Resealed tank - how long to cure before adding fish back in?

Frank the Fish guy

I just did an emergency reseal of a tank. Used aquarium sealer from Petco. Removed old silicone and applied new bead on the whole tank at all the joints.

Fish are in buckets. Would like to get them back in ASAP.

Its been about 18 hours now. Feels solid, but still stinks.

What's the soonest I can get these guys back home?
 

Vivo

48 hours at least. Be sure you have an air stone in the bucket. If the current is too strong maybe put it in an ornament to dampen it. Your fish have a little hide? They should be OK for two days. Some say one week but the aquarium silicone sealant says 48 hours. I waited 48 hours and that was fine.

Don’t know what kind of fish you have but you can also put your heater in there with a thermometer to make sure the heat is stable and the same as your tank. Be sure to cover it so no one jumps out good luck!
 
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Mhamilton0911

I would wait until the smell is gone, if you whiff it and it's still strong like vinegar, it's still curing.

I resealed my 48g.
 
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fishnovice33

I’d wait 3 days and have a fan on it in a well air circulated area. Normally I wait a week but that’s probably not necessary.
 
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waterpat

What kind of silicone? It will depend on what type and how thick the bead is. Vinegar cure is ready faster, and is less toxic. I would still wait a few days.

If it's a big tank, i would still watch that tank like a hawk. A leak means that the structural seam between the panels is compromised, and redoing the corners may not be very safe.
 
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Frank the Fish guy

45 gallon tank.

I used this:

and it took about 1 and 1/3 of a tube to complete the job.

Vinegar smell is starting to go down now after 24 hours and it feels dry and rubbery like it has cured.

Fish seem fine in the bucket with air.

I guess I'll wait until tomorrow to give it 48 hours.
 
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Flyfisha

I worked with glass and silicon in my working life.
The formula for maximum strength is one day per millimetre. A 1/4 inch / 6 mm join will not have maximum strength for 6 days.
When walking on glass roofs you tend to remember these things.
 
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Frank the Fish guy

I worked with glass and silicon in my working life.
The formula for maximum strength is one day per millimetre. A 1/4 inch / 6 mm join will not have maximum strength for 6 days.
When walking on glass roofs you tend to remember these things.
In this case we don't need it for strength though? The silicone holding the tank together is still there. The new silicone is just for the water seal?

6 days Hmmm.
 
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mimo91088

In this case we don't need it for strength though? The silicone holding the tank together is still there. The new silicone is just for the water seal?

6 days Hmmm.
Wait, didn't you say you removed the old silicone?
 
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Frank the Fish guy

Wait, didn't you say you removed the old silicone?
I didn't remove the silicone that holds the tank glass panels together. When you reseal a tank you just remove the bead that seals the water in, not the seal that holds the glass panels together.
 
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mimo91088

Oh that makes sense. I don't know a ton about it, the whole deal makes me too nervous to ever done it lol
 
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Frank the Fish guy

It's actually very simple and easy to do. No worries.

OK, 48 hours after resealing the tank, the smells was almost completely gone. I filled it up and put the fish back in. All is well. No leaks, fish seem happy and normal.
 
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Vivo

Good! Thanks for the update
 
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ElysiumPlants

I worked with glass and silicon in my working life.
The formula for maximum strength is one day per millimetre. A 1/4 inch / 6 mm join will not have maximum strength for 6 days.
When walking on glass roofs you tend to remember these things.
I have to admit, I laughed out loud at this one.
 
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Frank the Fish guy

The aquarium failed.

A small leak started on one of the sides. I could see that the silicone that holds the panes of glass together has failed. I could press on the glass and make water ooze out.

I think that as the weld failed, the panels started pulling apart and that broke the new water seal. I caught it in time though.

Fishes have been moved to my other tanks. They are happy. Now I can redo this right.

This is a strange shape tank that nobody makes anymore and has a custom built stand. So I am rebuilding it.

Tank is 25" wide, 18" deep and 25" tall. Sort of a 47 gallon cube.

I took the whole tank apart. Removed the top and bottom trim, separated all of the panels. Now I have 5 glass panels.

So this is now a rebuild.

A leak means that the structural seam between the panels is compromised

You were right. I could actually see the water in the seams as it was failing.
 
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waterpat

You were right. I could actually see the water in the seams as it was failing.

I'm glad you caught it before it made a big mess or any livestock was lost.

Good luck with the rebuild.
 
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Flyfisha

In Australia silicon comes in a few different grades, at different prices.
I do not know what silicon Petco sells but presume it is not the high quality structural grade silicon at a high price. ?
For any tank bigger than 10 -20 gallons I would recommend structural grade silicon not handyman.
It may cost twice the price? But it’s going to be 4 times stronger if it’s similar to what is on sale in my country.
Waiting 7 or 8 days is not easy I know.
 
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Vivo

The aquarium failed.

A small leak started on one of the sides. I could see that the silicone that holds the panes of glass together has failed. I could press on the glass and make water ooze out.

