!
Where in Canada are you?
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Old 01-08-2005, 02:28 PM   #5
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The only time I got the floor REALLY wet was when my dog pulled off the output hose on my VortexXL (90gal tank) while I was in the laundry room. The thing pumped water all over for at least 45sec. 8O
The dogs are no longer in the basement when I service the tanks.
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My wife thinks I should just flood the basement!
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Old 01-08-2005, 02:37 PM   #6
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I have only had water spill on the floor twice. The first time that I have ever had water on the floor is when I did a partial water change and my cat knocked over the bucket. The second time was at my mother-in-law's house and her tank stand collapsed. The stand was faulty and that almost never happens when you buy a quality stand. We were foolish and tried to save money by buying one that was of less quality and was sort of flimsy. As long as you purchase a quality stand and tank, you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 01-08-2005, 02:45 PM   #7
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I have six year old oceanic, sat empty for 3 years. The silicone was still soft, filled it up and no leaks. Only burst I ever heard of was at my LFS. They have dozens of old tanks and only had one burst in their history.

Love the idea of putting canisters in a plastic tub! never thought of that.
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Old 01-08-2005, 05:45 PM   #8
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I've had tanks for 12 years and I've never(knock on wood) had one burst. I did one time have a filter back up and spill water all over the wall and floor.
Most spills or leaks (much like computer errors) happen because of operator error.
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:47 AM   #9
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Hi

Thanks everyone. That reassures me (and will probably reassure my landlord to).

I'll be extra careful when setting my tank up and cleaning it.

Vero
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:19 AM   #10
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I just set up a 50g a few months ago that had been empty of water and full of junk for about 15 years.
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:48 AM   #11
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Are used glass tanks safe with regard to leaking?
FWIW, I bought a 7g tank from a thriftstore, and it had two very small leaks. I think at the very least you should let used tanks hold water in a garage/etc for a few days. Reealing an aquarium is easy but messy: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=16514
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