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HOW TO: Fix BROKEN or CRACKED aquariums


Hi everybody, joey here again and welcome
back. So in today’s video I’m going to show you
how to repair a broken glass aquarium. This video will concentrate on tanks that
are cracked. If you are looking for how to fix a leaking aquarium, I previously did a
video on how to reseal and aquarium HERE. So a cracked aquarium is not the end of the
world. However, the remedy for a fix does depend on where it is cracked. There are two main types of cracks. A crack
on a side panel and a crack in the bottom of the tank. We’re going to talk about how to repair both
types and how to prevent them. The easiest type of crack is if the bottom
panel cracks. If the bottom cracks, we need to do 3 things.
We first need find out why it cracked and either fix that issue first, or put in some
sort of safe guard to prevent it from happening again.
We then need to alleviate the stress that caused the crack. Finally, we can fix it. Figuring out why it cracked usually is due
to one of 3 issues. Something fell in your tank and cracked it. The stand was not a flat
surface and caused the tank to twist and then crack. OR something was under the glass and
put pressure on it enough to crack it. Even a small pebble can cause this. So knowing if you tank has a flat surface
or not is simple. If you have an aquarium with a bottom trim, all sides and corners
will be touching the stand when the tank is EMPTY. Do not judge this when full as the
tank can twist and settle with all side touching. If the stand is flat it might have been something
falling in the tank. It will be more than obvious if that was the issue. Finally, something might be stuck under the
tank like a small pebble that caused the crack. This will only be possible if the tank does
not have a bottom trim that elevates the bottom panel off the surface. If it was the stand, fix it. Take the stand
apart and build it again if needed. If a rock or something fell and caused the
crack, then remove everything from the tank, including the substrate. Once you patch the
crack, lay some egg crate on the bottom of the tank and then your substrate over it.
This will take the impact if something were to fall again. Reconsider your layout as well
and consider cementing your rock work together if that was the problem. So we now know how to find out why it cracked
and how to prevent it from happening again. Now we can move onto patching the crack. If you tank has a bottom trim on it, you will
know that the bottom pane of glass floats. Since we are not actually going to replace
that bottom piece, we need to support that bottom pane so it can no longer sag. We will need a piece of Styrofoam that is
the same thickness as the lip of the brace We will want to place this Styrofoam inside
the lip and it will need to be the same size as the bottom pane. If your stand does not have any center support
and is an open top, you will have the support it then add a sheet of plywood over it. Sit the tank in place with the Styrofoam under
it, and then move to patching it. The patch only needs to be another sheet of glass cut
to a size that will overlap the crack. With enough silicone, simply place the new piece
of glass over the crack. 6 mm glass is what I like to use for any size crack. Let it cure
for 24 hours and your set. The end result: Well, since the crack is now
supported from under the tank, it can no longer flex and pull apart. With the patch over the
crack, it can no longer leak. If you tank does not have a brace and the
bottom pane simply sits on the stand, then insure you have Styrofoam down to absorb any
irregularities in the stand, then move right to the patching of the crack. You can also simply replace the whole panel,
but the costs will be much more, and much more labor intensive. Both will yield the
same result, and no one will know which one you did as it will be covered in substrate
anyways. I prefer the patch, as it’s easier, cheaper and just as good as replacing. Now, what if the side front or back panel
cracks. Well. We need to replace the whole panel. The reason being is simple. Not only
will it be ugly, and there is no hiding it, but it also won’t last. The pressure being
put on these panels is too great for a patch. You have to replace the panel. We need to take the whole tank apart to replace
a panel, and doing so is not that difficult. In my video on building a corner tank, I show
how to take a tank apart. Watch that to find out how. Given the fact that you would have to buy
a whole new panel, and the labor that goes into replacing it, you might want to simply
compare those costs to what it would cost to replace the whole aquarium. Unfortunately
sometimes that might be the best route. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed the video,
I definitely want to thank you for watching, and we’ll see you next time. So here is a simple and fun contest. In a
moment, I will provide you with an annotation link.
It will link to one of my other videos. Somewhere in the next video will have another
annotation. They will be hidden in one of the blocks like the background of this video.
If you’re not sure what an annotation is, it’s one of these! Slide your mouse over it to reveal it. You will have to find five annotations total.
One in each video link to the next. The first three people to inbox me here on
YouTube with the correct order the videos were linked in, will win a free shirt like
the one I wore in this video. Whatever size and color you want. Shipped
right to your door. Worldwide. The winners will be announced on my fan page.
The first three people are guaranteed a t shirt; however I will also select another
random three over the next few days to give everyone a chance. So that’s it! Here’s the first link. Good luck.

