Should I Worry? Scratch Or Crack?

Cardeater

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I noticed this about three weeks ago when I was cleaning gravel. I figure it was an ugly scratch. I happened to look at it again when I was looking for something under the tank.

I decided to post. I read a few threads. People always said they can't tell anything without pics.
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It's on the inside and I can't feel anything on outside. I don't wanna stick my hand in there right now as I just did stuff on my QT tank. What should I feel for when I do put my hand in?

I put a piece of tape next to it so I can see if it grows.

Should I be worried or is that just a scratch and I should just ignore it? It might have been there for awhile but I never noticed it bc that side of the tank was darker for awhile I and it's only recently that I spend a lot of time looking at my tank.

Tank is a 125g. Had it for about 20 years. 6ftx18"x21" tall. There was rockwork near there so could have scratched at some point and never noticed.

Thanks.
 

Fashooga

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If the crack starts to go beyond the tape that's when you need to change the tank.

I monitor it for a while and perhaps start saving money on a replacement. Peace of mind.
 
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Cardeater

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Fashooga said:
If the crack starts to go beyond the tape that's when you need to change the tank.

I monitor it for a while and perhaps start saving money on a replacement. Peace of mind.
So I had a response types up and it ended with this:

I'm going to move the gravel and snap more pictures to see if that

Here's the reply I just made in an mfk thread concerning this same issue. Thank you for the reply.

Start post:

I feel like a moron now. So, I took a shower bc I'm terrified of bio security concerning the QT tank that just got new fish.

I reached my hand in there to try to feel the crack/scratch. I started to get worried as I could not feel anything which made me suspect it was a crack.

I then looked again to see if I was rubbing the right area. It looked to be in a different spot. Then I tried rubbing again and some blue piece of material moved into the gravel. I'll try looking for it when I gravel vacuum next.

I still can't believe it bc I vacuumed that spot three weeks ago and didn't see it move so it must have been stuck on the glass.

Sucks I missed this drfosters promo that expired at midnight but I assume they'll have another promo. I feel a sense of relief though.
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Ulu

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That's a glass tank, and it looks like you got a really good one, as it isn't leaking yet after 20 years.

If you haven't resealed it in the past 20 years it's probably time to worry about that.

I've had one go 15 years ok, but I've had tanks start to seep after only 10 years too.

I think this all has to do with how clean the tank was and how artfully the silicone was applied. I'm looking at the Silicone jobs on these new Aqueon tanks, and they are depressingly sloppy. I have one that I had custom built for me and the silicone looks much much nicer than a production tank.
 
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Cardeater

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Ulu said:
That's a glass tank, and it looks like you got a really good one, as it isn't leaking yet after 20 years.

If you haven't resealed it in the past 20 years it's probably time to worry about that.

I've had one go 15 years ok, but I've had tanks start to seep after only 10 years too.

I think this all has to do with how clean the tank was and how artfully the silicone was applied. I'm looking at the Silicone jobs on these new Aqueon tanks, and they are depressingly sloppy. I have one that I had custom built for me and the silicone looks much much nicer than a production tank.
That's actually something I've begun to research but haven't immersed myself in fully yet.

I didn't even know about lifespans of glass tanks until I saw it pop up in a few random threads about 20 years being about the time you probably need to reseal.

The only other bit I remember is that letting the tank stay try for an extended period is said to reduce the life of the silicone. Fortunately, mine has been filled except for when I moved.

My first tank of 38-39 gallons (I remember seeing the tag for it in my tank stuff the other day, wasn't an even 40) leaked in less than a year, but it was way off level.

How can I tell when the silicone is about to fail? I'm worried about that because I'm on the forth floor of a condo. I have insurance but if something happens, I bet the association will pass something to prevent owning future tanks .plus, obviously, I hope to avoid all that.

I was lucky with the 38-9 gallon tank. My mom saw it leak in the old house and I got off work and drained the rest of the water. It didn't really do much damage.

I actually just ordered some leak detectors to sound an alarm if they detect water. I'm also looking into buying one of those eifi detectors that can notify me if there's a leak.

If I had my way, I'd just buy a bigger tank, have that one resealed and either connect it with a water bridge or turn it into a goldfish tank.

Fortunately/unfortunately, I can't do that. My mom owns this condo so I cant add a bigger tank even though I have the funds to do so. I saw "fortunately" because I'm happy she's still around. When she's passes away eventually, I'll add as big of a tank as the floors can handle and that can fit through the door.

I'm trying to procrastinate this reseal as long as possible but I also have to make sure I avoid a leak.

I'm dreading having to take all the stuff out for a reseal.

It would be so much easier to transfer stuff to a 300 gallon tank and then have that resealed. I guess if I reseal in the near future, I'd just put the fish in plastic totes.

Any tips on the reseal plan or time frame? Thanks.
 

Ulu

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Plan to let it cure for at least 3 days. The preparation is everything in resealing which means you have to scrape the glass five times and rub it down with alcohol or acetone three times and go through a whole roll of clean paper towels to do it. That was just on my 30!

What makes silicone cure is humidity in the atmosphere and I actually used a moist environment to Speed The Cure on my 30 gallon tank.

This is the silicone seal job I did on my 16 year old tank.
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Ulu

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This is the sloppy Factory silicone job on the one-year-old Aqueon 55 tank that sits right next to it.

I think you can see the difference between a tank that is sealed by minimum wage employees on a production line, and one done by a guy who's worried about his $$$ wall to wall Karastan carpet!

