Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Glass Aquarium Repair, Chips/Cracks 7

Related Articles: Aquarium Repair, Acrylic Aquarium Repair, Cleaning Aquariums, Marine Tanks, Stands and Covers, Used Gear for Marine Systems, Designer Marine tanks, stands and covers,

Related FAQs: Chips/Cracks 1, Chips/Cracks 2, Chips/Cracks 3, Chips/Cracks 4, Chips/Cracks 5, Chips/Cracks 6, & Glass Aquarium Repair 1, Glass Aquarium Repair 2, G lass Aquarium Repair 3, Glass Aquarium Repair 4, Glass Aquarium Repair 5, & FAQs on Repairing Glass Tank: Scratches/Blemishes, Cross-Braces, Leaks, Whole Panes, Tools: Cutting Glass, Silicone, Moulding/Frames; Techniques; Olde Tank (Slate Bottom, Metal Frame, Pecora...) Repairs, Troubleshooting/Repairs,& Acrylic Aquarium Repair, Used Aquarium Gear,

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 assistance.
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 the Silicone>
So my questions for the professionals:
* is this worth fixing since it is a 60 gal tank vs. the crack location and size?
<IMO/E, yes>
* will the pressure be too great?
* as an experienced hobbyist would you fix or replace? Is my solution sound (see PDF diagram)?
<See above>
* 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 knowledge?
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question for WWM Crew, cracked 60 glass 2/15/12
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.
Thanks again,
<Cheers, BobF>

Question About Crack in 155gallon Tank 12/23/11
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 best advice.
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
Meghan Lawlis
<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 Fenner>

Re: Chipped Corner 12/16/11
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 left/right>
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 better...>
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 here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/GlasCracks7.htm
and as much of the linked files above as you deem prudent. BobF>
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 list:
-75 gallon tank
-80lbs rock
-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.
Livestock list:
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 understand>
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 refugium.
<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 Fenner>

Please Help! Glass tk rock impact hit 10/26/11
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 Fenner>

Hello, regarding my 75gallon, chipped 9/14/11
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 it..
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 placement...>
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, chipped 9/15/11
Thanks Mr. Fenner
<Welcome Natoya. B>

Small crack in my 180gal tank 9/13/2011
Hello Crew,
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 silicone again.
The bottom panel of glass is tempered and I believe it is 1/2" thick.
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 now>
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 is.>
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 go..
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 attachments.
[IMG] http://i55.tinypic.com/fel1cm.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG] http://i51.tinypic.com/1zz3mky.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG] http://i54.tinypic.com/2h2piiu.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG] http://i54.tinypic.com/2uq2avl.jpg[/IMG]
The piece of glass is still inside, I think the silicon holds it in place.
<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 corner...
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 aquarium.
<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 else?
<Is a good idea, one approach... though I like the glass repair better>
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>
Best regards,
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 8/22/11
Hi Bob,
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 glass pieces.
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?
<Number 4>
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 new silicone?
<Not all, just the one seam (stop at the corners)>
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 then>
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 course ;)
<Mmm, okay... I would definitely at least "fill in" the chipped area w/ new Silastic (to prevent cuts)>
I hope my picture is clear. And I'm not bothering you too much with these emails. Thanks again!
Best regards,
<No worries. BobF>

Re: Chipped glass 8/22/11
Hi Bob,
Sorry to bother you again, I forgot to ask about the glass...
How big should these pieces be?
<Two inches wide or so, the length/height of the side>
And how thick should they be?
<The same thickness as the sides if possible/practical>
I still have a big piece of glass which I can cut smaller pieces from.
However, this piece is only 8 mm thick, the glass in the aquarium is 10mm thick. Would this suffice?
<Yes it would/will. B>
Best regards,
Re: Chipped glass 8/22/11
Hi Bob,
I know you heard this before but: sorry to bother you again.... ;)
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/outside front/side?
<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 him/her!
Thanks again for the answers!
Best wishes,
<Welcome. B>
Re: Chipped glass 8/22/11
Hi Bob
<Salud Daniel>
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 pictures.
<Ah, good/gut>
Best wishes,
<And you, BobF>

Re: Chipped glass 8/24/11
Hi Bob,
Update on the repair:
I tried to cut the glass today. It was a disaster!
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 price.
<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 think?
<Would be better than nothing, but nearly as secure as your #4 repair.
Best wishes,
Re: Chipped glass, and brace addn. 8/24/11
Hi again Bob,
<Hey Daniel>
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 :)
<Ahh, great>
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 necessary?
<I would add this. Are you familiar w/ "Euro-bracing"? Please read here re:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/glstkbraces.htm... Ahh, I see in your photo/drawing that you are aware>
I made the existing braces black so its easier to see in the picture, The red one is what I was thinking of adding.
<Ah yes... Perfect>
Best wishes,
<And you, BobF>

Re: Chipped glass 8/24/11
Hi Bob,
<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 install?
<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 course
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 repair.
Thanks again for al the help!
Best wishes,
<And you, BobF>

Cracked euro bracing inside back wall 8/18/11
First off thank you for all the great info you guys have on your site! Ok so the issue I'm having is I bought a used tank and in getting it from it's old home to it's new one, I dropped a plastic box onto the edge of what appears to be some Euro bracing and it cracked - looks like a bullet whole more than a plastic drop.
<I see this>
It is a custom 135 gallon tank with rounded front corners. Inside the tank are half inch by two inch glass strips going around the entire bottom
<Note: not the inside near the top>
of the tank. So my questions is..... OMG how do I fix it!
<Not likely necessary>
While reading your fax on tank repair I was wondering if the bottom bracing has anything to do with it's ability to hold water, is it really required, and what does it do?
<Intended to give extra strength to the bottom seals... not really bracing... which is for the upper part of tank... to prevent bowing>
So onto fixing it - do I just add a silicone blob to the area or get glass and create a patch one piece on the bottom of the tank one piece on the Euro bracing that overhangs to connect to the patch piece on the bottom <You could do this>
or do I take out the back broken brace and replace the entire strip?
If I do patch it with either a silicone blob or glass patch do I have to remove all of the old silicone or just the silicone around the effected area?
<Likely just filling in the cracked area will be fine... reduce the likelihood of someone or livestock getting cut>
I will be sending over photos in the next message but can't include with this one - apple for the loose.
Thank you in advance
Todd and Michelle
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Re: Cracked euro bracing inside back wall 8/18/11
Thank you for your quick reply! After what you have told us and speaking to our local fish store, I have decided to venture forward with some "Loctite marine epoxy"! And a dab of silicone on top after it dries to level it out!
Thank you so much! You guys rock!
<And roll! Cheers, BobF>
Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: