Resealing a tank - do the whole tank?

robj6767

HI there, I just got my hands on a 75 gallon tank that was in rough shape with the seals. As I have never done this before with a tank, I'm looking for any help on tricks or information on how to do so. My main question is, do I have to separate the glass and do the complete seal or can I strip off the old inside and then just reseal fromt he inside. The seal across the bottom of the tank seems fine and it is only the edges on the sides that are a bit old. The tank came from an aquarium and was already predrilled on the bottom, but the previous owner sealed that with a plate of glass. I don't have any worries about that leaking as its got a very good seal around it. What I do have a worry about is only resealing the sides. should I just reseal the entire tank or will the silicone adhear to the silicone across the bottom? I've heard good things about them but just wanted to double check.
 

Nick G

HI Rob, Welcome to Fishlore! You shouldn't need to completly reseal the tank, but you will need to strip the existing silicone before resealing. This is pretty easily done with a razor blade. Scrape off all the excess silicone then reseal it and let it cure for 24hrs before water testing it.
 

Racing1113

What brand/kind of silicone is safe to use for aquariums? The aquarium silicone is so expensive!
 

fot80

It should not be too much more than 10 dollars or so
 

Racing1113

True but just regular silicone is way cheaper at Walmart. For the amount I need the aquarium silicone would add up to way too much. I know there's kinds that are safe for aquariums, I just need to know what they are.
 

AmnScott

GE1 (General Electric 1) "Pure Silicone" (which can be found at almost any hardware store), or for a little more RTV 108 which is stronger and holds up better.

Make sure to use GE I and not GE II with the mold resistance, the caulking bottles look similar, one is red and one is blue.
 

Racing1113

GE1 (General Electric 1) "Pure Silicone" (which can be found at almost any hardware store), or for a little more RTV 108 which is stronger and holds up better.

Make sure to use GE I and not GE II with the mold resistance, the caulking bottles look similar, one is red and one is blue.

Thank you!! I actually did originally get GE II and then read I shouldn't use it lol.
 

BluMan1914

Get DAP Window Door and Siding silicone. You can get it at Ace Hardware and Home Depot...go to Ace Hardware first. It's only 6 bucks a tube. It also comes in different colors that you can choose.
 

Esli

HI guys,
Can anyone recommend me a BRAND of silicone that is great for aquariums.
I know GE Silicone 1 is the one used but I've heard mixed reviews about it being strong enough for tanks.
I know aqueon makes silicone, but is it really good?
 

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NavyChief20

HI guys,
Can anyone recommend me a BRAND of silicone that is great for aquariums.
I know GE Silicone 1 is the one used but I've heard mixed reviews about it being strong enough for tanks.
I know aqueon makes silicone, but is it really good?
GE silicone 1 is what I use. From 10 gallon up to 550 gallon . Works like a champ.
 

MWR

I would guess that the Aqueon silicone is the same stuff they use on the tanks they build.
 

Esli

GE silicone 1 is what I use. From 10 gallon up to 550 gallon . Works like a champ.
Wow really?
I have a 75 and I was worried about it.

I would guess that the Aqueon silicone is the same stuff they use on the tanks they build.
Yes that's what I figured, just kind of nerve wrecking lol
 

NavyChief20

Wow really?
I have a 75 and I was worried about it.
Yes ma'am not a problem at all. If you are resealing make sure you clean all the old silicone gunk off and have a pristine clean surface. I usually use some 80/20 isopropyl alcohol to clean the glass.
 

zx1snowman

Has anyone personally resealed an aquarium or personally know of somebody who has? If so, how long has the reseal held?

I have a 90 gal that leaks at the bottom. The silicon has become lose.

I have watched a lot of videos on you tube on aquarium resealing. I believe I have the Knowledge, Skills and Ability to reseal mine.

I know that all the old silicon must be cleaned off, as silicon will not stick to itself. That is my concern. I read the comments by a couple of people, who said the aquarium needs to be completely disassembled. Because when the tank is resealed, the silicon will not stick to the silicon holding the glass panels together and will leak. Some of the you tube videos said this is not a problem.

I do not want 90 gal of water on my floor and a bunch of dead fish.

I got lucky on this leak. I went to get a drink at 1:30 AM and stepped in some water. I also happened to have a 55 gal set up with one fish.



Thanks for any info,
 

Mhamilton0911

I resealed my 48 gallon bowfront. Easy if you've worked with caulking before, decent with a caulking gun, and can spread smooth with a finger. Silicone is STINKY, like vinegar, well ventilated area, respirator, fan. I used tape too for perfect lines. Scrape all silicone totally gone, careful to not gouge into the joints, vacuum the debris.

It's in my living room now and has been for 2 months. I trust this hold with my flooring, and I just renovated and did all the flooring myself, so I have a bunch invested in it and down't want to ruin it.

If you feel the integrity of the joints are at risk, you could completely disassemble, but you'd have to have the new stuff dry first before you do the inside anyhow.
 

