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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I recently setup my first 55 gal tank for malawi mbuna cichlids. I got all the sand and rock in and the tank started to leak. I think I want to reseal it and have found some articles online.

On my tank the problem is the bottom seal and the black trim around the bottom is loose. So I think I will have to remove this. (correct me if I am wrong)

My question is when I remove the old silicone, how to I hold all 5 pieces of glass together to reseal the tank especially for long enough for it to cure?

Can someone give me some step by step instructions on how to do this. I would hate to fix it and then end up with water all over my floor again!

Jared
 

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I have never had to do this but using tape or some type of straps might work to keep the glass in place. You could also try bungee cords, but I would be careful with those becuase too much pressure could be a problem.
 

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I'm no expert on this, but I don't think you need to remove the silicon between the panes of glass. Scrape out the silicone on the inside part of the seams so you have two clean, smooth surfaces of glass to work with. Unless you have a serious defect in the silicon holding the panes of glass together, you can leave those alone.

The trim is siliconed to the bottom edge of the tank. If I were you (and someone smarter than me can overrule me on this), I would probably remove the old trim, make sure it's still in good shape, and reattach it. AFAIK, the trim has little to do with the actual sealing of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With my tank and stand the trim of the tank rests on the frame of the stand. There is also a bottom middle brace piece attached to the trim, but this is not in contact with the middle brace on the stand. Should it be? Could this be why the bottom seal broke? I have also read in the forums that the bottom brace piece is completely unnecessary and can even be used to repair top trim.

Just wondering if my stand/tank contact is the issue.
 

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CUBLUEJAY said:
With my tank and stand the trim of the tank rests on the frame of the stand. There is also a bottom middle brace piece attached to the trim, but this is not in contact with the middle brace on the stand. Should it be? Could this be why the bottom seal broke? I have also read in the forums that the bottom brace piece is completely unnecessary and can even be used to repair top trim.

Just wondering if my stand/tank contact is the issue.
No need for the middle brace to be in contact. The weight of the tank is carried by the outside edges of the tank, the bottom of the tank likely "floats" between the walls and is held entirely by silicone. You likely have a bottom brace in the middle because the top and bottom trim are identical and interchangeable.

I'm rehabbing an aquarium right now, and am going to put the trim back on the bottom. It helps protect the glass from nicks, and it just makes me feel better :lol: I have also read that it's completely unnecessary, but I lack the cojones to find out for sure. HTH
 

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If the tank is structurally good, you can get away with removing the inner bed and leaving the silicone between the panes.

The black thingies supposed to be knifes :) First cut all the way to the glass side, Then carefully Cut awat the trim pulling it away as you go, but leaving the seal between the glass panes intact. The use a razor blade to scrape off any left silicone and apply a new bed (green).
 

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trigger said:
In the US there is a tool that you can buy with plastic chisel style blades that scoops out the part of the seal you showed in your picture without as much chance of nicking the seal between the glass panes. The CAULK DEVIL® Caulk Smoother & Remover reaches into the corners much better than any other tool I've tried except a single edge razor blade which is much more tedious to use. Also doubles as a bead smoother for the new seal. Another excellent tool by Red Devil is their WINDO-ZIPPER® Window Opener which is great for removing balky plastic tank frames. Just try not to cut through the frame from the inside if you will be reusing it. If you are discarding it, the zipper will slash it quickly into easily removed strips.
 
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