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About Me

Found 9 results

  1. I'm currently going through the process of setting up a 180 gallon aquarium with the end goal of a planted community tank with a school of Discus, Cardinal Tetras, Rummynose Tetras, Sterbai Corys, and a pleco or two. The project is no light undertaking, so I thought this would be a great place to document the process. Not only do I want to be able to look back years down the road, I hope I can educate and entertain others along the way. I know me, and know I am going to ramble here, but that's what a journal is for, right? For starters, this is all new to me. I've only been keeping fish for a little overr a year. I wanted to keep fish for well over a decade now, but I never got around it. Finally, my father-in-law got my daughter a Betta for her 1st birthday last year, and that kicked off my obsession. That quickly upgraded to a planted 36 gallon community tank and a 6 gallon cube for the Betta. Now, I finally got my wife on board with, or at least not objecting to, setting up a large aquarium in the basement. Bonus points because my now 2-year-old daughter loves the hobby too. Loves feeding the fish and always asks to go to the fishy store. Once that green light was given by my wife, I started browsing Facebook Marketplace for the aquarium. The goal was something between 125-180. After a while, 2 180s popped up at the same time. One was older with wood trim and wasn't drilled. The other (the one I got) had black plastic trim and was predrilled with what I guess is called reef-ready. The seller never had it set up and I think he ended up with it after buying a storage locker at auction. It seemed to be in okay shape from my limited knowledge and was $400 so I rolled with it. I also knew I wanted to run it with a sump, so I set out to find a 75 gallon aquarium for that purpose. Interestingly, I found one right away and after talking to the owner about it, I had his 180 gallon. He let it go after moving and seemed to have gotten out of the hobby. He sold me the 75 gallon for $50. After getting both home and in my garage, I started watching videos on cleaning used aquariums and that sent me down a rabbit hole of resealing them. I decided I was going to tackle that project. The seams looked to be in great shape. No bubbles in the structural part of the silicone whatsoever, but the silicone I would be replacing had seen better days. While it was still pliable, the edges were beginning to dry rot, and peel back. It did hold water though. I filled it, added citric acid to scrub the salt off, and it stayed full for a few hours with no issues. after cleaning it, I quickly drained it though because my garage was not completely level and I didn't want any added stress to one seam over another. I ordered Momentive RTV103 Silicone after reading several reef forums. I also picked up several kinds of razors from Lowes and got down to business. Thanks to my dad, brother-in-law, and best friend, we were able to move it down to my basement so I could work on it in a heated space. Plus that's where it will eventually be set up. Currently, I have both overflow boxes removed, and silicone cleaned out of 2 of the 8 seams. It'll be a long process, but I enjoy these DIY projects. Tonight, I did find a pretty decent chip in one of the side panels below the silicone seal. That has me pretty nervous, but If it was there prior and I make sure its completely covered, I should be okay. At least I hope I'm okay because a new 180 gallon aquarium isn't in the budget currently. For the sump, I plan to only have 3 chambers. The first chamber will house a series of mechanical filtration most likely with sponges and filter floss. This area will be about 6 inches wide. From there I plan to have the water flow up through an 8 inch wide chamber full of bio media. The baffle here will be about 14 inches tall so from my math, could hold about 8 gallons of bio media. After that, the water will fall into a large return chamber (34x18). If I have the water filled up to 14 inches in the sump, the return chamber should have about 37 gallons of water in it. I'll house the heaters, and a few sponge filters here to help with aeration and to have seeded sponges if I need a quarantine tank set up fast. My goal is to run an auto water change system out of the return chamber. I should be able to drain about 20 gallons of water out of that chamber and still allow my return pump to run. In theory, I think as long as the pump speed doesn't vary, changing water from the return chamber should just lower and raise the water level in the return, meanwhile, nothing changes or is noticeable in the display tank. All of that happens with the return pump staying on. I could be totally wrong on this but I couldn't find anyone running a setup like this. Maybe there is a reason for that, but it sounds like a fun idea to me so we'll see! I have about 80% of the materials purchased to finish the build. I went with a Sicce SDC 6.0 pump and Sicce Scuba Contactless heaters. I'm going to build the stand out of 2x4s and 2x6s. I will eventually wrap the stand in a nice plywood and stain it, but I want to get the tank resealed, set up, and running before I worry about the aesthetics. I also find water chemistry super fascinating. I will start out by saying, I don't think you should chase parameters. It's probably best in most situations to let acclimate your fish to your water. With that said, my tap water would supply an amazing African cichlid tank, but isn't ideal for the fish I want to keep. To remedy this, I purchased 4x 30 gallon food-grade drums so I can mix my very hard and alkaline tap water with RO water. This is another element of the DIY process I really like. I'm still working on the logistics of it, but ideally, I can set up the tanks to automatically fill and mix the right amount to get softer water around a PH of 6.8 or so. I manually do this in my Betta's tank now, but with the drums and float valves, I think I can automate the process and consistently have a stable source of water without chasing parameters with additives. More updates to come! Heres the tank how I got it. Taking the old black paint off the back All Cleaned Up! The joints seem to be in great shape 75 Gallon running citric acid through it In the basement, Overflows off, and starting to remove the silicone Defect in glass Box of goodies! 30 Gallon Drums!
