Fixing a 125 - tank and stand!

HarrisonAquatics

Member
Alright, so I bought a 125 a few months ago - pre-drilled with sump, pumps, heaters, and stand, all for $425. I knew that it was an older tank and would probably need some touching-up, but I was a bit misled. There were a bunch of massive bubbles in the seams, and the plastic trim on the tank was just flapping in the wind, hanging off the tank. There was a little bit of water left in the bottom, too, from it's previous home - and it leaked out onto my floor overnight right after I got it. Yep.

That was 2 months ago. I decided to re-build the tank entirely. Thus far, I've gotten all of the silicone stripped off of the seams and all of the trim removed without any serious damage being done to the tank. I have a few questions:

I've heard that a high E guitar string (or fishing line) is great for cutting the silicone between the glass and separating the panels. Is this the best way to go about it? I've tried with razors and have had no luck.

I plan to eurobrace this tank. I figured I'd go with 1/2" thick glass and 4" wide panels for the eurobrace, with a 4" wide support in the middle. Thoughts? I've never had to eurobrace a tank, so I really don't know what I'm doing here.

I'm looking for a good industrial-grade silicone to use. I've seen several recommendations, but there's not really a concise pick. Anyone have a good suggestion?

Last one! The stand it came with is kinda rickety, and was designed for a rimmed tank. I think I can repair what needs to be repaired, but I'm not sure how to go about making it work for a rimless tank. Or, should I just build my own stand? Would that be easier than trying to retrofit this one?

Any advice is welcome!
 

MrBryan723

Member
I use a heatgun on low setting to remove the panels. The silicon becomes malleable and you can pull ot out far enough a razor blade will slide down. I assume a thin guitar string or good quality foshing line would work pretty easily too, but I've never tried.
When eurobracing use plenty of silicone since it's what's essentially doing most of the work. You can always use a razor blade to clean up excess. Watch a few videos of course.
GE SCS1200 construction silicone is about the best money can buy, and is safe after it cures.
 
  • Thread Starter

HarrisonAquatics

Member
So, I finally got around to working on this tonight.

I took a package of 25 razorblades, and pushed them into the seam from the outside one by one, down each pane. All it takes is about 8 of them going down the seam, and with some gentle wiggling, the panes pop apart. Took me all of 30 minutes to get it mostly taken apart. I'll have to order some of the silicone you suggested, and get my butt moving!

Any suggestions on the stand?
 
  • Thread Starter

HarrisonAquatics

Member
Alrighty, so I've been scraping silicone residue for the past two hours and haven't managed to get one of the side panes even remotely clean. I'm using 99% rubbing alcohol and razor scrapers. Any ideas on this one?
 

John58ford

Member
HarrisonAquatics said:
Alrighty, so I've been scraping silicone residue for the past two hours and haven't managed to get one of the side panes even remotely clean. I'm using 99% rubbing alcohol and razor scrapers. Any ideas on this one?
Heat with a blow dryer on high or heat gun on low while razor scraping. Then get the residue off with mineral spirits and a scotch green pad. Wash the spirits off with windex and then buff with isopropyl before sealing it all back together.

Don't set it on anything hard and cold while it's warm from the heart gun like a marble counter etc.
 

MrBryan723

Member
Acetone, MEK, or spirits are better for breaking down the silicone. Alcohol will take forever. If you use them, be sure to use at least an n95 or better respirator and neoprene gloves. They'll melt latex and rubber and even nitrile gloves.
 
  • Thread Starter

HarrisonAquatics

Member
Thank you both! Now I have some things to try

I'm in no rush, though. I'm going to practice building a stand for another, smaller build I'm doing, so this will probably be put off until after that's all done with anyway. The fish I'm putting in here are still teeny, too, so I've got time.
 

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