General Aquarium Life Expectancy...and Could Someone Please Tell Me Why This Keeps Happening to our Tanks?

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dudley

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I'm so sorry to hear about your loss; I suppose you can understand what I'm going through then.

What lead to the issues between you guys?

Originally I think it was my choice in a particular boyfriend he hated but then we had an argument about something stupid I can't even remember and he stopped talking to me when I visited them. He had heart health issues later in life, a couple bypass surgeries, then Parkinson's and then more heart issues at the end. Granted I wasn't around a lot because I worked a lot of hours and had my own life but didn't try to make amends until a year or two before he passed but was still ill.

Sorry we got off topic here! 🙁
 

Kaskade10729

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Originally I think it was my choice in a particular boyfriend he hated but then we had an argument about something stupid I can't even remember and he stopped talking to me when I visited them. He had heart health issues later in life, a couple bypass surgeries, then Parkinson's and then more heart issues at the end. Granted I wasn't around a lot because I worked a lot of hours and had my own life but didn't try to make amends until a year or two before he passed but was still ill.

Sorry we got off topic here! 🙁
I'm so sorry to hear that -- and it's okay for getting off topic....I'm the one who wanted to talk about it, and I appreciate it!

The situation with my mom is similar -- she didn't get along with my wife from the very beginning, and already some dementia issues were creeping in (we had already lost my dad back in 2006). So we became estranged to the point I just didn't talk to her because I couldn't deal with her behavior every time she was over our house; it ended up being that a cousin of mine living in Seattle was given power of attorney for her, making all decisions about her heathcare and even going on to sell her house. I didn't take care of any of that.

We weren't speaking for a good 10 years, and I found out about her passing through other cousins who couldn't believe what happened.
 

Kaskade10729

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Okay Fishorama,

As always, thank you very much for your reply; sorry, again, for the delay in responding -- I got some very bad news about a parent after I posted my original questions and had to deal with that, emotionally...

Darn! 10 years seems kind of a short time but seals don't last forever. You can reseal it...not super hard, prep is all...
Yeah, we're not trusting ourselves to seal this tank; besides, it has already been taken outside by some handymen we hired who came today to move it outside (along with some other stuff we needed them to do around the house). Ironically, within minutes of being in front of our house, some lady stopped by and asked if she could have the tank to house her bearded dragon, as she has been looking in Craigslist for a suitable aquarium...

They're supposed to come back later tonight, her and the husband or her and the son.

You say seals don't last forever -- but how long SHOULD they last, on average? I mean, will EVERY tank eventually leak and crack? What is the point of this hobby if we have to keep going through this?

A standard 75g is 48 x 18 x 20 high, is the possible new 1 different? It's my favorite tank size & shape. You should make it as level as you can using shims under the stand, not under the tank. I've had tanks not perfectly level in 1 direction (either side to side or front to back) & they were ok up to ~1/4 inch off or so. Do the best you can, use a level.
Yes, we like the footprint of the 75 and the fact that it's deeper rather than taller -- a big issue we had with the previous Marineland 60 we just lost. As for leveling it, yes, we know about the shims; we are planning on getting the handymen guys back to install the next one we buy, and they will ensure it is level...we are even going to have them put the tank first on our first floor to do a 48-hour leak test and then come back to move it upstairs to our loft, where it belongs.

Is the tank on carpet? That can compact in time with the weight & often padding doesn't go all the way to the wall.
Yes, it is on carpet; we were able to tell there was a forward lean when we set it up, and it didn't look too safe being that the tank was super-tall. But I never drained it to fix the lean. I couldn't see how this could rupture seals though; I mean, just from leaning forward a little the water could cause a failure in the glass ON BOTTOM?

That being said, are you suggesting we CANNOT install a tank on carpet? At all? I believe our padding goes all the way to the wall, because this was the exact same spot where our previous tank was that sprung a crack in back and leaked, taking out the room it was in and the living room below -- the contractors put new carpet in and we even had another handyman contractor we were friendly with come by and reinforce that area beneath the tank when the living room ceiling was open and being worked on. He guaranteed us the ceiling could hold the weight of water from these tanks, no problem.

Too heavy tanks don't really fall through the floor, it's more a gradual sag. Try to have the tank span 2 floor supports if you can tell. Most are 16inches on center, very old house may not be. Near a wall is much better than over "open space" below. There should be wall support in the basement or crawlspace if you have 1. I don't think I go with any tank larger than a 55g or maybe 75g at most without knowing...
We are DEFINITELY not going with a tank any bigger than the 75. That is GUARANTEED. And the tank is DEFINITELY not in the middle of the room; it is against a wall (with enough room for filters and hoses and all that).

Some people put styrofoam between the tank & stand in case of imperfections (the "pink" insulation slab kind from a hardware/big box store, it can be painted I believe). More of an issue with rimless tanks that the entire bottom sits on the solid top stand. Rimmed tanks sit on the rim running around the outer edges so stands often only have wood or metal where the tank touches. An obvious burr or other imperfection could matter, I've never seen that. Run your hand along to feel for that.
I've seen the syrofoam you're talking about -- but I have also heard/read that this isn't necessary, at least with the rimmed tanks. Here's the thing, though: I was considering using that "egg crate" stuff to put between the bottom of the tank and the substrate to protect the bottom glass from scratching (when our decor or gravel is moved around)...do you know anything about that stuff? I know it's used more in Chichlid tanks due to the heavy rock work, but our decor will just be comprised of gravel, plants and a large two-piece sunken pirate ship decoration.