100 thoughts on “HOW TO: Fix BROKEN or CRACKED aquariums

  1. hey joey, awesome videos, quick question, do u think u can make a video of HOW TO: put glue/silicone two aquariums together? cause I want to put two of my 55 gallons together.

  2. DO NOT put the answers in the comments. If you do, the comment will simply be deleted and your guess wont count. Please follow the instructions in the video.

  3. i have a question for whoever reads this, I want to build a 195 gallon plywood aquarium, does anyone know if 3/8" thick tempered glass would with stand the pressure?

  4. Drawing another name for a shirt today! The order of the videos have changed, but the locations have not. 3 shirts left!

  5. hi i have a glass fish tank is got a crack at the bottom do i have to use glass to repair it or can i use acrylic 

  6. I'm glad you included a puzzle for your giveaway, I've heard many times of the Canadian government cleaning people out in fines for holding giveaways improperly according to Canadian law. Keep them videos coming, you've taught me many awesome tips and tricks!

  7. hey joey if i have a 2inch hole drilled on the bottom of my tank and wanting to cover it. 6mm glass over the hole 2-3 inches over lapping the hole with silicone is good enough? its a 120 gal. Thanks and love your vids, bought your book as well. 

  8. I found a crack in my solona 34 gallon tank yesterday and was wondering if I could use acrylic on my glass aquarium? And will it still hold as well as glass.

  9. Will that work on my 225 gallon tank its the bottom glass its cracked like a y shape it gose all the way across its 6 foot long 2 foot wide and 31inch tall glass

  10. Hello there, i recently change the front panel of my 100gal tank cause it had scratches all over it, one day after a intall the new glass panel air bubbles started to appear on the edge where the two glasse meet, why is that?? It dint had does bubbles when i installed it. New bubbles had appear also after 2 an 3 days of installation. I used RTV 108. Help.

  11. Hi there, say you bought a brand new tank but during transit the front panel cracked.. would it still be better to take the entire tank apart to replace one panel, even although the rest of the silicone is brand new ?

  12. okay here my situation. I have a 70 high that the front pane cracked down the center. after check my local glass shops for prices on a new pane ($200), I'm trying to figure out another way to fix this. My idea is to take a piece of 3/8 plywood, silicone a piece of plexiglass to the face of it to fit the inside of the tank then silicone that in place inside the tank and place the cracked pane tight to the wall as to not allow outward pressure on the pane obviously silicone the crack as well. I would install a background on the inside of the tank via your DIY background video to cover the repair do you think this has a chance at success?

  13. HI joey,I have 120 gallon ported tank,hole is in the back i want to block that hole,can I patch with a piece of glass,hole is about 2inches

  14. real quick. On my 30 gal the side panel is about 2in away from the trim at the bottom. Wtf? The trim is flush the rest of the perimeter, except that one side…

  15. Hi the king of DIY. Please can you help me ?? My fish tank 60 gallons have crack 4inch I see this video but you ?? is safe if I put patch glass ??? the crack no going more bigger and holding safe the water please help me is for sure this patch work ??

  16. so my frog tank fell and i do not have any thing your talking about beacuse i got my frog from School and the tank from petco and came Home put frogs in and dorped ut so i need some big help

  17. Lucky me its in the bottom, thanks for the valuable tip, my brother already told the same idea now i can go ahead as you told the same thing, now me clear thank you.

  18. I have a 6 ft long 125 gallon tank with a crack most of the length of the bottom. If I use this method I might as well replace the whole bottom. My question is can I use plexiglass on top provided I add styrofoam under to brace it?

  19. I get scared when ever I accidentally tap the inside of my aquarium with a large rock I had to take out. tapped the glass and still very gently took it out put it down. then freaked out. it is so scary.

