Should I be concerned...? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Should I be concerned...?

Okay, so I just derimmed my 20L...have yet to scape all the silicone off because it is a massive pain but anyway. I did it in the shower and decided to just fill the tank up and make sure that it would hold and then go about doing the silicone part.

Anyway, I noticed this on one of the seams that the two panes of glass could wiggle and I didn't really like that but then I saw this on it and after some investigating, there is a gap between the two panes of glass and what looks like bubbles is areas with no silicone. It looks like there was no seal there to begin with versus pulling away from the tank because of the water, but I didn't notice until the water.

If you look at it, the actual silicone there is very small compared to the amount that isn't holding it together. How should I go about fixing this?


*the drop of water is from some spilling...not the seam




*you can see that the wire can go right in from the outside. It's in open space - not pushed into silicone.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 08:52 AM
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Use a razor blade and scrape all the silicone out of the seam

Clean the surface with rubbing alcohol

Buy some Aqueon aquarium sealant
I get mine at the Lfs, for some that's not an option. You can get it online or use an alternative( I have come across multiple threads on here that tell you what's safe) I just use the Aqueon sealant because I know its safe and it's only like 7 bucks for a tube big enough to a 30+g tank

The directions on the sealant have never worked for me

I apply a liberal amount, and then run a peice of plastic with a curve in it that fits well in a corner up the seam to remove the excess. A butter knife or the corner of a bondo scraper works quite well.

Let the silicone sit for two days(do not attempt to move the tank or any thing)

The scrape off the excess. ( there's always a little on the sides after you run your curved edge up the side. If you try to clean up the excess before it dries you will end up with a huge mess that is a pita to clean up

Test the tank some where water proof for a couple days, and if it doesn't leak you're good to go




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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 08:53 AM
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Oh I forgot to answer your question: yes you should be concerned.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 11:01 AM
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I've seen production tanks with a bubble or two in an inner seam, but that one got by the QC person completely. There was never any silicone applied between the two panels. Somebody forgot and decided to just apply an outer bead and move on to the next one. That tank was relying on that one-piece rim more than you think.

If you can run wire between them that's a huge gap. You shouldn't be able to fit the point of a razor blade in there.

Honestly, if it were mine, I'd put the rim back on and take it back to the store and see if they'll give ya credit or sumthin. New tank prices can be all over the place, but I wouldn't put money into making it structurally sound. If they won't take it back set it up somewhere where a leak won't do harm. A 20G will never develop enough pressure to just blow a panel. Petco's $1/gallon sale's coming around soon.

In short, I wouldn't trust it at all without a rim even if you squish silicone in there. You'll never be able to clean that gap completely without removng the panel and scraping the silicone and reapplying it. You could tape off the joint so it comes out neat, but the bond would never be completely trustworthy in my opinion and it's just way too much work invested in a 20G.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushkill View Post
Honestly, if it were mine, I'd put the rim back on and take it back to the store and see if they'll give ya credit or sumthin. New tank prices can be all over the place, but I wouldn't put money into making it structurally sound. If they won't take it back set it up somewhere where a leak won't do harm. A 20G will never develop enough pressure to just blow a panel. Petco's $1/gallon sale's coming around soon.
+1 from the peanut gallery
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, we'll I'm concerned now lol

But since the rim is sitting broken in my trash...how can I go about returning it? I doubt they would take it back in that state..
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dougiek View Post
Okay, we'll I'm concerned now lol

But since the rim is sitting broken in my trash...how can I go about returning it? I doubt they would take it back in that state..
Probably going to have to cut your losses. IMHO, saving a little bit of money is not worth replacing my floors over, or worse. Either keep a rim or save up some money and buy a nice rimless.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Well it's not the result of taking the rim off. It's just unfortunate to have noticed it after taking the rim off and most likely rendering it un-returnable. But realistically...if I have to buy another I'll do it at the $1/gallon sale so it won't be too much of a setback. Plus I'll have this tank still to do whatever with.

And I would look into just buying a rimless...but I haven't found one this size and I'm not really looking to spend that much on a tank just yet.

If I was going to try to fix it though, what exactly should I do? Try and squeeze some silicone in there? Or somehow take the whole panel off (there is still the bottom frame attached) and redo the entire panel?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 06:58 PM
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Get a lizard to put in it.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 12:02 PM
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With that inner bead so far separated, there's just no way to get the gap clean enough to insure a proper bond. The panel would need to be removed, silicone stripped and re-applied. On the plus side, you would only need a single tube of silicone and not the harder to get adhesives. Don't use the GE sealants for this job. A 20L isn't the biggest job you'll ever see along these lines, but still a substantial investment of time. Everybody's budget is different as is the amount of time we all have to put into projects large and small. In the end the decision is yours to repair or replace.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 12:07 PM
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I didn't realize the top trim was broken. I think that negates the possibility of returning it. You'll probably get the argument that you took the trim off and that stressed the joint. On a 20L I wouldn't go there as an assumption, but I don't own a store either.

One last thought. If you were intending to make the tank rimless and you're thinking of possibly doing again, take a few minutes to examine the edges of this tank that were hidden under the silicone and trim. They don't finish those edges on production tanks. You'll need to be prepared to deal with taking those edges down to something less than dangerous.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Long time without a post...was busy with vacations and such and am back at school and about to completely set up my tank.

On another note...they let me return it. I just told them the top fell off lol
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 12:17 PM
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haha. whatever it takes to get the job done! I know all my $1 a gallon tanks actually have a warrenty on defects. The length of the warrenty depends on the size of the tank. So im not too supprised they did take it back.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 12:43 PM
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I agree with Sethjohnson30 and Bushkill - Be concerned and that top rim is more important that people think. Important not as a structural element in a sm. tank like a 20L. Important as a safety for sloppy production work.


I built a 41 gl tank last summer as a learning exercise. Part of my research was looking at dozens of glass tanks at several PetSmartCos. The gaps and silicone work was all offer the place, consistency wise. I became obvious that silicone's bonding strength can over come a lot of misalignment issues. I took my calipers in for the measurements. Gaps from 1/32 to 1/4 were seen.

Which tells me machine shop precision isn't that crittical in aquarium building in tanks with rims 55gl and under.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Yea I don't think I'm even going to derim it again. I figure that I'm going to have to move it a few times and it will be safer with the rim on.
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