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FAQs on Glass Aquarium Repair 5

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Related FAQs: Glass Aquarium Repair 1, Glass Aquarium Repair 2, G lass Aquarium Repair 3, Glass Aquarium Repair 4, & FAQs on Repairing Glass Tank: Scratches/Blemishes, Cross-Braces, Leaks, Chips/Cracks, Whole Panes, Tools: Cutting Glass, Silicone, Moulding/Frames; Techniques; Olde Tank (Slate Bottom, Metal Frame, Pecora...) Repairs, Troubleshooting/Repairs, & Acrylic Aquarium RepairUsed Aquarium Gear

Holacanthus arcuatus Gray 1831, The Bandit, Black-Banded Angelfish, Holo-holo.

How to remove top glass strip     3/15/20
Dear WWM,
<Hi Devakalpa>
Thanks for being an excellent help for hobbyists, much appreciated
<It’s our pleasure to be helpful, thanks for your kind words>
I am getting an old custom built 30x18x18 glass aquarium (of 6 mm glass) that has glass reinforcement strips about 2 inches wide all around the inside of the top, parallel to the base. I plan to use my existing HOB filters, so I would need to remove 1 of the longer strips from the back panel.
Could you kindly guide me as to how to proceed?
<Well, first you will need to remove the silicone to separate the glass strip, a single edged razor blade and some solvent like acetone previously applied, should ease the silicone removal, once you have separate the glass strip, you may proceed to cut it in two and remove the excess length (the same length of the HOB), you can do this yourself if you are experienced / skilled in working with glass or with the help of a professional glass cutter, perhaps someone at your LFS can assist you on this; once you have the strips cut to the desire length, adhere them back to the tank and let them cure for at least 24 hrs. before filling the tank with water.>
Thanks and regards
<Hope this helps. Cheers. Wil.>

Need advice on resealing a tank    1/7/20
Hi folks,
<Hi Rina>
I need some advice with a resealing job gone wrong on a bowfront tank. Because the front pane meets the side panes at about a 120 degree angle, the two structural seams between the front and side panes are very exposed from the inside and I inadvertently cut into them when removing the inner bead.
<How many gallons does this tank hold?>
So, where those seams should be the thickness of the glass, they're now only half that thickness.
<Mmm, I would not trust this seam thickness to withstand the water pressure>
At first I thought I could fix my mistake if I used a strong silicone like SCS1200 and squeezed it into the exposed seam while laying down the inside bead. I know the new silicone won't bold to the remaining old seam, but if the new bead is very thick, could it do a decent job holding the panes together from the inside?
<It may do a decent job, but I don’t think it would look good aesthetically.>
Or does that pose too great a risk of leaks down the road?
<Most likely, yes>
If that kind of patch-up method just won't do, could I remove and reattach just the front panel?
<If this were my tank, I would just remove the old silicone and apply a new layer between the laterals and frontal panes.>

I know the new seams won't attach to the old seams so the tank could potentially leak at the two bottom corners, but if the inside bead is sufficiently thick, wouldn't that be sufficient to prevent them? I know the surest method would be to rebuild the tank completely but I might have to move and take the tank down in just over a year so it doesn't seem to be worth that kind of work at the moment. (If I don't end up moving I could always rebuild the tank then.) Would either of the two methods above work in the meantime?
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>

Re: Need advice urgently; follow-up on glass tank repair      9/23/18
Good morning ��
<Bon après-midi !>
I just thought I would give you an update on my tank that you were so kind to help me out with some advice
<Sure thing.>
The tank has not leaked at all since I set it up.
<Always a good thing when it comes to fishkeeping.>
And is running fully stocked with my all male Cichlid show tank ...... here is a picture of it now
<Looks good. You might try removing the plastic plants, letting them dry, then using aquarium silicone to glue on small pebbles or stones. Leave to dry for a couple days or however long the instructions say. Then put them back in the tank. Result: not only are the plastic plants harder to move and easier to root into the sand, they also look more natural, and even if they are uprooted, still look good. The stones or pebbles will act like anchors too, keeping the plants more or less vertical and in place.>
Please excuse the wire in the background as I’m having a background made for it at the moment
Thank you so much for all your advice ..... you guys are awesome ������ if it wasn’t for you guys I would of thrown this tank away
<I'm sure BobF appreciates your kind words and interest in our website.>
Kind Regards
<Cheers, Neale.>

55 gal. top frame     12/20/17
hello, could you help find a place to buy a 55 gal. top fame with center piece?
<Possibly... they differ by company... do you know the maker/manufacturer here? Perhaps sending a pic along will help us identify... and the dimensions of the top's outside. Bob Fenner>

Munched corners  9/4/17
Hello! I need some help with my new (to me) 45 or 50g glass aquarium I just got. It measures 48" long by 18"tall, by 12" wide...in case the measurements might mean something.....
<They do... smaller, less high and long systems can suffer chips better>
lol. Anyhow, while I was cleaning it out, I noticed it has a couple of slightly munched edges along two corners. I've never owned an aquarium this size and I'm assuming even the smallest chip could potentially be a catastrophe when there's 50 gallons of water pressure pushing on it. I've taken a few pics....what is your opinion?
<Mmm; well; the clean, cup-shaped chips you've shown are likely not problematical... the one bad one is in the 20170901 pic... I'd place a strip of 2" wide 1/4", triple-strength plate against it (on the outside, up to the edge with Silastic) and turn that corner to the wall>
There's still some tape shreds I haven't scraped off from his background showing in the pics. When I noticed the corners, I quit cleaning it, lol.
The first two pics are of the munched spot on the left side. The 1st pic is a close up of the munch, and I circled where exactly it is on the 2nd pic. The rest of the pics are of the chip that has me most concerned, on the other side.
In the last photo I also circled where it is in relation to the entire tank. And if it means anything, both munchings are on the same side of the aquarium....(the same panel of glass).
If you need better/different pics, I'd be more than happy to go take them.....just let me know. Or a better description even....lol.
Thank you so, so much!
Pat Burroughs
<The second munch needs addressing as stated; the first munch I'd fill in with Silastic, to discount cuts. Bob Fenner>

Munch 1                                                     Munch 2

Re: Munched corners  9/4/17
Hello Bob
Thank you for your prompt reply. Other than the first two pictures, the rest of those pictures are of the same chip, just different angles...and that was the one I was concerned about as well. I guess I now own a 4 foot long reptile house.
<Mmm; no... you could do the simple repair I mentioned. Read re others experiences on WWM:
and the linked files above>
Pretty disappointing considering I don't much like reptiles....hahaha.
Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it.
Have a great day!
<And you Pat. BobF>

Help! (Another) chipped tank! <RMF is in total agreement>      3/5/17
Hello! I have been reading your site on chips, and I'm still not 100% sure about my situation. I bought this 15 gallon tank off Craigslist, it fits on my 10 gal stand but is just a few inches taller. When I got it home, I noticed two chips. One is about 6.5" from the top, one perhaps 4" from the bottom. They are on opposite long panels. The lower one I can dig my nail into and jiggle the glass piece around. I talked myself into thinking it would be fine (I got a very good deal on the tank) but now that I'm actually filling it I'm starting to worry a bit and was hoping for your opinion. Would you use this tank? (Sorry about the blurry picture, the tank was too close to the wall for a good picture, it's supposed to show that it doesn't go all the way to the seal on that side)
Thanks for your time and help,
<First off Annie, thanks for writing. Second, please don't send 18 MB of photos to us! Blocks up the email, making it very difficult for people to check their WWM on mobile phones and tablets, or anywhere 'off' broadband.
Plus, if our email inbox fills up, other folks will find their questions bouncing back, and it only takes a couple messages like yours to block the email allowance completely. If this sounds a bit hectoring, trust me when I say Bob F would be a lot less polite if he hadn't had his first cup of coffee or three! Anyway, getting to your tank: if the glass wobbles against its seal, then a repair is in order. Very minor chips are rarely an issue if the tank is otherwise robust, but even then for sure test the tank somewhere waterproof (like the garden) before using it indoors. But once the seal becomes loose, as yours sounds to be, I'd personally not trust even a 10 gallon tank in that state, let alone anything bigger. Given 10-15 gallon tanks cost very little, unless the repair is minor and you have the necessary silicone kicking about, it's rarely worth the effort -- just but a new glass box that fits the cabinet and hood you have. In any event, have a read here, and follow the MANY links therein; all this has been gone through on WWM many, many times:
Hope this helps, Neale.>

Another Aquarium Chip Question.       10/13/15
I picked up a 180 gallon bow front tank, but sadly it sustained a bit of damage while I transported it. Specifically, there's a 1.5 - 2 inch chip on the outside of the tank that starts under the plastic trim, then extends downwards. Below is a gallery with some pics of the damage from the inside and out. The chip (assuming that what it is, as opposed to a crack) doesn't go all the way through the glass.
Any thoughts as to whether this is a fatal blow would be appreciated.
<Uhh; need at least decent pix.... to render an opinion. Oh; see your link below: http://imgur.com/a/2ZR5F
Can't make out much, enough.... too dark, unresolved.
Let's have you READ: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/GlasCracks11.htm
and the linked files above>
Given its placement, I'm not that concerned about aesthetics. But I am concerned about the safety issues of 180 gallons of saltwater rushing into my living room
<Me too.... Send along better photos or read till you understand what your options are>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Bottom crack in 110 G tank   7/31/14
Hi, I'm thinking of buying a 110 gallon glass aquarium (48 x 18 x 30) to use as a habitat for my Hermit Crabs. I will need to put in about 7-8" of a slightly damp (sand castle consistency) play sand and coconut fiber substrate mix. In your opinion, is there anything I could do to repair this crack? Silicone? Or another piece of glass/ plexi glass/ plywood siliconed to bottom? I could get this tank for $65 & have a stand that will fit it, so I'd really love to make this work. Thank you, Kristin
<Hi Kristin. Yes, for land hermit crabs the use of silicone should work nicely. It's often easier to remove the broken pane entirely and silicone in a new one, but since this tank won't be holding water, you could
probably get away with siliconing a "patch" over the crack. You would want to make sure it's a tight fit though, and I'd recommending using a scalpel or similar to remove as much silicone from around the broken pane so that you can push the patch of glass onto the bottom pane as tight as can be, then silicone them all together to make a watertight seal. While you don't expect a lot of water to be sitting in this tank, moisture will work its way out over time (you need to keep the coir and sand damp) and that moisture can/will damage furniture over time. So it's as well to get this fixed first. Do read, and follow the links for more:
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: refugium LED lighting... Old glass tk.      1/31/14
Hi James/Crew,
So I finally re-started planning the resurrection of my 90g tank.
Forgetting our previous conversation(work is killing me), I posted to a forum and am interested in your opinion
<Have looked over; so?>
After the responses, a bit of doubt and concern started to creep in b/c I'm a veteran of floods.
<You are wise here>
So the first question is the same as last time:
1) do I keep my tank?
<Maybe: Test it for leaks... outside... newspaper under/twixt it and a/the stand>
a) fill the tank and see if it holds water for a few days - if it works, go for it?
b) re-seal the tank? lotta work, which silicon?
<A bit of work... better/best to sell to someone for other than aq. use; buy a new one>
c) buy a new one? (ouch but better and cheaper than flooding). If so, is acrylic worth it?
<IMO; yes>
2) if I do go with this tank: the current holes are 1.5 and 2" in diameter . That doesn't give a lot of room for error assuming schedule 80 bulkheads.
<No sense; use 40>
 You'll see in the attachment that the holes are a bit close to the back.
Given their not-so standard and small diameters, I could get a bit and re-drill the smaller hole to support a 1.5" bulkhead but that does make it tight in that small overflow. Should I:
a) re-drill the current hole(s) to be larger?  That would leave me with a 2" hole and a 2 1/2" hole for a 1 and 1 1/2" bulk heads
<I wouldn't re-drill... the diameters here are fine for what I'd do with moving water back/forth. Most circ. should be done via internal pumps>
b) add more holes on the other side and redo/add another overflow? (could be too much work - new tank comes to mind here)
<What for?>
3) I'm building a stand this weekend.  I figured it would be a fun project while the wife and babe are out of town. No real questions here unless you have advice.
<There's bound to be mistakes if/when working w/ power tools. Take your time; work from a drawing; get help>
4) I was able to purchase a used aqua-c 180 and Eheim 1060 for cheap!  I am stoked about this b/c I accidentally cracked my 120 - which I thought was a bit under powered anyhow.  Would you recommend a refugium or sump and what brands are good?
<Best to use hobbyist bb's here. I'd build my own out of whatever. See WWM re many designs>
 I had my eye on the Trigger Systems Ruby Elite 30" or I could save a lot by going w/the sump.
as for the lights, controller, etc - I'm prob too early in the process to determine anything there.  I do know I like the shimmer of the halides and other than the Kessils, I haven't seen many options for that w/LED's.
I would like to document each step with this process. I'll take pics as it progresses so I can post and help others.
<Sounds good. Bob Fenner> 


Re: Old glass tk.    1/31/14
I guess I'm going to look around for an acrylic tank this weekend (sad face).  Better safe than killed by wife.  From what I read on WWM, I get the sense that you aren't fond of the Herbie standpipe?
<Can work>
As for the refugium, I would love to build my own but the cost of acrylic seems to not make it worth while.
<A chemically inert container will do for the outside>
 I would spend over $250 just in acrylic for a 30x16x15 refugium. At that price point, time, risk, it seems better to just suck up another 100 bucks and buy it... unless you have any suggestions on ways to bring the cost down.
<... please search, read on WWM re... as always. BobF>

