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Old 01-01-2017, 07:45 PM   #1
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Aquarium reseal gone awry

Apparently I got a little ahead of myself in terms of projects; I bought a used 45-gallon corner tank (pentagon-shaped) which had a known leak a few weeks ago, and decided I was going to reseal it and get a bargain. Well...

The project seemed to go pretty well; I removed all the old sealant, leaving the structure intact (that is, I didn't separate the panels) over a couple of days, and resealed it with fresh GE window & door #1. Everything seemed to go pretty well, and I had it filled about 2/3 full for a couple weeks with no issues.

A couple days ago I started thinking seriously about using the tank, so I filled it the rest of the way up while still in my basement and got most of the equipment together for a freshwater test (I was planning on this being my first saltwater tank - luckily, no salt yet!). I left it running for a couple days, but after I thought I was out of the woods, I went down this morning to find about 2/3 of the water gone. Didn't have to look far - it was all over the floor! At first I thought I'd accidentally left a siphon going, but upon closer inspection it appears as if one of the seams failed - it looks like water may have squirted out a few feet while it was emptying. The seam that failed was one of the non-90-degree-angle seams, and I did notice when I was sealing the tank that those seams were coming apart somewhat, but I assumed the reseal would take care of it.

Should I attempt to fix this? I'm more than a little worried that I just don't know how to fix it properly once it's all dried out. Do I need to completely separate the panels? Should I approach the non-right-angle seams differently? Needless to say, I'm gun-shy. The last thing I need is a catastrophic failure when this thing is in my living room. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions or pointers for fixing an odd-shaped tank? I was already starting to realize a traditional shape might fit my space better, but I'd like to be able to sell this in good conscience if I decide not to use it...

I feel lucky I was dragging my feet getting everything together - I almost put saltwater in it yesterday morning. I think _if_ I try again, I'm going to do it OUTSIDE this time. (Thankfully, it doesn't freeze here in SF) The basement isn't too bad a cleanup, but I'd certainly prefer no cleanup at all
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:44 PM   #2
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Same thing happened to me on my 135 gallon. Luckily I cought mine in time and just had a small wet spot on my floor. I went crazy and took all the panels apart and got every inch of silicone off. Then I glued them back together and sealed the tank. One right after the other and taped the outside to hold in place and waited 4 days to completely dry since it was so big. That was my first time ever doing anything like it and it worked out perfectly. I'd say go for it! It's a fun experience!

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Old 01-31-2017, 05:30 PM   #3
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Hey riz,
I'm with ya, drag that baby outside and give it an overhaul. Pay attention to how the glass panels are oriented to one another ( make a quick drawing if you need too) then carefully cut it apart. Make sure to clean the panels really well and that all of the old sealant is removed. Then You'll want to glue all the panels together use some painters tape to hold them temporarily. Then seal all the inside seams at one time, wet silicon doesn't stick really well to dry silicon, so you want to get them all at the same time. Keep your silicone thickness to 3/8 inch or less. Thicker is not stronger. I'd let it dry at least 5 days after. Then fill it all the way up and watch it for a few days... Hope this helps.. Good luck man.
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