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Old 12-03-2012, 01:03 PM   #1
hXcChic22
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Default What can I do about a leaking trim?

Our 40 breeder seems to have a leak in the trim around the top of the tank.

We noticed the last time we filled it up. There was a very slow drip drip that would come down the outside from the trim on the right side. We determined it is definitely from the trim, because when we push on it, more drips come out. So since then, we took some water out and are keeping the levels down so the water does not come to the bottom of the trim. There seems to still be a few drips from condensation, but it's much better now that the level is down.

Is there anything we can use to seal the trim while there is still water in the tank, if we keep the level down so it can dry best as possible? Breaking the tank down to dry out is not an option because it's our heaviest stocked and planted tank.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
emc7
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The plastic trim at the top of tanks is U-Shaped over the glass and stuck on with a sealant. If the sealant has a gap, water that touches the bottom of the trim on the inside anywhere, even sporadically, can creep via capillary action through the gap and slowly drip from the lowest point in the trim down the outside of the tank, making a white line if you have hard water.

I guess my point is that the gap may not be where the drip is.

The right fix it to pop the trim off all the way around, scrape the old sealant off the glass and out of the gap and put the new bead in and put it back on. I wouldn't try this in a tank full of fish, but I have heard of people who've done it. There are 2 risks for this. If the trim includes a center brace, the sides of the tank may bow out when trim is removed. The fix is a big clamp, like a framing clamp or pipe clamp to hold the tank together. The other risk is the sealant chemistry. Most sealants outgas acetic acid as they cure, which if it gets in the water (and it can through the air its very volatile) can drop your pH drastically.

The lazy fix is to put a bead of sealant all the way around the trim while its on the tank. Inside is better because you don't want a pocket of uncleanable water under the trim and it would be ugly outside. Again the risks are from chemistry. You can blow a fan to drive off the acetic acid and let it sit for a week and buffer the tank or rub a baking soda paste on the sealant and wipe it off, something like that. Or you can look for a safer sealant. There are some expensive products on SW side that even cure underwater.

Good luck. I guess the alternative is sticking disposable diapers to the tank until your next breakdown.

Only one tank every gave me a pH problem after filling. It was brand new from glasscages, I picked it up, took it home and filled it and didn't rinse, nor test pH until the first fish didn't look so good. My water here is very soft, it doesn't take much to shove it down and it was all joints, not just top trim. And this was before I learned to buffer every tank.

Point is, that pH risk is small but real. Plan for it and you can manage it.

Last edited by emc7; 12-03-2012 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:26 PM   #3
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drop the water level a few inches....dry the seam.....wipe the area clean....then push some silicone sealer up under the area where it leaks ..
i don't think it is actually the trim that is leaking but probably the top little bit of the seam...very often the water will travel along the trim and appear to be coming out there...
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:10 AM   #4
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and dont forget to use aquarium sealer
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, everyone!
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Tanks:

40 breeder - tons of Loaches, White Cloud Minnows, Clown Pleco
10 community - Kuhli loaches, feeder Guppies, pond snails
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