How Long Will A Tank Last?

spreizfus
Member
I've seen a few people post about their tanks leaking. It got me thinking that all tanks must be doomed to leak at some point. What do you think might be the average life of a tank before it leaks? Has anyone kept the same tank for 10 years? 20 years? Without resealing it? What size tank?
 
aquatickeeper
Member
Never really heard of this before, I'm curious.
 
Feesh404
Member
spreizfus said:
I've seen a few people post about their tanks leaking. It got me thinking that all tanks must be doomed to leak at some point. What do you think might be the average life of a tank before it leaks? Has anyone kept the same tank for 10 years? 20 years? Without resealing it? What size tank?
I've had a tank running for 5 years before taking it down when I was younger, my guess is as long as you don't peel or mess with the sealant.
 
Castiel*
Member
All depends on brand, quality, if it's acrylic/glass, if it sat empty for a period of time, how much it was moved, etc... I would think 8-10 years is what a tank should last under normal use before needing a reseal.
 
Punkin
Member
We've had a 29 gallon tank for at least 10-15 years with no problems. Don't have the tank anymore because we sold it on Craigslist a few years ago.
 
Castiel*
Member
Yeah the 30 gallon hex I have now used to be our family tank when I was a kid. I would say the seal lasted about 12 years before it started leaking. I don't think I'll ever get rid of this tank, I always remember having it at home.
 
max h
Member
That's really a good question, I have 2 older tanks that I bought second hand. Both tanks have zero leaks, the 55 has the original silicon and is about 15 years old. My 110 gallon is about 20 years old, somewhere along the way it was resealed, but it's not having any issues.
 
adsm08
Member
I have heard that you should expect a tank to need resealed or rebuilt about once every 10 years. I have also heard, from the same source, that the newer the tank the lower it's expected life span.

That said, I expect that number to vary to brand, material, size, and luck.

I have a 20-long that I have owned for 15 years and bought used. It has sat dry for stretches of years at a time and is still holding water.

I have a 185 that is of unknown age, but looks old, and is holding just fine. I have a 125, also of unknown age, that seems to be of newer construction and holding fine. I do know it sat empty for several years leading up to me buying it.

I had a 55, of unknown age, that I used for 3 or 4 years, sold to a friend, and a year in it sprung a leak.

I also have two 55s that do leak, they were both resealed and only lasted 2 years before becoming porous again.
 
FishFish221
Member
For glass tanks, you could make them last a lifetime if you remove and re-seal the silicone every 10 years. That is, if there are no accidents done to it (chair hitting it, falling off stand)
Every tank I have that is larger than 6 gallons is older than 14 years and still going. I'm thinking about re-sealing my 29 gallon when I move my fish to my 90 gallon so it doesn't leak. The only reason my tanks are old is because I buy second hand.
And my 90 gallon is at least 20 years old.
 
PRJ since1990
Member
Both of our tanks are at least 7-10 years old. Cleaned them out and set them up a month or so now ago. No issues. Take care of your stuff and it'll last!
 
Blue Bea
Member
Mine is about 18 years old and holding up great. It is a custom built tank so that could be why.
 
  • Thread Starter
spreizfus
Member
I have had an inexpensive 20 gallon long for about 3 years now. Part of the silicone has started to peel up, maybe from wiping algae off with a sponge. I can't help but think some day it will leak. At least I have two 10s that I can use in an emergency. Thanks everyone for the excellent replies!
 
Castiel*
Member
spreizfus said:
I have had an inexpensive 20 gallon long for about 3 years now. Part of the silicone has started to peel up, maybe from wiping algae off with a sponge. I can't help but think some day it will leak. At least I have two 10s that I can use in an emergency. Thanks everyone for the excellent replies!
I never touch or scrub my seals at all just for that reason. When I got Into tanks in my adult years, my roommate bought a 5 gallon tank and I saw her cleaning it one time and was using a scrubber pad on her seal to get diatoms off.. needless to say her tank leaked after about 6 months.
 
  • Thread Starter
spreizfus
Member
adsm08 said:
I have heard that you should expect a tank to need resealed or rebuilt about once every 10 years. I have also heard, from the same source, that the newer the tank the lower it's expected life span.

That said, I expect that number to vary to brand, material, size, and luck.

I have a 20-long that I have owned for 15 years and bought used. It has sat dry for stretches of years at a time and is still holding water.

I have a 185 that is of unknown age, but looks old, and is holding just fine. I have a 125, also of unknown age, that seems to be of newer construction and holding fine. I do know it sat empty for several years leading up to me buying it.

I had a 55, of unknown age, that I used for 3 or 4 years, sold to a friend, and a year in it sprung a leak.

