Why So Many Bad Reviews On Tanks?

  • #1
Hello, please excuse me if I am asking a previously asked question. I am new here. I just purchased a 75 gallon Marineland tank set up. I have had fresh water, brackish and saltwater tanks years ago but have not kept aquariums in a while. I was rather concerned when I later read reviews about the tanks leaking. I rarely heard about leaking tanks when I worked in a pet store. Is this something I should be concerned about?
  • #2
Some people do have issues with tanks leaking but I never have (knock on wood). I don't but really expensive ones either. I think sometimes the seams can get weak on older tanks. Anybody else?
  • #3
I’ve had one tank leak on me, thankfully it was just a 5.5 gallon with nothing in it, and I realized as soon as I filled it up. I just took it back to the store and switched it out for a new one, no problem. It’s not that common
  • #4
I've had good luck too, knock on wood. I have 6 tanks and 5 of them are dollar per gallon specials. Ond of them has been going strong for almost 7 years, while the rest are more or less a year old. Yep, it took a while for the MTS to hit, but it came on strong in 2017.

I would think that the prevalence of second-hand tanks might be the culprit for bad reviews. There are always second-hand tanks available and I'm sure more than a few people aren't sure what they've been previously used for. Reptiles and rodents can put a lot of wear on seals, but when a person picks a tank up at the curb or even on craigslist, they may have no idea what was in it. To the layman, it may be difficult to notice silicone being worn or dried out and crusty, but it may not stop folks from complaining.

The only time I've had a tank leak on me was totally my fault... I took it outside and did a rather aggressive cleaning in the yard. Perhaps I put it on an unseen rock or something because it started leaking afterward but definitely wasn't prior to my interference.
  • #5
I just experienced my first leak on a rather expensive tank. Thankfully it was a nano tank.
  • #6
I read a post saying that in their opinion, the work on the silicone from major manufacturers is way slopier than tanks in the past. This was even from the same company.

Twenty plus years ago, I had a 39 gallon tank leak after a year but it was extremely off level. In contrast I have this 21 year old All Glass Aquarium 125g that hasn't leaked and only been moved once. Other than during the move, it's never been dry. I'm told I'm probably nearing the end of the expected life of my silicone so I'm trying to make plans for a new tank in the upcoming year or two.

From reading a lot of threads, ten years seems to be a theme for many ad the expected life of silicone.

I've read of Marineland and Aqueon tanks leaking. There were several for the Marineland 300g DD that was interested in. As long as people had the receipt and proper stand (this is a sticking point for some because a lot of people don't like the standard stands from those companies), these two companies seemed to pay for replacement tanks.

Some reported even getting funds for livestock loss though the warranties specify that is NOT covered so I wouldn't expect that.

Obviously there is more damage than just that so insurance is where you'd have to look for coverage for that.

It's good that the warranties see yo be honored but obviously scary that tanks have been reported to leak, even when fairly new in some cases.

I'm leaning towards these for my future tank especially because I wasn't to go over 200 gallons. It seems these are less likely to leak as the pieces are chemically bonded. There are some drawbacks including they are often double the price.

You can also find horror stories of those failing as well.

I live in a condo so I'm going to have to find a reputable acrylic place in Chicago area and I'm going to go new for maximum security. Id take more risks in a house because in that case, at least I'm the only one getting hurt by a tank leakage.
  • #7
I think some people who buy new ones just get bad ones that they didn’t know about. It’s like buying new shoes only to have the soles fall off...it’s defective and it happens unfortunately.

It’s important to fill the tank in the garage first and let it sit check for any leaks and bowing of the window just in case. The cycle can wait a few days while you check it out. If it leaks at least the garage is wet and not the wooden floors.

Also same applies to used tanks.
  • #8
It also seems more likely that someone with a problem will leave a review than someone who didn't have a bad experience, so it might look like a lot of tanks leak, but there are many more times that of people whose tank didn't leak.
  • #9
I have two tanks:
1) Fluval Spec V which has been up and running for 2 years with no problems.
2) Aqueon 29 gal which has been up and running for 3 years with no problems.

I agree with Stella's observation that the prevalence of second-hand tanks might be a contributing factor in the number of bad reviews. TexasDomer also makes a good point.

I'm also inclined to believe that the larger the tank, the more likely it is to develop a leak because of the stress involved, but I have no basis-in-fact for that assumption.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Thank you for the quick replies. Fashooga, that is a good idea. Fill it elsewhere and watch it then drain it and put it in place. I never had any issues with leaking tanks either...even 2nd hand ones.
  • #11
I have 11 and never have had any trouble, but second hand ones, I normally re-seal even if they don't appear to need it.
  • #12
Sometimes it's just luck of the draw. All tanks have the potential to fail no matter what the cost or claimed build quality. I would say overall most new tanks are a safe bet. Some great used ones too but you really have to double check the seals and make sure it isn't scratched. You don't want to end up with a tank that looks like this:

  • #13
Cory told a story of a used 340 gallon tank breakage that almost put him out of business early on.

I found a YouTube video of a woman feeding Hank (not Murphy). That might have been the one as he said he had wild angels in there and everything.
That's the lady's video of Hank and what might be the tank that broke.

Amazingly, Hank somehow survived the ordeal. Sadly, Hank later died of a wild disease with no known cure. There's Murphy now though!

Anyway, that story scares me because it shows how it can happen to someone that is knowledgeable about tanks. Surely more knowledgeable than me at least.
  • #14
I've read that too, but also think about the many tanks that they sell with no issues.
People often report issues but not enough people report their good experience.

Anyways, you should always check the silicone seams yourself and leak test.
Even Red Sea tanks people have reported issues with it leaking. So make sure to save the receipts and register the warranty JIC.

I also recently just purchased a Marineland 60 galloncube. I like it a lot so far.
In any case, always have a back-up plan if any tanks fail and be ready to siphon water out. You never know.
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Thanks everyone, agree with you Nart, I need to consider back up plans. I'll keep extra filters and equipment on hand with any tank set up. So far I have the tank set up on its stand (stand was purchased with) and have made a wood canopy top with a hinged lid. I still need to paint the top to match the stand. Now I am getting ready to order some salt, substrate and other equipment. Any ideas on live sand and crushed coral for substrate?
  • #16
My choice of substrate is CaribSea FijI grade sand. Looks nice and isn't so fine that it blows everywhere and clouds the tank.
If you like to have like mixed pieces of shell and dead skeleton corals in the FijI sand, then go with the CaribSea Special Grade sand. Good stuff.

In terms of color, for both sands I've went with Pink Sand or BiminI Pink. it's not really pink, it's just what they call it. Looks nice and natural.

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