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    Posted: December 17 2016 at 12:56pm
How long is the factory silicone good for? I have a All Glass brand 125-gallon that was built in 1997 and that has not had water in it for the last ten years. It holds water just fine but if it leaks in our new house I would be living in hell forever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2016 at 2:57pm
20 years old.Geek
What tint and how soft is the silicone? If the silicone is completely clear and springs back immediately when depressed then it may be good.

20 years is about what you see as advertised life for silicone used for our homes, but depending on where the tank has been for the first 10 years and where it has been stored for the last 10 years it may still be good. 

I acquired a used 30 gal tank that had been outside long enough (a year or so?) to turn the silicone yellow. The silicone actually felt slightly brittle where it was releasing from the glass. I was only willing to let it go to someone using it for a reptile/terrarium. 

All large tanks are best placed on something waterproof, like tile or cement with a metal or solid wood aquarium stand.

Feel free to post close up pics of the silicone.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote camarolover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2016 at 4:12pm
Blueish tint, still soft to the touch. I will post photos later. Would it be wise to have it resealed at this point?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 18 2016 at 8:42am
I was wondering how you know the age of the tank and that it was stored for 10 years?

A bluish tint usually comes from the freshwater medication Methylene Blue. If the silicone is still rubbery, I'd say it sounds like it has been well cared for and will hold, but frankly speaking, a tank that size and age could have problems at any moment and its failure can cause a lot of damage.

The critical area for structural strength is the joint between panels where a thin layer of silicone firmly holds the two panels. The thin area of silicone between the panel edges must be intact with no bubbles. Bubbles, if present, can be seen when looking through the glass at the front and back corner edges. Bubbles are an indication that the water pressing outwards has begun to force the joint apart. On a filled and running tank, anytime that bubbles are seen forming in the joint, caution should be used not to place undue extra pressure on the panels in that area and if the bubble area increases, it's time to take action.

The silicone bead's main purpose is to protect the silicone at the critical joint. As the silicone bead is pressed, it should not curl away from the glass. Used tanks typically have some frayed silicone edges where the algae scraper was used a little too aggressively or simply slipped in normal use. I'm sure we can all relate to that. Ouch Sometimes bead separation is easy to see. If the separated area leads all the way to the joint and is more than about 4 inches long, those beads might be cut away and re-done.

About re-doing the bead, I would add this caution - silicone doesn't stick as well to itself as it does to glass so the glass needs to be scraped very clean with a sharp new razor blade. There are products that clean off silicone, used when the panels are completely disassembled, but any chemical used to clean off only the bead residue will compromise the joint.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote camarolover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 18 2016 at 10:09am
There is a tag on the bottom with the brand and the build date. Would you just go ahead and reseal the tank? I have had every problem know to refers happen to me. Dry tanks,heaters stuck on and off, floods you name it. I just don't want any problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 18 2016 at 1:00pm
It's those joints that really matter and for that a complete dis-assemble and redo with new silicone would be the safest option. From what you said of your experience, I believe a brand new tank would be the safest way to go. I'd sell the old tank to someone for a terrarium. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2016 at 12:27pm
Mark is pretty correct. The more important parts of the seal are between the planes. Best to fill it up and see if any of the panels deform away from each other at the joints. There will be a little, but if its noticeable, then reseal or buy new. If at all possible, make sure there is a drain below the tank so if it ever leaks, there will be a path for the water to flow and wont cause much if any damage to the floors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2016 at 9:43pm
I'd use it.

Adam
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 21 2016 at 10:24am
When a sump is involved, I recommend installing a plastic tray around the inside of the stand to contain plumbing leaks and emergency overflows. Speaking of overflows, there are simple design modifications that can help a sump type aquarium system completely avoid floods. I wrote up a document explaining how to design and how to test the system. Let me know if you want a copy.

Originally posted by camarolover camarolover wrote:

I have had every problem know to reefers happen to me. Dry tanks,heaters stuck on and off, floods you name it. I just don't want any problems.
To be frank, if I had your troubled experience, I might choose to reduce the risk by setting up a smaller tank, like less than 50 gals. Small stand alone tanks have less problems, are more manageable and if there is a failure, leave a smaller mess that is more easily cleaned up or easily contained with a tray and drain as Paul mentioned above. Two of my stand alone tanks are pictured below.

In my way of doing things in this hobby both home and professionally, I always do things the simplest way. For example, a customer asked me to expand what has been a stand alone 30 gal reef tank so it can support more animals. The customer had, for the past year, done manual top-off of this 30 gal tank, but often let the tank evaporate by almost 3 gals. With the expansion (the original 30 gal is still the display), I needed to make sure the new sump water level stayed reliably constant. I chose to use an over-sized overflow, an Eshopps PF-1000 designed for 125-150 gal tanks. Also, rather than trust top-off to a mechanical-electric unit or float valve(running a line from the RO unit is not practical here), I chose to do a more bullet-proof system, a siphon fed gravity drip top-off from a 4 gal bucket. It's still being tweaked but I should be able to top off the bucket at each bimonthly service, leaving the customer completely free of maintenance tasks.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
808-345-1049



Currently have this 5 gal tank on a coffee table at the window.



Edited by Mark Peterson - December 21 2016 at 10:36am
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