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Am I the only person forever anxious that a tank will leak? 

Many days, I look at the silicone and glass more than I look at the fish. As my username says, fish calm me. But the actual glass boxes drive me nuts! While I absolutely don't want to have a leak I could've prevented, I also don't want to be more anxious than is appropriate for the threat level. 

I guess I'm wanting to know if this diligence is warranted. Got any fact-based thoughts on the matter?

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19 minutes ago, Littlefish said:

Get an acrylic tank?

Researched that quite a bit. I couldn't find an easily purchased brand that was well-known to not split without warning signs. My thinking was that at least with glass and silicone, you can usually see it coming. 

19 minutes ago, Streetwise said:

If monitoring would help you relax, there are leak detection kits, both standalone and as part of a larger system. I have the Neptune Systems Apex with their Leak Detection Module and a couple of sensors.

In your experience, are the kits sensitive and reliable? 

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I don’t have any experience with the sensors myself, but I’ve heard people on here mention that the sensor woke them up when a tank started leaking.

I’m not sure how fact-based this is, but it seems to me like leaks are very rare, and most leaks occur because of a failure outside the tank, rather than the silicone wearing down. If your tank has been up for a while and isn’t leaking, it likely won’t leak. Sometimes people have air line tubes that siphon water out during a power outage, or they accidentally whack the tank with a metal object, or that sort of thing. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a tank that just randomly started leaking after many years because of a silicone issue. 

I’m of the mindset that accidents happen, so you try hard to prevent them, but you don’t beat yourself up when something goes wrong. But I’m also on anxiety meds, so that probably helps. 😄

If having sensors would help you, I definitely recommend getting them. You should be able to enjoy your fish!

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I get around this anxiety by only keeping tanks in my office, which is small-ish and carpeted, rather than in any more central areas of the house which have hardwoods. If a tank pops, for whatever reason, replacing underlayment and carpet is so much easier, and cheaper, than replacing finished hardwood.

I definitely share your perpetual anxiety though.

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@CalmedByFish I think the nature of anxiety is that it's never reality-based. And if it starts with a real thing that 'could happen', it's the constant pre-occupation with that worry that blows it out of the reality-based ballpark.

I'd say, every once in a while I think, "Man it would absolutely suck to have X amount of water suddenly flood my home. That would be an absolute nightmare!" But then I think, "Meh,  I'll deal with it when it happens".

I mean I know that it's "possible" my tank could leak. But I also realize it's not "probable". 

So . . . I'd say, don't worry. It's not likely to happen to you. And don't turn to the internet for relief, as I'm sure there are enough stories of tank blowouts there to convince you it happens more than it does in reality.

Edited by tolstoy21
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  • Streetwise changed the title to Tank Leak Anxiety
5 hours ago, Hobbit said:

But I’m also on anxiety meds, so that probably helps. 😄

 

It may not surprise you to hear that I'm on 'em too. 😅

5 hours ago, Schwack said:

 If a tank pops, for whatever reason, replacing underlayment and carpet is so much easier, and cheaper, than replacing finished hardwood.

I'd totally do this if I could! The biggest tank has to be on the nicest hardwood floor, unfortunately.

4 hours ago, H.K.Luterman said:

I have been known to get up in the middle of the night just because I thought I heard water running onto the floor; so far it's just been my mind playing tricks on me.

Ditto. 

@tolstoy21 Makes me smile that someone going by "tolstoy" is a good writer. Several things you wrote are calming. Thanks.

@Streetwise That video! Jeepers! No wonder you wanted the leak detection. (And thanks for changing the thread title. It gets to the point much better.)

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3 minutes ago, CalmedByFish said:

Makes me smile that someone going by "tolstoy" is a good writer. Several things you wrote are calming. Thanks.

Hey man, thanks for the compliment.  However, silly typos do still plague the hell out of me (why almost all my posts are marked as 'edited').   🙂

Just know, your aquarium isn't going to break. And if it does, unless it drowns you or your loved ones in the process, all's good.

