Leaking Tank!!! How to save Carpeting Plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Leaking Tank!!! How to save Carpeting Plants?

This morning, I saw a small pooling of water on the stand...I dried up the water thinking it might have been because of the lid I had on...anyhow, I put paper towels around it and it was dry for an hour but then the paper towels started to retain water in the back right corner of the tank.

It's a small leak, and so now I have to take measures to do a transfer to a spare tank that I have. I will unfortunately, will need to lose the Monte Carlo carpeting set up that I have I can't see how I would be able to salvage the substrate with them rooted. Anyone have any ideas please do share

I thought the shelf was level...I'm sure it was. The tank also came with a rubber mat, which I put in as well at the bottom of the tank.

Would even a slight off level cause enough stress on the tank corner for it to crack over time? It's been 2 years.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:34 PM
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Sorry I do not know a way to save your carpet.

The gold standard repair for a leaking tank is to drain it and remove everything. Then take apart the entire thing. Razor blade off all the silicone, wipe down with acetone. Then tape it up and re-apply a high quality silicone like RTV 108. That said, most people with a small leak will simply drain it, dry, the affected area, razor blade off any silicone that is accessible in the affected area, and then re-apply silicone to the affected area to plug the hole. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't.

As to the cause, how old is this tank? Did it come to you new or used?

Level is less important then flat, when you say its on a shelf that implies to me that the area is not a stand but a bookshelf? If its not flat (especially if its a rimless tank) then that would cause a leak. If its a medium to large rimless tank you may have just run into the end of its life since not all rimless tanks are created equal and some will die after only a few years. The smaller ones, 20 gallons and under, seem to be relatively ok, but you start getting into 40 gallon and up and the thickness of the glass and type of silicone used start to matter a LOT.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:41 PM
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Lift it in large sections and pop it in a tray - then cover over the top with some cling film, leave it somewhere it gets light. It grows well emersed so should be fine. If you think you'll need to leave it weeks, you could put some substrate in underneath it.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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It's a small 12x12 8 gallon rimless cube. It's on a specific stand for aquariums, and the surface is flat, but perhaps level is off over the 2 years.

It was purchased new as well.

I'll probably just replace it, but not sure whether to go back with the same brand of tank.

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Sorry I do not know a way to save your carpet.

The gold standard repair for a leaking tank is to drain it and remove everything. Then take apart the entire thing. Razor blade off all the silicone, wipe down with acetone. Then tape it up and re-apply a high quality silicone like RTV 108. That said, most people with a small leak will simply drain it, dry, the affected area, razor blade off any silicone that is accessible in the affected area, and then re-apply silicone to the affected area to plug the hole. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't.

As to the cause, how old is this tank? Did it come to you new or used?

Level is less important then flat, when you say its on a shelf that implies to me that the area is not a stand but a bookshelf? If its not flat (especially if its a rimless tank) then that would cause a leak. If its a medium to large rimless tank you may have just run into the end of its life since not all rimless tanks are created equal and some will die after only a few years. The smaller ones, 20 gallons and under, seem to be relatively ok, but you start getting into 40 gallon and up and the thickness of the glass and type of silicone used start to matter a LOT.
Bump: Ok thanks...!

I'll try that. I won't be able to save the entire carpet as it covers 1/2 of the tank, but I will salvage all I can and hope they grow back in the replacement tank to provide the cover.

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Originally Posted by tamsin View Post
Lift it in large sections and pop it in a tray - then cover over the top with some cling film, leave it somewhere it gets light. It grows well emersed so should be fine. If you think you'll need to leave it weeks, you could put some substrate in underneath it.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 03:18 PM
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Before you dismantle everything, just double check the water isn't wicking over the top via a cable or piece of equipment. Sometimes a little algae growth/slime in the wrong place and the water will travel up it and then drip over.

Unusual for a small tank on a flat surface to develop a leak.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't even think of that! It's at the corner as well where the cords are going. I'll have a look - thanks for the tip.

I have a mat that came with the tank underneath as well......I realized this morning though that it's about 2 mm from the edge of the tank sides...so it's not flushed. I hope that wasn't the problem if in fact I do have a leak.

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Originally Posted by tamsin View Post
Before you dismantle everything, just double check the water isn't wicking over the top via a cable or piece of equipment. Sometimes a little algae growth/slime in the wrong place and the water will travel up it and then drip over.

Unusual for a small tank on a flat surface to develop a leak.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 06:05 PM
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I've used a clean dustpan to move large sections of carpet with pretty good results. Just go deep and get the substrate with it best you can. Hopefully you don't have a leak, of course!
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Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua07 View Post
I didn't even think of that! It's at the corner as well where the cords are going. I'll have a look - thanks for the tip.

I have a mat that came with the tank underneath as well......I realized this morning though that it's about 2 mm from the edge of the tank sides...so it's not flushed. I hope that wasn't the problem if in fact I do have a leak.

Do you mean the mat is bigger than the tank or that the tank is bigger than the mat? The former is fine, the latter is really bad. All of the tank needs t be supported by the mat. No part of the tank should overhang the mat.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 10:43 PM
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Out of level should not cause a leak... even quite a bit out of level. In my experience leaks are usually caused by putting the tank on a surface that isn't flat. The part of the tank that is supported transfers all the stress of supporting the tank into just part of the tank instead of evenly over the entire circumference of the tank.

If the tank was part way on the rubber mat / part way off... that would be my guess of where the problem came from.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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The mat is roughly 2 mm off from the sides of the tank....it came with it when I bought it, so it's not completely squared to all sides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Do you mean the mat is bigger than the tank or that the tank is bigger than the mat? The former is fine, the latter is really bad. All of the tank needs t be supported by the mat. No part of the tank should overhang the mat.
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Out of level should not cause a leak... even quite a bit out of level. In my experience leaks are usually caused by putting the tank on a surface that isn't flat. The part of the tank that is supported transfers all the stress of supporting the tank into just part of the tank instead of evenly over the entire circumference of the tank.

If the tank was part way on the rubber mat / part way off... that would be my guess of where the problem came from.
Bump: Just an FYI: I don't think I have a leak!!! I am not able to determine where the water came from at this point. I am baffled.........all is dry after more than 16 hours of observation.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:09 PM
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Regarding the carpet, monte carlo is not as fragile as you might be thinking. I have taken monte carlo carpet that was rooted, scooped it up (with some substrate attached) and put it in tupperwares with water and no direct light for weeks. When I was ready, I just put it back in. The substrate helped it sink, and it re-established pretty quickly. That shouldn't be too hard for an 8g.

Still, I am happy to hear that you do not have a leak. Maybe buy a cheap leak detector to put where the water appeared so that you will have an early warning if it still is leaking or wicking.

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