Basic Advice

How to Fix an Aquarium Leak Yourself

Do you have a leak in your aquarium? If you identify a leak and there are fish currently residing in the tank, the aquarium is a custom installation, or the tank is larger than normal, you’ll probably just want to call Blue Planet Aquarium so we can address the issue ASAP.

However, if you want to take a shot at handling the leak yourself, there are steps you can take. Our friends at Home Aquaria wrote up a great step-by-step walkthrough on fixing a tank leak.

Here’s a basic summary of the process:

  1. The vast majority of leaks occur where two panes of glass or acrylic meet (if you’re dealing with a crack on a pane itself, you have a more serious problem).

  2. Clean the glass near the leaking edge to remove any aquarium detritus from the working area.

  3. Remove the old silicone from the inside edge using a utility knife by cutting parallel to each of the two surfaces. Remove all the shavings, and clean the surface again with a glass cleaner.

  4. Apply masking tape ¼ inch from the edge.

  5. Using aquarium-safe silicone, apply a quarter inch line of silicone to the edge.

  6. Smooth the line with your finger to work the silicone into the edge, paying special attention to the corners where one edge meets another.

  7. Remove the masking tape immediately after smoothing, before the silicone has had a chance to harden.

  8. The silicone will take 24 hours to fully harden. Once that’s done, you can fill the aquarium with water and test the edge for leaks again.

As you see, resealing a leaking edge on your aquarium isn’t too difficult. The difficulty comes from doing it in a way that will hold up well over time, and that is clean enough to be aesthetically unobtrusive.

For a more complete walkthrough, including pictures, read the full Home Aquaria DIY: How to Reseal Your Aquarium post.

About Jon Wolf

Servicing Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan, Blue Planet Aquarium Services has been the most trusted name in aquarium design, installation and maintenance since 1999. A company large enough to be dependable but small enough to still watch out for your best interests, Blue Planet is the only company to call if you are planning to install an aquarium or have one maintained.