  20. hey thanks for the video – very helpful. i have 1 question though-why did you scrape out the old silicon before patching the bottom pane? currently im planning to do the same thing on my 4ft long tank but i dont want to scrape out the old silicon because its still new and want to leave it there for extra hold. TIA!!!

  21. I have a 150 gallon long and the bottom pane cracked all the way through from front to back. The sheet of glass for the bottom is 3/4 inch thick annealed glass, if I replace it with 1/2 inch tempered glass will that be ok? The tank never had cross supports for the bottom sheet (never had them. Was just built that way I assume since there are no signs that a brace could have been broken off) it just has trim around the edges of the tank

  22. What would you do with a spider crack like a rock hit your windshield. I bought a reptile aquarium from someone. It doesnt go out the other side but its at the bottom and I don't want future problems. Same concept but with a small square glass?

  23. Hi, I have a 172x76x76cm tank with a 1000ltr capacity. It is 12ml glass and has a double base. The outer bottom most layer cracked in transit down the full length of the tank. The corner weir is only single based and the crack dissects it so a small amount of water has entered a small chamber enclosed with silicone between the two layers of glass. The inner base layer seems to be intact. What do you recommend in the instance given the volume of the tank?

  24. what if the side panal on an acrylic tank cracks but no water leaks through? can that be fixed with aquarium silicone instead of replaceing the panal? it is a 5.5 gallon tank

  25. ı just bought 15g 70" long tank. some how bottom cracked during the move. it's starphire tank. can I just fix it way u did? or need to put another bottom panel top of cracked one?
    thx advance

  26. I have scratch that is a little deep on the bottom of my tank. How would I fix it? Would it be okay just apply silicone scratch?

  27. I have a 55 gallon aquarium but I'm using it for my baby tortiose right now but before I got the aquarium from someone who had a lizard and he cut a large hole into the side too put a waterfall in the tank and I want to turn it into a reef what should I do

  28. i hit the side of my tank and it cracked it like it got hit with a base ball it put a crack on the corners and all the way across the front panel

  29. I have an old 30 gallon tall tank with a crack on the back panel would it be possible to use waterproofed wood (like from a wood aquarium), or even a sturdy aquarium safe plastic overlaid on wood, or some other option? Rather than buying a replacement glass panel? (I am on a budget and glass seems to be a bit much for my budget)

  30. I have a 375G with a crack in the bottom of the tank. The crack is only 1/4 of the way across the bottom. Is it fixable? Will the glass continue to split?

  31. I had a roommate leave a 40gal tank, and I was a derp and left it outside cause I had no money to set it up or place to put it, and since it filled with water and froze over the winter, it cracked a ton, not gonna repair it but will salvage the glass

  32. We just cracked the bottom of my 280g aquarium. its a relief to hear that repairing bottom panel is kinda easy. i hope i can still fix my tank

  33. Thank you for the advice! I accidentally cracked the bottom of my tank while removing a end panel to reseas a leaking corner.

    fixed the panel then did this on the bottom and it perfect!

  34. Where is a good online website to find tank Trims with the support beam in the middle that will fit my 55 gallon tank. Also if i want to re-do my whole tank would i use silicone for the edges if i wanted to re caulk it? as it has black edges and i don't like the look of it and want it to be clear.

  35. thank you so much i got a free tank with a cracked bottom glass was thinking about taking it in to change it but after watching this today 8 Aug 2017 you save me Joey if i have the power to save lives i would save your arowana

  36. That works but,I have a new way that works on cracked tanks use clear liquid fiberglass or part a an b clear resin for table tops it does work I've done it an no problems

  37. If we put a thick layer of silicon will it work…my crack is all most sameat bottom …and can I use hot glue gun…

  38. What if the tank is cracked on the bottom middle of the long sides, If you sit it in a tank stand the lips would cover the crack, would it also support it?

  39. Hi..I have a 220g with a crack on the bottom. You mentioned 6mm patch glass in the video. Would that work for a larger tank also? Thanks in advance.

