Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
How to Reseal an Aquarium | Resealing Our 75 Gallon Fish Tank

How to Reseal an Aquarium | Resealing Our 75 Gallon Fish Tank

hey everyone how are you idiot Mike here
and today i have an empty tank behind me. What we are going to do with this
tank here is that we’re gonna reseal it so we’ve noticed that the integrity of
the silicone is really not holding up the par there’s a lot of bubbles within
it and within the inside of the tank especially near the bottom at the front
it is really not looking that well we don’t want to repeat and what happened
with their other 75 gallon so I think the best thing we can do now is just to
reseal it. So we’re going to get a little bit of help with this from Kevin he’s
going to come over and show us his masterful skills in resealing so what we
were going to do now is we’re just going to prep for this we’re going to tear out
all the old silicone and for that we’re going to need a couple things. We are
going to need a few scrapers. Now I have a couple different sizes the smaller
ones are just a little bit easier to get in some places and I got a little bit
bigger and then medium-sized one and I also have a caulking puller now this
here is really good for the corners it allows you just to get into the crack
and pull up. We’re going to give you some better footage of this as we start
tearing it apart, but before that .the last thing that
we’re going to need in order to do this is some acetone now there’s going to be
some safety precautions obviously when using acetone in fact we’re not going to
do this tonight we’re going to wait till tomorrow when it’s a little bit warmer
out so we can have the door open with the fan blowing to get some more
circulation here because this stuff here is really strong. So we’re gonna wait til
this we’re gonna wait for this till tomorrow and we’re basically just gonna
start tearing this tank apart so as you can see from the furniture I was showing
you the tank here is in pretty bad shape. It’s time for a reseal so let’s start
with the process Stripping silicone is a very tedious
task. It took me up to about three hours probably to fully scraped and acetone wipe
down the tank. So I’m gonna share a few tips here that can save you a lot of
time and make this process a little bit easier. The first thing is the use
of a razor blade or a scraper really come in handy. What you want to
do is scrape down both sides of the glass along the edge of the seam and
this will lift the silicone up on both sides. if you have a puller you can
easily pull the silicone right off with a puller and even if you don’t and
you’re using a scraper and it allows you to pull it off in a big piece and usually
takes off quite a bit of even the small residue too. So it’s kind of
better to take it off in a bigger piece if you can. A razor blade works really well
to clean off the glass and also remove the fine film in your cleanup. but be
careful when you’re removing the silicone that you don’t dig into the
adhesive that holds the tank together. You’ll have to completely tear down the
tank and you don’t want to have to do that, so don’t dig into that too far at
all. The next step here is when you’re using acetone to wipe for the remaining
silicone off and only use a little tiny bit on the rag in a well-ventilated area
and basically you want to stay away from the corners and edges. Your goal here is
to really just take away the silicone. You really don’t want to go near that
adhesive because the acetone will destroy that
adhesive and you’ll have to completely tear down your tank and start from
scratch all right so we are ready now to get the
silicon but I first have to do a couple more things. This is Kevin here from
Northern Ontario Aquarium Hobby go check him out . I’ll put the link in the
description down below. Go check out his channel yeah so
uh yeah Mike I already went through obviously the issues that he was having
with the bubbling and the drying of silicone and pulling away. thankfully for
one i mean one this has a rim but also it hadn’t gone far enough that there was an
actual separating in the glass. Then it would have been a much much
bigger job it would have been literally the full tear down, rip it apart
and rebuild the tank. Mike got it all cleaned up really well
he used the acetone there and cleaned off at any of the excess so now it’s a
nice smooth because one thing like you know, it has to be very clean for the new silicone to bond. exactly! New silicone does not bond to old silicone
pretty much at all. Yeah you can get away you know, if it’s not a hundred percent clean you can get away. but try and do it as best you can. So first thing that you’re
gonna want to do to make sure that you do a nice-looking job. So we use painters tape to get a nice edge you know because this stuff has
minimum tack but will hold at least long enough. again just based on
the the basic thickness of the tank we’re probably going to be looking at
doing you want about a quarter a quarter inch okay gap or so. So then that way
it’s gonna provide enough you know but you don’t want to have like these
massive visible seam of silicone…. my last attempt I think you did like
three-quarters of an inch to an inch so I think that was a that was a fail on my
part so you couldn’t work whatever you a bit overkill but the thing is to all
obviously the wider of a space you’re using that means usually ends up means
some of the center bits it’s a bit deeper than what you want yeah right and
it’ll take longer to cure and like that but so yeah we’ll get to
taping it up and then we’ll get into there and seal it up. okay
perfect yeah. okay so we have got the tank completely taped up now as you can see
so the next step is we’ve got to do some silicone. Now I’m not very good at
siliconeing. so this is why we have Kevin over here. He’s done multiple tanks
of his own and he’s gonna show us how to do this tank so hopefully we can do the
next couple on here own right? Mine haven’t failed yet so no promises. One
quick thing, just as you know we taped it out. You just always want to make sure
that your corners are square right? so there is gonna be an overlap
obviously between your tapes on the bottom and your tapes going up the side
but as long as your corners are a little bit squared it just makes for a cleaner
line when you re pulling it off and that’s it. Sort of run your
finger along the the bottom of the tape that’s gonna be facing the bead just to
make sure it is secure but enough so you’re not getting anything seeping
underneath Which again is just gonna create a mess now as you’re siliconing
and everything like that. Pretty much you’re looking to do maybe about a
quarter inch bead as even as you can without any gaps in it. If you’re not a
professional calker or anything like that and you’re not good
at it. That’s fine if it if it doesn’t look great as long as you’re getting at
least a steady bead coming. because once you go through and clean it up
Mike’s got a little tool there that you can use that has like a sharp manager
round edge in this case if you’re doing the tank if you wanted to use that round
edge I typically just use my finger just because I like… and we tapped it so
it doesn’t really matter much anyway.. exactly and I also like to just have that
tactile feel like I know where I’m going along and everything like that to make
sure I’m going smooth but either way works for you. I found with using this