Concern about 55g glass panel, sloppy construction, mis-alignment     1/28/12
I bought a 55g (used, but not old) a month ago. I cannot set it up due to my rental lease, but I did have it full and did not notice any leaks, problems with water level being uneven, or bowing. The tank is a Wal-Mart brand tank, tempered glass, centre brace, etc...
Now, my concern is the front and back panels seem to be fitted, well, "crooked"
. The front and back panels of glass, stick out on the top on one end, and the bottom on the other end, hence the crooked explanation. I wouldn't say that it sticks out any more than 3-4mm at any given spot.
Running my finger down where they connect I can feel it is even at the top, and then gradually starts to stick out the farther down I go (vice versa on the other end), with thicker globs of silicon to compensate for the uneven-ness. On one of the seals, the side panel actually sticks out past the front, meaning that the glass is not fully sealed to the front panel (although it is only about 1mm,, so maybe not a concern?).
<Not likely; no>
As I said, I had it full, this does not seem to cause the water to be uneven or cause and stress points... Should I be concerned?
<I would not be>
The seals are fine, the silicon looks great (except in one spot on the outside, which I will reseal). I worry a lot. I do not want this to explode in my living room when I move.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

glass tank repair    8/31/11
Thanks for taking my question.
<Welcome Steve>
Last fall my custom triangle - 120 gallon corner tank started leaking profusely from the front bottom seam.
<VERY important to provide flat, planar and strong surfaces for such "odd shaped" glass tanks for stands>
I have since emptied it and am about to start the repair. Other than cleaning thoroughly
<Razor blades and a solvent...>
and applying the fish safe acrylic, should I brace it with a glass dowel, along inside front face??
<Would help for sure>
Thanks, Steve
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Glass repair (5/16/2011)
Our company represents an online community of over 36 million people, most of which are located in the US and Canada. This advertising allows us to present our online community with a first choice when they search for anything on any of the major search engines.
We seek a preferred source to send our users on the major search engines for quality glass repair services in various markets.
Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I'm in the office Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.
Yours truly,
Steven Seiler
Steven, as you'll find from perusing our site, we don't do repairs of any kind, but provide free input on how folks might do such, or refer them to professionals. IF you have information you'd like posted (for free) that is pertinent, do please send this along. Bob Fenner

aquarium center strut has cracked   9/26/10
I have a 180 gallon Oceanic tank - the center support strut has cracked in two - most likely because of the MH lights built into the canopy - how can I repair this and how soon till I become at risk of the tank bursting.
<Mmm, there's a few approaches/repairs. Read here:
Bob Fenner>

72 Gal. Bowfront Re-build - Repairing a Bowfront tank. 5/11/2010
I recently purchased a used 72 gal. bow-front for very cheap because of a small leak. What I thought to be a simple "remove old beading and re-seal" quickly turned into "I removed too much silicone and now have to re-build."
<heheh. Look on the bright side. If it was leaking in one spot, the other silicone probably wasn't too far behind. So you are probably better off just resealing the whole thing anyway.>
For the price I got the tank at I am completely up to any amount of work required to break down the tank and build it back up but was wondering if the process is the same as it is for a rectangular tank, i.e. silicone, duct tape, glue everything together, let it cure? Or is there more to doing this on a bow-front?
<The process is the same, it is just a bit awkward as you are working with curved glass. Rail clamps work very well>
Also, is there any easy way to remove the top trim or should I just purchase a replacement from the manufacturer?
<There are those that have successfully removed them by carefully working it off. I have NEVER been that lucky. I would recommend getting one from the manufacturer By all means, try to get it off, but have your backup ready.>
Many Thanks in advance,
<My Pleasure.>

Fish tank frame molding missing... 7 megs of pix, So I...  -- 2/3/10
So I was recently given a 120 gallon tank by someone who had it given to them. So, I don't know what brand of tank it is, it looks almost homemade.
Well the problem is, On the two ends of the tank, the black frame is missing completely, the left side is a clean break, the right side is a little different. The right side looks as if it ripped and took some of the back part of the frame with it, what makes me believe the tank is homemade is that the glass isn't a clean cut where the frame is missing on this side.
I looked to see if the center brace was a part of the outer black frame and it is not, which leads me to believe that this should be easily fixed. I'm thinking I just need to find a replacement frame, remove the old frame and attach this one.
<Can be done>
My main concern is the uneven glass on the right side, should this just be covered up or will I need to even it somehow. Also I'm not too sure where to find a replacement frame seeing as I don't know what brand of tank it is.
<Measure, and...>
I've attached pictures of the left side, the right side, and the center brace.
Any help would be great, but seeing your answers to previous questions, I know it will be the best.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/glstkmoldng.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fish tank frame molding missing 2/4/2010
Anyway I can get a more in-depth answer than "can be done." I'd greatly appreciate it, thanks.
<... read where you were referred to. BobF>

fish tank... Mod. reading    8/3/09
I have an 88 gallon fish tank someone gave me it was a saltwater tank but I was going to use it for my turtles so I filled it 3/4s of the way up and put them in it latter I heard 3 pops went to check on the tank everything
seemed to be fine latter I was out there and saw that the tank had cracked on the bottom the tank has 2 holes behind blue plastic I guess from saltwater filter stuff can I take the blue thing off and get some stoppers
to close the holes and silicone the whole bottom of the tank thanks for all the help you can give. Ms. Chevy Peterson
<You can do so... see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqrepair.htm
read the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

EuroReef Modification and the best way to break up an old tank 2/23/09 Hello WWM folks, <Chris.> I am interested in modifying my EuroReef skimmer for an auto waste collection area. Do you know of an established method of making this modification to the skimmer? <Basically just drilling, then tapping/threading the cup for a hose barb.> It's an older CS series rated for a 135gal tank with a Sedra 5000. I searched the website, but it doesn't appear that anyone may have attempted this before, although it would seem like an easy mod. <It is easy, $5-10 in tooling and it is done.> In addition, I have an old 125 gal glass tank with a broken bottom, that I am looking to break up and take to the curb to be hauled off. I would prefer to recycle if I can. Do you know of a good way to do this? I'm not looking to shatter the glass, and have a nasty cleanup. Any advice would be appreciated. <I would call whatever municipality you live in to see if there is some sort of bulk pickup day or where you can drop the tank off for recycling. Otherwise, and hammer and a broom my friend!><<Thick Levis, long-sleeve shirt and jacket, eye-glass protection... and cardboard around/between you/hammer... and the tank. RMF>> Again, thanks for your help. <Welcome, Scott V.> Best Regards, Chris

Haze/drip on tank 11/13/08 My tank has developed a white haze on certain parts of the front panel that is driving me crazy. It is not on the entire front of the tank, but in certain areas, some of them large. It almost looks as if something has dripped down on the inside of my tank. We have tried to get it off with the magnet scraper, sponge, razor blade, et cetera. Nothing works. You cannot even feel this if you try, but it is so obvious that it makes me want to get another tank. Has anyone experienced this, and if so, can it be resolved. Thank you for your help, Jeffrey just a little <Mmm... is this an acrylic tank? There are cases where physical/chemical changes can/do occur that make some less clear... otherwise there are biological organisms that can obscure both acrylic and glass... these are best dealt with when the tank is empty, can be sponged (in an open, airy setting) with dilute acids mostly... though some circumstances are relieved with bleach use (never with acid mixed). Bob Fenner>

How to Repair Crack (Chip?) on Glass Aquarium 11/02/08 Hello, <Marsha.> I have a 55 gallon aquarium. I just recently redid my aquarium and noticed a very tiny chip on the outside of my aquarium little down from the center. <"Tiny" chips are usually not an issue.> It isn't all the way thru ( ran my fingers around on the inside of tank to see) and not leaking. Is there any way to repair? <Yes, within a reasonable extent. See: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm and the linked files above.> I have had this tank for 10yrs and would really like to keep it if possible. Please let me know if I need to send a picture for you to see. <Would be better, yes.> I was just wondering about the weight of it before I put the fish back in? Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Marsha Bergstrom <Welcome, Scott V.> Re: How to Repair Crack (Chip?) on Glass Aquarium 11/02/08 Here's a couple of pictures..hope you can see it. <I can.> I didn't think it would be a big deal but didn't want to take any chances. <This does not worry me, if the aesthetics bother you too much consider flipping this tank around, make the current front the new posterior.> Thanks again! Marsha
<Welcome, Scott V.>

110 gallon, Broken 10/29/08 I recently advertised my 110 gallon tall aquarium (48 long x 30 high)...well someone decided that they wanted to start the Halloween fun early and knocked my aquarium over which was being used in the front yard as a decoration full of water and floating items for scariness fun.. anyways.. they broke only one side of the tank. <Too bad.> The 48 x 30 side... .. where can I get a replacement piece of tempered glass for the 110 gallon aquarium.. <Any glass shop will be able to get this for you. You may not need tempered, depending on thickness. For what it is worth, depending on what you think you can get for the setup, it may not be worth the cost in time and money for you to fix. Tis quite a bit of work to take on such a repair.> Kevin <Scott V.>

Fish Tank Crack or Scratch? (No Pics!) -- 08/02/08 Hi! <<Hello Grace>> I recently got a fish tank that's about fifteen gallons on Craigslist. <<Neat>> When I went to pick it up I looked at it and thought it was fine until I took it home. <<Uh-oh>> The person had filled the bottom with some gravel and when I took the gravel out to clean it, I saw these weird black "scratches" on them. <<Hmm'¦>> The weird thing is when you feel them some are raised bumps and some are dips. I don't know what to make out of the situation! <<Neither do I without some pictures of the tank and the damage>> Could I somehow fix this tank so I can put fish in? <<I have no way of knowing for sure by your description alone, but if the tank bottom is cracked you will not be able to use this tank. Repair 'is' possible but would need to be done carefully by someone familiar with the process and even then is likely more trouble and expense than this tank is worth. My first suggestion is to return the tank for a refund, if possible/practical. Otherwise, you could take it to a good LFS in your area and let them see it first-hand and advise you on its condition and feasibility for repair>> Thank you so much! Grace <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Grinding Glass 10/3/07 To the WWMedia Crew I am in the process of cutting the top of the overflow division glass, in order to get a lower water level in a marine tank. For that I am using with success, a diamond particle rotating tool and small Dremel motor. I notice that some of the white powder mixed with water that results from that work splits into the water clouding it not in a great degree. The tank is a 125 G, filled with salt water and live rocks. No fishes or corals at this moment. Is that glass powder noxious to the future livestock ? Should I change all the water tank ? <Ironic, but I'm thinking of doing the same thing. My glass overflow is a bit too high to allow full flow of the pump. Since glass is made from sand, limestone, dolomite, and soda ash, I really don't see how these elements can be harmful in the system. If this were asbestos, that would be a different story. I'm interested as to what tool you are using (brand, model number, etc.). I'm sure there are other readers, along with myself, who may benefit by this information. Do send along.> Tanks in advance for your help. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Best regards Flavio <<The glass bits are indeed problematical... Are physically damaging. Must be excluded. RMF>>

My Tank may be about to explode!!! Help!!! -- 09/08/07 Hi, Great site, learned so much, all that stuff you probably hear all the time... =) Thank you so much, you guys are the best! Now quickly to my emergency... I have a 120 gallon glass reef tank with 400 watt Metal-Halide lamp on top. There is a glass piece in the middle of the top of the tank that acts as a crossbeam to support the glass sides of the tank. The lamp was a little too close to the glass and heated it up enough to melt the sealant that holds the glass crossbeam in place and it popped loose on one side, sending a shudder through the whole tank. Now the glass on the front and the back on the tank is bowed out about 1/2 to 1 cm each. Does anyone know if I should immediately get a new tank before the front or back breaks? <I do and you should> I can't do that this weekend as we're having a grand opening at my office (where the aquarium is). How far can the glass bow before the whole tank comes crashing down? <Will just go all at once... VERY dangerous... could kill someone... yes> The tank is 5' x 2' x 18" and the glass is 3/8" thick and has the typical plastic trim around the top and the bottom for reinforcement. Should I build a frame around the top with wood and then make new crossbeams to pull it back together? I'm afraid this may stress the glass even more. I need a Xanax I'm so nervous!! PLEASE HELP!!! I don't want a foot of water and thousands of dollars of dead coral and fish on the floor in my office!!! Thank you!! Thomas Bolton <I'd at least lower the water level a good deal... and read here stat!: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/glstkbraces.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: My Tank may be about to explode!!! Help!!!   9/9/07 Hi Bob, <Tom> Thanks for your advice. The tank made it through the grand opening today and I was able to drain 25 gallons out of it, which isn't much, but I figured it would at least temporarily relieve a little bit of stress. I plan to purchase a new tank tomorrow, move all of the corals, fish, live rock and sand into some buckets and Rubbermaid tubs, then move the broken tank off of the stand and replace it with the new tank. <And move the lights to the side...> I have a few questions that I couldn't really get a full picture of from what I read on the site. Currently, I have around 2 to 3 inches of aragonite sand <I'd increase or decrease... per WWM...> in the old tank and I would like to increase to a deep sand bed of about 4 to 6 inches in the new tank. <Oh, good> What's the best way to combine the old and the new sand when putting it in the new tank? <Blend if this is a new tank> Should I clean the old sand first? <How old is it? If not too "dirty", I'd mix right in...> Or would that get rid of any beneficial creatures and/or bacteria? <Not significantly> Thank you so much for your help. I'm completely absorbed by your website. So much information available! <And sooooo much more to go... I see this sort of tool developing into all's "PDA"... personal digital assistants... doing everything from making known when you're about to make mistakes, to where the coldest beer can be had... to even grading your karaoke... for me, very scare ee o key. Can you envision this as well?> I apologize if my questions have already been answered on the site. I've not been afforded the luxury of much time in this situation and sometimes its a little difficult to find an answer quickly due to the large amount and broad scope of the FAQs. <I do wish we could "skip ahead" and in ways make this experience more intuitive... this will come with time> I look forward to getting through my current damaged tank issue and getting back to reading more so I will know what to do if any new emergencies arise in the future. Thanks! Tom <Thank you for this follow-up Tom. Am relieved to hear of your progress, and grateful for your kind words. Bob Fenner>

