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hello my fellow reef tank friends!,


I just wanted some opinions and advice on how to prevent leaks from happening to my fish tank. I am a 20 gallon and it seems just fine.

however just yesterday i noticed that some of the glass on the far left corner in between the glue and the two pieces of glass stuck together seems like its chipping a little bit. and it also looks like the is kind of comming off.

I am guessing that when i do water changes or just doing general cleaning for my tank some of the water splashes out and lands on the tank edges and corners and dryes up leaving salt, which then eats up the silicone glue.

I guess the easiest answer would be to just wip off the water and not let it dry up, but is there any other ways to make sure my tank doesn't start a leak?

or can I put some silicone glue on the edges that i feel like it needs some?

any help or advice would be appreciated..thanks!
 

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The silicone in the tank is exposed to salt 24/7. Salt shouldn't have any significant effect when on it outside either, although friction from cleaning it off repeatedly may.

The important seal is the bit between the two pieces of glass. That on either side of that seal basically just protects the primary seal. If the glass itself is flaking, it is probably exposed to regular bumps, scraping, etc., but if the external silicon is pealing, don't pick at it; cut it off cleanly without pulling with as sharp and object as you can find (new razor blades work great).

My personal thoughts:

20 gallon tanks are often cheaper by far than any repair would be, watch for a $1gallon sale and swap it out. Measure in case, but the trappings should all safely transfer. Maybe use it as an excuse to size up. ;)

If the tank is routinely expossed to low level bumping and scraping, buy a stick of corner molding that matches your trim from your local hardware store, cut it to length, slather the inside with silicon and clamp it on until it dries. (Don't get wet silicone in the tank water.) Most carry steal and aluminum angles which would fit closer and paint easily, but they are trickier to cut straight without a more advanced toolkit. Wood and plastic types will absorb direct impact better w/o transferance of the force, but will scuff more easily.

You CAN apply a layer of silicon over the outer seal without trouble. Just trim or smooth any rough spots very carefully; apply masking tape or similar where you want the clean edges; apply the silicone (smooth with a plastic spatula or a finger dipped in lightly soaped warm water); and peal the tape before the silicone is dry. Remember that silicone will not stick well to cured silicone, and know that water splashed on any gaps may therefore get between the layers, which may look like a leak. If you think the primary seal is actually compromised, this is not a good fix. It will only replenish the protective barrier. Don't trim the old silicone too close to the primary seal if you are not confident you can do so without risking it.

Add four bucks and you may be able to get a cup of coffee. ;)
 
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