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Old 12-29-2011, 08:12 PM   #1
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55g Reseal

Hey All- My brother gave me his old 55g w/stand as a bonus Christmas present. He knows that it had a small leak when he took it out of service. I'm sure it's not good to try to repair a specific leak spot (I'm in hydraulics and that never works in my world). I read an article on here about scraping and cleaning the silicone from the inside and then just doing the whole inside fresh. I've read other articles that suggest disassembling the whole tank and starting over.

Should that be a second option if the 1st reseal doesn't work? Or would it be best to just take it all down and get er done?

I don't mind projects (photography, leatherworking, painting, drywall, flooring, etc.), but this seems like a big job that most would only prefer to do once. So I guess I'm looking to hear someone show me some confidence in the first method! hehe

I appreciate any input in advance!

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Old 12-29-2011, 08:25 PM   #2
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You can just do a reseal and it should be fine. If you look at the corners of the glass where they are sealed together, if you see the seal broken then you will have to disassemble it completely. Whatever silicone you choose to use, make sure you let it cure for at least 1 week and then do a leak test for another week.

Try to use an aquarium safe sealant. A lot of people use GE Silicone #2 from the hardware store, but it was not designed for aquariums. Even GE does not recommend it as many people have killed their fish and corals with that product.

I highly recommend that you pick up a silicone spreader (versus your finger) from the hardware store. That will give you perfect corners and will make your silicone look like factory issue when you take the masking tape off. Also use a lot of rubbing alcohol as it sticks really bad to your tools and gloves.

Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:24 PM   #3
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I appreciate the tips. I've put this off until spring, so I don't have to leak test in the house (wife's preference). Of course, that made it easy for me to go grab one at the Petco $1/g sale. About the time that one's looking good, I'll be cruising into the reseal!
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #4
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I've just finished doing a 80gal myself. There's a video on you tube that takes you through the whole process. When I get to the computer I'll post it if you like. (I'm on mobile app right now)
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:16 AM   #5
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Yeah. That'd be great thanks. I'm looking forward to trying it.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:50 AM   #6
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:55 PM   #7
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Great stuff. I appreciate it. I'll be using this for sure.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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no problem I used it as a "guide" it gives you the basics and if you're like me it's easier to understand by watching someone else do it first. Let us know how you make out.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:35 PM   #9
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How's it coming on your reseal? I'm doing the water test on mine tonight.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
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I'm sitting on it until spring. I have another 55g that I'm in the process of setting up right now. About the time I get it stocked where I want it, we should be thawed out and ready to go.

How's the leak test looking? That's got to be the nerve-wracking part of it!
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:14 PM   #11
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I recently did a 55 reseal... twice, because I messed it up the first time... Just a few pointers here:

1. Use GE Type 1 Clear Silicone. Nothing with any mildew inhibitors, colors, etc.
2. Remove all the old silicone and wipe it down with vinegar. Wipe away any residue.
3. Tape off the entire project. Leave little tabs at the ends to ease removal of the tape.
4. Work quickly! Apply the silicone and use a tongue depressor to force the silicone into the edges.
5. Extra hands will be a huge help here! Remove the tape quickly before it skims over, otherwise you will end up with a mess (I learned that the hard way). Do not wipe away any little bits you spill. Wait until they dry and use a razor blade to scrape them away.
6. Let the silicone dry for at least 2 days before putting water into the tank. Take the tank outside or into the garage to fill it. A leak would make a mess on the floor or carpet. Let the filled tank sit for at least 2 days to make sure it holds water. If it leaks, you have to start all over. As you said, spot fixes dont usually hold.
8. Drain the tank and move it to your setup location.

Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savage
I'm sitting on it until spring. I have another 55g that I'm in the process of setting up right now. About the time I get it stocked where I want it, we should be thawed out and ready to go.

How's the leak test looking? That's got to be the nerve-wracking part of it!
So far so good yes.. This is probably the worst part yet. I'm sitting here almost waiting for the darn thing to leak. While at the same time hoping it doesn't. Lol!
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired_AF View Post
I recently did a 55 reseal... twice, because I messed it up the first time... Just a few pointers here:

1. Use GE Type 1 Clear Silicone. Nothing with any mildew inhibitors, colors, etc.
2. Remove all the old silicone and wipe it down with vinegar. Wipe away any residue.
3. Tape off the entire project. Leave little tabs at the ends to ease removal of the tape.
4. Work quickly! Apply the silicone and use a tongue depressor to force the silicone into the edges.
5. Extra hands will be a huge help here! Remove the tape quickly before it skims over, otherwise you will end up with a mess (I learned that the hard way). Do not wipe away any little bits you spill. Wait until they dry and use a razor blade to scrape them away.
6. Let the silicone dry for at least 2 days before putting water into the tank. Take the tank outside or into the garage to fill it. A leak would make a mess on the floor or carpet. Let the filled tank sit for at least 2 days to make sure it holds water. If it leaks, you have to start all over. As you said, spot fixes dont usually hold.
8. Drain the tank and move it to your setup location.

Good luck!
Thanks for the tips. I really appreciate it. I'm chomping at the bit to get started, but the wife and the carpet are exactly why I'm waiting. Thanks again!
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:00 PM   #14
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So far so good yes.. This is probably the worst part yet. I'm sitting here almost waiting for the darn thing to leak. While at the same time hoping it doesn't. Lol!

HA! I bet. I'm feeling some of the anxiety for you right now. Keep me posted and throw some pics down. Pics of it passing the leak test would be the best!
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savage

HA! I bet. I'm feeling some of the anxiety for you right now. Keep me posted and throw some pics down. Pics of it passing the leak test would be the best!
Being brave (and yes lazy) filled it in the livingroom. First shot "the one bucket bail"
Second shot after 24 hours! Not a drop any where!!! YAY!
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:06 PM   #16
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Great and clean work! I have a 45 gallon flat hexagon that leaks which I got from a friend. I did noticed that one of the two braces is broken. Is there somewhere I can purchase a top brace so that I can reseal? BTW, I plan to use it as a sump for my 150 gallon.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:14 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mlani View Post
Being brave (and yes lazy) filled it in the livingroom. First shot "the one bucket bail"
Second shot after 24 hours! Not a drop any where!!! YAY!
Nice! Great job! Now I can't post anything on mine until it doesn't leak! LOL. That's awesome!
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by need4fish
Great and clean work! I have a 45 gallon flat hexagon that leaks which I got from a friend. I did noticed that one of the two braces is broken. Is there somewhere I can purchase a top brace so that I can reseal? BTW, I plan to use it as a sump for my 150 gallon.
You should post a picture if you can, it'd be easier for people to see exactly how bad of a break/crack and where it's located? Some of the hexagon tanks (I have a 46gal) have the braces that are only for the hoods not for stability of the tank. Not saying thats what yours is just saying it's hard to tell without seeing it.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:59 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by savage

Nice! Great job! Now I can't post anything on mine until it doesn't leak! LOL. That's awesome!
Hey, if I can do it ANYONE can! I can't wait to see some pics of yours. Maybe push up the date?? Spring is already so busy..
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:19 AM   #20
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You should post a picture if you can, it'd be easier for people to see exactly how bad of a break/crack and where it's located? Some of the hexagon tanks (I have a 46gal) have the braces that are only for the hoods not for stability of the tank. Not saying thats what yours is just saying it's hard to tell without seeing it.
I'll take some pics this week. The tank is at work. BTW there are no visible cracks that I could see and it's apparent that an attempt was made to reseal
over the original.

Thanks.
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