Fish Tank Rebuild

I’ve had a few issues with my Aquatlantis Fusion fish tank lately. As I mentioned back in February, the main brace that holds it together across the top of the tank had fallen off. I glued it back on, but as the tank had bowed a little there was quite a big (0.5-1cm) gap between the end of the bracing and the tank itself which I packed out as best I could with the sealant. It worked for a while but was slowly being stretched and falling away until once again the brace fell off last week.

It’s a bit of a strange design as there isn’t really anything for the bracing strip to attach to. It is simply bonded to the front and back of the tank with silicone. I’ve had to re-attach it though as it’s not safe without it, so this time I’ve tried to do a better job of it. Rather than fill the gap caused by the bowing with sealant I have created a temporary wooden bracing structure to pull the front and back of the tank together. I’ve constructed it with some long screws so that I can adjust it somewhat.

Wooden Brace

Wooden Brace

This means I was able to position the glass brace in place with sealant on either edge and then gradually (and very carefully) tighten the wooden brace until it pulled the front and back of the tank into the bracing strip, closing up the gap caused by the bowing. I was also able to use my wooden brace to construct a cradle to hold the bracing strip in place once it was where it was supposed to be.

Shoelace Cradle

Shoelace Cradle

I’ve made it sound a lot easier than it was as in reality there was a lot of messy sticky sealant to deal with that seemed to go everywhere except where I wanted it. It also required considerably more hands than I have as I had to hold the bracing strip in place with two hands, tighten the wooden brace with a third hand and tie the cradle to support the strip with a 4th and 5th hand. Needless to say the sealant is a bit of a mess. It will all be hidden by the hood though and I was going for functional rather than the aesthetic here. Somehow I managed it and then put an extra bead of silicone all the way around the joins as well. I then spent a while trying to clear up the excess sealant and adding a little more to the ends of the brace for good measure.

Messy Sealant

Messy Sealant

I’m not convinced that it will work particularly well as there still isn’t much holding the brace in place other than a thin strip of sealant. Once the tank is refilled I’m sure the weight of the water will be pushing the tank apart again and it will gradually stretch and finally break the sealant. I will however this time leave it for at least 48 hours for the sealant to fully cure. Probably more like 72 hours just to be on the safe side.

All of this was of course done with the tank partially drained.

Drained Tank

Drained Tank

The fish and plants are still in there but have very little water at the moment. I don’t want to leave them for too long like that as it also means that they have no heating or filtration at the moment. Hopefully they’ll just think that there was a sudden drought and their river has dried up somewhat. Hopefully there won’t be any issues when I come to refill it either. That will however be a careful process with fingers crossed that my reapir holds.

 

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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