Re: My Tank may be about to explode!!! Help!!! Moving... SW sand.    9/10/07 Hi Bob, <Tom> Thanks for your reply. I have gone out and purchased a new 135g glass tank (72 x 18 x 25). I also bought a double ballast with two 400w 20,000k MH lights to replace the one that I was using, and to be able to place them on the left and right side instead of the middle of the tank. <Good> Today I am doing the move of the old tank and replacing it with the new one. I also bought some more bagged "live" sand, 60lbs to be exact.  I don't think that this will increase my sand bed depth enough, but its all they had at the LFS today. <More can be added later> I plan to mix this sand with my old sand in the old tank after I get all the LR and creatures out. Then I plan to rinse it all before moving it to the new tank. Does this sound like a good idea? <Yes> Also, I have about half of a 5g bucket full of sand that came from a friend's tank when he dismantled it. This sand has been in the bucket for about 6 months, and had dried out, as far as I can tell. It may have been damp underneath still, but a few days ago I added some saltwater from my tank to the bucket in order to cycle the sand and add it to my refugium later. In light of this emergency tank swap, I would like to use this sand in the new tank, mixed with all of my old tank sand and the new bagged sand. Do you think that it would be dangerous to just mix the sand in the bucket with all the other sand and add it to the tank now? <I think it will be fine> Or do I need to cycle this sand in the bucket for longer than just the few days I have added water to it? <Not likely> The issue here is that I need this new tank set up immediately so my creatures don't all die, and I'd like to build the sand bed up now before I put everything into the new tank. BTW, in answer to your previous question, I have had the sand in my old tank for about 6 years. I have corals and I don't want them to die from any bad stuff in any of these sources of sand. I have done karaoke once in my life. I was in London with a friend and we were at a birthday party for one of his English friends at a pub. Neil Diamond's "Coming to America" was up and so we were drunk enough to go up and sing, being two goofy Americans. We made it through the first verse and chorus and they kicked us off the stage. I know I can't sing to save my life, but its those moments where your judgment is impaired that you do things you probably shouldn't have done! =) <Heeee!> Thanks for the help! If there is anything that I can do to help with making your site more of what you envision, I would be very happy to do so. <Oh! It is exceedingly plain... as I know little re even the simple web authoring program (Frontpage), nor have much in the way of artistic verve. But/hence don't have much in the way of ideas of how to improve the looks, functionality...> Please let me know. I don't do web programming or anything, but maybe there is some other way I can help. I look forward to your reply. Tom <Thank you Tom. Bob Fenner>

Strength for 125g aquarium missing center piece 9/5/07 I have a 125gallon 72" x 24" x 18" aquarium. The top center piece which was 20" wide and spanned the top got accidentally broken. <Needs to be replaced... with something> The glass panels are all 7/16" width. There has been much debate amongst friends, pet specialists, fireman and family regarding the purpose of this missing section. <Discounts bowing. Absolutely necessary> Some say it was for strength and resistance to bowing. <This is so> Others say it was cosmetic and practical to serve as a shelf. <Mmm, the latter to some extent as well... to prevent the lighting from falling in> The fireman/engineer examined the tank and said that it would not be necessary to replace the now missing top piece for safety or strength concerns. He says that the pressure of the water would not exceed 3lbs near the top. <? Three pounds... per what?> The local pet store said we should replace the glass to prevent bowing. <Yes> We know that we can fill it up and it doesn't break under the water test or bow in a few hours time. What we don't know and would like to hear your advice on is that, will it bow in time or suddenly burst in the night? <Or worse, while someone is standing in front of it... Could cut, kill a human.> Thanks, Paul <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/glstkbraces.htm Bob Fenner> Re: strength for 125g aquarium missing center piece 9/6/07 Thanks a million for your prompt response. This really helped. It really won't be such a big expense to have a glass place replace the top piece with silicone. Plus, no water comes to that level so a perfect job that is 100% water tight isn't even required. Thanks again for the great advice! Paul <A pleasure (and relief) to offer my input. Am very glad you sought out more information. Bob Fenner> Broken Fish Tank about 70-80 gallons, reading   9/3/07 Hi, My son and I were making stands for our newly bought fish tanks and whilst hammering on the 6 foot he hit the bottom left of the tank and there is a chip out of the bottom join, the chip is on the outside. There is also a crack about 10 cm up. I was wondering what I have to do to fix this? <Really? Replace the panels likely> Do I have to buy a whole new panel or can I just put a piece of glass over the crack and seal it off with silicon. <A possible remedy... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/glsaqcracks.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Kind Regards, Mick

Aquarium Frame with Center Brace for 55 gal   8/22/07 where can I find one, fast. <... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm the third tray down. B>

Leaky MetaFrame Aquarium   3/19/07 I have searched your website to see if there were any specific tips on how to re-seal an old stainless steel frame MetaFrame aquarium and while there were some tips, I didn't find anything specific enough. <Let's add here> I have a 10-gallon MetaFrame that leaks all over, and I need to re-seal the entire thing. <Yes> I saw that the black linseed oil <This was/is just a solvent for the "Pecora" tar-like substance> or whatever sealant used back then should be replaced with silicone, and that silicone won't adhere to this old sealant. <Correct> How do I get the old sealant out and remove the glass pieces so I can clean everything thoroughly enough for the silicone to adhere? <Mmm, no need to remove the glass... Removing the old sealant can be a chore... some folks with lots of nerve and good eye-hand coordination can use a propane torch (outdoors) and a wing tip to spread the flame, to soften, loosen the old material... and a sturdy putty knife to remove most all... Otherwise, digging at this with hand tools, single-edged razor blades is what works...> (They're really stuck in there...) And, after cleaning the glass and putting it back in, how do I apply the new sealant and where do I put it to ensure a good seal between the frame and the glass pieces? <In the corners, all inside seams, including the upper inside edge of the frame... I would use black Silastic... to match... easier flow...> Do I put this sealant inside and out? <Only on the inside> And, should I remove the slate bottom too or can I just run sealant around the bottom edges? <This latter... after all the "tar" is removed, and all the surfaces cleaned up with a solvent (my faves are Xylene or Toluene)> Any help you can give would be great, I don't want to break the glass or do this project more than once if I can help it! Thank you, Jessica <Mmm, or there's always selling this relic (on eBay or such) and using the proceeds to buy a new all-glass... which is what I would do if all you're interested in is having an aquarium that doesn't leak. Bob Fenner>

Re: Leaky MetaFrame Aquarium   3/19/07 Bob- Thank you so much for your help on this! Your tips were specific and very helpful. I do have a new all-glass aquarium that's low-maintenance, but I love a project, and I like these "relics" too. <Heeee! Are you talking about me or the tank!?> This will be my second one. Thank you again. Jessica <Welcome my friend... Oh, and if you have time, would you please consider making a few images, perhaps penning a short article re your experiences here? I will gladly help you place such. Bob Fenner>

Re: Leaky MetaFrame Aquarium  - 03/20/07   I will do that. It will be a little while before all is up and running, but as soon as it is, I will send a couple of pics and a letter. Thanks again! <Do appreciate this... As am SURE many folks will who follow your input. BobF>

Fixed MetaFrame   4/16/07 Hi Bob!   You gave me some help about a month ago, suggesting some ways that I could seal up my leaky MetaFrame aquarium. You asked me to send pics when it was done and it is...so here are the pics! <A very nice job indeed; including an 'olde' stand!>   I cleaned the entire thing, scraped all of the old sealant out of the cracks, cleaned the glass with both acetone and then glass cleaner, and then I used aquarium-grade silicone and sealed up all of the edges. (Using the old water on the finger trick, I was able to press the silicone down in to the cracks for a good seal.) I then filled it with water to check for leaks, there weren't any after 2 days so I drained it and put it on the stand that I also restored, and it's been humming along ever since. I wanted to let it run a little before adding fish, but in a couple of days, I'm adding those and this project will be complete!   Thank you again for you help, your website is a real asset to the aquarist community. Jessica Beebe
<Thank you for sharing! Bob Fenner>

Aquarium Leak (Possibility For Catastrophic Failure?) -- 03/09/07 Hi there, <<Hello>> I hope you can help me out. <<I shall try>> We have a 140 gallon fish tank that is probably about 10years old.  Last night my dad noticed water droplets on the outside of the tank and thought it was nothing until he put his hand over to wipe it and it formed an even bigger droplet and started coming out in a very very fine stream (more like trickling down). <<Bad news indeed>> I've read your website but most of the questions concern leaks in the silicone sealing - the leak that we have is on the side panel of the fish tank and is the actual glass itself. <<Yeeikes!  I would drain this tank immediately for fear of catastrophic failure of the glass panel>> It is pretty much like someone stuck a pin right through the glass and caused a leak. <<Hmm...no youngsters (or oldsters) running around with BB-guns are there?>> Now what we don't understand is how it possibly could have happened and what to do? <<Can't say how it happened (likely something got knocked against the tank), but the tank will need to be drained and repaired/replaced>> My dad is looking for another tank right now but I want to know whether we can fix it with a piece of glass and silicone or just sealing that hole itself with silicone? <<'Patching' with a piece of glass 'might' be an option, though not often recommended...but simply trying to fill the hole with silicone is not.  Replacing the entire glass panel is the better/recommended option, but considering the age of the tank, perhaps simply replacing it makes the most sense here.  See if your local fish store/hobby friends can house your livestock while the new tank gets established>> My dad is also worried that the longer we leave the leak the worse the chances of it actually turning into a crack and leaking the whole basement. <<Worries me as well...depending on how low down on the panel the damage is, I can see the tank coming apart with a 'bang!'>> Should he be worried about that and what do you think is the best thing for us to do right now. <<Yes, be worried...and drain the tank...>> Thank you very much. An <<A pleasure to assist.  EricR>>

Cracked bottom, scratched second-hand glass tank repair  2/28/07 Hiya...I have a few Questions about a second hand tank I have bought. I have read through many of your articles but don't see any about cracks on the bottom. only sides. <Mmm... bottoms can be tricky... as most all tanks are "made" on their bottoms... the sides, front, back Siliconed down onto them...> The glass is 10mm thick and on the bottom there is a scratch/crack about 1 foot long. I can only feel it on the underside of the tank and not when I put my  hand inside the tank.. (The tank is still empty).  I was wondering what the best option for this would be. Would this make the tank weak? <Mmm... yes... It may be possible/practical to effect a repair by cutting out the entire seam inside the tank (including the sides, yes)... and fitting a new piece of glass inside, over the existing cracked bottom... Siliconing over the crack, and all the old/new corners... if the bottom is "very badly cracked", as in pieces missing, another piece of glass should be fitted, Siliconed in over the bottom as well...> I  thought about Siliconing another smaller piece of glass onto it. <Mmm, not small... Really needs to fit "corner to corner"... though not tightly> I don't really  care if it is not leaking just peace of mind wants me to do this, so I have not  even tested for a leak yet. <I would not test it for such... it will leak, assuredly... and a simpler repair I would not trust> There are also 2 chips 1 at either end of the tank ..in the middle at the bottom, where the side meets the bottom. These are also not right through, but would this be a weak point? <Yes...> I hope you are able to make a little sense from that lol Thanks ...Jade. <Yes... Reciprocally, do my comments make sense to you here? The rationale for cutting out, replacing the existing Silastic is that way-too often there are leaks that originate "somewhere" when all the inside beads aren't of the same age/continuous... See the Yellow Pages, folks at a glass shop... 100% Silicone (no mildewcides...). Bob Fenner> Old Aquarium, sell... or repair?   2/22/07 I visited a local pet store and inquired about repairing a 55 gallon aquarium that has been sitting in my mother's garage for 20 years.  I am 63 years old and I remember my father having fish in that tank when I was a child. Obviously, it is close to 70 years old; it is on a metal stand with wheels. <Neat!>   The aquarium has a slate bottom with drain hole that appears to be in good shape.  The problem is that one of the larger glass sides was broken and needs to be replaced.  I have considered selling it in a garage sale or just giving it away, but the pet shop owner indicated that it might be of some value. <Yes; might be> He said that he doubts that a replacement glass would be advisable thinking it would probably leak and thought it might be better to use it as a terrarium.  It occurs to me that if I installed glass of appropriate thickness and was successful with sealant application, the aquarium should be adequate to maintain fish.  What would you advise. <Mmm, well, unless you're in a big hurry, I'd "shop" it around... see what it might sell for... And if all you're interested in is having a useful system... I'd trade it in for the money and buy a brand new outfit. OTOH, I do like antiques in the field... so, repairing it might be the way to go... with "matching" technology (likely Pecora sealant...)>   If I were to install a new glass, could I purchase the glass from a local retail glass dealer? <Mmm, yes... if this were the route you settled on> What thickness would you recommend. <Likely 3/8 or 1/4" plate... The latter likely being what it is otherwise made of> Also, is it your opinion that the aquarium I have described would be of value as an antique?   <Yes... And I do encourage you to contact an old (okay, middle-aged...) friend, Gary Bagnall... of ZooMed... who is about the most "in to" person of such gear that I know... Have cc'ed him and another hobbyist/collector friend, Chuck Rambo here... And maybe try a pic or two... on eBay...> Thank you for your assistance, Charlie Marsh Jacksonville, Arkansas <Welcome, Bob Fenner>