  2. Hey Everyone! What are your thoughts on resealing an aquarium in cooler temperatures? I just picked up a used 180 gallon. The seams where the glass meet look to be in great shape. However the silicone inside is starting to peel on the edges pretty much everywhere. It was stored in the midwest in a non climate controlled storage locker. It stayed dry but probably experienced 20f-100f temps. To be safe, I'm going to reseal and do a leak test before setting it up. It's going to be set up in my basement but is currently in my attached garage. Ideally I do my leak test in my garage because I have easy access to a hose hookup, plus Id hate to have 4 friends come over, rent the suction cups to move it, and get it in my basement to find out it leaks. My concern with resealing it in the garage is the ambient temps this time of year. I ordered Momentive RTV103 and its supposed to come tomorrow. The 15 day forcast bounces between 44f and 60f and overnight lows between 25f and 40f. The next 7 days look to be the warmer of the 2 weeks. Mostly lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s. It will be in my garage so it should be a bit more temperate than the outside temp. I can also set up a space heater to keep the temps up overnight. On one hand, I think I may have more working time with the silicone due to the temps, but on the other, I'm concerned about curing. I'm in absolutely no hurry to move this aquarium in and time is on my side, so I can let it cure for weeks if needed. I'd just like to do the leak test in the garage if at all possible. What are your thoughts? Go for it in the garage? Or bring it into my basement first despite not knowing if it leaks? My basement is technically unfinished, although we do have a livingroom area set up this will go in. I mainly don't want to go through the hassle of moving a 300+ pounds glass box that leaks. Thanks for any thoughts! Loving the forum already!
  3. I called SASHCO’s customer support team to get confirmation, but I wasn’t sure until today. Lexel is an excellent high quality sealant that has excellent adhesion even on wet surfaces, but according to their staff, it hasn’t been tested below the water line for more than 30 days, but more importantly, it isn’t actually silicone at all, it is rubber. It does in fact release chemicals over time and would kill aquatic life. they claimed that this was on the packaging, but I could not find it anywhere on the packaging, the website, or anywhere else available. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to read a tube of clear caulking, but it’s not exactly easy. Especially when the tube itself is clear and the writing is black and you can see the writing on the opposite side at the same time.
  4. Spent a week cleaning off all the old sealant to reseal the tank. I got it resealed yesterday. Checked to to and found a bubble in the bottom corner. Its like a balloon, So another week set back. I wanna cry scream rage quit. But, deep breath. Take it as a lesson learned, deep breath, start scraping....
  5. I purchased a used 160 Gallon setup off of offer up. It came with stand , hood , lights, sump and tank. I have refurbished to the stand as it has extensive saltwater damage to address, rusty hinges and paint issues. Plus the paint did not match out decor. This will now be a fresh water tank for Dicus fish and Angles and Rainbows. I will not use the hood or lights. I bought new lights from Co-Op to replace the massive Marineland one that was used. Bought a seamless sump to replace the cheap open air one that was in there. Now I am refurbishing the tank itself. Question is as the bottom and around the overflows the sealant looks good but the sides is all but gone. Can I just reseal the edges or do I have to do everything?
  6. I have 2 125g tanks with leaks in a bottom seam. Should I just strip and seal or completely disassemble and rebuild?
  7. I have a used 36 gallon bowfront aquarium that has peeling seals along the bottom edges of the tank. It is not leaking now, but the silicone is beat up bad. Should I go about resealing the inside seals, resealing inside and structural, or leave it alone? This would be my first time doing this and would gladly accept any advice or tips.
  8. Hey all, I'm looking for a little advice I recently bought a used Oceanic Systems 60gal Hex and I'm planning to reseal it. The last owner also resealed it (did a sketchy job by the looks of it), and he had it running for something like 20 years. As I was cleaning off the old silicon, I noticed that the seams had little bubbles in them but were not foggy at all. With a tank this old I would opt for a rebuild, but given that its a hex and was very high quality, I'm not sure if that is necessary. I've attached pictures showing some of the seams, they are all in similar shape. The tops are worse then the bottom, but I will be adding the trim back on. What do you guys think? Has anyone rebuilt a hex before? Thanks! bonus pic of my 40 breeder
  9. I am resealing a 55 gallon aquarium. It held water but all the silicone is gone on the corners. So for safety sake I'm resealing. This is the second time I've resealed a tank, but it was awhile ago. I don't want to do extra work that isn't necessary because I have really bad hands. I've removed the upright corners and am getting ready to remove the bottom, which looks great but I know I have to do that. My question is, is it imperative for me to remove the silicone at the top of the tank under the rim? If you reply, please include your qualifications for answering the question (I've been resealing tanks for decades, I'm an aquarium builder, etc). Thanks!
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