Aquarium Leaks

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Conducting Unscientific Poll - Have You Every Had A Tank Leak, If So, Was it Preventable?


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PeterC99

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Been reading a few threads about people that had tank leaks. Wondering how often they occur in our hobby? Also wondering if many of those leaks could have been prevented?

Know that this is an unscientific poll and May get more responses from people that had a leak experience.

Appreciate your responses and any advice about leak prevention.
 

Onewolf

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I have only had one (freshwater) tank leak. It was a slow drip drip leak, but it happened while I was out of town on vacation. The person who was pet sitting put a 5 gallon bucket under the drip which had to be emptied about twice/day. I returned home several days early to resolve the situation.
 

Gtinnel

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I had a cheap rimmed 55g tank leak many years ago but it wasn't a bad leak it just kinda seeped water from around the bottom rim.

It was just a basic freshwater tank at the time so I just emptied it and smeared a bunch of silicone over the existing (like you're not supposed to do and it stopped leaking).
 

nereefpat

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My 90 gallon eventually leaked out the bottom seam. I attribute it to my moving so many times. I moved it 4 times in college (would not recommend), and once to a different state and then back. It went up and down stairs, and rode in my truck, etc. I left sand and some water in the bottom every time I moved it too, which maybe didn't help.
 

JPM San Diego

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Worst day ever....
My wife and I were all packed for our trip to Fiji. We were doing a few chores while waiting for our shuttle to the airport. That's when I noticed the leak about midway down one seam of our 40 gallon reef tank. Panic!
I quickly siphoned a little over half the tank into a clean trash can. I smeared silicone over the leaking seam and hung a hair dryer, dangling over the water, blowing on the silicone. NOT recommended for the faint of heart. I put a pump in the trash can with a hose leading back into the tank.
The sump was connected with an overflow box that required resetting the siphon after it was stopped.
Being a doctor with access to IV equipment I had attached a saline lock to the siphon tubes. I could use a syringe to suck out the air and start the siphon.
I ran to our 70 neighbor, who didn't have a clue about aquariums, and gave him my key, a crash course on checking when silicone was dry, advice to remove the hair dryer, and how to pump the water back into the tank.
Finally, I explained how to restart the siphon.
The shuttle bus arrived and with a prayer we headed out.
About 17 hours later I was able to call back to Long Beach from a remote Fijian island.
(This occurred long before cell phones)
My neighbor had manage to refill the tank, but break the saline locks off both siphon hoses.
With duct tape and instructions on how to fish air tubing up into a siphon tube to suck out the air, he managed to restart the system.
Fiji was great and the best day ever was returning home to find no casualties.
 

outhouse

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210 sold to me buy some lying sack of crap, it leaked lol 7 dollars worth of silicone later its sealed up. Had a busted bubble in silicone, and I should have sealed it before sand and filling, but I was told it didnt leak. Anyway its been holding for a decade now, lesson learned. If you see anything peculiar, address it.
 

rhostam

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New build. Few drops every few hours. Didn’t tighten the unions well enough. Thankfully, I was able to get enough access for the few more turns they required. I had just filled with rock and water. Did a leak test of the tank (verdure moving upstairs), but not overflow and plumbing to sump. I’m so glad it worked out but it could have gotten ugly fast.
 

Lateral72

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Marineland 200DD leaked from the bottom seal. Known defect in manufacturing, though tank was like 5-6 years old at that point.

Spent 8+ hours tearing a well stocked 200 reef tank down into two 40 gals, and some rock into rubbermaids. Was horrible.

Spectrum/Marineland refunded purchase price and some extra coral losses. Though by the time I had reset up, we'd lost 90% of our coral.
 

Foneman02

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Had 2 tank leaks. One about 35 years ago. Setting up tank in new house I just moved into and while taking a break to eat lunch heard a pop. The 120 I just filled cracked down the middle of the bottom. Water everywhere ruined brand new rug. Emptied tank repaired bottom pane with crazy glue and siliconed plexiglass over the width and length of tank. Held for 7 years. Second leak was with another used 120. It started leaking after 2 years. Emptied tank had fish and corals on kitchen floor in bins for 2 weeks. Re siliconed all seams and have been using tank for over 10 years.
 

dbowman5

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I had a 40 gal FW tank that cracked on the front side. The stand was on shag carpet. i think the boys were chasing the labradors through the house. there may have been contact, there may have just been house shaking. I abandoned fish keeping for about 10 years. Recently i was given some tanks that i set up as ATO reservoirs. one had visible damage on the bottom but looked as if it had been repaired. Not true, i may flex seal that one. Another looked ok but leaked at bottom seal i emptied that one and re-siliconed it. otherwise i have been fortunate and foresighted. no carpet, level stands, leak test with tap water. no labradors. cross fingers.
 

Rjramos

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65 gal that I had replaced the silicone bead on the inside 5 years prior leaked back in 2018. Preventable because, I learned that’s not a good repair. Should have disassembled the tank and put it back together again. Replacing the inside bead alone can be the cause of the leak itself.
 
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PeterC99

PeterC99

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My 75 Gal. started leaking a few months ago right on the seam, gave it to my Fed-Ex driver for a new home for his sons turtle.
Great story of repurposing!
 
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