We are also considering going with an ACRYLIC tank this time around rather than a glass one, due to our worries about shattering and leaking, but I will address this later on...

As for why you first tank cracked, I don't know. I've never had that happen (knock wood). Tank bottoms are often tempered glass but not the sides. With heavy rockwork (like for African cichlids), people often use lighting "egg crate" diffuser grid under the substrate to keep any pointy bits from contacting the glass & possibly causing cracks...Could that be a problem with your ship decoration? I'd think it very less likely...I have "very lightly" clunked tank glass with rocks...OMG! I was worried at the moment, but no issue.
Whoops -- realized afterwards that you answered my questions about those "egg crate" pads. Sorry.

Our first tank cracking, I was advised, was due to me taking scalding hot water and then cold water concurrently to clean it when it was empty after our goldfish came down with a bacterial infection; someone advised me that the extreme temperature changes with the water during the cleaning could have weakened the seals. That tank cracked down the back and caused flooding into our living room below, and our house needed to be redone in certain areas. It was a certifiable NIGHTMARE.

But here we are again, with a SECOND leaking tank -- both different brands -- and I don't know if it's the floor they're on, something we're doing during maintenance or just bad luck.

Before we set up the 60 gallon Marineland this last time for our two goldfish, the tank was sitting dry and dormant for quite awhile....it was suggested to me that the seals may have dried up and became brittle, weakening the glass....but the leak this time was slow and from the BOTTOM.

As for seal failure, it happens. If you use a razor blade to remove algae & dig into the silicone it could be bad. Just algae growing under the seal can eventually weaken it. & sometimes there's a thin siliconed area that may fail sooner than more robust seals. Look for bubbles in the seals, those are weaker places.
We never used razor blades to remove algae (only a soft brush/pad designed to reach into the tank on a stick) and I never noticed it under the seals.
 

Kaskade10729

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Thanks Doug. Appreciate the input.

The tank/stand not being level may well have been a factor, especially for a decade.

I would also make sure the tank is against a load bearing wall, perpendicular to the floor joists.
I'm not sure if it's against a load-bearing wall; the wall it's on is one that sits between our loft area (where the tank is situated) and our master bedroom. Below is the living room of the home. This is on a second floor.

Why would a slight lean forward, though, cause a failure/leak at the BOTTOM of the aquarium, where the water was obviously forming?

It can depend on decor in your aquarium if it's the glass breaking if it falls or leans against it.
Well, the heaviest decor we had in there were two large ship pieces, but we had to routinely move them around to get them to stay in the gravel, and this caused some scratching at the bottom of the tank -- still, I wouldn't think this would cut a scratch big enough to cause a LEAK.

These are the pieces we had in there:

1631224091652.png

But they were kind of "buried" in the gravel...

Overall it really depends, assuming your fish aren't picking at the silicone or something.
I never really saw the goldfish picking at the silicone, at least to the point it would loosen it....besides, again, the leak came from UNDERNEATH.

I would maybe consider a deeper rather than taller tank, a 75 would give you more volume in a tank that's not as tall.
Yes, we are considering this setup:

1631224189533.png

It's a Marineland 75 ensemble (my wife really likes the stand, and it looks like it's built well). The only thing I don't like is the glass canopies (I would much rather have a hood with the lights beneath) and the hidden LED light strips that look cheap and kind of "clip" into the back rim of the tank.

We would appreciate that this tank would be LOWER and DEEPER so we could actually perform maintenance on it without it being so damn high....but we are so worried of another crack and leak, especially with a bigger tank that is holding MORE water being that we went through TWO leaks already. We truly don't know what to do here.

Make sure you move your old filter with the fish, that is where a lot of the bacteria will reside that you need, it in the water necessarily.. and test the water too
I was going to ask about this in a separate post at the end of this thread -- since you brought it up, let me ask you: When we transferred the two fish into a 29 gallon Aqueon kit we picked up recently (so they could be housed while we drained and got rid of the broken 60), I installed the Aqueon QuietFlow 20 filter onto the 29 and transferred a media cartridge from the old tank that was already covered in bacteria and colonized. This seems to have helped stop any shock the fish could have gone into (we also transferred all the water for the 29 from the old tank, so they were already comfortable in their old established water).

What do I do when setting up the new tank? The media from the two HOBs we were running on the old tank -- an Aqueon QuietFlow 75 LED PRO and an AquaClear 110 -- are pretty much all dried up already from being out of water for so long....so what should I do? Would I have to begin all over again with new media that would have to be colonized? I'm sure the bacteria are dead on the old foam block and bio rings...

Finally when checking for level-ness check the stand, but check the top of the aquarium once full with water, and occasionally over time too, just in case.
Good points; I was thinking the guys would just have to make sure the stand is level BEFORE water goes in -- but I may have them come back once it's set up.