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Ulu

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I have a couple tanks with black silicone and I think it looks much better than the clear silicone. Also you do not have to limit yourself to the size of an aquarium you can get through the door.

The glass aquarium can be built on-site, and the only thing is you have to deal with the smell of the silicone for several days until it's cured.

If you have a problem with weight distribution to the floor joists you can create a stand on a dias, designed to distribute the weight across the floor evenly.

But consider the structure of your building exactly because this is a specialty situation. I say this after having worked as an engineer since 1975 and been the right hand man to the top local structural engineer for 22 years.
 
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Cardeater

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I'm the farthest from a DIY guy so there's no way I'd tackle resealing myself. I'd either find a reputable place to come do it or if that isn't cost effective, I'd just use the money towards a new tank.

I read a bunch of threads on silicone and glass aquariums for a bit Of course there are some anectdotes about tanks failing before ten years and a few 20+ or even 30+ year tanks with no resealing.

Visual inspections:
I saw this mentioned. People suggested looking at the seals. Obviously, if you start to see some water, it about to fail. More subtley, they mentioned looking for new air bubbles in the silicone, if silicone is starting to peel, algae growth in the seams . I also heard mentions of touching the silicone to see if it feels hard or brittle

My tank:
I did a deep visual inspection which I've never done on the tank but will try to do more frequently. I'm not sure what I'm looking for.

I will say most edges looked like tank was still fairly new.

Top pic is outside view. Second pic is inside but it might be hard to see past sponge filter that's to the right .

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The only area that shows some wearbis this corner. Not sure how concerned I should be .at algae creep. My layman's eye think it's okay as it's only crept in a little and not in the actual seams but again, I'm not even sure what I'm looking for exactly.

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I think there's a little algae under the silicone at the very right side edge?

Again, thanks for all the feedback.
 

Ulu

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I was involved in the silicone glazing business back in the 80s. Our office designed lots of high-rise glass and aluminum building walls where the glass was basically glued onto the building just like an aquarium.

We typically gave a 30 year guarantee backed up by General Electric. 30 years later I haven't heard that anyone has filed a big claim.

A research outfit asked us to design a glass and aluminum dome sealed with silicone and give them a 100-year guarantee. LOL...

We didn't give it to them but some other company did, yet the whole project only lasted for a few months in the end, & the hundred yr guarantee was moot.

They wanted a hundred year guarantee and they designed the structure nobody could live inside for more than a few months!

Anyhow, those buildings did not have to be submerged in water like an aquarium, and so I would expect the Aquarium silicone to fail sooner, even though it is essentially the same thing.

The major difference between the silicone we used on Windows was the color.
 
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Cardeater

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Ulu:
Thanks for the insight.

I'm kinda glad I made this screwup with the debris as it lead to a very helpful discussion on silicone.

As someone said above, I got good product considering it's lasted as long as it has. I believe I have an "all glass aquarium." I heard they are now owned by or make tanks for Aqueon and no longer exist as the company that made my tank.

Reading Ulu's response made me realize that I may have some time left but I should begin to plan for a replacement or fix.

Reading the replies also made me realize that I can't expect a tank to last forever. I never even thought about how long a tank would last when I bought it and it wasn't until reading the forums that I even conceived there was a lifespan for these tanks.

I'm rambling but I realize that what I'm faced with is no different than needing a new roof, new car, etc. I can't expect to have something last forever.

When I do get a new tank, I get to dive back into the acrylic vs glass debate. I read a 40+ page thread on mfk and I can tell you pros and cons of each and I'm still not sure what I'd do when the time comes. I'd say acrylic is a slight favorite since I'd like a 240+ tank and as you get bigger than 100 something gallons, the opinion seems to shift more towards acrylic.

Tank room:
So the tank is kind of in a dining room area and theres two feet extra so an 8 ft tank could fit there but I would lose the easy access to the rear of the tank if I filled the whole space up. I'd have to go canister and sumps instead of hang on back.

The wall next to it is also 8 feet long. I could move the 125g there and have an 8ft and 6ft tank, or just slide over thec6ft where it is and have an 8ft by 2ft tank. I'd have an L shape of tanks.

I mentioned I'd either make the 125g a goldfish tank or have a water bridge making it a massive two tank system.

I'll start segregating money for a new tank. I should work harder and save more. Ideally I would just have enough to buy this place do I could do what I want, lol ,but I'm not sure how realistic that is in a short time frame.

Great thing about this building is water is priced into the assessment which is another reason the residents would hate this. I talked to a lawyer friend who thinks I'd be fine since there's no asdoassocia rule prohibiting tanks. If I did invest in some crazy several K tank, though, I'd actually consult a lawyer actually versed in law pertaining to condo associations to make sure they can't stop me.

It would be cool to have an auto water changer just doing massive water changes. I wouldn't even feel bad because one person uses way less water than families living here or even couples.

Anyway, I have the funds to get a new tank but not enough to buy out my mother so I can do what I want. I'll start saving in a specific tank fund though.

Here's a pic of the tank and the room. I'd be fine just getting rid of the dining table or moving it to the side in the future
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Ulu

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We are on a water meter here and we pay for over usage.

I change a lot of water but I don't waste it. I have a lawn and a flower garden and trees and they all get watered when I change my water.

Right now I have 6 aquariums & the largest is only 55 gallons. I intend to get rid of most of them and get two larger aquariums.

I will put them on a drip system so that the water is changed continually, then run the output of that drip system to my garden.
 
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