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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reading about Steve's tank failure in 'Death of the Big Clear Kahuna' got me to thinking. My 55gal has been sitting empty for months. I was planning to set it up again today, but now I wonder if I should. If tanks sit empty, does the silicone dry out enough to cause leaks/failures? They sit empty in the LFS for long periods of time. Should I take a chance with this one, or just bite the bullet and get a new 55gal tank? I'm not going to do anything with it today, will wait to see what I find out.
 

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This happened to the stuff that was used years ago on metal frame tanks, as insulation between the metal frame and the glass. When they were sitting dry, the cement (not sure what the correct term is) would dry out, and shrink. The missing weight of the water was another factor. None of this applies to todays silicones.
 

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I have heard people make that statement but I have never found it to be true in my experiences. Maybe the old metal framed tanks that used a a tar based sealer.
 

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I know I've seen it happen in the past.

Of course I'm older than dirt (or maybe I just feel that way),

Scott
Sanford, Maine
 

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Nikki, how long do you think your tank "sat dry" before it was filled with water the first time? ;)
 

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if you had your silicone edge tank in a garage that got down to 0°F in the winter and 100°F in the summer then perhaps over several years the glass and frame would have expanded and contracted enough for the silicone to loose a perfect seal. as for chrome framed tanks sealed with tar, they can easily be resealed with little more than a blow dryer that remelts the tar trapped in the frame, thus reseals any gaps that may have formed in the tar. do not use this blow dryer method to reseal silicone. what ruins an aquariums seal most often are prolonged periods of uneven weight distribution and/or vibration, not just time going by. oddly enough if a modern tank were stored in ideal conditions, it may be the glass that would fail long before the silicone, since glass acts as a quartz based liquid that over time (hundreds of years) will flow down to it's base by force of gravity.
 

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Sitting outside in the FROST is the only condition that should cause a modern tank to leak if re-used after a period of disuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, the tank has been inside all this time, so not subject to cold or weather. Thanks for all the replies--I'll do the standard filling it up the first time to check for leaks, etc., anyway, so it should be OK.
 

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Sitting outside in the FROST is the only condition that should cause a modern tank to leak if re-used after a period of disuse.
I disagree. Sit one outside here in the summer for a few months and the heat will peal the silicone right off.
 
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