for my own personal experience I was using this rounded corner and using like
a tube and a half right just on the bottom because it leaves such a big gap.
so well if you can master with your finger and if it’s already taped it’s
probably a better idea just to do it like that. And that’s the thing because
when you’re when you’re doing this process the point I find that those can
sometimes lift more silicone out really all you’re
trying to do is just smooth it down so it’s so it’s sealed on both sides and so
it’s a nice clean look you know and that’s why again I like using my finger
because I feel the the pressure a little bit nicer. So again you want to try to
keep as straight and steady of a about beading as you can as you’re going through
typically it’s always better to do the bottoms first and then work up your your
four corners and then as we’re smoothing it out again smooth around your bottom
and then smooth up from the bottom to to the top okay right so. Well
we’ll get some footage of that so we don’t see that here to you as well so
now you want to work somewhat quickly. You don’t have to rush it but I mean
this stuff does start to cure quick enough right and if if you’re too slow
on the job it’s gonna start to skin over and then when you’re trying to make that
nice clean line afterwards.. Its going to be very hard .it’s gonna get hard okay yeah
so we have calking gun now and I guess we could show you guys the silicone that
we used. Yeah and this is very actually important. two main brands
that we have at least available to us here would be home builder and G E on
the package itself it does say save for aquariums. they also have another one to
just your general GE silicone one and it’s not your kitchen and bath
one that you would use. Its your windows and doors. yeah. Yeah and
different zones (countries) vary from brand to brand but if you’re gonna be using these you
want to make sure it’s a hundred percent silicon and it doesn’t have any of the
mold inhibitors or anything like that. So just silicone the mold inhibitors will
leach in yeah kill stuff in your tanks, it’s not a good idea. So just 100 cent
silicone and you’re good to go don’t worry if the tube doesn’t say safe
for aquariums that’s just a liability you think it’s not necessarily what the
company who produced it designed it for you know so they may put a warning like
this is not for aquarium use but that’s just to cover
so legally. You can always go get a tube usually from your LFS and it’s gonna
cost about 35 bucks for aquarium a specific. This company
here is really nice and they put for aquariums on it so it’s essentially
the exact same thing 100 silicone yeah so again it gets a little bit tricky
sometimes you get a straight bead when you do have these cross beams but
you just work around it so it takes about 20 minutes for the
silicone to start to tack up a little bit and build a little skin like a
surface I’m so you should have time to do the whole perimeter and all the seams
of your tank before you have to go and spread it you should be able to do it in
that amount of time so one thing we forgot to mention this
stuff is fairly noxious it has a really really strong vinegar smell. Make sure
you’re doing this in a well-ventilated area or at least like in this case
Mike set up a fan so it’s like blowing the fumes away from my face as I’m
working. Because when you’re over top yeah you feel it like it. gets you will cough a little bit. A respirator you could use if you’ve got some sort of breathing
issues or a prone to asthma or anything like that. Just to make sure you’re not
gonna exacerbate your your already existing situation but for people who
don’t have that still really well ventilate because yeah you’ll get the
headache and stuff like that if you’re in a small space. yeah we have a fan
blowing on us and we have a fan above us – and the door is open so yeah we’re
we’re trying our best to keep that smell down. so the next step that we’re gonna
do here is we’ve applied the silicone now and we’re just going to remove the
tape right. Yep that’s it so try to be as careful as you can when you’re doing
this again just because there’s gonna be some silicone and that’s overlapped and
everything like that. I mean it’s bound to happen at least once that
you’re gonna go and you’re gonna submerge it somewhere on the glass or on
the bottom I’m like yeah unless you’re very careful like it and again don’t
stress it don’t try and wipe it off right away cos you’re just gonna make a
thin thin layer that’s gonna be super hard to get off yeah just leave it leave
your mistakes let it dry and let it cure and then you can just go at it with the
razor yeah razor and then maybe even acetone if the exact snow yeah it’s much
easier to do it that way yeah all right so this is pretty much it now
we’ve got the silicone on and it looks really good there’s no bubbles in the
silicone the start so we’ve already improved on what we were coming from and
yet we peeled off the tape like I said as fast as we could kind of thing is you
don’t rush it but you want to get it done just because it can start to skin
over and I could just make a mess yeah as I said we had a few little ooops here as we were
peeling the tape because the end of the tape would have some silicone here and
there but like it’s their tiny little things that the razor the acitone is just
clear right off no problem if again your finger dragging or whatever is leaving a
little bit of excess on the side that didn’t get taken away and you don’t like
the look necessarily I mean you’d like it a little bit cleaner in this case
most of it ended up on the bottom layer so it’s your choice don’t even or not
it’s not gonna hurt the seam. It’s just going to be buried under the substrate anyway so if
you want to go for that absolute solid clean look once it’s all cured and dried
just take that razor blade to it again and just cut your line and get it
nice and clean and nice and professional so I mean if like in our case like I said
it happened below the substrate but if it happened for you while you’re doing
your sides where it’s visible let it set take your razor clean it looks beautiful.
yeah so what we’re gonna do now is wait 24 to 48 hours and then we’re going to
stress test the tank so we’re gonna fill it up starting really slowly and we’ll
get that next step on the video yeah the best way to know for sure if the 24 to
48 you’re not sure is do the nose test and it still really smells that vinegar
smell it’s not dry it’s not dry just give it a little bit longer to cure but
yeah 24 48 should be good if you didn’t glob in in there. so awesome.
so now that this is completely done we’ve stress test the tank for a good 24
hours and what we’ve also done is drained and emptied it a few times now
we’ve got to remember that we use the acetone in the tank and this stuff here
is really toxic so we do want to make sure we get this all over the tank but
other than that this tank turned out awesome
silicon job turned out pretty good there’s a couple spots that if I wanted
to I could kind of fix it up just by taking a razor blade and kind of facing
up the seats but since most of it is really down below where my substrate is
going to be it’s not really important and I think it looks pretty good so I’m
definitely really happy with how this turned out and now we can get my fish
back in the tank so thank you guys very much for watching I hope this helps
somebody else and you guys have yourself a great day you

