Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Bursting Fishtank? (

iamrayn 11-13-2010 11:46 PM

Bursting Fishtank?
:shock: So I bought a used 55gallon tank from a friend who was moving and didn't want to take it with. He had it set up and running for years, full to the top of water, so I know it's a solid tank. I've had it for about 4 months now, full of water on a metal stand, which looks terrifyingly unstable by itself, not because its weak or damaged, just because they all look that way to me- but the edges where the 4 pieces of glass meet, don't look so strong. There is still silicone, or sealant in the spaces, but that's all there is, not a whole lot smeared in the crack like a brand new tank has. I've seen a video online where some guy's tank burst at a seam and started pouring water everywhere, leaving him standing there in terror asking ''what the &*%$ do i with these fish?'' so I assume it's possible for the tank to burst. Resealing the tank would be way too much work and stress for me, and on the fish so I haven't considered doing that. I'm worried that the apparently decaying seal will one day buckle under the stress of me cleaning the glass or working in the tank and making the water level wobble. :shock:

geofftheoscar 11-13-2010 11:57 PM

I have never been worried about that in all its more likely the glass to break then the silicone to let go! if its not a home brew tank then i wouldent worry! one of the reasons i like acrylic is the fact that the joints are stronger then the viewing surface of the tank! so that would be an option to just buy acrylic and build one or just buy an acrylic tank!

iamrayn 11-14-2010 12:08 AM

Yea. I wish I had a tank and a stand to waste for the sake of experimenting the strength of both. Better send it off to Mythbusters.

jeaninel 11-14-2010 01:26 AM

My nephew's 55 gallon had a seam burst. We're not talking a leak here, we're talking a full on gushing burst. So I guess it can happen but I think it's pretty rare.

tanker 11-14-2010 03:05 AM

Did your nephew have any idea of the cause, jeaninel? Was it an old tank?

iamrayn 11-14-2010 10:29 AM

that's scarrrrrrrryyyyyyy:shock:

jeaninel 11-14-2010 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by tanker (Post 512647)
Did your nephew have any idea of the cause, jeaninel? Was it an old tank?

We're not certain of the cause. He has had the tank for quite awhile so it may have just been a combination of age and a bad seam that made it finally give out.

Mikaila31 11-14-2010 01:25 PM

seals very rarely burst and a fish tank can always be emptied and resealed with little effort(it does take quite a bit of time though). I've tried to force a tank to have a seal failure and couldn't get it to do it. You may wonder why I tried to do such a thing, but I thought the tanks seals were failing. They had lots of water bubbles in the seals, I'm not sure why they do this. I replaced it with a used tank that is now doing the same thing with getting bubbles in the seals. Originally I thought it was because it was sitting uneven, which it clearly was a good 3 cm lower in the front of the tank then the rear on the tank(I had a desk as a stand). Used tank came with a nice used stand/cabinet so this one sits evenly, but still is doing the weird seal thing...

Anyway my I hauled my old 20gal that I thought needed to be resealed into the yard to make the tank "fail" since I was going to toss it anyway. Filled it up with the hose and let loose on those seals with a sharp putty knife. I never really intended to go as far as I did, but I could not up to the very end of that tanks life get it to fail at the seals:lol:. I removed all the silicone at the corners until all that was left was the stuff that was actually between the glass. Tank mocked me by not even dripping water. I got a hammer and screwdriver and tried to force two of the panes of glass apart. I did some damage, lots of little crack in the glass. Not untill I put a big crack (6" long) half way up the glass did it start to drip water. Drip! Had a huge crack completely through the glass and all it did was drip. It ran from the edge of the glass towards the center of the tank and it chose to drip towards the center of the tank. Eventually I just hammered one of the panes and it sent water everywhere, the seals held to the very end :lol:.

iamrayn 11-15-2010 11:39 AM

HaHaHaHaHaHaHa that's bada$$ for sure i would have done the same thing if I had a spare. Well that's a little reassuring to so thanks for the story8-)

SinCrisis 11-15-2010 11:51 AM

if you are just afraid of it bursting you can always fabricate your own braces to help take some pressure off the corners or even add braces to the corners. Silicon will weaken over time, since its not a solid bond like acrylic corners. However, it takes many many years for that to happen. My 20g was full of water for 12 years and never had a problem, in fact i only retired it because the front glass was bowing, the glass would give before the silicon seal gave out.

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