Help! Resealing Aquarium

Sammflor

Hello everyone ! I need some help as in I am unsure if I should continue with my resealing of my new, well new to me 55 gallon aquarium. I have recently purchased a 55 gallon tank from a yard sale, upon inspection I noticed it was obviously a tank used for a while and because there were no tags stating the year it was made or no information about the tank, I took it upon myself to do some research on how to reseal an aquarium, once I felt comfortable I ran to my local hardware store bought the products I needed and began scraping the old silicone, cleaning it completely with rubbing alcohol and even using white vinegar to make sure everything was prepped for a promising seal job with no leaks, I then continued to tape off my edges and grabbed the silicone I bought....here comes the issue and the disappointment with a big QUESTION MARK ??? I bought GE silicone 1 all purpose 100% silicone window, door, attic, and trim it states 100% waterproof. With all that I have researched this is what I thought would work without having to buy the same thing at the pet store for a higher price....upon reading the back it states "allow at least 12 hours before exposing to water, not for use below the water line or in aquariums." Now I'm VERY confused and not sure if I should use this silicone. The fish that are awaiting their new home are getting to big for their now 30 gallon and need that little more room but I and along with my 4 year old will be very devastated if anything happens to them.

Please help is this silicone ok to use when FULLY CURED?!?? I understand what it "states" but I have witnessed people using it with theirs when I did my research....It is silicone 1 clear GE


Sorry for this being so long I just wanted everyone to know I DID do my research and I care very deeply about the health of our fish babies and take this hobby seriously with the years going by I only see my hobby growing and I can't wait. But when it comes to resealing it's my first try at it and I just want it to be perfect and safe for the fish! Thank you ...if I need to upload a picture of the silicone I will, just let me know !
 

Katie13

GE Silicone 1 is used commonly for reseal. I would let it cure for at least 24 hours. I believe the "not for use in aquariums" is protection against lawsuits claiming it killed their fish. If it isn't fully cured, it will leak harmful pathogens into the water. All silicones are that way and so are hot glue and super glue:
 

Nerdicine

The reason they say it's not for aquariums is because idiots will try to put their fish in before it's fully cured and that's when it can be dangerous to fish. It releases some pretty bad chemicals into the water that will kill your fish. However, once it's completely dry it's perfectly fine.

I'd wait 24 hours to be safe. When I've resealed my aquarium before I waited 72 hours (or 3 whole days) before using it and my fish were as happy as ever.
 

BluMan1914

Make sure it doesn't contain any mold inhibitors..if it does..return it.
I used DAP Window Door and Siding. It even comes in different colors. Make sure that you let the silicone cure for NO LESS than 7 days.
I am a perfectionist when it comes to certain things. After three days of curing, I wasn't happy about the way it looked, and decided to start over. When I started to remove the silicone that I put down..it was still very very wet. It's a good thing that I didn't water test within that three days, or my tank would have busted.
 

Sammflor

The reason they say it's not for aquariums is because idiots will try to put their fish in before it's fully cured and that's when it can be dangerous to fish. It releases some pretty bad chemicals into the water that will kill your fish. However, once it's completely dry it's perfectly fine.

I'd wait 24 hours to be safe. When I've resealed my aquarium before I waited 72 hours (or 3 whole days) before using it and my fish were as happy as ever.


Thank you for the reply ! I feel so much more confident now, even though it says wait 12 hours I had every intention on waiting the 3 whole days just to be on the safe side. Thank you again !
 

Sammflor

GE Silicone 1 is used commonly for reseal. I would let it cure for at least 24 hours. I believe the "not for use in aquariums" is protection against lawsuits claiming it killed their fish. If it isn't fully cured, it will leak harmful pathogens into the water. All silicones are that way and so are hot glue and super glue:


Thank you! I wanted to make sure I made the right decision before it was to late I appreciate the back up!
 

BeanFish

As long as it is pure silicone it will be fine. Most silicone products have mold inbibitors, that is what kills fish.
I used pure silicone to reseal a 36 gal and everything went well.

7 days sounds a bit excessive. Silicone dries to the touch in 15 minutes. I waited 1 day for it to cure. Filled it with water and waited another day. After that I completely drained it and starting setting it up. No problems so far.
 

Sammflor

Make sure it doesn't contain any mold inhibitors..if it does..return it.
I used DAP Window Door and Siding. It even comes in different colors. Make sure that you let the silicone cure for NO LESS than 7 days.
I am a perfectionist when it comes to certain things. After three days of curing, I wasn't happy about the way it looked, and decided to start over. When I started to remove the silicone that I put down..it was still very very wet. It's a good thing that I didn't water test within that three days, or my tank would have busted.


