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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just notice that my empty acrylic tank on the patio, one one side of the seems on the top panel the color did not look as clear as the others, it was looking kind of dry like if was sanded, i put my mouth and try to make pressure with air and i notice i was going truth, next thing i did was to push saliva with the mouth and i notice that the saliva wet the seem from side to side, so that means that the seem in that spot is toast or gone you name it.

i have never fill with water this tank, i knew was a possibility it may leak, but this thing i am sure must be a way to solve it. is there a way to inject the seem so it will glue back.

Or this is something that when it happens you are done with the tank?
i bought this tank used, i had it for a year, i was getting ready to start it, any suggestions?
 

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clean it really well with rubbing alcohol. then get some acrylic solvent and an applicator (syringe). Then inject the solvent into the crack, but be careful to only get it on the seam. You will have to clamp it together until it dries. Once dry it should be fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the tank is 8 foot long and 1 inch thick, i do have that problem only on 3 foot on the top, there is no way to lift the acrylic and clean it up, i guess i can inyect alcohol with a syringe as much as i can and let it dry and then inyect the acrylic solvent. is there a particular brand of the acrylic solvent to be used or just ask for it like that at store?
 

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It's going to be very difficult to get those surfaces clean enough for the acrylic solvent to work. You may make it worse by trying. Theoretically, it could work, but not sure if it's practical. I also believe the solvent would inevitably run down the side of the tank, ruining the surface. It's like water. If applied extremely carefully, you could get to draw inside the seam without running down the side, but difficult to do. If you flipped the tank so the joint was facing down and set the tank up on something, might work. The solvent is drawn into the seam through capillary action. You don't have to get an applicator into the seam. Typically you use a syringe type of injector or bottle with a syringe type needed. See here. I like the bottle type myself. Only problem with this is it's working against gravity. I have seen solvent run up hill for a couple of inches though via capillary action. After applying the solvent and waiting about 40 seconds, you'd have to again turn the tank to apply pressure to the joint. I know it sounds involved and if you've not worked with acrylic welding, I wouldn't recommend this. If the seam was not real clean and smooth, this would not work well.

Just occurred to me that if you did this with the tank on it's top, you could eliminate the problem of solvent running down the side. It may still run to the top, but if this is not seen, it won't matter. You can also test this out by using water instead of solvent. You'll see how it's going to run into the joint and you can practice with it. You just have to dry it out real well before the real thing.

If the seam is not going to be seen because it's going to be covered by a canopy, you can try another option.

Get a piece of acrylic square stock, maybe 3/8" or so to weld into the inside corner of the bad seam. First flip the tank on it's front or back. If you can set it up on saw horses or something so you can flip it on it's top, even better. Apply a bit of weldon16, which is the thicker solvent that comes in a tube to the inside corner of the seam and then place the square stock in the corner. You'll need to press and hold it into place for a minute or two, and that's why it's best to flip the tank on it's top. You can set up some sort of weighting. Don't press so hard that the solvent all squirts out. You have to be very careful here as well because any surface the solvent touches, it'll deface it. The nice thing about this approach is that you can thoroughly clean the inside corner and then cover the surfaces that you want to protect with cardboard or poster board or something. Just cut some cardboard to fit and cover the surfaces you want to protect while leaving about 1" of the corner exposed. The smaller the square stock the less noticeable it'll be. Since this is the top seam, this could work well. I wouldn't recommend this for any other seams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
prov, you seems to me like some one that really knows what is talking about,not like me :-? To flip over the tank is kind of difficult it weights empty like 800 pounds, right now is sitting on a metal stand so in other to make pressure after applying the solvent i was thinking tigth it down with one of those come along straps, go under the metal stand and then on top of the surface to be fix and make it close the gap some more, after applying the solvent.
in another hand concerning to the solvent running down on the wall of the tank, i was thinking making like a cover so if it runs down it will do it on the cover (maybe plastic with tape)
Now if the seems was not real clean and smooth you are taking the way i am going to prepare the surface cleaning it with alcohol right? the surface looks rough and dry now, i bet one day was crispy and clear, we move this tank like a 2 hours ride to gettit to my S.A. then i got park for a year i was thinking maybe the sun or was like that when i bought it ,then i move it to mi house another 30 minutes ride,i think they get weak with this moves.
 