Ryz

I got this tank probably around a 50-60 gal. I had an idea for a planted tank so today I thought I'd see if it held water. . . .it didnt >_<

It didnt fall apart but it started seeping through the silicone seal on the sides. The seal if fairly thin, and old I'm assuming. I'm not planning to have the tank over 75% full as I'll be having partially submerged plants, so I know that gives me some wiggle room for it being an older tank that was ditched/weathered, if resealed.

I read up online about resealing and was getting some mixed opinions. Some were saying it is pretty easy if done right and can extend the life of a tank. But another was saying that it can be difficult to get it perfect and theres a good chance you'll end up with gallons of water on your floor.

I've never attempted this, I am feeling up for it; Feel like I've got enough aquarium years under my belt to give it a shot. Any opinions or words of advice would be appreciated, thanks ^_^ Like do I have to completely break it down, or is reasealing the corners usually good enough?
 

TJG

I got a used 125 gallon and just scraped and scrubbed the old silicone out of the corners and resealed with new silicone and its been almost two years and its still holding water fine. Just make sure you get all of the old silicone out. After you scrape out the old stuff use acetone or something similar to get the residue. If you don't you may not get a good seal with the new silicone.
 

NoahLikesFish

I’d do euro bracing or rims if I were you
 

Ryz

I guess I should add that the braces (wood colored plastic) are cracked on bottom and top.

TJG, was the tank leaking prior to you resealing?
 

Ryz

any ideas on bracing? I could get new ones(im assuming I could buy em online) and replace, or I could just reinforce the cracked ones( guessing that might be enough).

I'm gonna start scraping tomorrow.
 

inari

Hey guys,

As I was cleaning my used tank, I noticed that two of the side seams look really ragged and they can easily be rolled with my finger. I was thinking it might need to be resealed, but I would like to collect a few resources on how to do that.

I know you need to remove the old silicone with a razor blade and clean up the remains, but my concern is how do you keep from slicing into the seal between the glass corners. Also, I was looking for any additional advice on resealing a tank (as in if I should or not) some of the seals I am afraid that they will eventually fail, and I really don't want 55 gallons of fish water all over my floor.

When I filled the tank I let it sit for a full 24 hours and I did not see any leaks (I filled it as if it had fish in it). But the sealant is concerning. sorry for the crappy pictures, it's kind of tough to take a picture of something so small without it going go -_-

thanks,
20210519_124510.jpg
 

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BigManAquatics

I took a browse of the forum, most point to Youtube. Honestly, might be easier that way as they can actually show you instead of just tell you.

Kind of surprised there isn't a sticky thread or an article about resealing tanks here...or maybe i just missed them.
 

inari

I took a browse of the forum, most point to Youtube. Honestly, might be easier that way as they can actually show you instead of just tell you.

Kind of surprised there isn't a sticky thread or an article about resealing tanks here...or maybe i just missed them.

Yeah, I didn't see one either that was why I asked. Maybe once I have mine sealed I'll find the link I ended up using and see about getting them stickie.
 

Cinabar

It’s ok if you slice into the seams a little bit.I mean, try not to, but it isn’t as big of a deal as you might think.

some tips and tricks: have a vacuum cleaner. Silicone bits are a major pain to sweep. Also keep some rubbing alcohol on hand. It will remove sticky uncured stuff from your skin. Other then that, look up a YouTube vid. It’s more helpful to see what’s happening.
 

inari

It’s ok if you slice into the seams a little bit.I mean, try not to, but it isn’t as big of a deal as you might think.

some tips and tricks: have a vacuum cleaner. Silicone bits are a major pain to sweep. Also keep some rubbing alcohol on hand. It will remove sticky uncured stuff from your skin. Other then that, look up a YouTube vid. It’s more helpful to see what’s happening.

Thanks, I was wondering about that because sometimes I am a bit of clutz. Just a small occational nick is OK so I think I can follow a few YouTube videos to complete this process!

thanks,
 

John58ford

I thought the best way was too disassemble the glass and start with all fresh stuff. It's a pain saving the plastic trim but not that hard to re-assemble. I *think* it would be a weaker seal if the silicone was poured in two separate pieces, since silicone can't re-adhere to itself. That would kill the suction cup effect benefited from the entirety of the seam, outside, between and inside all being one piece.

Do many people here have experience just resealing from the inside? I would think of that as a bit of a bandaid fix but maybe I'm the odd one out.
 

inari

I thought the best way was too disassemble the glass and start with all fresh stuff. It's a pain saving the plastic trim but not that hard to re-assemble. I *think* it would be a weaker seal if the silicone was poured in two separate pieces, since silicone can't re-adhere to itself. That would kill the suction cup effect benefited from the entirety of the seam, outside, between and inside all being one piece.

Do many people here have experience just resealing from the inside? I would think of that as a bit of a bandaid fix but maybe I'm the odd one out.

If my understanding is correct (and that might be debatable) You do not have to worry about the silicone that is 'gluing' the tank together as that is its whole purpose in life. The silicone sealant, however, acts as a barrier between the 'glue' and the water in the tank.

Again I could totally be missing my mark though, this is just what I have understood from what I have read and reviewed on YouTube so far.
Another question, do you need to remove the plastic trim? I would think it could go either way as you never fill the tank up that full.
 

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