FAQs on Glass Aquarium Repair, Chips/Cracks 7
Aquarium Repair, Acrylic Aquarium Repair, Cleaning Aquariums, Marine Tanks, Stands and Covers, Used Gear for Marine Systems, Designer Marine tanks, stands and covers,
Chips/Cracks 1, Chips/Cracks 2,
Chips/Cracks 6, &
Glass Aquarium Repair 1,
Glass Aquarium Repair 2,
G lass Aquarium Repair 3,
Aquarium Repair 4,
Glass Aquarium Repair 5, &
FAQs on Repairing Glass Tank:
Whole Panes, Tools:
Olde Tank (Slate Bottom, Metal Frame, Pecora...) Repairs,
Acrylic Aquarium Repair,
Question for WWM Crew 2/9/12
Hello WWM Crew,
I have a situation, a crack in my 60 gal fish
tank, that needs some experience that I could not find
on the vast Internet. I found everything from trash it to sure
repair it and yes spent 2 days reviewing all the various crack
questions on your site which prompted me to ask for
Here goes: I am a beginner saltwater hobbyist and had African
Cichlids years ago. I purchased a 60gal cube Marineland tank with
overflow (see PDF diagram). It has been in my possession for 3
weeks. It has been sitting in it's original packing on my
garage floor since purchase until Sunday this past weekend
(2/5/12). I was building a custom stand (see pic). Upon purchase
my untrained inspection mistook the original crack for silicone
due to it's size and location. While placing the tank on the
stand for final measurements of the top trim, my neighbor who was
helping move the tank, recognized the blemish and I replied with
it's just silicone. I was wrong. The crack had expanded to
approximately 2.5 inches. What makes this different than other
questions asked on your site is the location and depth. It is a
surface crack on the inside of the tank and barely detected by
touch. A fingernail barely scrapes across it. I am of firm belief
that this was a manufacture defect that was mistaken for silicone
as well when the overflow was affixed. Attached is a detailed
drawing and pictures as this e-mail would be a novel by my finish
if I described it all.
<I see this, and comprehend>
My predicament: the retailer will not exchange it or accept my
return as it has been in my possession for 3 weeks. The
manufacturer will not warranty the tank because 1-it's not a
leak in the silicone and 2- the tank has never had water in it
and blames the retailer shipping company.
<Mmm, disappointing. The original Marine-Land would have
replaced this tank, no doubt>
The retailer has not returned my repeated calls. I feel
discouraged, victimized in a catch 22 and out nearly $300. Now
after reading many I woke up to my tank exploding over my floor
experiences online I am inquiring about a permanent fix. I really
hate the idea of scrapping the tank and buying another one or
doing this at all?
<I would attempt a/the repair. Likely to be successful, and
not hard to do>
After all the online searches I see a lot of cracks in corners
and bottoms that are large, severe and completely through the
pane. This is not the case in my situation.
What should I do...better yet what
would you do if this happened to you?
<I would affix (with numerous small lines and a perimeter of
aquarium sealant (Silastic/Silicone) just the one piece of
3/8" glass on the outside (not using, sandwiching w/ two as
in your drawing), the pane being the size of the back panel (not
a smaller bit as you illustrate). Make this repair w/ the tank
laying on its front/face, use some books (a few tens of pounds)
to apply pressure over the newly applied panel to evenly squeeze
So my questions for the professionals:
* is this worth fixing since it is a 60 gal tank vs. the crack
location and size?
* will the pressure be too great?
* as an experienced hobbyist would you fix or replace? Is my
solution sound (see PDF diagram)?
* If I have to replace the back pane with overflow is there a
company that does that sort of stuff?
<Best to do yourself...>
I appreciate any assistance. FYI...I'm
located in Kennesaw, GA in case someone can provide local
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Question for WWM Crew, cracked 60 glass
Thanks for the information and resurgence to continue. I'll
keep you posted to my success as being new to saltwater I'm
anticipating an arduous establishing process. It may be a few
months but you will hear from me with some nice pics of my
repaired tank in operation.