Whenever I think about it, I'm less worried that my tank will break (knock on wood), and am more worried about the look on my wife's face if it did!

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@tolstoy21 Oh dear. 😄 So story time... My dad was a bit of a rebel when he was young. Some time in high school his friend’s parents were having a dinner party, and he and his brothers snuck over to their house to hang out. Well, they were being hooligans in the friend’s room upstairs, and he knocked a pair of skis into a several hundred gallon saltwater tank. Totally smashed it and sent water pouring through the floor onto the guests downstairs.

Thankfully his family and his friend’s family were really close. Actually my grandparents were at the dinner party as guests! I’m sure my dad got in a world of trouble but no one lost friends at least. My dad still tells the story with a glint in his eye!

Maybe it’s stories like that that give me a bit of perspective when it comes to tank disasters.

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14 hours ago, tolstoy21 said:

He currently likes to spin like as mad man in my office chair about a foot away from the front of my 125. Now talk about anxiety!

Too relatable. I have a kid with special needs, which happens to involve daily compulsive head-slamming into *anything.* Has to wear a custom helmet and other gear. Think of an angry billy goat. So my 55 has always been completely blocked off by a wall of couch and recliner, and the smaller tanks are in a room with a door I can lock. 

13 hours ago, Hobbit said:

 he knocked a pair of skis into a several hundred gallon saltwater tank. Totally smashed it and sent water pouring through the floor onto the guests downstairs.

Maybe it’s stories like that that give me a bit of perspective when it comes to tank disasters.

That. Is. Epic. 

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@Hobbit Between you posting and me seeing it, I actually emailed an acrylic company to ask if they can do a "bullet-proof 20 gallon," briefly mentioning my daughter's head-butting thing. She is definitely interested in the fish. She sometimes pauses to watch the 55 gallon (from the other side of the couch), and she likes the big tank at the children's hospital.

If the acrylic people can make a goat-proof tank for me, I could keep it where she and I BOTH can easily see it. I could make a point of the contents being easy for her to notice and process what she's seeing. I'm certain it'd be good for me, and almost certain it'd be good for her. I really hope this company can make something. Fingers crossed. 

And hey, thanks for the acknowledgment that it makes life super complicated. It really does. 

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Pretty sure you could overengineer a tank with acrylic. I had sailboat drop-in boards (like a door for a sailboat) that were 1/2" thick acrylic, and deck hatches are often made of the same. The stuff will scratch, but it will buff out, and it was strong enough that I am not afraid of climbing on, standing on, jumping on, hitting it with hardware, etc.

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Oh whoops! I thought I read “he.” My bad. I’m glad your daughter likes your fish.

That would be awesome if you could get a bullet/helmet proof 20 gallon! Do keep us posted.

8 minutes ago, CalmedByFish said:

And hey, thanks for the acknowledgment that it makes life super complicated. It really does. 

Of course. Over the last few years my brother developed some very serious health issues so I’ve gotten a new perspective on the way disability affects a family. ❤️ If you ever need a listening ear just PM me.

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37 minutes ago, Hobbit said:

Do keep us posted.

Of course. Over the last few years my brother developed some very serious health issues so I’ve gotten a new perspective on the way disability affects a family. ❤️ If you ever need a listening ear just PM me.

If this acrylic idea turns out to be possible, I will definitely, giddily, post it somewhere on the forum! 

Feel free to PM me, too.

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I just finished moving all the inhabitants from my 5.5 gallon tank that sprung a leak. The silicone failed, and in two places! Luckily, tank was small enough that I was able to mop the water, but not before it ruined the cabinet it was on. Oh, well.

I replaced it with a larger tank, better made, with clear silicone and great craftmanship. Will this leak? Who knows. Things happen and you can't make yourself crazy with the whatifs. Save your energy and enjoy the worlds you have created. Deal with a leak if you get one, since doing it prematurely is not got going to make your world any drier.

Tanks can fail, but as most people have said, they are not common occurrences. I happened to be a lucky one! 😉

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