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Old 09-03-2009, 12:21 AM   #21
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the bead is the silicone that goes around the seam. you can see the flare on the bead when you look at it in the tank. it is done so that the sililcone has a "film" over part of the tank on both sides keeping it from leaking. If you dont flare it out, you run a risk of leaking. It is pretty much the same concept as welding. you are not filling the gap between the two panes, you are sealing them together.... make sense?
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:24 AM   #22
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Yea thats better, so how do you get all the silicone off the tank, by just using a razor?
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:28 AM   #23
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Yep, well actually more like 3 razorblades on a 55... and you will need 2-3 tubes of silicone unless you go with a gun, then one tube should be fine. make sure you get all the old silicone off first as the new wont stick to old very good at all and could cause issues down the road. Also make sure to get all the air bubbles out. As i suggested previously, one of those plastic 4 cornered calk thingies will work best for getting a consistant bead all the way around. And silicone burns skin if you let it sit on your fingers very long.
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:30 AM   #24
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Okay thanks, I will probably use a gun anyways and probably get that tool, I'll ask my father I am sure that they are on him somewhere!
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:47 AM   #25
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What I did for the 37 was bought a square blade razor shaving tool, available at any hardware store. This basically is a holder for the blade that locks it in place, because you need the ability to apply pressure against the glass to get under the silicone.

I started by holding the razor edge at about a 45 degree angle against the glass pane that is inside the adjacent pane. In standard tanks, this is the SIDE pane. You push the blade into the seal and as you go further in, you flatten the blade to about 20-30 degrees so you don't dig into the joint between the panes themselves. Keep pushing until you hit the front/back glass, repeat all along the seam.

Next, you do the same thing along the adjacent edge, and while you push the razor in, you watch from the outside of the glass to make sure you don't push the blade any further than the inside corner. Do this all along the other seams.

The hard part is the bottom. The sides & front/back sit on top of the bottom pane, so you can cut the seal from the top down, no problem. But you can't see how far you're pushing the blade in along the top side of the bottom pane from the outside like you can the vertical seams because of the casing, and even if you could take that off, it's still physically difficult without a spotter. So you have to be careful.

The next part, after you slide-cut all the seams, is to take you razor against the front/back pane, starting at the top, and running it down along the seam to loosen the seal and pull it off. Mine came off pretty easy.

You get the bulk of it off this way, the rest takes time and patience. I had to use blade in hand (no tool) and scrape, scrape, scrape. Then get one of those micro-fiber cleaning cloths, my favs are from Target automotive section, a dozen or so for a few bucks, Orange ones. You can sweep these across the glass in small strokes and scrunch them to pick up the little pieces that get all over and they come right off when you shake them.

Then once that's all done, keep scraping and collecting. You'll end up with a lot more than you think

Just whatever you do, don't get the edge of the blade in between the pane joint.

Clean the edges with alcohol, wipe again, scrape, collect, alcohol, get it as clean as possible, than apply silicone.

Do it right the first time. I didn't. I'm not looking forward to removing freshly bonded silicone, I think it's going to be a lot harder.
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:55 AM   #26
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Now Im even more confused? So you don't physically take the tank apart? Into like 5 seperate glass panels? Is there a video that can help with this?
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:26 AM   #27
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no, dont take the tank apart.... youre only replacing the visible seam that you see when you look inside the tank
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:37 AM   #28
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Now Im even more confused? So you don't physically take the tank apart? Into like 5 seperate glass panels? Is there a video that can help with this?
The only time when you would need to do this is when you have a leak on one of the seams or a broken pane. Even if it is a leak on a seam, when you replace the inside corner bead that should stop the leak, so it's really just a pane replacement that would require tear down, and then just the affected seam.
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:31 AM   #29
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I posted this a while back for another member, I know some of it may be repetitive and some info not, I hope this helps a little bit.