22 comments on “How to Reseal an Aquarium | Resealing Our 75 Gallon Fish Tank

  1. The Dynamic Duo, very well done guys and informative in the whole process with solid tips on the project to make it a successful DIY aquatic endeavor.

  2. Thanks guys. Cut, clean and re seals on a level surface are just as important as tank and filter maintenance for long term fish keepers. The real hard part is waiting for the silicone to dry before you refill it with water hehehe.

  3. great video the trouble is when i use silicone it finishes up my nose in my ears on the ceiling on the walls everywhere except where it's supposed to be lol

  4. I have a 90 gallon that's leaking at the joint between the bottom pane and the front/back pane. You can see the whiteness in the joint where the silicone that holds glass together indicating that the joint isn't bonded. Would you just reseal the inside corners or would a complete rebuild be needed? I feel like it should be a rebuild as the leaking joint remains a weak point and would risk a future blow out. Anyway of going about it without a complete rebuild?

  5. When the acetone dries is there a harmful residue? For some reason I was thinking that if it was completely dry I didn't have anything to worry about. Getting ready to do this on a 55.

  6. Have been lucky enough I've only had to do this a few times. I never taped. Found if you just used a steady hand, it was neat enough. Also found it so much easier to just use my finger as well. The biggest lesson I learned was really give it time to cure. I got impatient once, and it did not go well lol. Great vid

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