Old Glass, Slate Tank repair, speculations re fish physiology re env. nitrogenous compounds   2/18/07 Dear Crew, <<Hello, Anne. Tom with you today.>> I recently purchased a 55 gallon slate bottom aquarium. I've scraped the old silicone out, cleaned and resealed the tank three times. I still have a major leak. The slate is flaking. Could it be leaking the water? It's very hard to lift the tank to tell where the leak is coming from. I am also not sure that I can safely dismantle the tank. <<This one's a little out of my area, Anne, but if the slate's flaking, you won't get proper adhesion with the silicone. Both the slate and glass must be perfectly clean and, in the case of the slate, sealed, in order for the silicone to bond properly. Now, my shortcoming, if you will, is in knowing how to properly seal the slate in order to get the bond that you'll need to prevent leakage. I would hazard a guess here that you'll need a clear epoxy sealer that's, obviously, suitable for aquarium use but, beyond this, I'm at a loss to provide any hard information.>> I have been researching fish for ten years and am hoping to get a PhD in aquatic animal medicine. <<A commendable goal/pursuit.>> I haven't started college yet and am having trouble understanding a few things. I understand pH and the measuring of Hydrogen ions. What I don't understand is the direct effect pH and ammonia have on fish. Is it merely the fact that fish don't come into contact with ammonia and nitrates in the wild? <<From an evolutionary standpoint, I would offer that this is, in part, the case. Fish have adapted, around the globe, to a variety of differing conditions which is why we don't have 'one-size-fits-all' water parameters in the hobby. The most obvious example is the difference between saltwater and freshwater life but variations in pH in different areas of the world are certainly other cases in point.>> Does it affect their bodily functions? <<Absolutely. Ammonia, for example, adversely affects (burns) the gill tissues causing swelling/damage which inhibits/prohibits the uptake of oxygen and the expulsion of ammonia. The result is suffocation. Likewise, nitrites bond with oxygen-transporting hemoglobin in the blood resulting, effectively, in the same thing, i.e. suffocation. pH fluctuations can cause damage to the skin, eyes and gill membranes as well as altering, with sometimes fatal consequences, the very narrow range of the pH of the fishes' blood.>> From what I understand it's not that fish can't handle the levels it's how quickly it changes. <<This is true, to an extent, with pH levels. Ammonia and nitrite levels, ideally, should never even be measurable but fish can/will adapt to pH levels outside of their particular norms as long as these remain stable. The current thinking in the hobby now is to adapt our fish to the pH levels of whatever our primary source of water -- tap water, for instance -- might be. Attempting to chemically alter the pH is, all too often, the recipe for a disastrous change in the pH levels of our tanks. Better to maintain stable pH conditions outside of the 'ideal' than to set the stage for a potential calamity. (This almost always takes the form of a plummet in pH levels due to insufficient buffering.)>> I know some fish can survive with gradual acclimation to abnormal levels. I have a bad feeling that I've got things very messed up! <<I don't think you have things 'messed up', Anne. These aren't easy concepts to get a handle on. The important thing to do is take it slowly. Lots of folks become overwhelmed by the volume of information and throw up their hands in despair. Narrowing your focus to very specific topics until you're comfortable with each one will help in avoiding 'information overload'.>> Please help a very obsessed and very confused fish fanatic. Thank you so very much, Anne  ( I hope to one day be as smart and knowledgeable as all of you) <<Well, in my case that might be taking a step backward but, for all of us, thank you. I've got the feeling that you'll far surpass my knowledge with a little more time and research. Best regards. Tom>>

Leaking 125 gallon tank    02/17/07 My 125 gallon tank has sprung a leak. I have cut out the silicone on the inside on the side it was leaking from.  I resiliconed the seam let it dry  48 hours and began to refill. The tank fills to 2/3 full then begins to leak slowly. I drained tank removed silicon inside tank again cleaned area with  alcohol dried area resiliconed and waited 72 hours for silicon to cure. Refilled  tank and it leaked again when filled a little more than previous time and  started leaking again. Should I reseal tank completely  inside? <Ah, yes... "at least" this cutting out, cleaning all corners, and re-sealing... As it is not possible to tell where the leak (internally) is actually originating. At the "worst" you may be faced with cutting out all Silastic, dismantling all the glass panels... removing the frame... and re-sealing all... Let's hope not. Bob Fenner>

New Aquarium Seam Question (Pic inc.)    2/12/07 Hi, <Hello there> I love your forum and you have answered many questions I have had.  I currently am running a 75-gallon freshwater community aquarium which I have had up for about 4 years.  Now, I'm wanting to take the plunge into saltwater. <Ze plongee!> I recently bought a new Perfecto 120-gallon aquarium.  Upon getting it home and filling with water for a leak test I noticed one of the seams looked a little funny. <I see this> The included picture shows the seam in question.  It is the upper two-thirds of the seam.  The lower third of the seam is clear. <The better area for this> I researched seams in your FAQ's and found that some bubbles are normal but I'm not sure if these are too much or not. <Mmm... this one is likely fine... and it seems you have a pretty good idea of how this happens... just not a "great" job of putting this tank (seam) together>   The aquarium was full of water for about 3 days with no leaks.  Could these bubbles be problems down the road? <Mmm, not likely> Seeing as the aquarium is new, should I just return it or should I keep it and not worry because the seam will be O.K? <I would keep it... the possibility of a problem is low... and am admittedly too lazy to take all out... move this one for no "good" reason>   I'm not trying to be too picky, but the prospect of 120-gallons of saltwater in my floor kind of makes me uneasy.  Thanks in advance for your help! Paul H. <I understand, and agree! Bob Fenner> Re: New Aquarium Seam Question (Pic inc.) Wow!! Thank you so much for the quick response and detailed answer.  Personal answers in a day!  You guys are fabulous!  Apparently, you are genuinely interested in furthering this hobby. I'm going to keep the aquarium and press on.  Thank you again! Paul
<Welcome my friend. BobF>

Tank Repair and Halide Question  2/5/07 Hello from Alabama,    <Greetings from (today) sunny Southern California, though I will be literally next/next door in SC three days hence>   Thank you for the great site and all of your help. I have two questions and will try to keep it brief. I have a small aquarium maintenance business <Ahh, I did this for 19 years...> and one of my customers has two marine aquariums, of which the questions are about. The first tank I have a question about is a 210 All-Glass reef-ready that when he had set-up (by someone else) the power compact strip light was laid directly on the glass lids causing both plastic braces to melt and break. <Yes... not smart> This of course has caused the front and back panels of glass to bow to a point where the braces have about a 1/2" gap where they used to meet. <Uhh... I would fashion, re-install these braces... they are functional... not just for looks> I'm not sure how long it has been like this, I have been servicing the tank for a couple of months and I feel like something should be done. <I agree> I know that the whole top trim can be removed and replaced with a new one, but I am a little scared to attempt this. <Not that hard to do... Contact All-Glass re... they will instruct you, sell you the replacement bracing... You may well be able to "get away" with draining the tank only mostly...> I was thinking about draining the tank down to a point where the tank receded to its normal width and the braces touched again, and then attaching a new piece of 1/4" Plexi-glass that would bridge over the broken brace and act as a new brace. I plan to attach this new piece by drilling holes and using plastic wing nuts. Of course I will have the PC on legs like it always should have been. Do you think this would be a worthwhile remedy for the problem? <Mmm... I doubt if this repair would "hold" (just so much force), but worth attempting rather than doing nothing... If it were my account I'd effect the repair mentioned first>      My next question is concerning this same customer's second tank. It is a 135 gallon (72x18x24) acrylic tank. It has the standard acrylic top with two rectangular openings. We recently placed an HQI strip light that has 3-250 watt HQIs and 4-130 Actinic PCs. The two end HQI bulbs align over the openings in the top but about 80% of the center one is over the 7" acrylic  section between the two rectangles. I am currently not using the center light because I wasn't sure how hot it would get, fearing this tank would suffer like the above tank. <You are wise here... I would NOT place a 250 watt HQI fixture here> The bottom of the light fixture is about 5" off of the acrylic, <Too close... I would have at a minimum a foot of space twixt the lamp and acrylic... Plexiglas has a surprisingly low flash point> the top of the canopy is made with a plastic grid for ventilation, and the strip light has a cooling fan built in. The HQIs are on a timer and run about 9 hours a day. Based on this information do you think that it would be safe to use the center bulb?    <I do NOT. Again, if the one fixture (or likely all) can be "lifted" the suggested height...>   Thank you for your help, sorry I ran a little long.      Jeremy  <>< <No worries. Good to make your acquaintance. Bob Fenner>

Leaking Aquarium Repairs - 1/24/07 Hi, <Hey Ryan, JustinN here.> I bought a used tank (about 5 years old) from my LFS about 6 months ago, its a 77 gallon Hagen tank (thick glass, about 3/8" I'd guess). <Ok> I set it up as an African cichlid tank and all was fine for about 4 months then it developed a leak from the front left-hand bottom seam/ seal. <Not good> I was home at the time and caught it as it started (didn't drain very fast or loose much water) and had a spare 55gal kicking around that was empty at the time so I moved everyone over to that tank till I could repair the 77gal. I had resealed a couple of other tanks previously (including the 55gal backup tank) and all had turned out fine. I repaired the 77 gallon tank using 100% silicone black RT sealant and rubbing alcohol and let it sit for 2 days before test filling it. <...? You did remove and replace all silicon here, right?> It tested fine and sat full of water for about 2 days I guess. I set the tank back up and moved everyone back into the 77gal. It was fine for 2 months and then we had to move. Got the tank moved and set back up again in the new house. It was fine for about 2 weeks when I got a call from my girlfriend saying she came home from work and found the tank completely empty and all but 4 fish dead on the bottom. <Yeeikes! Sorry for your losses, my friend.> She got the live fish into my other tank and cleaned out the 77gal tank. It leaked from the same corner as before, but this time it was much worse. The tank wasn't perfectly level in the new house and did lean towards that corner. SO I'm guessing that could have been the cause (my fault, was in a rush to get the tanks up and the fish out of the coolers, learned that the hard way I guess) <Likely added to the problem, yes.> So now my girlfriend is trusting of the tank anymore but I'm stubborn and refuse to give up on it (love the tank and it was perfect for my Africans) <Yes, but I do understand her sentiment: a leaking tank will make quick work of many other of your possessions.> So this time around I'm thinking I should cut the tank right apart and start with fresh everything instead of just sealing the inside seams. <Oh, yes. You just sealed over the seams on this (and previous) tanks? This is hardly a solution for a leaking aquarium. The new silicon will not bond properly to the old silicon, it does not matter how much you clean it with rubbing alcohol first. This was bound, destined to leak again eventually, regardless of the levelness of the tank.> How should I go about this and do you recommend using the black RT or the clear silicone? <Either silicone will be fine here, my friend. Information and procedures for tank repairs such as this are posted, thoroughly here on WWM my friend. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm and scan through other peoples experiences, and formulate your own attack plan as such. This is the strength of the wonderfully powerful tool Bob has built here at WetWebMedia -- a medium that doesn't encourage, but essentially forces the end user to educate themselves.> Also was wondering if I should add a center brace to this tank (doesn't have one) as it seems to bow quite a bit when full. Sorry for the length, I just want to make sure I get this one right so I don't have this problem again. Thanks for reading. Ryan (BC, Canada) <Adding a center brace is entirely up to you, though I do put a great deal of merit on peace of mind purchases and additions. Good luck to you! -JustinN> Leaking Aquarium Repairs -- a follow-up - 1/25/07 Hello again, forgot to put it in my previous email, but yes I did cut out all the old silicone seal on the inside of the tanks I repaired being careful not to cut into the seams. Followed by cleaning all edges with rubbing alcohol and letting dry before running my new beads of silicone. <Mmm, no, this is not a repair my friend. This is at very best a poor stop-gap solution. The bond and leak-proofing is not made by bonding silicon over the gaps, its by the silicon in the seam sealing, and creating the bond and seal between glass panels. The overflow of silicon in the inside edges of an aquarium is simply a side effect of properly filling these gaps. Any tank repaired in the manner you describe here, will fail eventually, every time.> How much bow is acceptable to have in a tank without a center support and 3/8" glass? Thanks again, Ryan <Any visible bowing, beyond more than a quarter inch of deviance from the original (non-filled) point would merit a center support, for me. With a tank this size, if I was already going the full nine and removing, cleaning, and resealing ALL glass panels (which, you must do, or you WILL have another leak), I would add the center brace just for my own peace of mind. I would rather spend an extra 20 bucks and be confident in my setup, then save the money and always worry about that "maybe". Good luck! -JustinN>

Tall, skinny tanks   1/4/07 Hello, thanks for your site- it is very helpful- and I really need help! Here's a new one (please bear with the long story): I am an sculptor.  For about 10 years, I have been making  glass tanks that are tall (up to 6ft) and skinny .  For example - 4" x4"x70  or   7"x3"x 68" at the largest. <Neat... have seen such in years past... there was even a go by a commercial manufacturer to produce, use these in place of a panel of a slider/glass door...> I have been using  1/4" glass <Yikes... not thick enough for much of anything beyond 24-30 inches in height (length, width not as important...)> and GE 100% silicone.   The tanks get filled with a solution of mostly water and a little vinegar.  (According to GE, vinegar is not a solvent for silicone.) <Mmm, not once it is cured, yes...> They stand on the floor or are siliconed to a small glass base.    Some of these pieces are still fine but some have started to leak after 6+ years. <Yes... your initial construction must have been excellent for them to hold together in all honesty>   I think it is because I have been doing these myself and have not been able to achieve a good enough seal when attaching the last side of glass.  Also because they are so tall and skinny, <Yes, this latter> I cannot manage to apply another bead to the inside. <Understood... no room to get tools, the material in> I use a home made tool with a  sanded dowel to smear the last two seams. I have an exhibition that I need to get right.  I want to make tanks that are similar in proportion to the ones above.  I will also find some help in putting them together.  Do you have any recommendations for the construction? <Mmm, no... perhaps to contact Dow-Corning... the biggest patent/technology holder (as far as I'm aware) of Silastics... and ask for their input here> If it is buy a book - which one? <None as far as I know> Should I be using thicker glass?  How do I calculate this? <Mmm... there are "average" given strengths for such... depending on the type of glass for instance... You would do well to contact various "Glass Institutes" and seek their input here... Some laminated glasses, even acrylics and their solvents... might be I was also thinking of Siliconing Pyrex angle directly to the column to the make an exterior frame but I have not been able to find a supplier of this material.  I have done it with 3/4" Plexi angle as a default but I don't think it would work to stop a leak. <Mmm, no, not advised> Also, another question about silicone- GE recommends a 3/16" thick bead. <The bead itself is of small import... the actual seal strength is 90 plus percent the material twixt the viewing panels/panes. The bead principally exists to prevent cutting into the material between the facing panes> If it is thicker than that when it is squished and used to laminate something like 3/4"  angle to the corners of a tank,  do you think the space is too thick for air to get in and cure the silicone? <Oh... there should be very little... practically as little as possible, Silastic/Silicone in-between... the Silicone to Silicone material is not really what makes the seal...> Thanks so much! Jennifer
<Welcome, Bob Fenner>