Question About Crack in 155gallon Tank
Hello I have been reading the other questions and answers about
the problems people have with cracked or broken tanks but none of
them seem to deal with my specific case and I really need the
I just recently purchased this 155g tank and it obtain a small
crack during moving, huge disappointment.
The crack is on the top left corner, I have attached a picture.
The crack does not go all the way through to the inside.
I am wondering what is the best way to fix this, since it is at
the top and small I am hoping it can be saved and will work since
I am not planning on filling it to the top, or I am nervous
because it near the corner that it will be a big problem and not
safe and I should replace the whole side panel?
<Mmm, no; likely just a smear (with a tool or finger) of
Silicone (look for "clear" colour) over the area on the
outside will prevent any leak (and possible cut/s) here>
Thank you so much anything is appreciated
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Chipped Corner 12/16/11
Hi, How's it going? I have a decent size chip on the corner
of my 135 gallon.
<I see this, these>
The tank does not leak. My main concern is that the
structurability may have been compromised. I do not know the
maker of this tank, but it looks to be custom built and solid as
can be. Any idea of the maker?
<Looks to be a one-off... custom/home-made>
I personally don't think this is an issue, but would like
your professional opinion. Thanks.
<Mmm, too big and in bad spots to suit me... and not easy to
effect an unannoying patch-repair... I'd cut out the overflow
tower, turn into a palludarium... partially filled. Bob
|Re: Chipped Corner
I sent a couple pics of the same chip. There is only one.
<Mmm, the whole tank pix seem to show one on either front
The chip did not hit or affect the seal at all. So it is the area
and size of the chip?
<Yes; and the position... Nearer the top would be
I was thinking with the euro bracing on top and bottom , and the
glass being thicker than normal, that it would still be pretty
sound. Is there a risk of the tank leaking, exploding, or the
possibility of both?
<Yes to the last unfortunately>
What kind of repair would need to be done?
<... well, a piece of glass... ideally a dowel w/ two flat
sides... could be Siliconed in the inside corner... Please read
and as much of the linked files above as you deem prudent.
Thanks for your help. Aaron
adding a sump, upgrading, etc. 11/29/11
Happy Holiday Season Crew,
Hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving. Let me start by saying thanks to
all of you for helping me (and my fish) survive my first year in
this hobby. I have been doing great with the fish, but would like
to make some changes to possibly add coral. Here is my equipment
-75 gallon tank
-3-4' of fine sand
-Four bulb T-5 fixture with 2 12000 K daylights, 1 420 actinic,
one 460 blue, and lunar LEDs
-Remora Pro with Mag 3
-24" Aquafuge with Chaeto and sand
-2 Koralia 750 GPH.
2 - Ocellaris clownfish
1 - bullet goby(Amblygobius phalaena)
1 - Tailspot blenny
1 - melanurus wrasse
1 - royal gramma.
I have been reading about adding a sump/refugium. I regret not
doing it when I started this tank in the first place, but it
seemed a lot more daunting of a task at the time.
I have already picked up a 30 gallon long for the sump, and I
plan on drilling the tank with a Glass Holes 1500 GPH overflow
kit (2 1.5" Holes). I am also changing to an Eshoppes
skimmer rated for a 150 gallon tank. I was thinking of using
putting the return pump in the middle and having one of the holes
feed the skimmer while the other one feeds the refugium. Would it
be better to just have the return pump have a "T" that
feeds the fuge?
<You could divert some of the flow...>
I also have a question about a holding tank for the fish. I have
a spare 38 gallon tank. Do you think this would be a sufficient
temporary home for the fish while I drill the tank?
I would move the water, sand, and rock from the main tank and use
the Remora. Would this be a good time to replace the sand?
<I'd hold off on this change at this time>
I would like to change the sand and put the old sand into the
<Oh! In that case... I would go ahead w/ the new sand>
I am worried about how much of cycle that could cause using dry
sand. I have also considered upgrading while I was doing this and
was offered a good deal on a 90 gallon tank.