  40. Hi just a quick question? I have a crack on the bottom of the tank on the out side. but have a second layer of glass already in there. Could I put another full sheet of glass on the bottom? Thank you

  41. I've looked through the glass sold at Lowe's and Home Depot and it is really thin stuff. How do you get your glass?

  42. Hey Joe, was wondering if you could help me out again? I Patched my 6x2ft tank's bottom as it unfortunately cracked about 3/4 of the way up (it runs from the center up 3/4 of the way and then turns 90deg and almost goes to the edge) when moving it into the house. its a double bottom tank with thick glass (the inner sheet broke) with thick glass, (i think the inner sheet is 10mm and the outer is 12mm?), anyway i patched it with 2 sheets of 6mm float, one long bit for the center run and one square bit for the 90deg turn. anyway i was water testing to find tank levels (double overflow) and left the water in the tank for a few weeks as i got sidetracked. one night i heard a loud bang and realized that the bottom cracked again. it looks like it was a stress relief crack from the original crack that's almost made the bottom into 2 bits now(its getting hard to explain but i could provide some photos if needed). it seems stable and unlikely to crack again if i patch it? however with the water pressure of a full tank its filled the void between the bottoms with water. its been dry for 2 months now and is not found its own way out, is this an issue? what would you recommend as a fix? another patch? replacing the inner bottom seems to be a nogo as it would require full disassembly and removal from the outer bottom (there stuck together with 4? long beads of silicone).
    i could probably just use it as is (its water tight) but its asking for trouble, any advice would be appreciated! (sorry for the long "story")
    kind regards, Matt

  43. Can you use other materials besides acrylic my 240 gallons cracked on the bottom and its covered by substrate. I was wondering if there is a cheaper easier way to fix.

  44. Joey bro because of your awsome videos, I’m actually picking up broken fish tanks, stands etc for free, fixing then donating them free to charities. Kudos to you Joey and of God/love who makes this all possible 😍

  45. Joey I totally am hearing perfectly, top info, far from babbling on.
    I’ve got a 4ft aquarium with just the back glass is broken. Now I know you said old and new silicone don’t mix well, I’m tempted as it’d save loads of work. I may as well, then if it leaks, rebuild entire tank. Now I doubt my success but, I’ll let u know too bro. Theirs actually no point in you lying, so I probably should start from scratch, let me research 1m

  46. This video is not informative at all I do not want to know how the crack happen I want to know how to fix the damn crack and not just in the bottom but in the walls 2

  47. Or mabey you were testing if you see if it was leaky and you put it on top of a plug in your tub that was sticking up and when it filled with water you wished you had taken that physics class…😭😭😭😭😭

  48. I've got a method of breaking an aquarium that wasn't in the video. I was given a brand new 55 gal with a cracked bottom. A guy got it back in the Fall and brought it home and left it out under his carport over night. Then he left for work the next morning. His wife decided to do him a favor by "cleaning" the aquarium using hot water poured right in the middle of the cold tank. It cracked long ways from one end to the other. His wife thought since it wasn't an actual hole that she could hide the crack under some sand and he'd never know it was there. When he came home his wife had already gotten the tank into the house and put the sand in the bottom for him. How nice! He set up his new tank and started filling it with water. It didn't take long for him to figure out something was wrong. He got so upset that he just wanted it out of his sight. It was a literal bad break for him but lucky for me.

    I don't think a patch is going to work for fixing a 4 foot long crack so I'm going to replace the bottom. Interesting video though.

  49. I have a 28 gallon JBJ that is cracked on the upper side panel on the left. As you know it's an all in one system. Can this be fixed and do you have a video?

  50. Hi ive got a major 3 way crack in bottom of my turtle tank would i have to replace the hole bottem or should i get a hole new tank !

  51. I don't know if Joey will see this but ny mom's almost 6 ft hexagon tank cracked. I didn't get to ask where the crack is yep because it's in her house and my brother is going to give it to me but I'm praying it's on the bottom either way we're talking about a tall tank hell if anyone's ever repaired one of these do let me know. If it's one of the sides I will turn it into a "croxhet reef' s I do that too. (Ya know, like in the Smithsonian) I am a woman that does fibercrafts).

  52. Joey you are the best. Do you have any videos on chipped glass on the edge of any aquarium glass panel??

  53. Hey Joey would I be able to silicone patch a 150 gallon…it has two panes 1/2" thick only the outside bottom is cracked????

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