You and me are exactly alike then. It's taken me 2 days just to remove old silicone and retape because I wanted to make sure it was perfect! Plus having to do it after a long day of work doesn't help lol, when I asked a worker at my local hardware store he originally gave me the silicone that had mold inhibitors, good thing I knew better and just ended up finding it myself, but I'll definitely keep on eye on it after a couple of days and might leave it longer to be honest and on the safe side since our fish mean a lot, I appreciate the reply thank you so much!
 

Sammflor

As long as it is pure silicone it will be fine. Most silicone products have mold inbibitors, that is what kills fish.
I used pure silicone to reseal a 36 gal and everything went well.

7 days sounds a bit excessive. Silicone dries to the touch in 15 minutes. I waited 1 day for it to cure. Filled it with water and waited another day. After that I completely drained it and starting setting it up. No problems so far.


I feel confident with the silicone I purchased now, thank you for the reply I'm glad everything is working great for you ! Fingers crossed I have the same outcome.
 

BluMan1914

Beanfish...yes it was dry to the touch..but I'm telling ya...after three days, when I removed it, it was still wet underneath, and that vinegar smell was still strong. 7 days may seem excessive, but there is no way anyone can tell me that my tank wouldn't have busted if I water tested it with that three days.
Please don't take it as me arguing with you...that is far from my intent. Just that when it comes to resealing... I'd rather be over cautious.
 

Sammflor

Thank you guys, real big help!
 

BluMan1914

I appreciate the reply thank you so much!
You are welcome. Glad to help out. I just know how tedious it can be, and at times aggravating. Especially when you think you got every little microscopic piece of old silicone up..then 1 minute later it seems like more just mysteriously reappear.
I also suggest that you do one more wipe down with alcohol right before you lay the silicone.
 

BeanFish

I can believe you as it also depends on temperature, humidty and I guess the silicone itself and how you applied it. I'm just sharing my experience with waiting 1 day haha.
 

Sammflor

You are welcome. Glad to help out. I just know how tedious it can be, and at times aggravating. Especially when you think you got every little microscopic piece of old silicone up..then 1 minute later it seems like more just mysteriously reappear.
I also suggest that you do one more wipe down with alcohol right before you lay the silicone.


The old silicone was absolutely the most frustrating little sticky mess, I have ever dealt with. -_- I have a 4 year old, so I've seen my fair share of crazy mess, but cleaning that was a test all in itself. I will vacuum and do a good wipe down before continuing with the new silicone tomorrow. As much as I want this to be a one time deal if not, I guess practice makes perfect right ? ...but seriously let's hope for one round attempt. Lol
 

BluMan1914

I'm just sharing my experience with waiting 1 day haha.
Haha..you were fortunate to only have to wait 1 day...man.
Worse part about it is that I resealed it 3 times, and still wasn't satisfied. As I started to strip it a 4th time, my wife intervened and took mercy on me, and ended up buying me a brand spanking new 75 gallon. Sold the old 75 to my stepdaughter for her Vanilla Boa Constrictor.
 

BeanFish

Dangit, sounds like the dream wife lol! You are a lucky man
 

BluMan1914

Dangit, sounds like the dream wife lol! You are a lucky man
Yea I'm very lucky. I'm glad she had mercy on me...I was ripping out what little hair I had left.
 

Kirashoe

Hey guys, i'm new to this site and was hoping you guys could give me some advice and tips on resealing tanks. I just bought a beautiful 35 gallon hexagon tank for a great deal. It didn't even cross my mind to check the silicone (as this is an old tank). When I started to fill it up with water it had a huge leak in one corner. Its not a crack in the glass just some worn out silicone. I'm super nervous about resealing it. Its a beautiful tank and i'd hate to mess it up. If ya'll have any suggestions on how I should go about it i'd love to hear them. Also, if the leak is only on one side can I just reseal that one side, or should I reseal the entire thing? I'm really nervous about having to do the entire tank because there's a lot of sides to it. Thanks in advance.
 

A201

Plenty of YouTube videos available which provide information about resealing tanks. Thank goodness!
It's possible to do a partial reseal, but once you have mastered the process, probably best to redo the entire tank.
 

e_watson09

Resealing a tank is not hard at all. I wouldn't do a partial reseal if the silicone is that old. Its just asking for trouble down the road.

Watch some Youtube videos and you'll see how easy it is. Make sure you scrape out all the old silicone and clean it really well before you use the new silicone.
 

Kirashoe

I got the supplies and am planning g to do it tonight. Wish me luck!
 

MrsPancakes

I just did a 55 bowfront. It's easy but take your time. I found out on the sealant manufactures website that it needed to cure four days before it wouldn't leach toxins in the water once the tank was filled. Good luck.
 

