Leaks are a nuisance, but it is not always necessary to empty the tank to do a repair. The tank should be given a chance to right its own leak. It will often do this provided the seepage is not too fast.
A leak rights itself when the suspended matter in the water clogs the fault through which the water is leaking. This process may take up to a week. To prevent a pool of water forming on the floor, attach a strip of newspaper to the underside of the tank just below the leak, this will absorb most of the water before it reaches the floor. When the paper becomes perfectly dry the leak is cured.
What To Do If Your Aquarium Is Leaking?
If, however, it does not stop within a week, the cement should be scraped out between the glass and the frame to a depth of approximately 1/4 in., a hack saw blade broken in half provides a handy tool for this purpose.
If bent back upon itself, the broken edge will have a slight curve that will act as a scoop. Remove the old cement about 1 1/2 in. to each side of the seepage. Next, thoroughly mix red lead with gold-size to a sticky paste. This should be forced down into the crevice with a hack saw blade, or any similar flat tool. When the paste is set, touch it up with paint to match the existing colour.
A really bad leak requires attention from the inside. The aquarium should be emptied and left to dry for at least a week to ensure removal of all the moisture in the cracks, then prop the tank at an angle of about 30° and run gold-size down the inside corners. A small fountain pen filler can be used to apply the gold-size. Do not attempt to use the tank until at least a week after this treatment.
A more convenient method is to use a proprietary sealing compound, supplied usually in a tube with a nozzle to make the application simpler. If you prefer this method, ensure that you use a sealer specially made for aquarium use. General type sealers may contain toxic chemicals which are harmful to the fish.
A cracked piece of glass cannot be successfully repaired, the whole pane should be carefully knocked out, old cement removed, and a new piece of glass inserted.
A spare aquarium should always be part of the aquarist’s equipment. We know it is a great temptation to use it on one pretext or another, but we advise you to keep it empty of fish so that in the event of an accident it is ready for immediate use.
Post Title: What To Do If Your Aquarium Is Leaking?