I think that as the weld failed, the panels started pulling apart and that broke the new water seal. I caught it in time though.

Fishes have been moved to my other tanks. They are happy. Now I can redo this right.

This is a strange shape tank that nobody makes anymore and has a custom built stand. So I am rebuilding it.

Tank is 25" wide, 18" deep and 25" tall. Sort of a 47 gallon cube.

I took the whole tank apart. Removed the top and bottom trim, separated all of the panels. Now I have 5 glass panels.

So this is now a rebuild.



You were right. I could actually see the water in the seams as it was failing.
So sorry! I’m so glad u caught it. So do you think it was the original silicone seal that was holding the glass together or the new seal that you put in? I’m trying to learn.

In Australia silicon comes in a few different grades, at different prices.
I do not know what silicon Petco sells but presume it is not the high quality structural grade silicon at a high price. ?
For any tank bigger than 10 -20 gallons I would recommend structural grade silicon not handyman.
It may cost twice the price? But it’s going to be 4 times stronger if it’s similar to what is on sale in my country.
Waiting 7 or 8 days is not easy I know.
Is it aquarium safe though? I thought you had to get aquarium specific silicone.
 
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Flyfisha

Yes it definitely has to be aquarium specific.

I would go to a shop that makes custom aquariums and exchange a box of beer for a part box of structural grade cartridges or sausages.
 
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waterpat

So do you think it was the original silicone seal that was holding the glass together or the new seal that you put in? I’m trying to learn.

Again, if a tank leaks, that means the structural seal that holds the panes of glass together has failed. The proper way to fix this would be to take the tank apart and redo the whole thing.

The silicone in the inside corners that you see is mostly cosmetic, but it also protects the structural seals.

Is it aquarium safe though? I thought you had to get aquarium specific silicone.

It doesn't have to be specifically made for aquariums. Lots of people, including myself, have used GE 1 for making sumps for a reef tank. If you're building a tank, you should use something stronger. Momentive RTV is supposed to be great stuff...and again, that isn't specifically made for aquariums.
 
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Frank the Fish guy

So sorry! I’m so glad u caught it. So do you think it was the original silicone seal that was holding the glass together or the new seal that you put in? I’m trying to learn.
The original silicone was indeed holding the tank together. But there was a place where the water could ooze through in one place. You could see the water make a little channel through the silicone in one place.

The new bead I put in was not between the glass. It was just the into the corner.

Now I have the glass panels taken apart and going to put new silicone between the glass panels now.
 
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Flyfisha

I had aquarium safe written down in my reply. But rewrote it to aquarium specific .
That will teach me for trying to explain the some of the difference between cheap handy man silicon and GE 1.
 
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Frank the Fish guy

OK, so new question then:

After rebuilding an aquarium from clean glass panels, how long should I wait for the silcone to cure?


I am using this to rebuild the tank:

Claims to be the same stuff used by All Glass Aquariums to manufacture new tanks. 100% silicone with no additives.

All the stuff I can find at the hardware store says it is mold-free. Even the stuff that says 100% silicone says 'guaranteed mold free'.

The Petco stuff is the only one I can find that says it is aquarium safe. So I bought that.
 
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angelcraze

OK, so new question then:

After rebuilding an aquarium from clean glass panels, how long should I wait for the silcone to cure?


I am using this to rebuild the tank:

Claims to be the same stuff used by All Glass Aquariums to manufacture new tanks. 100% silicone with no additives.

All the stuff I can find at the hardware store says it is mold-free. Even the stuff that says 100% silicone says 'guaranteed mold free'.

The Petco stuff is the only one I can find that says it is aquarium safe. So I bought that.
Honestly I would let cure for the week at least. A week is recommended for siliconing rocks together so I would def make sure it was cured being the integrity of the tank structure itself.

Treat the bucket like your tank, do normal water changes if not more. You could always keep them in a big rubbermaid, but keep a lid on it (screen or whatever).
 
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Flyfisha

A day per millimetre / millimeter. 6 millimetres is 1/4 inch. That would be at least a week for it to be as strong as it’s ever going to be.

I have fry grow out tanks that get three 40% water changes each week. A bucket could get that or more.
 
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Frank the Fish guy

Old glass cracked while trying to rebuild.

I bought all new 1/4" thick glass panels. Complete new build. Just used the same old trim around the edges.

Building an aquarium from scratch was cool. Messy, but cool.

You simply can't buy this shape 47-ish gallon aquarium anymore. So I recreated it!

I let the new silicone dry for 7 days.

Just filled the tank with gravel rocks and water. No leaks!!
 
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Vivo

That is impressive! Thanks for the update. Sorry the glass cracked. That's a little scary. Can we see a pic?
 
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Vivo

Why? Does it say aquarium safe?
 
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Frank the Fish guy

Why? Does it say aquarium safe?
Yes, GE says that GE silicone 1 is safe for aquariums but silicone II is not. Many folks on this forum have used GE silicone 1 too for their tanks.
 
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Frank the Fish guy

It is impossible to use the little tube. You need a real silicone gun to do this job.
 
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