125 gallon custom made L shaped tank  1/2/07 <Original trayless message, plus original attachment is as follows. -JustinN> <<Thank you Justin>> Hi, I was glad to find your site and info on resealing a fish tank as I need it, this tank was given to me and when moved (very thick heavy glass + awkward shape) it came loose in the seams in a couple areas, my question is do you think resealing will be sufficient for this shape tank without further issues? <<Mmmm...>> attaching pics of tank. <Happy new year, JustinN with you today! You didn't provide information on exactly how you resealed your tank, so I can't guarantee success. Assuming you cleaned all the edges, then siliconed all the edges thoroughly, all should be fine. Also of note, if the location of the tank is its final resting position, I would highly recommend supporting the bottom of the tank at all locations, as the current arrangement is almost certain to cause stress points. Hope this helps! -JustinN> <<I concur with Justin... these "L-Shaped" tanks are hard to make, keep sealed tight... MUST be placed on a stand/support that will keep the ENTIRE tank level and planar... on a very strong stand, floor... Not as pictured... which I hope/trust is just for show. Bob Fenner>

Re: 125 gallon custom made L shaped tank  1/2/07 Hi, I have not resealed the tank yet, was just curious as to the best way to go about this, in sections maybe? <Ah! Ok, yes, I would go in sections and use something to brace the edges together in the corners> I plan to reseal the entire tank, as far as its final resting place, I am having a stand built for it that will support it all the way around, these are the pictures that the person that gave the tank to me sent to me, she had it set up that way. <Good> Will resealing the tank be sufficient in restoring this monster tank?? <Should be fine, though to be honest, I personally would be a little leery of potential glass stress from running the tank in the arrangement pictured. Just be sure to give all the glass a very thorough looking before filling. -JustinN>
 Re: 125 gallon custom made L shaped tank   1/4/07 Hi, thanks so much, another question, what would I use to brace edges together in corners?? any ideas? <Wood jointers, as you would use in the making of cabinetry and woodwork should work fine. Anything that can support the weight of the glass, apply pressure, and maintain a 90 degree angle will do. Hope this helps! -JustinN>

Overflow Crack ?  12/20/06 Greetings WWM. Am very excited to be mailing the gods of aquaria. <"Always thought I'd be an apostle/disciple"... in my best Superstar voice...> Lots of info here - please let me know your feelings ... <It's very pleasant, warm down here visiting in FLA... and I'd really like a cool beer... oh, that's not what you were hoping for> thanks. Got a reef ready for fresh water Glasscages 55x23x28 inside-water = 150 net gal with a modified, (w/lotsa work), 45 gal "pre-made" Glasscages acrylic sump to a wet-dry. Did my homework, it's been three months of work, used sched 80, silicone and glue in all the right places. It is on the main floor, 3/4 in. Brazilian mahogany, over a weight bearing wall, finished basement below - usa homeowners insurance no coverage (unless vandals/fire/nature).? Any recommend? <Mmm, call your agent here re coverage itself> Used double felt on floor under oversized 5/8 in. plywood foot under modified, (w/lotsa work), wood cabinet carefully leveled/flat with linoleum, (felt allows easy sliding everything without water-nice). <Good tip> Used 3/4 in. pink foam (as per Glasscages 90 day warr) and linoleum between stand and tank, to make flat/level. The tank, (very Euro braced), is very flat/level all four sides, with or without water, as measured on the top plastic trim and/or glass. Top of water to inside bottom of Euro glass is 1 1/8 in. all four corners. Have two center-end, three-side 7x10x29 in. overflows with two 1 1/2 + 1 in. bulkheads ea. <Mmm, wish these were larger inside diameter... even if fewer in number> Tank glass is 1/2 in, overflows and Euro brace surrounding the bottoms of overflows, etc is 3/8 in. Used 1 1/2 in deep half in. Mex Beach grey-black pea gravel - beautiful.? Is it ok? <For?> Have had water in it for two months. Ultimately did the fish free cycle thing with 2-5 ppm ammonia (Ace Janitor Ammonia - comes @ 10% strength) 1 tbs at a time until nitrate spike. <Mmm, such exogenous ammonia can be made to be of use...> Took three weeks and worked great. Three ppm ammonia vanishes in two days now. Am planning to get all the fish together from the distributor in one visit, via the best LFS, (fish will never be in the LFS tanks, they recommended this - sounded good), and put them all in at one time, (after major water change).? Think this will work? <Mmm, possibly... hopefully no, little nitrogenous, other cycling issues... You're doing this to lessen the chances of agonistic behavior? To save time, money on freight? What re quarantine procedures?> ... so ... After six weeks of water, the side of an overflow cracked from the bottom outside corner, where the tank bottom meets the side, up 10 inches at a 45 degree angle, towards the center of the tank, across the whole width of the side of the overflow. The overflow trickle leaks into the overflow only, at the crack, when empty. There is no outside leak. This means if there is a power failure, the 29 in high homemade 1 1/2 in. Durso standpipe will drain the tank down about five inches from top, (to the bottom of the inverted trap/street L), overflowing the wet dry sump by maybe 20 gals. The Glasscages recommends drain, cut out the caulking ... silicone a glass patch to the inside or outside of the cracked pane, and re-caulk. <Yes... this is what I would do as well> They say this normally happens because of homeowner leveling/flattening problems. Wish I could find an angle off on this stuff so I could correct it and have more confidence.? <Mmm, floors under load are often different then when tanks are empty... a good idea to fashion something... at least a piece of plywood under all to even all out a bit... better to make a more standard support (two plus by...) and set the tank/stand on this... But, it may well be that an investment in a structural engineer is in your future here.... See your "Yellow Pages"...> Am hopeful it was just a glitch, like a pre-existing crack/chip, or glass measurements/tolerances off, or forgot/didn't put enough silicone under that piece - oops. Is this a coin flipper, or what do you guys think? <Glass Cages make good products in my estimation... Impossible to tell re all the work from here> Will wait for your wisdom before I do anything ... and ... I have a fish dream. <"Brothers and sisters"> Am starting them together as juvenile's. 5 veil angels, 8 boesemanni rainbows, 8 Congo's, 5 clown loaches, 3 Balas(-or-3 tinfoil barbs), 1 gold Severum, 1 stripe headstander, 1 red hook silver dollar, and 3 Siamese algae eaters.? Is this a good load for my 175 net gals? How would you modify? <Mmm... well... I'd settle on either a more calm (centering on the Angels) or brisk (Tinfoils and Red hook) mix/theme here...> ... aanndd ... Am planning a battery back-up to run an air stone. Could you recommend a comparable/ better air pump than the super Luft 38 - 22w (also, to put in the cabinet to keep the moisture down, and run a stone with a one way check valve)? <There is no better choice IMO> ... Is there a comp/better heater than a won bro titanium pro? ... Is there a recommended battery air pump? ... Mucho Thanks for your help, Andy <I do like this heater... Bob Fenner>

Q?...55 gal. molding   12/10/06 Hey guys great site. <Thank you for your kind words.  Mich with you tonight.> I just bought an old 55 gallon tank, and the top molding that connects the center of the tank in the middle/top is broken off. I filled it up outside and it seems to bow out around less than 1/4 inch so is this ok? <Mmmm, No.> This kind of thing relates to my job a little and I believe the tank is in little danger of (exploding outward at the middle?!!?)BUT I am a newbie aquarist of 6 months. <But with good sensibilities!> Someone told me they had a tank like this and they box knifed the silicone and removed the top molding (empty of course) and replaced it with a new part sealed it and it was good. Is this likely and/or recommended? (no/yes 55 gal) <Highly recommended.  It's quite easy to do.  The replacement molding is cheap.  You will enhance the structural integrity of the tank.  Really, there's no down side.> I'm very dexterous so I could do this no problem but is the right thing to do? <Absolutely!> I only saw one other inquiry like this but it only pertained to damaged exterior edge of the molding whereas mine is missing the middle divider. <Just do it!  Just do it! Just do it!> Thanks so much thank you for your time. <You are quite welcome. -Mich> Larry b.

Glass Tank Repair 12/6/06 Hello all, <Hello Dustin> A lady at work is giving me for free an Oceanic 75 with lights, stand, overflow, sump, and CO2 tank. <Merry Christmas> The only catch is that she said it has a small hole in the bottom glass a few inches out from the silicone.  Is it true that you can put another piece of glass on top of the bottom glass, silicone around it, and still use it? The owner of my LFS said that I could do that.  Should I use a glass "patch", or does it have to be the same size as the original bottom glass?  What thickness of glass should I use? <I'd give it a try.  Use the same thickness glass and have it cut so about one inch of glass goes beyond the hole in all directions (if space permits).   Do put a thin layer of silicone on the entire face of the glass patch, along with sealing the edges.> I would also silicone another piece to the bottom of the tank for insurance. Be sure you use 100% silicone, no additives such as mold/mildew inhibitors. After at least 24 hours, I would fill the tank in an area that is easy to clean up. Let it sit a couple days and check for leaks, if all is well, have at it.> Thanks! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Marineland Corner 70 bottom crack.   11/17/06 <Hi JC, Michelle here.> I had a disaster yesterday with my new setup in a Corner 70 by Marineland mounted in a custom built stand from a local wood shop. The setup was 80# Live Sand and 125# Live Rock.  The live sand was placed first, then I aquascaped the LR over a PVC stand that cover the back half of the bottom pane and fit the back panes geometry.  After 1 hr, I had a flooded family room and a crack from the right front corner to almost the back left.  I already ordered a new tank but I want to get rid of any risks.  I don't know if it was glass defect or some minor leveling problems.  I need advise on how to prevent this on the new tank (same type)  <Yipe! So sorry! I do not see anything you did improperly. It can be very difficult getting the live rock aquascaped.  Be very careful when moving the rock work. If your stand will allow, it may be helpful to cut a sheet of ridged insulation and place it inside the stand.  Place the tank on top of the insulation and it will assist in leveling the tank.  I would also allow the area to dry thoroughly before proceeding again.  I hope you have much better results next time.>   Thanks, JC

300 gal with a crack,,, Not What It's Cracked Up To Be 11/10/06 I just received a 300 gallon tank for free from a friend. He got it from a teacher because the school was no longer going to fund to have a saltwater tank anymore. It is an old tank at least 10-14 years. I was planning on resealing it to prevent any leaks, but after I washed the tank out I noticed in one of the corners about half way down there is a defect that I would guess is a crack. My best way to explain it is that it is the size of half of an American quarter and is rounded. It does not go past the silicon on the inside of the tank, it is only where the two corners connect. It is on the larger panel and I fear that would be costly to buy a new panel. The tank is huge after all. I wanted to turn it into a freshwater tank. Is this going to be a problem? If the crack is on the corner and before the silicon plus it is rounded, the chances of it spreading is less likely right? Or will the tank fail under the weight of the water? <Michelle, I wouldn't fill it if it were mine, but it wouldn't hurt to have it looked at by someone knowledgeable.  I'd certainly have it looked at by someone in the know before I'd fill it.  James (Salty Dog)> ~Michelle~

Cracked Bottom Tank   9/26/06 Hello.  Wonderful, informative site. I bought a used tank, unfortunately, the bottom panel is cracked.  Long story, a sad story, that led to me buying it anyway :-) It is 75gal, with these dimensions: (44x15x26.5 w/.5"glass) I read the entire FAQ at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm It looks like - I'll need to replace the bottom panel of glass - This replacement is fairly easily done, but you need to do it right so that you have confidence that it won't leak later! Ok!  How fun!  After reading your FAQ I have a couple unanswered questions:- Do I need a special kind of glass?  (tempered, hardened, ??) < Usually these tanks are made with the cheapest glass around so go with regular glass of the same thickness.> - Where can I get this glass?  (I guess Home Depot, right?) < You could start there but I think you will end up at a glass shop.> - About how much is this glass going to cost me? < Glass is not cheap. Compare the cost of glass to the cost of buying a new tank.> - Instead of using glass, could I still get a good seal with Plexiglas, or even plywood covered w/ epoxy? < In Canada and areas that don't have access to inexpensive aquariums, many aquarists have built wooden aquariums with a glass front. Check the internet for info on epoxy and wood requirements.> Would this be cheaper?  Is it advisable? < Sounds like too much work and money for something that may not work. I have seen some aquarists simply silicon a new piece of glass over the existing bottom. But I would be concerned depending on the crack. How about doing what everybody else does and keep reptiles in it?-Chuck> Thank you! ~Jeff

Tank Repair  9/6/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> About 3 years ago, my mother gave me the fish tank that my grandfather had custom made. It is a corner tank in the shape of a diamond - there's a 45 angle at the back and two sides and then the front has a bigger angle connecting the two - a typical diamond shape. I set it up then, ran for a while, but the fish died and I didn't have the $/time to set it all up again.  Last year, for my birthday, I set it up again with no problems.  About a month ago I noticed a wet spot around the bottom rim, looking closer I realized that there was a leak coming from about the center of the front large angle on the left side when looking at it.  We quickly unloaded the water and got the fish out. Then we cleaned it with some rubbing alcohol and siliconed the outside seam from top to bottom.  (There's a yellowish colored seam that connects the two pieces of glass and then another clear seam (Thinking silicone) on the inside and out of just this weird seam).  We let it stand for 2 two days, replaced the water and the fish and everything seemed to be fine. About a week later my husband was checking out his silicone job and noticed that that same seam at the very top, about 1 inch down cocked over about 1/4 inch, went about 4 inches down and then cocked back over to where the seam was supposed to be - this included the yellowish inner seam. I'm very surprised that the glass didn't crack, but it didn't.  We took the whole thing apart and I can't find anyone around here that fixes fish tanks. I did a Google search and found this site, checked out a couple of the questions, but no one has a problem quite like this one.  To try to give you an idea, instead of the glass butting up against each other, it only slightly connects on the inside of the tank and the outside (because of that weird angle) doesn't at all, that's where that yellowish stuff comes in. So, I didn't know if I should use the same technique and silicone that you recommend for all the other fixes - (I didn't know if I should get something that was stronger or something.  Thanks for all of your help. <I don't see any reason you can't just remove all the silicone on the inside of the leaking side (or the whole tank, to be sure) & re-seal it with silicone.  Be sure to remove everything with a razor blade.    ~PP>

