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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, welcome to my thread of a 65g tank in the making. This thread is to show the progress of the tank, as well as help from you guys. This is only my second build, so I will benefit from any constructive criticism that I get. To start off - the tank does have a couple minor scratches here and there, but hopefully they won’t be too noticeable. I have re-siliconed the sides, and am planning on doing the bottom soon. I know that it is common to silicon it all at once, however the bottom silicon was the only thing preventing the tank from falling apart completely. I found 2 nice pieces of wood, the small one is already in the tank and the other will be in it soon. (They both need to be thoroughly cleaned, I am just getting a feel for how it will look) I made some fake vines with rope, The plan is to silicon peat moss all over them to make them look nicer. The background will be foamed, carved, and covered with dry peat. As of right now, it isn’t looking too great, however that will hopefully change once the background is completed.
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Again, any feedback would be helpful. All of the tape is temporary, just to position some of the wood and rope to see how it will all come together. The 2 pieces of plywood under the main piece are also temporary, just to hold it up more and simulate the false bottom. Hope everyone enjoys the journey.
 

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You may want to setup, and build, your drainage layer before putting anything in place.

I'd also say, from experience, leave the wood as is. It will become a interesting part of the tank as it grows in. Don't cover it up, let it cover itself up with liverworts and plants as the tank matures.

With the bottom trim in place, you can re-silicone the bottom without much of an issue. Since it won't be holding any large amount of water, you can just scrape out the inside, clean it up with a razor blade and then silicone the joints from the inside. It's really the bottom 3 inches or so that matter. The rest is just for holding the glass in place technically!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I was just temporarily placing the stuff in the tank to see how it would look. I will put in the false bottom before anything is positioned permanently. I plan on using sponge filter media as a false bottom, its lightweight and cheap. Sadly, I don’t think this piece of wood will work. It has been sitting outside for 10+ years, and the whole thing is basically bark. You might be able to tell from the pictures, but it is constantly peeling away. Its basically a rotting stump, I don’t think I can do anything to solve it, I would love to use it but I don’t think I can 😕
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So the tank hasn’t changed that much, although I am slowly gathering materials like plants, wood, foam, etc. I resiliconed the entire tank and did a water test. It was good for the first day, but on day 2 there were a few drops on the ground. I have checked the entire tank for issues in the silicon, however i couldn’t find any. The leak is microscopic, to the point where its maybe 2 drops every day. I lowered the water level and the leak went away. Maybe it is pressure related? I am planning to have as little water as possible in the tank, but I still feel uncomfortable. and also I am 100% sure there are no cracks in the glass. Any ideas?
 

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Are you sure it wasn’t water that just dripped down when you were filling the tank and it took a bit to run down to the floor? Really the only way to be sure is to scrap the silicone and do it again since silicone won’t stick to silicone. You could also drill the tank and install a bulk head below the level it begins to leak at. This one might be personal preference and what you’re comfortable with. A small leak now could turn into a big leak later or it could just go away on it’s on. I’ve had a couple tanks that I found a few drops around for a couple days and then nothing after that and it’s been 10+ years since. I’ve also had tanks that didn’t leak at all and one day I came home to 15 gallons of water on my hardwood floors.

Not sure what the general thoughts are about lining a tank with pond liner and building the false bottom and such on top of that or if it’s to much of a drowning risk for frogs or more work and upkeep if debris gets trapped under it.

If it were my tank, I’d fill it to the top, mark the water line and let it sit for a week. If you’re for sure you know where the leak line is at then I would just drill the tank below that line. For structural issues such as this I’d suggest taking advice with a grain of salt, it’s your tank and your carpet at the end of the day!


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you! I am sure that it wasn’t water from filling the tank up. The leak is on the bottom right near the plastic seam, in the corner. The tank sits over tile floor, so if it DID leak a bit it wouldn’t matter much. I wouldn’t be comfortable drilling, as I don’t know if the glass is tempered or not. If there was a way to pump out all the water before it accumulated, that could be a solution (maybe?) I will not have any water features, so the water in the false bottom is not needed for me. Maybe your idea of pond liner could work? I could put it over the leaking area and silicon a tight edge to where it meets the glass. However I dont know if that would be a good or bad approach to the situation.
 

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Would it be possible to flip the tank over and silicone around the bottom plastic piece and stop it that way? You’d have to get the silicone pretty flush or it would trap water between the glass and the plastic edging I believe. If it wasn’t near the edge you could get a spare piece of glass and silicone it down over the top and that would be problem solved but in the edges and corners you would have to silicone over silicone and it won’t stick.

Would it be feasible to remove that strip of silicone and just redo that piece or did you place the silicone between the glass pieces versus the 90 degree angle they make when put together?

I believe there is a way to tell if glass is tempered using polarized sunglasses or your phone camera but I’m not sure the specifics without a Google search. I’ve heard before that only tanks over 75g have tempered glass but could be totally wrong.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think that siliconing the bottom wouldn’t be the best, because the water would just collect in a new spot and possibly spring a new leak somewhere else. I would be up to the idea of removing silicon, however I dont know where the exact leak is. It could be coming from somewhere else and traveling to the corner where there might be an open spot in the bottom. Also, can I wait 24 hours after siliconing to do water tests? i have been waiting 48 hours just to be safe but I am wondering if that might be unnecessary.
 

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I usually wait 12-24 but it varies on your humidity levels and air flow I believe. Does the bottle have any specific directions?

The issue might be because the bottom was done at a different time from the sides so it didn’t adhere correctly at the joint of the silicone beads. Removing all of it and starting over is the only sure way to fix the problem I believe.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I waited 24 hours after re-siliconing a portion I removed, it is filled up right now. Hopefully there are no leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Small update: I have steered away from the peninsula theme, Im doing a more traditional build now. Reasons for this:
1) would take up too much space (in the room)
2) my main piece of wood is gone
3) I don’t have any experience (this is technically my first REAL viv)

The main background was foamed, and carved. Both of the smaller sides were made outside of the tank. They used corrugated plastic as a base, were foamed, carved, and covered with a hygrolon like material. They were siliconed into the tank just recently. I will post some pics once things aren’t so boring
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is what the tank currently looks like:
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And here are some branches being made:
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the big branch uses a wire as a base, wrapped with newspaper and covered with foam. It is the same process that is shown in this thread. The smaller branch is just a pvc pipe, sanded down for a better bond. I will be making a few more of these branches, hopefully they will tie in nicely together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Foamed some ledges on the back, covered the branches in hygrolon and put some silicon+peat on the main branch. The short branch in my third pic will go on the left, and the right side is looking kinda empty so i will fill that up soon. Also, the tape holding up the main branch (in last pic) was very weak, so I secured it properly with some string.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Front view, I am building the lid right now. Once that is finished I will get to planting, looking forward to that.
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