However, there is a catch. The tank has a chip in the back corner
midway up. I added a picture of the chip. I was told it passed a
48 hour water test, but a second opinion would be appreciated.
Thanks again for all of your help.
<Mmm, the size and location of this chip worries me...
sufficiently to where if it were me, I'd Silicone a strip of
glass over the area... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/GlasCracks6.htm
Thank you for sharing your experiences, excitement. Bob
Please Help! Glass tk rock impact hit
I was helping my husband place rocks in his brand new 125 gallon
tank and I hit the sharp rock against the inside front panel. The
tank is 125 gallons, 7 feet long and almost 2 feet tall.
<Mmm, likely only five or six foot long>
When I hit the glass with the sharp rock, it made a small nick in
the glass on the inside front panel. The hole is very shallow, I
can only fit the tip of a needle in the hole. It is in the middle
of the tank and 5 inches
from the bottom.
I attempted to take a picture, but it is hard to see.
Do I need to return the tank? Or try to get it fixed?
How do you fix something like this?
<I do think you'll be fine here. Not to worry. Bob
Hello, regarding my 75gallon, chipped
Hi there, your website has been really helpful in starting and
maintaining my marine tank. I have a 55 gallon tank with a pair
of clowns and soft coral....that's all I had to purchase a 75
gallon at a great price. It was fine when I bought it....until
the day my boyfriend decided to clean it out.
A mysterious chip appeared, which Of course he didn't do
I've attached 3pics. It's located like 3.5 inches from
the top size of the tank, water is not leaking and it hasn't
went through the sealant. Am I S.o.l.?
<Or fish out of luck? No; likely you're fine here. The
"cleanliness" and shallow-ness of the crack, it's
Or is it just cosmetic I would hate to come home to a pond in my
home. I am planning on putting fowlr, if that helps...thanks for
your time and website.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
re: Hello, regarding my 75gallon,
Thanks Mr. Fenner
<Welcome Natoya. B>
Small crack in my 180gal tank 9/13/2011
I recently purchased a second hand oceanic reef ready 180 gallon
glass aquarium that has never been used! This is my dream tank
but it was not a dream to move because of its weight. When moving
the aquarium I accidentally left a bulkhead attached to it (dumb
I know) and when sliding the tank into the bed of a truck the
bulkhead caught the end of the bed stopping it. I quickly
realized why I couldn't slide the tank in further and removed
the bulkhead. I have it home now and, when plumbing it, I found a
small very shallow crack on the inside bottom of the overflow
glass next to the return drill hole which is 3/4". I almost
didn't notice it and at first; I thought it was the silicone
which is right next to it. The crack extends from the edge of the
overflow silicone straight and then has almost a 90 degree arch
around the return hole and it stops when it hits the overflow
The bottom panel of glass is tempered and I believe it is
The crack in all is about 3-4 inches in length and is just barely
felt when touching it and is not deep at all. The tank does not
leak from the crack or anywhere else but I'm worried the
weight and pressure of the tank filled with water and substrate
may be too much stress and turn this small incredibly shallow
crack into a large deep one. Is this problem something I should
just keep an eye on after fully setting up my tank or should I
try and fix it now before set up?
<IF you're concerned, better to try/do whatever repair
How would you go about fixing it?
<I'd Silicone a piece of glass (likely quarter inch
thickness) larger than the crack (w/ hole/s pre-drilled to match
if using) under and slightly beyond the area where the crack
Also do I need to place a piece of foam
between my stand and tank?
<... only if there is a gap twixt the frame of the tank and
whatever you're setting it on. Do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqstands.htm
Does this make it more level or can I leave the tank directly on
the stand. Its on a load bearing wall and the stand is on a piece
of carpet separating it from my wood floor. I worry if I
don't level the tank right it might cause the crack to worsen
or future problems. Thanks for the help!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Chipped glass 8/22/11
Hi WetWebMedia Crew,
First of all, great stuff on your website! I tried looking for an
answer on the web but I'm not sure about this one, so here I
Yesterday I bought a used tank from craigslist. When unloading
the tank it bumped against the wall, leaving a chip.
