Possible to Reseal Single Corner of an Aquarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Possible to Reseal Single Corner of an Aquarium?

So a while ago my 55 gallon sprang a leak at one of the corners and I had to replace it. I really like it because its older and has 3/8 inch glass so I hung on to it. The plan was to have the long panels cut so I could make a 2'X2' cube but the logistics of it just aren't bankable. Now I just want to reseal it so I could use it again someday or sell it but it'd cost a bit to get enough of the AGA silicone to reseal the whole thing.
Is it possible to just reseal the corner that was leaking or will it not seal properly at the bottom corner where it meets the old silicone? Also, I know there is silicone not just lining the corner but also between the panes where they meet and I'd have to take the whole thing apart to replace that bead.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 11:29 AM
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Yes new silicone will not bond with old. You will need to tear down the tank for a proper re-real.

There are better alternatives to the AGA silicone:
http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/fo.../t-118131.html

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 02:25 PM
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Not trying to be argumentative at all, but lots in that MFK thread has changed. The GE construction adhesive is now Momentive, they aren't called GEI and GEII anymore and I think even the Dow products have changed. And the price gap between the GE sealants and the aquarium silicones has shrunk. When the GE sealants became popular, they cost $3 or $4 per tube at Home Depot and the handful of websites offering AGA silicone wanted $10. They cost $6 now and you can get aquarium silicone tubes from Ken's and others for $8.

If it's a known leaker, I agree 100%. Tear it down. By the same token, consider what's you'll get in return for your $25 worth of silicone and 3 or 4 man-days (if you've ever done it before): a 55G with thicker glass than the Tetra tanks Petco sells for $55. Just offering a line of thinking here. A leaking 210G for example is another animal altogether.

Just curious why the cube wasn't a workable idea for you? If I was gonna tear down a tank like that, I'd sure give that one some consideration. A rimless cube isn't cheap to come by.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, Bushkill, just the person for this thread given your experience. The simplest option would have been to just to repair this tank but if I have to rip the whole thing apart anyway then I'm not fond enough of the dimensions of a 55 Long to put in the effort. The problem with the cube is I would like to use RTV 108 which is like $20.00 a tube of which I will need three. I will also need a 1/2'' thick bottom sheet 2' x 2'3/4"which should cost around $40.00. I have no idea what it would cost to get the glass cut and seamed but I have to figure that it'd be fairly steep so I'd be looking at almost $200.00 or more as the roughest of estimates. The real question though is the extremely rough cut on the top glass for the tank which looks like they cut it with a hacksaw.

I figure it must be possible to have this ground down both for aesthetic reasons and so I could eurobrace the tank but that would mean all four panels would need to be ground and seamed to equal height. This will also add to the cost. I'd greatly appreciate any input you could provide as the cube is really kind of a dream tank and I do already have the bulk of the glass I would need.

Last edited by goodbytes; 12-10-2014 at 07:22 PM. Reason: Beveled is not the right word
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by goodbytes View Post
Ah, Bushkill, just the person for this thread given your experience. The simplest option would have been to just to repair this tank but if I have to rip the whole thing apart anyway then I'm not fond enough of the dimensions of a 55 Long to put in the effort. The problem with the cube is I would like to use RTV 108 which is like $20.00 a tube of which I will need three. I will also need a 1/2'' thick bottom sheet 2' x 2'3/4"which should cost around $40.00. I have no idea what it would cost to get the glass cut and seamed but I have to figure that it'd be fairly steep so I'd be looking at almost $200.00 or more as the roughest of estimates. The real question though is the extremely rough cut on the top glass for the tank which looks like they cut it with a hacksaw.

I figure it must be possible to have this ground down both for aesthetic reasons and so I could eurobrace the tank but that would mean all four panels would need to be ground and seamed to equal height. This will also add to the cost. I'd greatly appreciate any input you could provide as the cube is really kind of a dream tank and I do already have the bulk of the glass I would need.
Well.....................first off, I'm not surprised by what you found under the trim. That trim serves a "secret purpose": it's one less edge the manufacturer needs to seam. It's all about $.

