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Thread: Cracked Aquarium, Would Love Advice

  1. #1
    NatchGreyes's Avatar
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    Cracked Aquarium, Would Love Advice

    Hey Everyone:

    I bought a ~30 gallon aquarium and got it fitted for a glass lid, intended on using it as another step up when my Neps outgrew their current space. Unfortunately, I accidentally cracked the bottom pretty badly, badly enough that the glass has to be replaced. I went to the local glass store, which told me that the glass would be pretty cheap (I'm guessing on the order of $20, but idk for sure), but, to replace the bottom would be about $100 because they'd have to cut the silicone, get special marine silicone, etc. As a consequence, they recommended I just buy a new tank on Craigslist.

    I wondered if anyone had any experience replacing the bottom of an aquarium themself, and had advice about whether to pursue this possibility or not. For reference, 55 gallon aquariums go for about $50 in my location on Craigslist.

    Thanks for the help,
    -N

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    You can buy a tube of aquarium safe silicone at Petco/Petsmart. Then stop at a paint/hardware store and pickup a small can of acetone, a paint scrapper and a disposable putty knife. Use the paint scrapper to remove old silicone (doesn't have to be a fantastic job). Clean with acetone, new glass too. Apply the silicone from the tube, spread it out with the putty spreader and put the new glass in. Simple. Should cost you in the $15 - 20 range not counting the glass. The silicone and glass will be the most expensive part.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    If it's not cracked from edge to edge (or possibly even if it is), you could silicone in a smaller piece of glass to "patch" up the crack. It's much cheaper and easier to make an aquarium usable when you don't intend to fill it with water.

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    The real question is how much do you value your time at? I'm assuming this would not be a fun type project and more like work. Removing glass and silicone can be very time consuming and potentially dangerous if you have never done it before.

    Last time I removed/replaced a cracked piece of glass from one of my Exo-terra hoods it took about an hour but I've done similar things a few times before. Replacing a tank bottom would be more work probably in the 90m+ range I would guess. Once you start figuring in the time to get all the supplies to do the repair + the cost of the supplies the $50 starts looking better and better.

    If you think you might enjoy replacing the glass or like trying new things I'd say go for it, just watch a video or two about building aquariums they will help a lot. Good terrarium construction thread http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...step-step.html and the best tip in the thread if you don't want to read it all. "Tip: Dip your finger into a little water and dishwashing soap, before smoothing down the joints. (10 drops of soap in a glass of water)" This stops the silicone from sticking to your finger!

    Rumor is that Petco will be having there $1 a gallon sale on Thursday, so that might be something to consider.

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    dueoka's Avatar
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    If Petco is having a $ per gallon sale then I would definitely go with that. For the same price of the glass and a tube of silicone you can have a brand new tank.
    -Arthur

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    NatchGreyes's Avatar
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    Alright, I'll definitely wait until Thursday and see if PetCo does have a sale. Definitely easier than trying to replace the glass. Also, I'll probably end up going with getting a new aquarium rather than replace the glass, since it seems more labor intensive than I'd like, and not as cheap either.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    http://www.petco.com/product/4114/Al...m-Sealant.aspx

    You may have a box cutter or single edge razor or xacto knife already to remove the old sealant. Once you get it started coming loose you may be able to peel it off without further scraping/cutting. Nail polish remover is usually acetone although they sometimes add scents or vitamin E oil to help sell it.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Reconstructing an aquarium/terrarium is incredibly easy, though it's a bit time-consuming to deconstruct a broken tank into separate parts to rebuild. Also, you're likely to break the plastic rims that hold the top and bottom together in the process. If you don't really care about that (any crafty person can figure out a cost-effective way to replace it), you can just build a rimless tank. There are tons of youtube videos that will show you how to properly construct an aquarium. Only a few small adjustments need to be made in order to create the Euro-style terrariums (sliding glass front, vented top, optional vent below sliding glass front).

    I have to recommend that you don't bother with aquarium sealant purchased at a pet store. You can get the same thing much cheaper from Lowe's/Home Depot/online. Also, If you don't plan on using the adhesive for an aquarium, you can buy big tubes and make it more economical. Just do some google searching, and it will help you determine all the necessary supplies plus help you determine how to put together a full aquarium/terrarium, if you decide to go that route.

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