Bought a beat up 55g, is it salvagable?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Equipment

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-15-2012, 12:34 AM   #1
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 44

Bought a beat up 55g, is it salvagable?

I work in a pet store. One of the regulars came in today asking if I knew anyone that would want a 55 gallon tank he was looking to unload. We worked out a $25 price tag, and I said I would take it.

The tank is pretty beat up, but I figure for $25 I would take a gamble. The first question I asked was if he filled it with water and if it holds water, he said yes.

Here's what's wrong:

The top rim is sheared in half directly in the middle of one of the long sides. This rim is also completely not sealed to the tank. It lifts right off.

The bottom rim is also not sealed onto the tank and it is damaged near one of the corners, though not completely broken all the way through.

Other than that, its just cosmetic stuff that I can fix. Also, the glass on this tank appears to be much thicker than most tanks though I could be mistaken. I've always heard that thicker glass = older tank = more durable, but I don't know how true that is.

So, what do I need to do to make sure this thing is going to work?
Beakman is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Old 11-15-2012, 12:49 AM   #2
Wannabe Guru
ngrubich's Avatar
PTrader: (25/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 1,092

I'd be weary of the broken frame, especially after you add the substrate, hardscape, plants, etc. The frame somewhat (although to a very small extent) helps to keep the top of the glass from bowing out. Without that frame, you can end up with weak seams. Granted, that I don't know if it will happen for sure or not, but I would rather not take the risk: think of how long/how expensive a clean-up from a broken tank can get.
If it were me, and I were looking for another tank, I would check craigslist first.

Last edited by ngrubich; 11-15-2012 at 01:01 AM.. Reason: .
ngrubich is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2012, 12:50 AM   #3
Planted Tank Enthusiast
thefisherman's Avatar
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 913

to be honest i would've taken it off his hands if it were for free.

the labor you are about to invest is to restore the tank is time consuming. but the good thin it seems is its an older tank with thick glass. if it is at least 3/8" thick (or 1/2" even better) then i imo its worth salvaging.

theres another thread going on and i'm sure plenty others in forum detailing steps to re-seal a tank. but its basically the first step i took when i salvaged an old 75g that is now my cichlid tank.

so first priority is the re-seal and the frame uptop is no big deal to adheare back on once it is resealed. many people de-rim tanks to get a frameless edge, but for an old tank, i would put it back to add stability.

after resealing and restoring the frame and miscellanous cleaning... the next priority is a flood test.

flood the tank halfway first if you are not sure or flood it full if you are confident in your handy work. let it hold water for at least three days a week even better. carefully monitor for any kind of water. even the slightest evidence of moisture, i recommend draining an reseal the edge. its can be a process but rewarding as i was able to save my 75g.

good luck!

- thefisherman
“Goodness is the only investment that never fails”

The Fisherman's Workbench
thefisherman is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2012, 12:55 AM   #4
Planted Tank Obsessed
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Carmichael, CA
Posts: 336

Pictures speak a thousand words What exactly do you mean by the top rim being sheared in half? Just the plastic part?

Generally the plastic rims do very little structurally, the tank is actually held in place with just the silicone. I would bring it outside, place it on a piece of foam or cardboard, and fill it up. Best way I know to see if it leaks And if you have a leak that's fixable too; scrape the old silicone, clean the glass really really well, and reapply silicone. If you have to do this I would suggest looking up a build your own glass aquarium thread and follow their directions on proper silicone technique.
ReluctantHippy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2012, 01:03 AM   #5
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 44

Yes, just the plastic part of the top rim is sheared in half.

Also, this tank doesn't have a crossbar support on top. As in, it never had one, not that it broke or anything.

The glass is 3/8" thick, by the way.

Last edited by Beakman; 11-15-2012 at 01:27 AM.. Reason: Clarity
Beakman is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Your Location. As precise as you feel comfortable with.
Security Question
While balancing on a piece of wood, two inches by four inches known as a 2x4, John and his friend Sally both spotted a dalmatian inside of a truck with sirens. The animal with John and Sally is a _ _ _?
Please select your insurance company (Optional)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012