Bad News


Team Liquid Force
When I was doing a water change in my sump, I realized I have a leak were the supply and return go through the aquarium. I think we made the mistake of using silicone between the rubber bushing and the aquarium where the tubes go through the tank. I am going to have to tear my whole tank down to fix it. I am really bumbed concidering I just got my tank looking decent.

Has anyone else had any experience with leaks, and what did you do? Is there anyway around this so I don't have to tear my tank apart?

And maybe to make me feel better, please share some of your big troubles that you had with your aquarium.
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When we first set up our 120, we bought a ProClear wet-dry. all was well, except we put the rubber gasket inside the sump instead of on the outside. That, coupled with the fact that our kit came with a factory defect (tubing was glued badly) and our first 120 became a leaky mess. We were topping off a gallon per day.

We told our LFS about it and he honored the warranty because of the bad glue job. Problem was that he wanted to send in the old unit, then order the new one!

He ended up ordering it for us and swapping it out, but what a pain.

Lesson: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, and make sure what's in the box looks the same as the picture. :twocents:
Man that sux.
depending on where the bulk heads come through the glass,you may not have to break it all down.If there fairly high,with in the first quarter or so you could just drain the water down below the bulkheads to fix it.Or possibly dry it enough to silicone around the outside of it.
I was running a canister filter with out the media in for extra flow and a place to put phos-ban.Woke up one morning and looked at my tank to see that my 55gal was half empty.When I got to looking for the leak,it was coming from the gasget on the canister and had pumped about 20 gallons of salt water in the floor.
Hope its not to much of a problem to fix your leak.
One other question, for those with a drilled tank. Where the bulkheads fasten to the aquarium did you just use the rubber seals or did you also use silicone.
My tanks not drilled,the rubber seals should be all you need to seal it.Thats what there for.I dont think it would hurt anything to put a small bead of silicone around the outside edge after you get the rubber seal in place.
I have a bottom drill with built in overflows. The bulk head rubber bushing is on the inside of the tank and the nut is on the outside or bottom. I spread a small amount of silicone on the glass bottom and then set the bulk head and tighten down. This should not be a problem for you. Leaks are crated for two reasons, not tight enough or overtightened. I am not familiar with your setup. do you have over flows. if so you can stop the return and drain down the overflow chamber, then a fix for the leaking bulkhead can be done, otherwise im not familiar with your system setup. I dont understand why you would have to tear the whole thing down.
I do have a overflow chamber and yes I could just drain down the water in the overflow and fix it. But there is one problem. We used ALOT of aquarium silicone and pvc glue when putting everything together and with the limited space we have to work with, it is almost impossible to get the bulkheads off. And concidering we used glue, I don't think we are going to be able to get them off period, without breaking the tank. I honestly think the tank is shot. We will determine this tommarow.
Well, I am going to need to buy a new tank. We can't get the nut off of the bulk head. (note to self, never use pvc glue on the bulkheads). Yes, we could use more silicone to try to fix the leak, but the chances of it leaking again are high, and I like things done the right way. This sucks, but I guess we live and learn.
Man I hate that Salty.Is there any way you can cut the nut off the bulkhead?If there is,it would cost alot less to replace the bulkhead than the whole tank.
There might be a way to cut the nut off with a dremel, but all of the other parts are pvc glued together, it would be a pain in the ass. It honestly will give me a better piece of mind having a new tank and knowing everthing will be put together properly and didn't have to be hacked at. Besides, I can get a new tank for cheap.
Take the nut off the bottom of the bulkhead under the tank, fill up the portion of the hole with silicone and be liberal around the threaded part. screw the nut back on and sung up squezzing out the excess silicone. use finger or q-tip and smooth out the excess around the nut. let set up for couple hours or over night and see if that will not corredt the problem. The area must be dry when applying the silicone. good luck.
If your bulkheads are on a predrilled tank with overflow towers just drop the water level down below your inlets to the tower. If your lucky there are only top inlets to your towers. Use a hack saw blade (and just the blade) laid up against the glass under the tank and cut through the whole bulkhead nut and bulkhead right next to the glass. It will start out slow but then go faster. Only shallow surface scratches wii occur on the glass but you can fairly easily cut through the entire bulkhead. No, the surface scatches will not cause any huge structural problems. The surest and easiest method I have found to install bulkhead gaskets is to apply a small amount of plumbers silicone to gasket and then use teflon tape or if you insist, I do not, use a single bead of silicone salastic (caulking) around your bulkhead threads about a 1/4" from your outer wall of tank, sump or container. Yes the silicone plumbers lubricant is safe.
I have read before that silicone is a bad idea for bulkheads. I think it was on the site I sat down and red where the guy built like a 500 gallon aquarium in his basement out of fiberglass. He used silicone on the bulkheads and had to redo it, and said never do it because it makes it worse. Just the rubber gasket is plenty if you tighten it enough. Hey, if you want to get rid of that tank... id put the time in to fix it. Dont know what I'd drive to come get it... If not where do you get new tanks for cheap? I was drooling over all the big tanks I saw yesterday. Good luck if you try and fix it, otherwise id drive my ass over to north dakota and get it... maybe with a U-Haul on the back of the bimmer? lol.
my buddy had a problem with a leak at a bulk head and used some sort of puddy around it and stopped the leak not sure what it was but it worked, maybe if some knows about this stuff they can help you out with it.
Never put silicone on the bulkheads. It will fail eventually. Just use the rubber gaskets that came with it and you will be good. Make sure the gasket in on the inside part of the tank.. The bulkhead nut should be on the dry side..
The putty your talking about could be plumbers putty. The "newer" plumbers putty is an epoxy putty ie: glue, as in two part epoxies, like the two part epoxy sticks used by some in gluing frags to plugs in coral propagation or for gluing plugs to rocks as it can be used "underwater." Used underwater means yep used in wet environment hince with leaks. Old style plumbers putty was/is closer to a latex type putty (or caulking), definitely would be temporary if it even worked at all. Two part epoxies are often used by novices for plumbing repairs, and by professional plumbers doing "cheap" temporary repairs. Expect to discard items at a later date though as two part epoxies are considered very permanent and will stick to almost anything. Highway departments even use them to repair broken concrete bridge beams.
Knowledge is golden. The same problems seldom happen to just one person. If the thread remain then apparently someone still acn use some opinions And on, and on, and on. Finance manager isn't that like a soft sciencr e or something?