Preventing Tank Cracks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Preventing Tank Cracks

My 120 just sprung a leak. Luckily I was able to save all the plants and most of the shrimp I had in there. The leak was caused by a single crack in the bottom pane that stretched diagonally from corner to corner. The tank just burst earlier this evening for no apparent reason, unlike the first tank leak I dealt with several months ago, where a heavy person stomping around stressed the tank and caused a leak.

The tank is on a level and sturdy stand and in my basement so the ground underneath it is concrete. I should be able to get a replacement soon but am really hoping to prevent such an incident in the future, as I've already dealt with two tank leaks in less than a year. Could my canopy have caused this? Any general tips for preventing tank leaks?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 03:44 AM
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Were both tanks on the same stand?





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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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No; the first tank was a 46 bowfront and the one that just broke was its upgraded replacement.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 03:51 AM
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So they were set up on different stands. Were the stands placed in the same spot in the house?





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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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No, the first one was on the floor level of the house while the second was in my basement. I would have thought the latter's floor to be more stable since it's concrete underneath the floorboard.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 03:57 AM
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last time i let a "heavy person" near my tanks lol
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 04:00 AM
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Super weird.

Everyone in the house getting along OK (as in- no one with a grudge?) lol

Were there rocks in the tank?

Maybe next time try a foam pad underneath the tank?





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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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There were rocks but they were on top of several inches of substrate.

Would a foam pad help? I thought that those were useful mainly for rimless tanks.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 04:10 AM
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How much (weight) rock?





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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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A few pounds


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 04:47 AM
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Well I'm stumped, then LOL

Though my understanding is using a pad can be helpful under framed tanks as well, to help distribute out any possible pressure points.





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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 04:03 PM
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A split in the tank bottom will not be caused by the weight of rocks in the planted tank. Looking at fish only cichlid tanks will show that they can support as much rock as possible to fit in. Marine tanks are often very tall with tons of rock.
A diagonal crack across the bottom would indicate to me that all four corners are not level which puts a twist on the glass. A cheap laser level is a good tool to check this.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 05:22 PM
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I agree with above that the tank was either not level in some way, or the canopy was putting uneven pressure on the rim
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 05:02 PM
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It sounds like uneven stress caused it to break to me as well. Tanks (and glass in general) don't just suddenly crack. There has to be a cause - either an impact or an ongoing stress.

Within reason you cannot have "too much" rock in a tank (look at marine tanks as suggested, there is often up to 2lbs/gal of rock stacked in there). But if the rock is stacked in an unstable manner and there is a collapse it can bust the bottom from the impact.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 05:14 PM
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Twisted +1

I used long sheets of styrene (Evergreen Brand) in a stepped fashion to level my 12G on the bar counter. Glued in place. Longest sheet up.

The tank rested on the pad, then the sheets, then a sheet of tool drawer liner so the styrene couldn't slip on the counter top. Within 1/32" of level.

I let it sit full for a day to settle.

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