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Do-it-yourself aquarium repair at home

Transparent walls of the favorite container for domestic fish are not always able to give joy from the contemplation of their stormy life. There are cases where the owner is more concerned than happy. For example, when notices that the reservoir has leaked.

That’s when a dilemma arises: to repair the aquarium or just buy a new one. Naturally, if it was small, it is possible to replace the damaged capacity, but when it is a huge vessel, a replacement can cost a lot.

The weakest point of the aquarium are its joints.

The weakest point of the reservoir, if it is not a cast ultra-small aquarium with three fish, are its joints. They are capable of giving a flow that is very easy to detect, but not very easy to repair. This happens for several reasons:

  • Bad fat free. At the production plant, they could either forget to do it before gluing, or it could be done poorly, as a result of which the joints did not fit too tightly to each other and were not fastened firmly with silicone sealant.
  • The glass is cracked. Here, both the determination of the location of a leak and its elimination can be a real test, even for an experienced aquarist. This happens much less often, but knowing how to deal with it is still necessary, since you can wet things in the room because of the measures not taken in time.

When leaking along the seam in some cases, you can do a simple sizing outside. For the best result, you need to do everything carefully, remove the inhabitants, remove vegetation, disassemble the container and glue it, degreased well beforehand.

In addition, you need to really try to remove without residue all old glue, which can prevent the tight fit of all faces.

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In the second case, this is due to non-compliance with the rules for the operation of the reservoir. For example, the location near the heater or frequent blows to a place that gave a crack, with various objects.

In addition, chips that have appeared may indicate improper cleaning, in which the scraper made too much effort.

Any actions with an aquarium associated with the repair of its frame should be accompanied by steps that are aimed at preserving the lives of its inhabitants. Therefore, if the owner finally decided to do this, he would have to think about where to temporarily relocate them in order to ensure the most similar microflora.

So they can comfortably wait out the whole process and move back without loss.

For the temporary habitat of the aquarium fauna any vessel will fit at least approximately the same volume. Even banks will be enough for two or three small fish. The most important in this process is the transfer of soil from the bottom and the plants that grew in it.

They will be needed for the production of oxygen, since the temporary capacity will be a haven of fish for several days. It is not necessary to transplant the whole mass – only the amount that is evenly distributed on the bottom.

Before repairing an aquarium, you must temporarily relocate it to a suitable container of its inhabitants.

Further, all you need to do in this scenario:

  1. Remove residual liquid and flora with soil.
  2. Rinse the bottom and walls, dry naturally.
  3. If there is a backlight, remove it and de-energize.

This will allow you to quickly repair the aquarium with your own hands so that you can move the living creatures as painlessly as possible and keep all life support systems in good condition. Then the subsequent assembly of the already repaired reservoir will not be difficult, since everything will be prepared for the reverse sequence of actions.

To establish the exact location of the leak, if it is she who has no signs of cracks or chips on the glass, you can use paper. A corrugated cardboard is good, it absorbs moisture and, soaking wet, changes color to a darker shade, which is very easy to distinguish.

Attaching its sheets to the walls, you can find out where the source of the puddle is, very quickly.

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In order to repair the aquarium, you need to find a special silicone that meets the required standards. This glue should be sold either in the pet stores or in the usual household, you can distinguish it by the fish icon on the package.

It denotes a composition that is safe for living beings, which does not emit toxic substances either during application or during operation of the thing sealed by it.

There are several brands you should pay attention to:

They are completely safe and will not be able to harm their components to the inhabitants of the aquarium. The process of curing silicone involves squeezing it out of the tube.

This is a glassy mass that can crystallize completely and solidify to a glassy state in half an hour or a little more. This is due to getting it into the open air, which is saturated with moisture.

She is a catalyst.

In order to repair the aquarium, you need to find a special silicone

Thanks to silicone adhesive ability is very high, it diffuses with molecules on the surface of the joints very quickly. This creates a virtually unbreakable contact.

Naturally, when the surfaces glued together with this agent are poorly processed, there is a film of grease or other contaminants on them, so there is no question of any gluing quality.

White spirit or usual medical spirit will help to degrease and dissolve the substances stuck to the joints. Acetone can also be used, but it is highly toxic.