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If the seam edges are rough, you'll never get the solvent to flow into the joint. If the joint failed, it wasn't a good joint to begin with. If done properly, it's almost as one piece. Test it with water to see if it will flow, but I really doubt this will work at all. I'd say incredibly unlikely that you could get the edges prepped for re-welding. I think the water test will show you, (you can even do this with a small watercolor paint brush) but If what I'm picturing is accurate, there's no way that joint is ready or can be made ready to re-weld. Do you have a pic of this?

I'd go with the corner bar stock fix. If that's unsightly, you could add a piece of trim to hide it. It'd also hide the water line. If you're able to hide it, then go with the biggest square stock piece you can. Don't skimp. 1/2" to 3/4" maybe. It's a good idea whatever you do to get some scrap and test welding pieces together to get a feel for it before you do the real thing. You've got one shot to get it right. When it grabs, it holds tight. A good way to ruin a joint or bond is by fiddling with it too long after joining pieces. It's not unusual to take an hour to prep a joint that takes a minute or so to do.

If I had an 8' long tank, I'd be doing what I could to make it work. And you're right, if it's 8X2X2 and an inch thick it's just about 800#. Calculator What a beast! :eek: You gotta post a pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i found the "weld on 3" and "weld on 16" the #3 is water thin and #16 medium, are both fish safe? they said the #3 is more for seems and the #16 more to be used like chocking on the edges, but the said they do no assure is fish safe, what do you think?
 

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are both fish safe?
Fish safe meaning to use with fish in the tank? No. I wouldn't for lots of reasons. The fumes would be toxic to fish, I'd have to believe. Fish safe after curing? Yes, absolutely safe.

The solvent doesn't hang around, it evaporates. Before it does it 'melts' the acrylic a bit. When the two ends are joined, they cure into one. It's actual welding, not gluing. I believe, and I could be wrong, but I believe the thicker stuff is thicker because it has acrylic melted into it. I read where you can make your own thicker solvent by adding acrylic shavings to the thin, watery stuff. So anyway, what would be left after curing would be no more toxic to fish than the acrylic itself.

The thin stuff is for joints and the thicker would be used for things like adding the corner block, that's true.

There are DIY articles in the library section that talk about welding acrylic and you can also check my web site for info as well.

Do it yourself section

Buillding my acrylic tank
 

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Wow :eek: That's got to be 30-36" tall. No wonder it's 1" thick. Can you get a pic or pics of the bad seam? Even if you had to have it professionally repaired, it's worth it. You've got a very expensive tank there. The acrylic alone would run close to $3K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
i know it was a bleessing when i got it,that i coud not let it pass yes it is 1 inch thick,it is 96x36x48 i will get a pic tomorrow from the seam, i got into the tank today and if you push it up ward you can put a piece of paper on the gap, yes every sheet of acrylic will be 500 new
 

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What you can do to repair it is , take a strip of 1" and have it cut at either 1" square or cut at a 45degree angle. Put that in the corner and bond it useing weld on #16. It will work out :thumb: .
 

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fish-photo-train said:
i know it was a bleessing when i got it,that i coud not let it pass yes it is 1 inch thick,it is 96x36x48
What a great project! No wonder you didn't want to try flipping it over or standing it on its side...
I would try both, inject thin into the seam and let it wick into the gap as described by prov356, use your straps to clamp it as you mentioned ... then after it is cured glue some 1" stock over the repair as mentioned by JJU
I think your tape and plastic shield idea may be trouble though, hate to have them melted / glued to the side of your awesome tank!
Good luck! I'd offer to take it off your hands, but hate to think what the shipping charges would be :D
 
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