Tank perimeter trim and back wall over flow vents   8/30/06 Hey crew! <Jean-T> I made a sump out of an old 55 gal tank. I added silicone over the existing silicone <Not a good practice... doesn't adhere well. Should be cut out, replaced...> just to be safe. (I know this is somewhat useless since its the film between the glass that does the job.. <Oh! Yes> but I feel better still) I noticed that the plastic perimeter trim on the top and bottom of the tank was cracked in all corners. <Mmm, this is more for assembly, looks than structural...> I am having a hard time finding replacements at local pet shops and have no  credit cards to order them via internet. <Make a deal with someone who does... send them a check in advance...> Do I really need this trim ? <Mmm, very likely not> I have 4 baffles in the sump so this may compensate as reinforcement?? <To some extent yes... I wouldn't worry re... you probably won't have this filled very high...>    Also I have 4 drains across the top of my back wall (1 inch bulk head)  and my pump will be pushing 1200 gph. Do I need to pipe  vents into the overflows so they can draw air? <Mmm, likely a very good idea to have "tees" at the down junctions... may well have to aspirate these to cut the "gurgling" noise... See WWM...>   I once herd that if no vent is present it can greatly lessen flow? is his true? <Mmm, in some cases these small diameter lines can/do operate as siphons... but this is not a good idea all the way around... if the size, number of drains is insufficient and one or more should become occluded...> Do you think my drains will handle 1200 gph? <No... all this is gone over and over...> my return to the tank is via  4   3/4 inch  returns ? does this sound right for 1200 gph in a 90 gal tank? <Depends on the pumping mechanism, but no... not real 1,200 gallons per hour> tanks so ever very much for your precious time! thanks!!!!!!!!!!   Tristan!!! <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm Scroll down to the areas on plumbing, overflows, bulkheads, noise... and read... Better to re-drill, fit large-enough through-puts now. Bob Fenner> -Removing the Supports-   8/29/06 Bob: <Evening, Justin with you tonight> First of all I am new as an aquarium hobbyist. Anyway my friend was moving out of town and gave me his 55 gallon tank. The only thing I needed was a light and filter to start my first planted freshwater aquarium. I purchased a canister filter and a light source that had a lunar light in the center. In retrospect, a very bone head move I made, I cut the plastic bracing strip in the center of the tank. <Uh oh......> So the lunar light was now visible on the tank. I have filled the tank and was unable to place the hood on. Then I realized the glass had bowed. I, however, then was able to force the hood on. I have since removed approximately 1/3 of the tank's water. I assume the plastic bracing strip is essential! <Yes, it keeps the center of the tank from bowing, and cracking, spilling 55 gallons of water on your floor.....> I have the plastic I cut out. Can I use screws to replace the cut out portion lengthwise leaving a little window in the center? Will that brace my aquarium enough? Or should I repair in another manner? I hope the tank is not doomed!!! thank you every much in advance for answering my question!! Sincerely, Michael Becht <Drain your tank down totally, and DO NOT fill it, it probably will crack under the pressure created by the bowing in the center. Ask your fish store to order you a new 55 gallon outer top brace.  Once that comes, remove all the silicone from the old brace, and yank it off, resilicone the new one in, let dry for 24-48 hours, and you should be fine.> <Justin>

How do I de-contaminate my fish tank after my brother tried to clean the silicone off with petrol ?   8/24/06 Hello Bob ! Please help. I bought a second hand tank and had removed the inside panels as I wanted to install an external filter rather than using the overflow system. Problem is I removed the panels and cut off the excess silicone with a blade. My brother then decided to clean the silicone smudges with a cloth soaked in petrol ! He is not very bright ! Please advise how do I de-contaminate the tank before adding fish ? Please advise ! oh mighty wise one ! Thank you <Wipe with a solvent... Xylene, even Acetone, wash the tank in turn with plenty of water and coarse salt. Bob Fenner> From Denny Moodley, South Africa

Overflow Noise/Glass Scratches - 08/15/06 Hi, <<Hello!>> I have a 54G RR Corner tank with a 1" drain and a 3/4" return. <<Sadly undersized throughputs...even on this volume of water>> I bought the whole reef set up used, but I can't imagine how the previous owner tolerated the noise! <<Mmm, indeed...you can't really put much water through a 1" drain before it becomes problematic>> I installed a 1.25" Durso standpipe (1" did not work, now I follow directions, doh!).  I have a 1/8" drilled hole in the top of the T of the Durso.  It was fascinating to watch the relationship between the air hole size, the drain line position relative to the sump water level, and the gurgling and flushing effect. <<Ah yes, you are finding out just how "fiddly" it can be.  I would like to suggest you try enlarging the hole just enough to push some airline tubing through and down in to the standpipe.  This will help with aspirating/releasing air from the drain line and often eases the gurgling sounds.  It will take some experimentation to determine the best length/diameter tubing to insert>> As I slowly increased the air hole from a pinhole up to 1/8", I observed the step by step decrease in flushing effect amplitude.   <<Yes...allowing that air I mentioned to escape more readily>> It started at about a 3-inch oscillation, at 1/8, it was gone completely.  Adjusting the drain pipe position also impacted the flushing effect and required small changes in the air hole.   <<Pretty much all comes down to eliminating the obstructions (air bubbles) to the water flow>>    OK, on to my questions:  I have extensive bubbling/gurgling noise in the sump from the drain. <<From air that is "carried" down the line by the water>> I have read on WWM two things to try: A "T" or "Y" fitting on the drain line, and aspirating the drain line from the top with air line tubing. <<Yes indeedy...though I prefer a 45- or 90-degree ell fitting on the end of the drain line>> I am confused about the specifics of both of these.  For the T or Y fitting, how is it positioned? <<Is of little consequence...just position to direct flow in the direction you desire>> I am guessing that it goes at the bottom of the drain line, with one leg submerged and one leg above the sump water level? <<Mmm, okay...I think I'm with you now.  The purpose of the fitting on the end of the drain line is to "slow" the rush of water a bit.  So...experiment with the position to determine which gives you best results.  Either way you position it, I find that having the end of the drain line completely submerged usually works best.  And do be aware, it is usually not practical to expect a 1" drain to flow more than about 300/350 gph without much hassle and noise, as you seem to be experiencing>> For the aspiration tubing, is the tube supposed to have its own hole separate from the existing air line in the Durso T cap? <<Refer to my earlier comments re>> Or does it simply go down the same hole? <<Yup!>> It also seems to me that the bubble/gurgle would be reduced if I had the water break on some live rock rubble or other irregular surface. <<Can give it a try>> I think I have seen reference to using filter pad material. <<A detritus trap>>   Next question: Even though I only have about a 2-inch drop from the overflow wall to the top of the water behind it, it still makes an annoying, trickle noise that induces the need to visit the bathroom at night (tank is in the bedroom). <<Hee!>> I am thinking of installing some kind of stepladder down to the surface.  Or perhaps a piece of filter pad would also suffice.  How have you seen this done? <<Raise the height of the standpipe to raise the surface of the water in the overflow...it only needs to "fall" a fraction of an inch or so>>    Last, the tank is used, and has a good number of extremely fine scratches that are visible depending on angle and lighting.  I have read that you generally shy away from glass polishing/buffing, but that usually seemed to be because the emailer was asking about significant/deep scratches.  What do you think about using a commercial buffer on an orbital drill pad, and follow with a thorough cleaning? <<I think you'll do one of two things...nothing at all...or make it worse.  Scratches in glass "can" be repaired/removed, but unless you really know what you're doing/have done this before, I recommend you refer to a professional for advice/consultation.  You may find it is easier/cheaper to replace the tank...or learn to ignore/accept the scratches>> Jack <<Regards, EricR>> Aquarium Repair...Braces Broke Loose   8/14/06 Hi Bob, <James today, Steve.> I was given your name as someone who has significant expertise in tank repair. I have a 135 reef ready oceanic tank where both the top braces have broken. I am fearful that I will not be able to obtain a replacement before this could break.  Is there anything I can buy - or do to provide some insurance? <I'd go with a 1/2 inch pipe clamp with wood backups on the clamps and just snug it up to a point where you can just feel some resistance in the screw, then give it another 1/4 turn.> <<... RMF would drain this tank first...>> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Steve Mc. <In future queries, do not auto sign with all your personal info.  I have deleted this for your privacy as these FAQ's are read by thousands of people on a daily basis.> Repairing glass tank with acrylic...Yikes!   7/22/06 Hi, <Hello Beth>    I have been reading through your threads, but have come up with conflicting replies to this question. Yesterday I purchased a new 100 gal glass tank.  The cart I was using to get it into the house collapsed breaking the back panel of the tank.  Luckily it did not do any damage to the other piece which is one solid piece with rounded corners.  It would be more cost effective to repair the tank by using an acrylic panel instead of glass.  I have come up with not possible to yes you can in the FAQs.   Can I replace this back panel with an acrylic one?  Will the tank be structurally sound if I do?  What should I use to adhere these two materials together? <Beth, I would not feel comfortable in doing this.  I would have it professionally repaired.  You may want to check your homeowners insurance.  This accident may even be covered.>    Thank you for your time and help. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Beth

Re: Repairing glass tank with acrylic  7/23/06 Thank you, I have not found a place that does repairs yet in my area.   Beth <Acrylic cannot really be adhered to glass in this repair... Your only real option for repair is to replace the broken glass with glass. Bob Fenner> Question about 110 gallon fish tank- please look , :) , Glass Aq. repair   7/7/06 Hi there I came across your site and reviewed the many questions that were answered in the aquarium repair sections. I did not see what I was looking for and was hoping to get expert advice. <Good... we really need a comprehensive couple of articles with good pix here... showing how to cut out old beads, hold panels together...> I recently got a 110 gallon freshwater aquarium from a reputable neighbor. They upgraded and I got the tank pretty cheap. They included a low metal stand for it as well, but it is rusting on the top. I plan to clean up and sand down as much rust as possible. <Good... and coat the metal with a rust-inhibiting paint... Do take care re support in turn under this stand...> The fish tank is very heavy and it was myself and my boyfriend who brought it into the apartment, its very heavy! <I know> There was a point when bringing it in that it was vertical on its nose and was "dropped" on its side in the grass, it was slowed down to not shatter as it fell over but it did fall to the side. This did not create any cracks or chips that I could see. Would this have loosened anything? Structure wise? <Not likely, no> Most everything looks pretty tight, no loose silicone. The only damage I see is the secondary wooden trim and the primary hard plastic/metal? trim has come undone at the base on one corner. <Can either just "push" this in place while filling, or use Silastic to re-fit it permanently. Is more ornamental than functional, but you want the tank to "sit" evenly on its edges on the stand> There's also a "chip"/shard about 1/2 inch on the outside of the tank near the edge of the seam. The tank appears to have double panes of glass on the sides, but its hard to tell, <Mmm... unusual. Some commercial glass tank manufacturers over the years did make aquariums with doubled bottoms. Never doubled sides as far as I'm aware> it looks very thick compared to my 20 gallon. <Is> The chip doesn't worry me, its the bottom where the trim has come loose along with the silicone holding it onto the glass. Is this seen as a real problem? <Not likely, no> I don't want 110 gallons of water damage in my apartment. Also, is it a bad thing to store the tank on its side vertically up? <Should be of no consequence. Not a problem> The sides seem very strong and durable for storing it this way but I wasn't sure if it compromised the structure or not. It has a black hard plastic or metal panes around the top and bottom glued on and additional wood paneling that's very thick on top of that, it seems sound. Thanks for any advice you can provide me, hopefully it will be good news so my fishies can move up in their world. Kristin <The chip is more concern to me... I would try filling outdoors on the stand... once the latter is spiffed up. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question about 110 gallon fish tank- please look , :)   7/7/06 Thank you for your quick reply! That's a good idea to show pictures of the process of restructuring a tank- most helpful to those who are visually inclined. I in turn will get you a photo of the chip on my tank- it almost seems like its a inverted bubble more than a chip, its so smooth. Hopefully I can get my camera back within the week. Thank you again! Kristin <Thank you for the follow up... will post your pic with our corr. when you send it along. Bob Fenner>

Repairing a 30g Leaker  6/19/06 Hi <Hi John, Pufferpunk here> I found your website and was wondering if you could help me. I recently bought a 30 long on a very nice wooden stand, as I have several large convicts I was happy to find it. When I filled it I found a leak on the upper right front side coming through the seal I immediately emptied it below the leak line and went to repair it with aquarium grade silicone. I went far below the leak line and all the way up to the top. I waited 48 hours and filled it. The leak had slowed but was still present. Now I live in CO and it's very arid here but I was wondering if I let the tank dry out in that area for a couple of days and then go at it with the sealant again am I just beating a dead horse. I guess my question is. Do I need to do anything special to repair the seal on the tank in that area and is there something I can do that's not too drastic. <I have repaired many a tank, from a 10g hex to a 125g tank.  Be sure to take a razor blade & scrape off all remaining silicone, all the way to the bottom of the tank on that side.  Clean thoroughly (no soap, Oxyclean works great) & wipe with alcohol.  Let dry & try again.  ~PP> Thanks for your time, John G <<Need to do all inside seams... you'll see. RMF>> Durango CO

