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Re: Broken tank rim

Sadly, Shireen Gonzaga's top rim broke on one of her tanks and asked if
the tank was safe.

The plastic rim is an integral part of the sturctural design of the
basic aquarium.  The silicone joints are much more susceptible to
separation without the rim to help hold them together.

I have seem them just crack or pop for no apparent reason.  When the
tank is full, the rims are under stress and sometime, perhaps, a weak
spot is revealed.

To save the tank, I would cut the water level in half to temporarily
reduce pressure.  I would check with the LFS or All-glass to see if you
can get a new rim *But*, old rims are very difficult to room.  It's
worse if you are trying to save the rim, which you are not in this
case.  Start at the crack cand work your way around, lifting the rim
and cutting away the silicone.  This is best done while the tank is
empty.  Don't apply pressure prying or the glass may crack and then
break when you refill the tank.  Don't work next to glass with gloves,
preferrably with long gauntlets, long sleeve shirt, and saefty glasses.
 And it's best not to do it while you are home alone -- in case, heaven
forbid, you need help fast.

If you must try to save the tank while it's holding water:  Go to a
hardware or woodworking store and get a ratcheting strap clamp
(sometimes called a band clamp) long enough to fit around your tank.  

If you can copy this rediculously long address into your browser as one
line, they look like this:


Put this clamp around the top just below the rim and tighten, but don't
overtighten.  Be sure to place a piece or plywood or thick cardboard
under the ratchet so that it doesn't scratch the glass.

But it is best to have the tank completely empty when you replace the
rim, so that the joints aren't already stressed and spread when the rim

Hope that helps,
Scott H.

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