10 gallon Metaframe with cracked slate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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10 gallon Metaframe with cracked slate

I found the tank on a former neighbor's curb. Not holding the same view that this was trash, I took it home. It's been sitting in my shed for quite a while and I finally got around to taking a good look at it today. It appears to have been used to house a hamster or gerbil, which may not be a problem, but there's also a crack in the slate bottom that runs from front to back. A water test shows that it's a very slow leak. Do you think running silicone along the crack would prevent it from leaking? I'd really like to use this tank.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 02:37 AM
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If the slate is clean it would work.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I guess I have nothing to lose by trying it. The tank will probably need to be completely resiliconed anyway.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 05:30 AM
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If u don't mind iv got a question.
What kinda silicone would u use? 100% silicone?

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 12:02 PM
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I know people like the retro look of these old Metaframe, but if you have a cracked slate, it's very difficult to repair by running a bead of silicone along the crack.

The trouble is that the fix might work for awhile and then fail, and your now tearing down a nice, established tank to fix it again.

Your best course of action would be to just get a new 10 gal tank.

Or better still that 100 gal tank you always wanted (grin)
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 12:09 PM
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Maybe install a piece of glass over the slate?

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 01:02 PM
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My vote's for picking up a new 10gal tank for $10-$12 just about anywhere. Could even get a really nice Deep Blue Professional with clean, black silicone for about that price.

Then reseal the slate tank and instead of using it to hold ten gallons of water - use it as a grow out tank for emersed plants or as terrarium. You could grow some really great Anubias, mosses and the like with just regular misting.


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 01:23 PM
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Silicone will not stick to slate. It will start leaking much sooner than the silicone is worth. If you want to repair it properly find a local glass cutting place and have them cut you a piece of glass about 1/8th inch less than the size of the inside of the bottom of your tank. Then smear a layer of silicone all over the slate for cushion and place the glass on top and then reseal the inside of the tank like you would a modern tank.

I got that trick from a now retired lfs owner who has used it many times and it worked perfectly for my tank too.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 03:49 PM
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I know it's heart breaking to see these old broken tanks.
It could still be used for a terrarium maybe??
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 04:08 PM
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The slate is the last piece that is put in when the tank was assembled. So why would that matter? Simple. Use a heat gun, a putty/glazing knife, and a ton of patience and remove the slate. Then put a new piece of glass in.

The only silicone that will stick to the slate if you want to go that route is Dow 795.

When I was rebuilding one of my 10 gallon Metaframes I put glass in the bottom just to lock in the sides and it looked pretty nice. If the slate is broken in any of the others I have to redo glass is a nice option.

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Removing it sounds a bit risky. Why couldn't I just lay apiece of glass on top of the slate and silicone it in? As long as it's watertight, the cracked slate shouldn't matter. Right? Here's the tank:



Here's the crack:

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 06:08 PM
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I always reseal these tanks with a bead of silicone around all the joints. I don't see why you can't silicone the slate but if you want to improve on that you could use an epoxy.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 06:22 PM
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For me, a tank like that is just screaming, "Turn me into a 10gal vertical vivarium!"


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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Would Marineland Hold Fast Epoxy Stick work? The package says that it bonds live rock, slate, plants and corals.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 09:19 PM
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I usually use west system epoxies but they are expensive. Something like this from home depot would work.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Loctite-0...5604/100371825

I use silicone caulks all the time to repair aquariums and I rarely have problems. I have a 35 gallon tank that I broke the glass side panel on and repaired about three years ago with silicone caulk. As long as the bond is good and the silicone is thick enough I don’t think you will have a problem. My tank looks terrible I put thick silicone on both sides of the glass. You don’t need to be neat you simply need to make sure there is plenty of adhesion and strength. Like a half inch wide and an eighth of an inch thick or something like that. The bottom will be covered by substrate anyway.
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