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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i didn't see a "How To" on Aquarium Disassembly and Assembly, so I thought since I was in the process myself, I would share some pictures and info that I know, and hopefully others have more to add. :beer:

DISCLAIMER: Glass is sharp, and can break leaving your aquarium useless and you hurt (seriously hurt if your not careful), if you don't feel comfortable, or if your smart leave the job to a professional.

Disassembly

Tools Needed:


also "High" E string from Guitar, or a small Piano Wire can be of help, but I found the Purdy Pudy knife to be thinner then even an 'E' string, if you need something even thinner, look around for a feeler gauge..

#1 Remove the trim





Most of the time I have re-done aquariums the trim already have a crack or two in it so I start there, when you start pulling off the trim be careful, and don't pry of off against the glass. If you apply point pressure to glass you can crack/shatter it easily, so best not to use metal or anything stronger them glass.

#2 Remove All Trim/Extra Silicone



IME the more silicone you can remove the easier it will be to slice through.

#3 Remove First Panel






I find it easier to soak the silicone with the silicone remover, and let it stay on there till the silicone starts getting soft. Next get your "thin tool" this time I used a razor blade, and find a thats Easier to start on, once you find an edge you can start cutting into the seal, go as far as you can before the blade gets stuck, next go to the opposite corner and start cutting into that as far as you can. if you cut all the way to the bottom panel, lucky you, if not keep reading. once you cut as far as you can, then switch from the first corner back and forth, once you can't get any farther, cut as much silicone as much out of the seams as you can, then get both corners soaked with the silicone remover, and gently work the Silicone Remover into the seams by rocking the glass back and forth, getting the remover into the seams, this could take a few min or more, but once the silicone remover gets working it takes off towards the end.

#3 Remove Second Panel



#4 Remove Third Panel


#5 Remove last panel and Set all the panels In a Safe Place



Cleaning

Tools Needed:


Assembly

Tools Needed:


__________________________
If you have anything to add please do, I'm not what you would call a professional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
looking good so far. :D

you can also use piano/guitar wire to cut the seams. DO NOT USE YOUR FINGERS though. wrap the wire around a couple of dowels and slice down the seams.

G~
should have told me that last part last time, I used my fingers, and saw some hard white stuff...
 

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Looks like Nate's wife has a tight leash on the 'ol checkbook :p
 

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Looks good! I'm doing the same thing with my 75. Not the most fun project I have ever done.. But also not as hard as I thought it would be. Question.. Talking to my LFS, I was telling them what I was doing with my tank. They said goodluck! It probably won't last for too long!! Is this true? I understand just resealing the inside won't last long.. But I'm fully rebuilding it.
 

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RIGHT!! That's what I was thinking.. It's going to basically be a new tank. They probably just wanted me to say, "really? Ok. I'll buy a new tank from you!" these are the same people who told me not to remove the old silicone, just silicone over it! Oh.. Ok! Lol. By the way Nate, good call on Lift Off silicone remover!! Does wonders!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RIGHT!! That's what I was thinking.. It's going to basically be a new tank. They probably just wanted me to say, "really? Ok. I'll buy a new tank from you!" these are the same people who told me not to remove the old silicone, just silicone over it! Oh.. Ok! Lol. By the way Nate, good call on Lift Off silicone remover!! Does wonders!!
Ya on that 75g tank I was about ready to take a sledge hammer to it, then I went to Lowes to cool off a little and while walking up and down the isles, I found that Magic Purdy Knife, and that Lift Off, I can honestly say now, that taking apart a tank is nothing anymore, takes a couple hours from start to finish, and its all down hill from there...

also that Lift Off is Bio-Degradable and "safe", cleans up very well with just water, and after the final vinegar and bleach cleanings I doubt any residue is left. ;)
 

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Is that what you use vinegar and bleach? It's just the residue I have left.. Also, what do you use to resilicone it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ya I use Vinegar to get rid of any Calcium build ups, and Bleach to sanitize the glass, since most of the time I have no idea where the aquariums came from or what they were exposed too...

for silicone, I use the loctite aquarium safe silicone for small tanks, and for large tanks Momentive RTV 100 is used, also Momentive RTV 103 is black silicone, and I'll be using the black for my next build.
 

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Sweet! I bought the momentive RTV 103 black. Should I buy the clear for the inside seam of the tank? Also.. Any tips for putting it back together? Thanks bud..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
there is no need for an inside seam, I'm not going to have one on my black sealed tank...


all I would say is put on some thin (or thick) rubber gloves so you don't contaminate any surfaces, then do a mock build of it, and make sure you will have EVERYTHING you will need to build and finish the tank in an arms reach, it also helps to have a helper, nothing like having to reach for the last clamp and not being able to get it...
 

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If going with black silicone, forego the inner bead. It makes the seams look entirely too heavy :)
 
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