Flyfisha

I worked with glass and silicon for many years in my working life.
A few points to remember.
You will need many MANY razor blades to clean ALL the old silicon from the glass . This takes the most amount of time and is the most important part.
Each blade will not stay sharp long. A blade with a chip will scratch the glass.
Seriously a dozen blades is the minimum you will need.
Only thin shape bendy blades will remove the last traces of old silicon.
New silicon does not stick as well to old silicon this is why you need to try and remove as much as possible. Under the right lighting you will see it’s almost impossible to remove the last traces of silicon.

Use masking tape.

For structural silicon joints you will need to wait one day per millimetre , That’s 6 days for a 1/4 inch thick join to dry completely .

This next bit is not going to be easy .
For maximum strength you can’t stop silicon one day and join more on to it the next day. Try and finish all the joints in one day. I realise this is going to be impossible. There will be joins of new silicon on to yesterday’s silicon. Just try and keep the dust from the air away from the join over night.
Good luck .
 

Kirashoe

I worked with glass and silicon for many years in my working life.
A few points to remember.
You will need many MANY razor blades to clean ALL the old silicon from the glass . This takes the most amount of time and is the most important part.
Each blade will not stay sharp long. A blade with a chip will scratch the glass.
Seriously a dozen blades is the minimum you will need.
Only thin shape bendy blades will remove the last traces of old silicon.
New silicon does not stick as well to old silicon this is why you need to try and remove as much as possible. Under the right lighting you will see it’s almost impossible to remove the last traces of silicon.

Use masking tape.

For structural silicon joints you will need to wait one day per millimetre , That’s 6 days for a 1/4 inch thick join to dry completely .

This next bit is not going to be easy .
For maximum strength you can’t stop silicon one day and join more on to it the next day. Try and finish all the joints in one day. I realise this is going to be impossible. There will be joins of new silicon on to yesterday’s silicon. Just try and keep the dust from the air away from the join over night.
Good luck .
Thanks that was all super helpful! I've got alot of work ahead of me with this octagon shaped tank. Lol.
 

DWarner

Hey. Purchase a 180 gallon tank with old and peeling off in it. I have attacked pics of what I use. Love the Benchmark caulking tool kit from home hardware. Saves me time and less work removing old silicone. Second part helps with the recaulking and shaping/spreading out of silicone

15947924474515689275936623721137.jpg

15947934799864550391031827174341.jpg
 

Kirashoe

After closer inspection I relize that it's not the silicone seal that broke although it was very old and needs to be replaced. The glass is actually seperated in on corner. From what I've read theres really no fixing this... I can either toss it or spend a ton of money getting it professionally fixed. Dose anyone have any other ideas or do I need to start looking for a new tank?
 

DWarner

If the glass is not broken you can reseal. Just clean it up, put silicone in the joint that separated, push together and tape on outside to keep together for 24 hours. Resilcone rest of corner and you have a new tank
 

Kirashoe

If the glass is not broken you can reseal. Just clean it up, put silicone in the joint that separated, push together and tape on outside to keep together for 24 hours. Resilcone rest of corner and you have a new tank
I'm so happy to hear that! Hopefully I'll have a leak free tank soon!
 

DWarner

Once finished sealing and dried fill tank in safe area. Just in case there is a leak. Never happened to me after redoing a tank but better safe then sorry
 

Kirashoe

Once finished sealing and dried fill tank in safe area. Just in case there is a leak. Never happened to me after redoing a tank but better safe then sorry
I'll definitely fill it up outside. Having to clean up all that water was a nightmare lol.
 

Frank the Fish guy

A rag soaked in IPA (rubbing alcohol) is handy to have to help soak the areas with old silicon calk. It doesn't dissolve it, but it helps soften it and make it easier to scrape off.

I have a tank that I resealed over 30 years ago. Still going strong.

You got this!!
 

Kirashoe

A rag soaked in IPA (rubbing alcohol) is handy to have to help soak the areas with old silicon calk. It doesn't dissolve it, but it helps soften it and make it easier to scrape off.

I have a tank that I resealed over 30 years ago. Still going strong.

You got this!!
Thanks for the tip!
 

Kirashoe

So I did everything by the books and filled it with water outside to test it. It held for a full 24 hours but the next day the one side where the glass was seperated was once again leaking I'm probably going to have to find a new tank.
 

yukondog

At this point I would agree, I have resealed a fair amount of tanks before and have had a few that would still leak again and that's when it gets replaced. I would keep it and practice on it.
 

Kirashoe

So I found another aquarium and decided to fill it up out side and with my amazing luck it has a tiny leak . Is a partial seal an option?
 

e_watson09

So I found another aquarium and decided to fill it up out side and with my amazing luck it has a tiny leak . Is a partial seal an option?

I never recommend partial seal. Reason is the new silicone will not 100% cure to the old which means you'll always have a weak point. Some people risk it, for me its not worth the headache and worry of coming home to a leaking tank.

If you're going to reseal I'd reseal the whole thing
 

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