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Probably useless observation on leaks

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Probably useless observation on leaks

Post by GaryE on Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:07 am

I have a leaking tank. It's a 33 gallon I bought second hand and resiliconed. Odds are, it had a hairline crack as the front glass cracked last week, partway up soon after I had gotten it running. It's a 33g - for some reason, every 'catastrophic' tank glass break I have ever had has been that size. I assume they use the thinnest glass possible, and that they penny pinch too far on that size tank.

It's in my basement, and I drained til a few inches sit in the bottom, pushing on the front glass crack. This weekend I will remove and recycle it. I have a floor drain 3 feet away for the water running out.

It lost a lot of water and stopped. For 3 days, it was tight as could be. Yesterday, it dumped about a gallon, and stopped. The floor had time to dry. This morning, it lost another gallon.

My point? If you do get a leaker and it stops, don't be confident everything is okay. This tank is randomly leaking in bursts, even though the cracked glass is submerged. The crack is huge and can't be missed, but it won't always work that way...

I've never left a leaker standing before to see this pattern, and it's interesting. I can't wait for the weekend to get it out of there though.
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Re: Probably useless observation on leaks

Post by alexmtl on Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:20 am

Not such a useless post. The point is well made: what does one do when they discover they have a leak. In an emergency I guess you start bailing.

I rarely use second hand tanks. I remember the first aquarium that I had with the stainless steel rims and thick glass that was siliconed countless times, and still leaked. In the event that we do get a leaker, I cannot think of a sufficient method of sealing and injecting with pressure to stop the leak, especially when there is already water in the tank.

I guess the closest remedy would be silicone in a syringe to inject over the crack or joint, but still no adequate, certainly not aesthetic. Rubber coating the outside ? Probably not. With the cost of all this material, it may have been best to have done a leak test before actually putting into use with livestock.
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Re: Probably useless observation on leaks

Post by Sbenson11 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:03 am

I don't have a comment on your leaky tank, Buy Gary that avatar is nasty.

Steve
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Re: Probably useless observation on leaks

Post by vince0 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:26 am

I have resealed tanks with great success, but have never tried to replace a panel. I have yet to have a tank crack on me, knock on wood (as I look over at my 180 gallon tank next to me). I recycle glass all the time to use with worm cultures and such, I find reusing beats out recycling as the original life cycle of the material is extended.
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Re: Probably useless observation on leaks

Post by GaryE on Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:10 am

I had filled the tank and checked, but I'll guess the glass was thin and older and there was a fault in it. I misjudged the age, I guess, as it had black silicone. I'm thinking I may not have been the first to resilicone it though.
I'll recycle, re-use - it's good for tank lids.
I bumped a glass door once with my elbow - a gentle bump, and the whole thing simply collapsed. Sometimes, there are spots in glass that are weaker or more brittle, I guess. And as I said - it's those 33 gallons I've seen it with. I've never had a 40 or a 20 do this, but this will be my fourth recycled 33 (in 40+ years with fish).
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Re: Probably useless observation on leaks

Post by alexmtl on Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:17 am

I think the composition of glass may have to do with this. The date of manufacturer perhaps even the specific manufacturer who used the glass composite that tended to shatter. I am still favour glass tanks over acrylic mainly due to cost. I do not see a reason for any manufacturer to create a lifetime guarantee that is transferable with the tank, mainly due to cost. So an economic conundrum exists that people will pay for a better glass tank.
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