I just re-caulked my 44 gallon pentagon not because of leaks but because all of the caulking turned nicotine brown from being in my pops apartment for ten years. My advice is to you is buy a lot of single edged razor blades and a good holder (I picked up a good razor Holder at the auto supply store used for removing old windshield registration stickers). After the tank is empty and dry remove all of the caulking inside the tank (frequently changing the blade), you will be surprised how quickly they dull. Even when you think you got it all go over it again (New caulking doesn't adhere to old caulking), the use denatured alcohol and clean all of the seems at least 2 inches in on both sides, then tape off the tank leaving about 1/4 to 3/8's of an inch on each side of every seem (Use blue painters tape). Before caulking (Aquarium Safe) have a bucket filled with very warm soapy water, a roll of paper towels and a lined garbage pail. Apply caulking all the way around the inside of tank, when done use your finger to press in and smooth out of the caulking (Make sure there are no air bubbles in the caulking as this can cause a leak down the road), use a paper towel to wipe the excess caulking off of your finger and throw away it in your lined garbage pail (do not try to get an extra use out of your sheet of paper towel this will only lead to a bigger mess, throw it out.). After all of the excess has been removed you can now put your fingers you are using into the very warm soapy water then go over the caulk lines again (this make the seems really smooth). You're not done yet, now carefully remove all of the tape you applied earlier and throw it away, let caulking cure for 24 hrs then fill it out side if you can and let it sit for a couple of hours while periodically checking it to make sure it isn't leaking. If all is OK then empty the tank, clean it out (I used a combination of warm water and white vinegar then used aquarium wipes for the final pass. Good luck, everything should go fine if you take your time.
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:26 PM   #30
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Okay, so as long as I know not to take the tank apart I am good. I am still a bit confused on how to take the silicone off the tank. Ill see if I can find a video online somewhere.
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:32 PM   #31
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literally all you have to do is take a razor blade and "cut" the old silicone off... once you start, you will understand how it works
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:45 PM   #32
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A coouple of thing worth mentioning. It is important to get all the old silicone off. When your sure it is all off get a new blade and go over it again. It is almost impossible to get a nice evn bead without a caulking gun and tube. It is usually more cost effective than the squeeze tubes, as the caulking tube is around $4.00. Lastly, 24 hours is not long enough for it to cure. Leave it for at least a few days. How long it actually needs is dependant on the thickness. Best to leave it an extra day to be sure. The vinegar smell should be gone.Vinegar is good to clean the tank and glass, but the alcohol or acetone is important, to remove any dirt and skin oils. The alcohol will also help dry out any residual water if it was washed before stripping.
This is the type of job that isn't technically difficult, but does require meticulous attention to detail.
As far as the chip goes on the tank in question, I wouldn't be concerned. It is in an area where pressure is the least.
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:49 PM   #33
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24 hours is not long enough for it to cure.
I have to disagree with you, he is not redoing the actual bonding of the glass if that were the case I would agree with you, he is just redoing the internal caulking and 24 hours is adequate, longer is better but a fill test can be done after 24hrs.
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:55 PM   #34
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I have to disagree with you, he is not redoing the actual bonding of the glass if that were the case I would agree with you, he is just redoing the internal caulking and 24 hours is adequate, longer is better but a fill test can be done after 24hrs.
my thoughts exactly... i would want to let the silicone cure for a week before setting the tank up, but 24-48hrs is plenty of time for it to set up good enough for a leak test...
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:15 AM   #35
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I have to disagree with you, he is not redoing the actual bonding of the glass if that were the case I would agree with you, he is just redoing the internal caulking and 24 hours is adequate, longer is better but a fill test can be done after 24hrs.
You may be right, but the tube of silicone I have says to allow 3 to 5 days for aquarium use. So, you do what you like, I'll rely on the manufacturers advice. I would be loathe to express an opinion as fact, as you would be misinforming any number of people who accepted what you say as fact.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:58 AM   #36
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OK BillD, The perfecto aquarium sealant (AKA Tank Manufacturer) I use states cures and bonds in 24hrs and can be filled after that when rebonding they suggest a 48hr period (I to like to take the manufacturers instructions into concideration). If you actually read the post from the beginning I actually agreed with you only if he is re-bonding the tank which he is not doing, he is just resealing it.
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:16 PM   #37
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One thing I love about this site is that there are so many people out there with the experience and know-how for these kind of questions. I wouldn't have really known where to start!

Thanks to all for chiming in.

I really wish I found this site a few years ago, because I have a 55g that had a broken/repaired cross brace that popped apart while I was gone for a week, so I emptied it and never re-filled it, and ended up selling it at a garage sale for $20 or something, thinking it would need to be re-sealed or wouldn't be good for aquarium use anymore due to stress on the glass or seals. If I had known that I could have fixed it myself for $10, I never would have sold it.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:06 PM   #38
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The stuff I have also says full cure in 24 hours, for a 5mm bead. It further goes on to say for aquariums, cure 2 to 5 days before adding water. Yeas, i did read the post from the beginning, and you didn't agree with me unless it was for a rebond. The reality is that with a rebuild, the thickness of the silicone betwen the panes is usually less than a reseal, so will in fact cure more quickly.
So, my opinion is it is better to go an extra day or 2 before refilling, to be safe. Keep in mind the original use for silicone was not to build aquariums. This was stumbled on by a local who built the first all glass tank, back in the 50s, and went on to be one of the principals of Crystal Aquarium.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:48 PM   #39
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Keep in mind the original use for silicone was not to build aquariums. This was stumbled on by a local who built the first all glass tank, back in the 50s, and went on to be one of the principals of Crystal Aquarium.
I learn something new every day!
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:51 PM   #40
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You may be right, but the tube of silicone I have says to allow 3 to 5 days for aquarium use. So, you do what you like, I'll rely on the manufacturers advice. I would be loathe to express an opinion as fact, as you would be misinforming any number of people who accepted what you say as fact.
Lets see, your tube says one thing mine says another, so the manufacturer of your silicone is correct and perfecto is wrong? As far as misinforming people, I think not, I've been dealing with silicones for over 20 years and have never had a problem when I used the correct silicone for the correct application. I went to the manufacturer for it because it is what they use and is specifically designed for bonding and sealing glass aquariums which can handle the stress of all the water. Most importantly no matter what is said if you don't install the silicone properly it doesn't matter if you wait 24 hrs or 24 days it's still going to leak.
I'm done with this silly stuff, what I said I stand behind from actual experience and people are free to use it or not, they are asking for help and we're trying to help them out not to prove who is right and who is wrong the most important issue here is that the tank gets repaired and save him some money to boot.
Here you go, I give in, you're right, I'm wrong, You Da Man.
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