Glad you managed to catch it though!
You're telling me; I thought we were going to have to have our house reconstructed again....I mean, how many times can this happen to one couple just trying to keep fish?
 

Kaskade10729

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And... Be sure to get a stand that is made from solid wood, not pressboard or MDF. They are more likely to better support the aquarium, and not buckle under weight over time.
It seems like the ensemble we're considering, seen HERE:

1631224826188.png

is made pretty well....
 

Kaskade10729

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Just to add to the above. In the past 10yrs, I've lost two tanks catastrophically and both tanks happened to be from Marineland (United Pet Group). Both tanks were under a year old and in use for less than that. Each was placed flat and level on stands specifically designed for their size.

The first was a 29gal that cracked across the back. The second was a 55gal that began spewing water from the bottom perimeter seal. Both times I was home at the time fortunately, but the 55 happened some time in the very early morning hours and leaked a good 20gal or more onto the floor, which ran down into the basement.

Based on my observations and experience, the glass and frames on united pet group made tanks up to ~75gal is thinner and lighter than that of central garden and pet made tanks (Aqueon, All-glass, etc..) To me, thinner glass and cheaper materials is the problem.
Thanks Freshy...

This is disheartening for one reason: Everything I read seems to point to the opposite. Almost every Aqueon owner seems to report cracked/leaking tanks....Marineland seems to have gone to **** more recently.

We're really not sure what to do; right now, we have the fish in an Aqueon 29 gallon (part of a kit we got in an emergency) and they seem to be doing okay, but transferring them to a new bigger aquarium is going to be a challenge all in of itself because we're starting all over again with unstable water....:mad::mad::mad::mad:
 

Kaskade10729

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Okay, so since I just replied to everyone who graciously responded in this thread, let me pose what haunts us next:

What are we supposed to do when we get the new bigger tank to replace the 60 gallon we just lost? The fish are currently in an Aqueon 29 gallon (part of a kit we picked up in an emergency so they had somewhere to go), and we made sure to use their old water from the broken tank so they wouldn't go into shock. Now the old tank has been broken down and removed from the house, and we have to decide on a new one.

In the old aquarium, we were running two HOBs: An Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO 75 and AquaClear 110, but the media from those filters are probably dried out, the bacteria inside of them most likely dead now. The only media that is alive and working is one floss cartridge from the old Aqueon I put inside the little QuietFlow 20 that's on the 29 that the fish are in now -- I figured this would at least save some of the BB colony and help with the fish being in the new tank. So far, it has because they're doing fine.

But what happens now? When we get the new tank, do we fill that up with tap water and go through the whole stabilizing period again? I used Seachem Stability in the past with success, but do I have to go through that again with the new setup? What about moving the water from the 29 gallon they're in now, which is cycled and stable, into the new tank (probably the 75) and then filling the rest of it with treated (with Prime) fresh water? How would this even work?

And then what about the filters? As I said, the media inside both the Aqueon 75 and AquaClear 110 must be dried up by now, so the bacteria is probably dead....what do I do about media?
 

Kaskade10729

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Then, there's the issue of what material to choose from next -- we were seriously considering going with an ACRYLIC tank rather than glass, being that we had two glass tanks that leaked on us back to back (the first worse than the second, obviously), but these are expensive and we'd have to save up some more money for one. Also, I don't know anything about acrylic tanks; do they make lids/hoods that fit as well as on glass tanks? Are they truly shatter/crack-proof? Can HOBs be hung on them as easily as on glass tanks? I know they scratch easily, but outside of that, what would be the downside of going acrylic?
 

dudley

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I'll comment regarding tanks placed on carpeting. I have 8 aquariums in my basement with a cement floor and carpeting on top of it. There is a tack strip that runs around the floor of the room an inch or so away from the baseboard and my tank stands are located approx. 3" away from the baseboard so they do NOT set on the tack strip.

When we set the tanks up on the stands, we checked with a level to be sure they were plumb and level, front to back AND side to side. Filled them with water halfway and checked plumb and level again. We experienced no change and so then filled the tanks fully with water and they are still plumb and level to this day.

One tank is a 220G Perfecto (now Marineland) purchased new in 2004? and a 75G Perfecto purchased in 2003. Both tanks have or had a large amount of rocks, probably 100 lbs each which was never a problem because the tanks are able to support the weight though they do hold less water due to displacement.

I can't comment on how tanks by any company are manufactured today as I haven't purchased a new tank in years but did notice the $1 per gallon tank sales at Petco use much thinner glass or seem poorly constructed as I was buying tanks for our local club and many of the 10G tanks had small cracks or leaked when the club member took them home.
 
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FreshyFresh

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I'd avoid that Marineland kit. The stands look great in the advertisement pics, but tend to be stapled together MDF board and be very cheaply made. Worst case I'd watch for Aqueon $1/gal sales. Pet Supplies Plus is running a tank sale, but it's not quite $1/gal. 55gal are ~$89.

I have had great luck with Aquatic Fundamentals tank stands which are MDF that you assemble and titan eze metal stands that pop together in seconds. I've had both in service since ~2012.
 
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