I read a lot of your Q&A regarding damaged tanks, but the
answers differ based on the type of damage so instead of
describing the chip I think its easier to show you some pictures.
Here are some links so I don't have to ad big
The piece of glass is still inside, I think the silicon holds it
<I see this>
I don't see any cracks going to the sides, so I don't
think its going to crack any further.
<Mmm, I'd still cut away the bead, install a glass dowel
or another piece of glass, a couple inches thick, along the
chipped side/piece. Read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/GlasCracks6.htm
the write-in that is associated w/ the graphic in the top right
And turn the tank around... so the repair is to the rear>
The crack is about 10 cm (4 Inch) from the bottom of the
<A bad spot>
I was thinking about silicone gluing a corner strip of aluminium
from the bottom to the top, with a wide of 2 cm (0.8 Inch) so
there will be a big piece of silicone on the front 0.8 inch and
on the side 0.8 inch to support the glass and distribute the
pressure, and protect the glass from forces (for example someone
bumping into it)
Or is this not a good idea? Or maybe you would suggest something
<Is a good idea, one approach... though I like the glass
Some info on the tank:
Dimensions (1.30M (51.2 inch) x (50 cm (19.7 inch) x 70 cm (27.6
inch) <- height (water level is 60cm/23.6inch)
The silicone is pretty thick I think (the diagonal size of the
silicone is about 12-14mm / 0.5 - 0.6 Inch.
<I should state that the thickness of the Silicone in the bead
is a minor matter... more to protect the real/functional joint
which is twixt the glass surfaces>
You would really help me with answering my questions. I was
thinking about it all night after I bumped my "new"
tank. I was looking forward to it for days, and then something
like this happens. I hope it can be fixed.
<I do think it can. I would try to fix it myself>
Once again thank you very much for taking the time and effort
answering my questions.
<Welcome. Sorry for the delay. You sent this to my personal
email and I was out over the weekend>
I hope my English is good enough for you to understand. If
anything is not clear, please tell me and I will try to explain
it more clearly.
<Your English is perfect; thank you>
PS. I filled up the tank 2 hours ago, no leakage yet...
<I would do one of the repairs... NOT use this tank with the
present chip as it is. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chipped glass
Thanks for you reply! The delay is no problem. I really
appreciate it that
you take the time to help people with your experience.
<Happy to help>
I had some questions about the suggested repair with the
I'm not sure if I understand it correctly so I made a
picture with some possibilities how to place the glass.
I also included a picture of the corner where you can see
how the silicone seam runs.
<Did see this, thanks>
Which of the 4 repairs would hold best?
Also, if I have to put the glass on the inside, does this
mean I have to trim the whole old silicone bead, and use
<Not all, just the one seam (stop at the
Since new silicone won't stick to old silicone this
would mean that if I don't redo the whole silicone at
some point there will be new silicone touching old
silicone... This seems like a lot of work. Also the
backside doesn't look as good as the current front side
(it has some small scratches I think, and some holes
drilled in the glass for the cables and stuff).
<Rats! Maybe the dowel inside the corner instead
If this repair would mean that the tank is trustworthy (or
more trustworthy than it is now) I don't mind the
scratches and the extra work.. If the repair with the
aluminium works just as well I would prefer this one of
<Mmm, okay... I would definitely at least "fill
in" the chipped area w/ new Silastic (to prevent
I hope my picture is clear. And I'm not bothering you
too much with these emails. Thanks again!
<No worries. BobF>
Re: Chipped glass
Sorry to bother you again, I forgot to ask about the
How big should these pieces be?
<Two inches wide or so, the length/height of the
And how thick should they be?
<The same thickness as the sides if
I still have a big piece of glass which I can cut smaller
However, this piece is only 8 mm thick, the glass in the
aquarium is 10mm thick. Would this suffice?