All operations with it should be carried out in conditions of excellent ventilation of the room or in the open air. This is a powerful toxin that adversely affects the internal organs, especially the respiratory system.

Remove large remnants of old glue can be a knife. You should not try to scrape too zealously, you can damage the glass, splinters from it a few fragments.

It is better to carefully, without making too much effort, reduce its layer and reach the end. And after that already use solvents.

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When everything is already prepared, the fish swim in a temporary tank, all the joints are cleaned and degreased, and the remnants of the old glue are scraped off, you can proceed to sizing. It runs like this:

  1. First, apply a thin layer of sealant on one of the bonded surfaces.
  2. After that, the second is pressed against it and fixed. At this stage, you need to carefully monitor the degree of spreadability of the sealant. If there have been places where it is not enough, you need to carefully add a small amount there.
  3. Both parts are fixed in order to ensure good adhesion and tight fit to one another.

For fixing, you can use a small wooden frame that will hold the pieces together and press them. In this state, it is desirable to keep them up to 12 hours. After that, you can conduct a preliminary check.

For this, some water is poured, and the edges are glued with thin paper or covered with cardboard. To make sure that the liquid does not leak, you need to wait a few hours.

Remains of old glue can be cut with a blade

If there is no leakage, re-operation will be possible only after a day or two. This time is necessary for the silicone to finally crystallize and stop emitting any toxic compounds.

After the carried out actions the leakage can remain, then it is necessary to repeat all actions again. In this case, it is worth paying attention to how the two seams fit together, whether there are no new chips or scratches after re-removing the cured sealant. If they are, you can try to sand the surface with sandpaper or a circle.

It is necessary to carry out such actions with extreme caution, since you can make new chipping instead of eliminating the old ones.

If this happens, the glass will have to be replaced with a new one, since nothing can be done with it anymore. The gap will be too large, and a thick layer of sealant will only mean an increasing area, which can crack or leak even more at any moment.

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The simplest aquarium in which you can quickly replace the wall and continue to use is a frame one. All the glass in it are inserted into special glued sealed grooves that can be disassembled very well. To do this, carefully scrape off the existing glue with a penknife or other flat object.

As soon as the cracked wall is free from the substance holding it, it can be removed and set aside. To ensure that it does not crumble into small pieces or break on the floor must also be very careful.

After this, the grooves are cleaned of dried glue and degreased as carefully as possible. To do this, you can use either a regular solvent or something more serious, like a varnish remover.

The simplest aquarium in which you can quickly replace the wall and continue to use is a frame

The next step is to install a new glass. It must be prepared in advance. These walls are sold in special stores for aquarists, have a standard size and thickness.

If you cannot find a replacement, you can equip yourself with a glass cutter, sander and a piece of glass of suitable size. The only thing that needs to be taken into account is that all faces will have to be properly leveled by polishing.

Another option is glue, it is much more difficult in the first place because the layer of sealant or glue between the walls is much thicker. Here the sequence of actions will be as follows:

  1. First you need to try to separate both walls without the use of additional funds, except for the knife, of course. Blade should act with caution, because without a frame the glass is attached to another similar glass, and therefore there is a risk of damaging both surfaces.
  2. If this fails to do, you need to proceed to the smooth heating of the sealant. More than 70 – 80 degrees is hardly needed, so you can use a regular household hair dryer to dry hair. In a silicone softened with hot air, an incision should be made, which even during subsequent cooling will not allow the parts to stick so tightly back.
  3. After separation, the glue remains are removed in any convenient way, but so that there is no trace of it on the edges.
  4. A new sealant is applied to the cleaned joints, including the new one, and then they are pressed against each other. For primary fixation, it takes less than 5 hours, but after that you can not remove the entire frame holding in one position, it is better to wait a day or a little more.

To avoid leakage, it is necessary to perform testing.

To avoid leaks, it is necessary to perform testing. Water, which is used for this, fish and other living creatures will not work, since it can dissolve toxic substances from the adhesive mixture, so you should leave it for another day, make sure that the leaks are not sticky paper or a piece of cardboard.

Repairing an aquarium at home is an easy task if you approach it responsibly and purchase all the necessary parts. The main difficulties may be with re-launching it into operation.

But here it is enough to rely on the instructions and correctly approach the distribution of the existing sludge and algae.

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