I also have two 55s that do leak, they were both resealed and only lasted 2 years before becoming porous again.
That's really interesting that one could reseal a tank and have it fail in a short time. I hadn't even considered that.
 
Blue Bea
Member
WiFi said:
I never touch or scrub my seals at all just for that reason. When I got Into tanks in my adult years, my roommate bought a 5 gallon tank and I saw her cleaning it one time and was using a scrubber pad on her seal to get diatoms off.. needless to say her tank leaked after about 6 months.
YIKES!!!
 
FishFish221
Member
spreizfus said:
I have had an inexpensive 20 gallon long for about 3 years now. Part of the silicone has started to peel up, maybe from wiping algae off with a sponge. I can't help but think some day it will leak. At least I have two 10s that I can use in an emergency. Thanks everyone for the excellent replies!
That's why I never clean my seals (my 29 gallon's seal is covered in dried algae). Never even touch my seals and my 15 year old 29 gallon didn't need any reseals.
 
~EverythingsSoSawbwa~
Member
Pishies , how old is your 2 foot tank?
 
goldface
Member
Longest I had a tank running was 8-9 yrs and never leaked.
 
Pishies
Member
~EverythingsSoSawbwa~ said:
Pishies , how old is your 2 foot tank?
My 2 foot is 20 - 25 years old! I just set it up again after it sitting in the shed for 20 years. Oh dear, worried now
 
fissh
Member
I have a 100 gallon that I sold 36 years ago, and bought it back 2 years ago that has never been resealed and has never leaked! I also owned a LFS that had 235 tanks for 26 years, and had less than 10 leakers that whole time.
DSCN4477.JPG
 
Dcchillin
Member
fissh said:
I have a 100 gallon that I sold 36 years ago, and bought it back 2 years ago that has never been resealed and has never leaked! I also owned a LFS that had 235 tanks for 26 years, and had less than 10 leakers that whole time.
DSCN4477.JPG
That is a beautiful tank...
 
  • Thread Starter
spreizfus
Member
fissh said:
I have a 100 gallon that I sold 36 years ago, and bought it back 2 years ago that has never been resealed and has never leaked! I also owned a LFS that had 235 tanks for 26 years, and had less than 10 leakers that whole time.
DSCN4477.JPG
Wow! You had 95% of your tanks go for 26 years without leaking. I'll bet they were well made. The same can be said for your 100 gallon for sure. I think next time I'll look closer at the quality of the tank I buy.
 
Redshark1
Member
This is a question that is impossible to answer as there are so many variables.

My 110 gallon aquarium has been set up since 1989 and it was secondhand when I bought it, dating from the 1970s.

However, it is a good quality one built by Jeff Allam (later known as Juwel Aquariums).

On the other hand it is on a pretty crummy stand (cupboard) made of chipboard that has been affected by spilt water. This may eventually be the cause of it's demise.


Aquarium 6' Steve Joul 25.08.07 001 - Copy.jpg
 
Jayd976
Member
My 90 gallon has been running for about 10yrs no leaked and I bought it off someone else so not sure how long they had it running.

I had a 29 gallon spring a leak after I had it for 6yrs or so but again it was also used and not sure how long they had it.

I'm sure every tank is different depending on how well it was manufactured how many times it's been moved and how many times it sat dry and for how long.
 
NavigatorBlack
Member
I become cautious at 12 years. It's an abitrary number.
I have had 4 leakers out of maybe 100 tanks owned in my life. 2 were from a local start up that failed. When I checked them after, they were really badly siliconed. The other two were older tanks that had endured 3 moves and probably had lasted 15 years. One was a catastrophic split (a 77 gallon), one was a slow leaker.

So I the normal run of things, I have had one real failure in a quality tank, the 77. I had it for 10 years, second hand though. I have no idea how long it was used before.

I have 45 tanks in my fishroom. The oldest I haven't resiliconed is 26 years old. I have a bunch of 25 to 22 year old 15 gallons.
The most untrustworthy ones are thin glass 10 gallons of recent cost cutting manufacture. Beware of really lightweight tanks with no rims. I also would not trust a 3 foot/one metre tank without a cross brace on top of the frame. Now, I have a 20 year old 60 with no centre brace, but it is set up close to the drain on the basement floor, and is only used for fry raising.
 
adsm08
Member
spreizfus said:
That's really interesting that one could reseal a tank and have it fail in a short time. I hadn't even considered that.
Well looking at the seals on these tanks I suspect the technique was not up to industry standards. I appears that he identified the likely place for the leak and then just ran a bead of new silicone over that spot for about an inch in either direction from where he thought it was. I am not surprised that they leak. I plan to tear them apart and rebuild them.
 

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