<Yes it would/will. B>
Re: Chipped glass 8/22/11
I know you heard this before but: sorry to bother you
Damn my bad English, I read your reply but I don't
understand what you mean with "dowel"
I tried searching the internet and Wikipedia showed me this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowel "A dowel is a solid
cylindrical rod, usually made of wood, plastic or
metal." I don't think that's what you mean
hehe ;) (sorry if this is a stupid question..)
<This is it... A "square" dowel of glass...
that may be only square on two of the four
"faces"... and the square/flat faces are what you
want to silicone into/onto the glass of the tank>
Also, should I do the repair with glass or not?
If yes, where should I put the pieces of glass,
<Inside... again, please see our first email... the
reference on WWM>
Even though the front side looks better than the back, I
don't mind switching the aquarium around (after
repairing it) if this would mean the aquarium would be
stronger. I'm mostly afraid of someone sitting in front
of the aquarium and the aquarium suddenly explodes,
shooting shards of glass at the person injuring or killing
Thanks again for the answers!
Re: Chipped glass 8/22/11
Thanks for the quick reply's!
Tomorrow I will cut the glass and fix the tank.
I'll let you know how it went and mail you some
<And you, BobF>
Re: Chipped glass 8/24/11
Update on the repair:
I tried to cut the glass today. It was a
Couldn't get the glass to break at the cut...
crack went the wrong way etc...
<Mmm, do look for, get some help here. There are
very different "types" of glass and tools
for working them>
I decided to stop trying while I still had some good
pieces of glass left..
Tomorrow I'm calling some glass distributers,
maybe they can cut the glass, I hope for a small
<Ah good. This is what I would do as well>
I asked some people about the repair. Some suggested
only 1 piece of glass stuck to the side would be
enough (so the big side of the glass-strip is stuck
to the side of the aquarium and the side (small side,
8mm) is connected to the front of the aquarium.
I'm not sure if this will be strong enough since
the damage is in the front glass... What do you
<Would be better than nothing, but nearly as
secure as your #4 repair.
Re: Chipped glass, and brace addn.
Hi again Bob,
Yes, I think I'm going with the 2 strips of
glass. I'll be using a 5 cm strip on the side and
a 2,5 cm strip on the front. Then a glue
<Silicone> a back wall to the side, and I will
only have a 2,5 cm glass strip on the front. This
would not be so bad I think.
<Should be fine>
I called the glass distributor today. They told me to
come by tomorrow and they will cut it for free :)
I was also thinking of adding one more support strip,
since the construction doesn't have a strip in
the middle. Or don't you think this is
<I would add this. Are you familiar w/
"Euro-bracing"? Please read here re:
Ahh, I see in your photo/drawing that you are
I made the existing braces black so its easier to see
in the picture, The red one is what I was thinking of
<Ah yes... Perfect>
<And you, BobF>
Re: Chipped glass
<Good evening my friend>
I've been reading about euro-bracings on
WetWebMedia, and I have come to the conclusion
that I currently have euro-bracings(sort of..
in my case the side braces aren't directly
to the side of the tank but a little more to
the center because there have been holes
drilled at the sides..) and euro-bracings
don't have/need center bracings right?
So my Question: Do I really need to install the
center brace that I was planning to
<Not really, no>
Since the tank didn't have any center
bracings before and it has been used by the
previous owner without any problems.. And I
think having a center brace would be annoying
when working in the tank, and placing a back
wall (of course I could always first install
the back wall and after that the center brace
if this would be necessary..)
My tank is 51.2 inches x 19.7 inches Height of
the water = 23.6 inches.
The thickness of the glass = 1cm = 0.4 Inch
My second question is about the repair.
How should I place the glass plates?
A or B? : http://tinypic.com/r/359d1jc/7
(I hope the picture is understandable)
<Yes, A is superior>
I would prefer option B because then I would
have less glass on the front of the tank.
If option A is stronger I would use option A of
Sorry for the many questions, I just want to be
sure I'm repairing it the right way instead
of finding out I did it wrong after the
Thanks again for al the help!
<And you, BobF>