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Old 02-28-2023, 06:51 PM   #1
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New member looking for advice on aquarium repair

Hi there, we have had a lovely 75 gallon cichlid tank for going on 20 years, but with covid and not getting back to the fish store it was looking pretty sad and tired and the bigger fish took over, etcÖ so I decided that I was going to redo the tank. However, I know itís a 20 year old tank, and itís a large complicated design, so checking the seals while draining it, Iíve found that there is an issue with the silicone at the bulkhead, etcÖ anyway, Iím here to find out information on how to refurbish our beloved tank in preparation for a new designÖ

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Old 02-28-2023, 11:35 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum
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Old 03-07-2023, 12:23 AM   #3
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Hello, welcome to the community.

If the bulkhead is not sealed any more you can buy a new one to replace it. If the other seals are still strong you my be fine. But that is a very long time ago you used the tank, so you would be smart to consider resealing it.

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/how-t...ur-glass-tank/

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/how-t...our-glass-tank
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Old 03-07-2023, 04:37 PM   #4
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Hi & welcome. You could probably find instructional videos online. I use YouTube often.
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Old 03-13-2023, 10:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
Hello, welcome to the community.

If the bulkhead is not sealed any more you can buy a new one to replace it. If the other seals are still strong you my be fine. But that is a very long time ago you used the tank, so you would be smart to consider resealing it.

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/how-t...ur-glass-tank/

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/how-t...our-glass-tank
Thank you for the reply. It has been dead of winter here still, with outdoor temps below -18 degrees, for almost a month, so draining the tank fully and getting rid of a bunch of sand wasn’t ideal during this time. Anyway, I used the interim to design and 3d print off my rock replacement for my old tank design. I will post a “refurbished tank” journey in a new thread, but not on this one. Anyway, needless to say, I finally got the tank mostly fully drained on Sunday, due to a break in the weather, and the bulkhead silicone is indeed rotten, and possibly some of the additional internal silicone is also in need of repair, BUT, the biggest issue that I noticed once I drained the tank, is my hubby has been cleaning the tank with green pot scrubbers, for a while now, and it has left huge scratches/gauges sliver the inside of the tank. So, I am also refurbishing the actual glass also, but it’s taking a bit, since I don’t have the correct sandpaper grit and there isn’t much good info on the web regarding refurbishing glass scratches. Fortunately, I know a few people who already walked me through a cost effective way to do this- I’m in process, I’ll try to document this also for others who are like me, and have a tank that they can’t replace (or simply don’t want to replace), and are literally going through an entire tank redo, from scratch. Mine is even a bit more involved, since I’ve attempted a few new-ish techniques- 3d printing an entire background that is hollow and can hide pipes, as well as coming up with a clay compound that is inert, insoluble in water and doesn’t change ph, which will allow me to mold and add texture to a 3d printed base. It’s a work in progress and is definitely taking some time, but it’s fun. I sure hope it turns out ��
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Old 03-14-2023, 01:14 AM   #6
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Wow, that's commitment!

Check out on YouTube SerpaDesign. Guy's name is Tanner. He has many videos making backgrounds, waterfalls, so much beautiful stuff. He shows how to do it using expanding pond foam. Black. And does amazing stuff. If you need some breaks in between projects. Please make sure to link the new tank rehab and journey!
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Old 03-14-2023, 02:33 AM   #7
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Be careful with plastics for 3D printers. Some of them can release things into the water that can harm the fish.
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Old 03-14-2023, 07:05 AM   #8
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Be careful with plastics for 3D printers. Some of them can release things into the water that can harm the fish.
Hi Colin, I’m using a non toxic pla, not a plastic. I’ve researched it and it is apparently inert and tank safe. I’m a big researcher, and there is a lot of info on the web. Regardless, the entire thing will be coated inside and out once I’m done with it, in a non toxic varnish, to seal it.
There isn’t much on a mouldable non toxic clay tho, but I’ve managed to come up with my own with resin (food grade, inert when fully cured), and talc- (natural mineral, insoluble and without additives). It’s working pretty fabulously, so I’m happy with it. It’s a big project and it’s kind of fun to puzzle through. .
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Old 03-14-2023, 07:12 AM   #9
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Wow, that's commitment!

Check out on YouTube SerpaDesign. Guy's name is Tanner. He has many videos making backgrounds, waterfalls, so much beautiful stuff. He shows how to do it using expanding pond foam. Black. And does amazing stuff. If you need some breaks in between projects. Please make sure to link the new tank rehab and journey!
Thank you for that, I will check it out!. Today I tackle the scratches, then rinse the tank out and possibly test my sand waterfall if I have time. (Iíll need to do a few rinses since Iíve used toothpaste and baking powder on the scratches so far, until I realized that 600 grit sandpaper would likely be much less time consuming on such a large square footage of scratches. Iíve managed to get some of the scratches out, but I have a while to go, some are pretty deep. I have a hand sander, so I was gonna get some 600-3000 grit, and maybe if I have to, use some barkeepers friend for the deeper scratches. But then Iíll have to really rinse and clean it all out well, which Iíll ultimately be having to do anyway, since I likely have all the interior seals to redoÖ ya itís a commitment, but itís the first time in 20 years the tank has been out of commission, so I figure may as well do it right once, and move onÖ
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