I can offer some thoughts: What about an 18" cube? That way the ragged ends get trimmed off. And with 3/8" glass you can go rimless.

That makes it a hair over 25G. Not appreciably smaller than what you were thinking of.

At 25G, you don't need Momentive adhesives. If you were talking a 120G or better, I wouldn't make that statement.

The bottom panel doesn't need to be any thicker than 3/8 as well.

So in terms of cost, I think what you would have to pay a glass shop to work those two panels is the elephant in the room. That number can just be all over the place and in and of itself can eat up some time. Not necessarily a lost cause. Just depends if you can find a glazier that will work with ya.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Would 3/8 inch glass be unsuitable for a 2'x2'x21" high? When I initially came up with this idea a couple of months ago I did a lot of research suggesting that 3/8 would be adequate for a rimless cube in those dimensions but the safety net was going to be using high quality silicone and eurobracing. 2'x2'x20" high would give me around 45 gallons which is desirable because I would like to keep Cichlids in this tank whatever configuration I end up with. If Momentive is generally unnecessary for tanks under 120g then what would you suggest? AGA has the right price point but strength and longevity are important to me for my peace of mind. I've read a number of threads where people were overly ambitious and it all ends with busted tanks and flooded floors but cutting it back to 18"x18"x20" high (cutting 1" off the top for seaming) yields around 28 gallons which is too much of a reduction for what I'd like to use it for. Eurobracing is not a big deal but I'd prefer an alternative means of rimming the tank as the water where I am is very hard and deposits form quickly. I had considered busting out the Dremel and repurposing the old rim but that'd probably look like garbage.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 01:27 PM
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The difficulty is in cutting 1" off of a panel of glass of that thickness. That can't be done by hand. That's how I arrived at an 18" cube. Think out of the box too. Does it have to be a cube? Just keep in mind that you'd have to take at least 2" off the top of those ragged edges if they're as bad as you have me thinking they are, lol!

Some tank manufacturers used trim that was simply a resting place for glass tops and to cover the sharp edges on top. The old Oceanic tanks had four-piece top trim. So if you think of the old trim in that fashion and know someone with a good miter saw (and knows how to use it), you should be able to get it done if the old trim isn't hacked up.

Maybe I "over-hype" Momentive, but for tanks of this dimension AGA silicone wouldn't scare me. I built a 75G custom-size refugium / sump for my 125G when it was a reef. Held up just fine for over 10 years before I tore it down and re-purposed all the glass.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I called around today and a local place will do it for only $5.00 per cut and seam. They also conveyed the same reality to me that you just mentioned about not being able to just take 1" off. Since the square dimensions are more important than a cube I will probably just go with a 24"x24"x18" rimless square aquarium using the AGA silicone which is actually reviewed very highly.

Last edited by goodbytes; 12-11-2014 at 04:43 PM. Reason: rimless
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodbytes View Post
Yeah, I called around today and a local place will do it for only $5.00 per cut and seam. They also conveyed the same reality to me that you just mentioned about not being able to just take 1" off. Since the square dimensions are more important than a cube I will probably just go with a 24"x24"x18" rimless square aquarium using the AGA silicone which is actually reviewed very highly.
Nothing wrong with that!!!

I have a passion for re-purposing things. Glass is one of those things you can hang onto for just that right project down the line and it doesn't take up much space at all.

$5 per cut is a great deal.

There's tons of great Youtube vids out there now. Take your time and pick through a bunch. Invest heavily in razor blades, blue painter's tape, and a set of miter clamps:
http://www.amazon.com/90-Degree-Angle-Miter-Corner-Clamp/dp/B001EVQ3WI/ref=sr_1_8?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1418323318&sr=1-8&keywords=miter+clamp
The clamps will let you work with both hands while keeping the corners perfectly aligned.

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