Juwel Vision 260 missing top cross brace...  6/15/06 Hiya <And you> I can't find any info on specifically Juwel vision 260l ( bow fronted) tanks where the top cross brace is missing and how to go about replacing it. <Maybe not this brand/model specifically, but here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm and the linked files above... Or use the Google search tool on WWM with the terms "glass tank center brace" and look at the cached versions> I bought this tank last week, set it up on Sunday and NOW I realize it should have a cross brace at the top (it has one as part of the plastic trim at the bottom) - why I never noticed I don't know. This tank is now FULL its bowing out slightly (as in the front and back flaps don't meet the sides of the tank by about 2/8" and I realize I must do something NOW. <Yes... drain it down at least halfway in the meanwhile> Do Juwel do replacements, the brace was plastic and has been removed possibly by the *insert expletive here* guy who sold it me who had used it as a marine tank with MH lighting, so I can only assume it was originally part of the plastic top trim (its not quite 'trim' it does seem fairly structural). Since its unlikely I can get a replacement quickly (I've looked and I can only find replacement hood flaps) can you suggest some sort of DIY construction - I do have available some pine planks and suitable screws to make a temp. cross brace but something made of metal that sits below the lighting unit would eventually be better. I'm also rubbish at DIY... <I would not do this then... have a stockist recommend someone> I'm going to drop the water level by about 2/3ds will that help or should I drop it more - tank is currently understocked but I have nowhere else to put the inhabitants. <And sell or lease you a replacement tank in the meanwhile> Hope you can help as I am panicking right now. Emma <I'd contact Juwel re or one of their larger, more local distributors: http://search.msn.com/results.asp?a=e44a7d1edf2ab77f1c37cb562cde7f61577fcd3f6225690ade0a d40bd4d3d7f5&RS=CHECKED&Form=HM&cp=1252&v=1&q=who+makes+Juwel+aquariums%3F Bob Fenner> Re: Juwel vision 260 missing top cross brace...  6/15/06 Thank you for your prompt reply and help. <Welcome Emma> I have contacted my best LFS who are Juwel distributors and whilst sadly 90% of the staff have gone to the pub to watch the football, <Heee! So is our roommate of 14 years... Peter, from Yorkshire> the person I spoke to believes it IS possible to order replacement plastic top trim and cross brace from Juwel so hopefully I can order that tomorrow. Meanwhile I have someone making me a metal cross brace that should sit under the hood. <Ah, good> I have dropped the tank level to just over 1/2 full (anything less and my angelfish cannot swim upright! they are BIG). <Mmm, good as well> Thank you again for your help - I have been reading the WetWebMedia for over a year now and have found all kinds of useful information, its now one of the first places I turn to when in doubt. Emma <A pleasure to serve. Bob Fenner> Big Mistake...How do I fix it? 100% Silicone, Toxic systems   6/13/06 I hate to bother you as I know you guys are busy helping people with real problems that can be solved but here goes anyway. I had a very badly designed sump setup (wet/dry u-tubed to a 10 gallon refugium u-tubed to a 10 gallon sump) <Yikes... U-tubes are not to be trusted...> that I tore down hoping to build something similar (no u-tubes, entirely in a 55) using the EPDM baffling I read about here. Well, after setting it up with the EPDM, I realized that the baffles were not going to stay in place, water pushing them over. I quickly used GE Silicone II to silicone the baffles into place. (I did not notice until way too late that it says "not for use on aquariums"). <Yikes... want to avoid types with "Mildewcides", other additives... Use only 100%...>   I also only let it dry for about 12 hours. <Needs 24...> I have removed the sump completely while I allow the new silicone to cure. I performed about a 50% water change. All of my fish seem to be O.K. I have no filtration at all while the silicone is curing.  So, since I have lost every SPS in my tank and all of my soft corals look terrible and my 10-12" anemone has shriveled up to about 2" I was wondering what you think I should do to help alleviate the problems and get my tank ready to house corals again? <... if it were me/mine, I'd cut away all the present Silicone and re-do this with 100%... Or, buy a new sump...> How long should I wait before trying to add any corals again? Thanking you in advance for the extreme wealth of knowledge you provide to me and many other people with this aquarium obsession. <Do take the long view here... You don't want to have mal-lingering dread re toxicity issues... cut out this "door/window" Silastic and replace it. Bob Fenner> Leak Repair Advice Needed :)    6/4/06 Hello Crew, (my heroes) <C> Thank you for all the valuable info, effort, experience, and time you put in for anyone who might be lost like me here. LFS fish store I work at had a problem with one of the "feeder" (I hate this term) tanks. Basically a 90gal tank with a leak at the right bottom part and in the middle. <Sounds like a Marineland unit...> Silicon kind of stretched and started a minor leak. This I assumed cause by the weight of the water leaning on that side because after looking I saw it was not level. <Could easily be...> The tank was under warranty so I got the "trash". Questions: 1- Well would the razor/reseal trick work in this case and be reliable? <Should do fine... if all is cut away, replaced> 2- And/or Should I patch the repair job with a 90degree acrylic piece all the way to the corners? <Mmm, no... acrylic to acrylic bonds poorly with Silastic, acrylic to glass even more poorly> 3- Also should I completely remove the trim or just try to clean it up with razor/acetone and not mess with the whole trim? <I'd do the whole inside trim for sure.> A million thanks CBora. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Large Tank Questions and Outcome of Silicone II  5/29/06 Hey guys, wanted to bounce a few plywood tank questions off of ya and provide experience input concerning Silicone II. First things first, I have two large tanks which I recently set back up (long story), I used swimming pool paint which worked VERY well and had no adverse effects on SPS or other livestock. Long story short, when I set them back up, I used Silicone II to reseal the corners of the tanks. It has now been 2 months, I am getting consistent trite readings of .025 (Salifert), not high but it should be 0. I am now faced with daunting task of replacing the silicone with Silicone I. (I tried everything including adding live bacteria, carbon, Purigen, all types of stuff, bottom line, at least in my experience is that Silicone II isn't reef safe, live rock is 8 years old) <Yikes...> Now on to the large tank questions. I searched all over, including GARF for info on epoxies. Swimming pool paint with plywood tanks works for several years but ultimately you end up with micro cracks in the paint that need to be patched with silicone or repainted. I am building a tank that would be approximately 1500 gallons, I want to use a reef safe epoxy but I cant locate where to buy Rustoleum or DuPont potable water epoxies, do you guys know of anywhere, or know of any alternative epoxies that might work? <Mmm, I'd look into your local swimming pool supply places here. I have used Nelson/Nelsonite with good results as well as (more pricey) Spar products (intended for the boating industry)> I have also come to the conclusion that since this will be a reef, I am best using glass versus acrylic since acrylic will ultimately get pitted by coralline (I even looked into Polycarbonate but from  what I understand it bows too easily). The glass dimensions would be front panel 96"x30", would 3/4" Starbrite or Starfire glass be thick enough in your experience? <Yes> From what I have read it is reinforced glass, and while pricey, is much stronger As always thanks, Tom <Thank you for sharing Tom. Bob Fenner>

Chips in tank   5/28/06 Hello, <Mornin'> I have spent some considerable time trying to locate an answer to my question, with no luck so far.  I had recently acquired a used 75 gallon aquarium.  Since it is about 5 or so years of age, the scratches on the tank did not concern me.  There is a chip on the outside edge of the tank, but the glass is very thick and it looks only to be a surface nick.  Do I need to be concerned about that? <Maybe yes/no... Less so if "near the top", not deep/large...> As far as I can see, it's not near the silicone.  The tank has been set up for about 2 weeks now, with fish and plants in it for the last week and a half.  While maintaining the tank today, I noticed some chips/nicks on the inside of the tank walls.  I'm not sure if they were there when I first acquired the tank or if they somehow recently appeared (though I wouldn't know how).  I am using a Coralife lighting system with full spectrum lights for the plants, which can cause the water to get hotter, even though the lights come with fans.  I have also installed another fan which is helping to circulate the air under the canopy and keep the water temp down, but the temperature of the water is still slightly over what the heater is set at. It varies around 80-81 degrees (which I have been told by a fish "expert" that that is no cause of concern; although it did get to 82 degrees today, but not sure if that is influenced by the room temp being at 81-82, not yet using the AC). <This should be fine> Anyway, the chips/nicks are very small, the biggest one no larger than the pinpoint of a pen and they are in the middle of the glass, not anywhere near the silicon sealant; there are a handful or so on the same panel though very small in size.    Should I be concerned about these chips? <Seems like you are... but likely no problem> I don't want to come home to a carpet full of water and dead fish/plants, so it has me a little worried.  Any suggestions as to how I can seal or fix the chips, apart from buying a new tank (which is something I would prefer not to do, especially since the glass of this tank is very thick).  Thank you for any help you can provide! Michella <Mmm, some glass can be "filled"... some shallow pitting can be "ground down"... but these are very likely cost-prohibitive (more than a new tank). If the tank is fine thus far, it will likely continue to be. Bob Fenner> Removing fish during silicone curing?    5/27/06 I just had a mishap with my 25 gallon aquarium. I hit the corner of the tank about 3" from the top and it chipped the edge and made a crack extending out and up about 3". < That is no fun at all! > The inside corner seal is intact and so far the water just beads up on the outside of the crack. < So far is key here! > I brought the water level down below the crack which I temporarily sealed on the outside of the take with duct tape until I can fix the problem. < You aren't from the south, are you? Around here, we use duct tape for just about everything! > My question is, since the crack is high enough to repair the tank without draining it completely do I have to remove the plants, angel fish and crayfish while the silicone cures? < It would be a good idea not to have them in the tank while it cures. > The fish are still small and I was hoping to wait till Christmas to get a larger tank. < That is always a great Christmas present! > Will sealing the crack with silicone give me this extra time or do I just call it an early Christmas? < I would call it a much warranted early Christmas present. > I know 100% silicone is safe for fish after it's cured, but I can't find any info about during the curing process. < The fumes given off are fairly toxic while curing. It is better to err on the side of caution! > Thanks for your help. < You are very welcome! > Sue < RichardB > Aquarium repairs 5/18/06 Hi, <Hello> I would like to know what type of glass is typically used for aquariums. I was told by someone that "sapphire glass" is to be used, but they didn't know how to get it. <Probably referring to "Starfire" glass, which a high grade of glass used on high end aquariums, tends to be very expensive.  Unnecessary, but does look very nice> Can just regular clear glass be used? And the reason I ask is I'm replacing a front pane on a 40 gal tank. I'm not fretting about the repair, just the glass I need. <As long as the thickness is correct, a normal pane of glass available at a local glass shop should suffice.  When in doubt verify that the strength of the glass is appropriate with the glass shop.>                                                           Thank very much for your time and valued info. <Chris>

Leaking 300g Glass Tank - 05/15/2006 Hi, I read through all of you FAQ's on tank repair and did not find my problem, so here goes... <Alright....> I have a 300 gallon tank purchased many years ago, last year I moved  it into a new house and moved the tank. Heavy Machinery vibrated my house and the tank sprung a leak (lost about 200 gallons onto new carpet and into the  basement!)   <Yeeee-ikes!> I drained the tank, took out the old silicone, cleaned the  seams with alcohol and put in the new silicone. It held about a year!  And last night sprung a leak again (in the exact same place!) <Nooooo!> about 8 inches from the bottom. My wife is sick of the tank ruining the house.... and wants it gone! <Understandable.> I love the tank, but I don't know what else to do? Is there an epoxy or something stronger I can use? <Just silicone....  Maybe a thicker, wider seal this time....  But I find it disconcerting that it leaked in exactly the same place again.  I would be concerned about a problem with the glass in that spot.> The Tank has a frame on the top and bottom with screws that could be tightened, I am scared to tighten them with fear of going to far and cracking the glass. <Not knowing enough about your specific tank, I'm not qualified to make a recommendation on that.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. <To be quite honest, I would suggest that you look into getting an acrylic aquarium, or having one built to match the dimensions of your current tank so you can re-use your same stand, canopy, etc....  And you can approach your wife with the reassurance that a professionally built acrylic tank is pretty unlikely to leak under normal circumstances.  The expense of the acrylic tank may very well be worth it, considering the money you'll save in carpeting the next time the glass one springs a leak....  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Center Brace on 150G Oceanic  - 05/10/2006 Hi, <Hello Joe> I'm looking at a used 150G Oceanic, and seller says he dropped it while moving, which broke the center brace. He removed what remained of the center brace. Can I safely go with this tank if I get the local glass shop to cut me a "brace" of the same size? <Likely so, yes> From reading FAQs, it looks like I'll first want to remove all traces of the old silicone.  You've said to use an "organic" solvent?  Which one is best/easiest for this purpose? <Xylene is best IMO/E, but others with a high evaporation rate will do. I'd wear chemical resistant gloves and use in an area of good ventilation... good single-edged razors remove most all. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Joe

Re: Center Brace on 150G Oceanic  - 5/11/06 Thanks for the reply!  Would a correctly-sized piece of acrylic work just as well, or is it best to "stick" with glass? <Good question, and no... should be glass... of adequate thickness... 3/8, even 1/2", and 100% Silastic/Silicone. Bob Fenner> New aquarium cracked/shipped - 2/5/06 Hey! I bought a new, second hand, fish tank to day, quite large about1m long 30cm wide and 40cm tall (for £10!!!!), <sounds like a good deal> but as I was getting it in my house I clipped it on my garden wall and it has taken quite a big chip out of the corner and a crack is running about 6cm down it. <Oh no!> Is there a way I can repair it (because I cant afford a new tank!!) The chip might've been OK, but the crack sounds far too dodgy... Only option likely left is to replace the side panel(s) with new glass. Depending on the glass shops you approach, it may be cheaper/easier to hunt around on message boards or auction sites for another tank.> If you could help that would be great! Thanks Robyn <Best regards,  John>

Glass aquarium repair  4/28/06 Hey guys,    <And some of the tender gender>   I have looked on several sites but have not found anyone else with my problem.  Currently own several tanks including a bowfront 46G and a generic 55g. <Not a problem> Over the past 5 months, both of these tanks have been sitting outside in hot/humid Florida with no water inside.  After bringing them inside and washing them in order to reset up, I noticed air bubbles along the seal of the 55 (actually on the inside of the seal not in contact with the air) and on the 46 bowfront the glue is slightly separating from the glass (not enough to leak but its there.  The tanks don't leak (at least not enough to be noticed) but I want to avoid the coming BOOM and soaked carpet.  I am thinking of resealing both tanks to prevent the waterfall.  If they aren't leaking, should I bother with the reseal? <Mmm, I would not... if these were commercially made, there is more of a chance of trouble with cutting out, replacing the Silastic than not. I would test fill these tanks in a safe place... on stands... and see if they leak.> If/when I release, do I need to be using clamps or how should I keep the glass steady and square?      Thank you      Your avid fan,      DK <Can be clamped, even just sturdy-taped if the panels are set on a level, planar surface during construction, particularly if the bottom is not "floated" (i.e. the sides, front/back viewing panels are set on it. Bob Fenner> Older tank  - 04/27/06 Hi, I bought a 75g that never had a center brace (top or bottom).  It is a lot heaver than my friends 75g.   So I was wondering how old this tank could be, is the glass tempered and if adding a center brace to the top would be a good idea? Thanks      Phil <Mmm... have never seen a commercially made 75 that didn't have a center brace... I would likely add one here. Bob Fenner> Equipment/Tank Bracing  04/17/2006 Hello Crew, <Hello Garen> I am afraid I just did something stupid that I can't fix now.  I have a 46 gallon bowfront aquarium and I just got a Metal Halide light to illuminate the tank.  Well, there was this flimsy plastic piece that ran across the middle of the tank (front to back) and it is (was) attached to the plastic rim that borders the top of the tank.  Seeing that this plastic piece was in the center and I of course wanted to center the new light over the tank, I proceeded to detach this center piece by means of an acrylic-cutting knife.  I didn't know how much purpose this plastic piece served until I severed it from the front part of the aquarium.  After cutting the piece from the front I noticed that the "bow" front of the aquarium moved out about 1/2" to 3/4" !!  I figured that I was screwed anyway so I removed the center piece from the back part of the tank.  Do y'all think that I am going to wake up to a bunch of carpet-surfing fish in the morning or will the tank be okay?  If it isn't going to be okay, then do you guys have any suggestions on how to remedy this problem that I created? <"Uh oh" was an understatement, that is a sizeable increase on a tank that size.  I'd ask the dealer where you bought the tank to order you a new top piece and replace.  You will have to drain enough water until new brace fits on the tank.  Obviously the light cannot be placed in the same position it was.  You will need to raise the fixture and add a cooling fan between the fixture and the tank.>   Thank you, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Garen Wright

Equipment/Aquariums/Repair  04/17/2006 Bob, <James today.> I have an urgent question!  This evening, I noticed that the center brace on my 55 gal saltwater aquarium had somehow melted and broken in two.  As a result, the glass is bowed out about 1/2 inch on either side of the tank. Do I need a new tank immediately, and do you have any hints on transferring all of the critters to a new setup without die off? <Some braces are installed to support glass tops and lighting.  A thin glass thickness will require use of bracing.  You really need to contact the tank manufacturer and find out if it is necessary.> Thanks!!! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Philip J. Stokes Re: Equipment/Aquariums/Repair   4/21/06 Dear Mr. Dog,  <Phil> Thanks for your guidance.  <You're welcome.> For future reference, All-Glass Aquarium says that the center brace is required for the structural integrity of the tank. When the glass is bowed, it can cause the seams to peel apart over time, and with a 55 gal tank it could cause rupture or eventual leakage. All-Glass does sell replacement frame parts, but installation should usually take place in a clean, dry tank. I ended up repairing the brace using a piece of 1/4" Plexi-glass and some nylon bolts.  I drilled through the old brace and connected the two sides back together with the plastic.  It's held up pretty well so far and I think it will do until I decide to get a bigger tank someday. <Problem solved.> Thanks again!  <You're welcome and thank you for the update.  Will post on our site.  James (Salty Dog)> Phil

-Tank Leaking-  - 04/15/06 I have a 150 gallon show tank. Last night I noticed a leak coming from somewhere on the bottom of the tank. <Not good> I do not see any cracks. I have removed everything from the tank and now I am trying to figure out what to do. I have read some of the postings on your web site regarding leaks. My question is I think the inner seal on the back side - bottom of the tank is where it is leaking from. Do I need to just remove the silicone on that side and reseal it ? <Probably that is all it needs, however if it is down and apart, you might as well reseal the entire edge or the tank.  if one seal gave way,  the others might not be far behind.> or do I need to disassemble the whole bottom of the tank and reseal? The leak itself was a slow steady drip and water was as even around the top of the trim on the tank. That being said do I also need to remove the trim and reseal that as well? Any advice will be very much appreciated.   Thank You   Zoltan <Resealing just the side that is leaking should fix the issue, however a complete reseal of that panels inner edges will probably be wise.  Is the tank not level on its stand?  If it isn't it can cause undo pressure on the seals and create a leak.> <<RMF would definitely at least try resealing all the inside seams (can leak in one area on the inside, a totally different area on the outside... and for sure, test this tank outdoors before re-setting up inside>> <Justin (Jager)> Pulling An Aquarium Out Of Storage    4/4/06 Hi crew, I was browsing your site, but didn't find quite the answer I need... I have just pulled my things out of storage, including a 29 gallon aquarium.  It has been stored for 2 years (nicely wrapped and crated by professionals). My question is this...should I be concerned about the quality of the seal?  Is there a way I can test it without filling the whole thing? It was only about 2 years old when it went into storage. Thanks! Jill < Usually aquariums placed in direct sun and stored outdoors are the ones that are the biggest risk. Push on the silicon seal in the corners. It should still feel spongy with some push. As long as it is not hard I would think it is OK. I would still fill it up to double check.-Chuck>

Cracked tank      3/17/06 Hello I have a 4ft tank and it has a crack at the top of a side panel about 2inch down, and wanted to know if it will hold with water in and if not what is best way to repair it? Thanks Stephen Smith <... need to remove, replace this panel. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqrepairfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Poor English, glass tank const. concern  3/16/06 have noticed that were the two pieces of glass connect at the corner of my tank theirs a air bubble. Its very small the size of a period, theirs 3 very very small bubbles next to it but their so small you couldn't tell they're bubbles. its hard to explain exactly were they are but their between two slaps of glass, were the glass lays on top of each other. The bubbles may have been their forever and they have not gotten bigger. I was told that it should not cause a leak and that this is common and not to worry, is that true should I worry? >> Do not worry, it is common for these small bubbles to show in the silicone. Unless they grow continuously it will not be a threat to the tank. Oliver.

Re: Air Bubble In Silicone - 03/16/2006 Sorry about the punctuation, <And grammar, spelling, lack of capitalization...Still not fixed?> but I realized I forgot to add that it's really like three air bubbles but the biggest one is the size of a period. You don't think I should worry? <Only about your poor mastery of the English language. - Josh> Air Bubble In Silicone - 03/15/2006 I have a question about my tank. My tank has a small bubble were the two pieces of glass connect at the corner of the tank. I think it has been there for a while or maybe forever but I just noticed it two weeks ago and the bubble has not gotten any bigger. When I say bubble its very small like the size of this period. <Not uncommon. Just an air bubble, no trouble. In the future, please capitalize the proper nouns/beginnings of sentences. Helps us out. Thanks. - Josh> pls help

Where Did You Guys Get Your Facts From - 03/25/2006 Hi, where did you guys get your facts from. Meaning, where did you learn this. <The same way you would learn anything I suppose. Reading, researching, talking to others, sharing experiences...Josh>   <<And some wonder what has happened to the U.S.... RMF>> Can A Scratch Get Bigger Or Wider Over Time - 03/25/2006 Dude, one last question then I will never bother you with my bad English again. Can a scratch get bigger or wider over time? <No, at least not without being a SERIOUS "scratch". A crack on the other hand...Josh>  

Question about crack in the tank   03/07/06 Greetings, my name is Murphy and I have a question about a crack in the back panel of my 35 gallon glass tank. The problem, prior to the crack, was a small insidious leak from the back of a threaded bulkhead in the upper right-hand corner of my tank. I went ahead and attempted to tighten the bulkhead up even more to see whether that would alleviate the leak. Well, needless to say I tightened a wee bit too much and ended up with a crack going from where the glass had been cut out to make room for the bulkhead up to the top of the tank. Now, I went ahead and applied silicone aquarium sealant to both the inside and outside surfaces of the crack. though I should mention the crack seems to have not breeched the outside of the tank and just stayed inside, and you can see the crack taper up to the point where it meet the hole that was cut out for the bulkhead. I'm in dire need of advice. can I get by with just the sealant, or is this going to either A) necessitate the purchasing of a new tank or B) replacing the back panel of the tank all together. Considering that the crack is small and it's at the top of the back panel, I figured it wont be exposed to much water pressure whatsoever. And also, again, it appears to have not gone all the way through to the other side of the glass, but I understand better safe than sorry. <It is probably best to just replace the aquarium...on a tank so small and inexpensive it would be more costly and more of a hassle to replace the pane of glass. The sealant may work but what happens if you are not home/on vacation and it breaks? It's better to be safe than sorry. You wouldn't want 35 gallons of water all over your living room floor. Good luck, IanB> sincerely and with beaucoup thanks, Murphy Conn Griffin

Silastic bead input   3/4/06 This is a follow up to a reader post on his construction of a 300 gallon glass tank with MDF base with fiber glass sheathing. Re: Tank Fabrication   3/3/06 . This is my third posting in a week (I will try not to make a habit of this). I thought my experience may be of some interest and help. <Thank you for this> The reader had some trouble with bubbles in the seams. I have seen this in a lot of tanks. Most of the time you can get away with that as silicon holds 300 lbs per square inch. Common practice is just to fit the glass edges together in a similar fashion to working with wood or acrylic. This results in a silicone seal that is not thick enough, and the risk of bubble formation later. I read the directions on a tube of silicone sealant ( Silaflex RTV), and it states'¦ Extrude sealant into joint. Minimum joint size 5 mm wide x 5 mm deep and maximum joint size 25 mm wide x 10 mm deep One of the glass and window suppliers here in town went on a conference and one of the topics was how to silicone glass together. He was told the depth of the seam should be about half the thickness of the glass. So a 10 mm glass should have a 5 mm deep seal. This offers a stronger and more flexible seal, and less chance of bubbles. I have built about 3 all glass and 3 glass/plywood tanks and I have never got any bubbles in the seals doing it this way. Vertical glass panels can be held in place when gluing by cross bracing the corners with strips plywood that has two sided foam adhesive tape on it, and simply pressing them on the top edges, and easily removed later. Commonly the side panels of the glass are laid on top of the glass base. It may be a better approach to lay the vertical glass panels around the base and allow for a large seal around the edge. I always pay extra to have the glass flat polished with smooth bevels on the edges. It is safer to work with, and I think essential on tempered glass, as a chip in an edge can cause the panel to explode. Have Fun Mike Lomb <Thank you for this Mike. We have some trouble with some "tray less" queries (yours here is one) that don't have email addresses to respond to... but am hopeful you will find this posted in the dailies, and that others will benefit from your input passed on. Bob Fenner> Silicone peeling, air bubbles and pin hole leak  - 02/27/06 HI Bob and crew.  I love your site and I am amazed on how many questions you answer in the FAQ section of tank repair.  After reading the posted FAQ's, I am still unsure what to do.  I have a hex 53gal(?) 48"Wx12"Dx21"H  that was my favorite LFS's display tank I bought 10 years ago when they went (sadly) out of business.  This tank has moved with me three times, the last move resulted in this tank's storage for 5 years. I was thrilled to move into a new pad last month that allowed me to have my prize tank in the living room.  Today, I set up, leveled and filled my tank looking closely for leaks. <Good move>   After three hours I noticed a drip that would pop out from one of the vertical front seams 2/3 the way to the top of the tank every 5 or so seconds.  Not a stream, but a drip.  After closer inspection I noticed on the inside of the tank there was a bubble of what looked like a badly applied seam of silicone that I must have burst when I rubbed down the tank before filling.   <Maybe... Silastic does get a bit dry, brittle over time...> I am guessing that when the tank was built, there were air bubbles in the silicone and finally the "one" was broken allowing water to seek it's way out. <Yes, likely so>         While the tank was full, I pressed inward on the front panel and found very little deflection at the seam as compared to the opposite side.  After draining the tank, I pressed inward on the panel and found the amount of deflection in the panel the same as when the tank was full. I am guessing the structure of the tank is OK and it wasn't ready to burst and give the front section out.  However, in a 8" section there are many (about 20) small air bubbles in the silicone between the front panel and the LH 45 degree panel midway on the vertical plane.  Also, the silicone has peeled back in three other spots at other vertical joints, most likely caused by my aggressive blue lobster or crayfish that I had in the past, but these other three areas do not leak and the silicone appears to be solid between the panels. <This is very good news> Should I attempt resealing the tank? <Yes, I would... this time, not cutting all the Silicone out... as between the glass to glass faces, but carefully removing all the beads at the junctures...> And if I do reseal the tank, should I dig out the air bubble laden 8" section or just reseal over this area? <I would not touch the between glass areas unless you intend to take ALL apart and re-do> I would really like to save this tank and use it as an aquarium.  Since this tank is over 15 years old and I have no idea of the brand, getting a replacement tank that would fit the stand and cover is unlikely, resulting in a totally new setup.     <Such dimensions tend to be very conservative... could likely find a tank of similar bottom size>         I tried to take pictures of the air bubbles, but it is difficult to get the digital camera to focus on these bubbles.  Thank you for your time, Mike <Take your time here Mike... lots of new single edged razor blades. careful cutting away, using your hand to block cutting into the area between the glass panels, while holding the blades... Bob Fenner>

Re: Silicone peeling, air bubbles and pin hole leak - 2/28/2006 Thank you for responding so quickly!!!  I will reseal the tank, hopefully this week.  I will follow up with you with (hopefully) a good success story.  Thank you again, Mike <Real good Mike... not hard to do these sorts of repairs... some eye-hand coordination, a couple of tools, and mainly: Patience. Cheers, BobF>

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