Exploding fish tank.

Cydeth

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
184
Reaction score
236
Location
UK
So, I get home from work and grabbed a cup of coffee, and within about 10 minutes of me sitting down I heard what sounded like a gun shot.

As you can tell by the title of this thread it was the front panel of glass on the 50 gallon tank in my front room shattering in to many, many pieces. That tank is beyond repair, it's a bow front so there is no option to just get some more glass and seal it again. The heater also shattered, it didn't cross my mind to unplug it right away.

I managed to save all the fish as far as I can see, luckily that tank only had a couple of dozen thread fin rainbows and a few nerites in it and I believe that's the number I managed to collect. I also managed to rescue the majority of the plants, although I'm not going to bother with the floaters.

A guy I know is on his way with a fish tank of unknown size for me, but until that can be set up the fish are sitting in a couple of 12 litre buckets.

So that's how my evening is going, and the rest of it is going to be spent with the wet vacuum that I'm feeling lucky to own right now.

I hope your days are going better.
 
Last edited:

NannaLou

Fishaholic
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
560
Reaction score
432
Location
Chichester
Oh my goodness!! Thankfully you’ve saved the fish/snails. Do you have any idea why that might have happened?
I hope that there is no lasting damage to your home.
 

Slaphppy7

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
3,048
Reaction score
2,253
Location
SE Texas
Wow, what an ordeal...did the glass come completely out of the frame?
 
OP
Cydeth

Cydeth

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
184
Reaction score
236
Location
UK
Oh my goodness!! Thankfully you’ve saved the fish/snails. Do you have any idea why that might have happened?
I hope that there is no lasting damage to your home.


I've really not got a clue, there were no visible cracks or damage to the glass and I hadn't noticed damage to the seals.

I can only think that it was a seal that gave way and took the glass with it. The left side of the front glass has completely pulled away from the side of the tank while most of the rest is still in place on the edges. The tank is only a couple of years old, so I wouldn't of expected complete failure like this.

As for my home, luckily the floor is stone so there is little damage caused. I may need to replace a rug, but the rest can be dried and I'm not anticipating too much of a problem.

Wow, what an ordeal...did the glass come completely out of the frame?


On the left side of the front glass it has completely pulled away from the side and bottom panes, but most of the seal across the bottom and right side is intact. Of course the main body of the pane has shattered, which was less than fun to collect with three dogs trying to help out.
 

Wills

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Messages
8,330
Reaction score
1,897
Location
East Yorks
Really glad to hear its not done much damage to your home! Thats always the worry with stuff like this and 50 gallons really is a lot of water!

From what you have said it sounds like one side of the silicone has split and in releasing the curved glass its shattered under the pressure. Did you have a cross bar in the middle?

Well done for saving all your fish too :)

Wills
 
OP
Cydeth

Cydeth

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
184
Reaction score
236
Location
UK
Really glad to hear its not done much damage to your home! Thats always the worry with stuff like this and 50 gallons really is a lot of water!

From what you have said it sounds like one side of the silicone has split and in releasing the curved glass its shattered under the pressure. Did you have a cross bar in the middle?

Well done for saving all your fish too :)

Wills

That's what i suspect happened too, I can't see another option. I'm normally pretty good at keeping an eye on seals, but I guess there is no way to spot everything.

There is a glass bar that braces the tank at the top, still intact and holding a chunk of the front pane.
 

Wills

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Jun 15, 2009
Messages
8,330
Reaction score
1,897
Location
East Yorks
That's what i suspect happened too, I can't see another option. I'm normally pretty good at keeping an eye on seals, but I guess there is no way to spot everything.

There is a glass bar that braces the tank at the top, still intact and holding a chunk of the front pane.
In that case it must have been a massive failure of the silicone and nothing you could have done to prepare. Just goes to show how amazing you’ve done to get cleaned up, saved up all the fish and got a new tank in the same day. Well done!!
 
OP
Cydeth

Cydeth

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
184
Reaction score
236
Location
UK
Oh my gosh! I hope your fish are okay!

All but one are fine. The other is showing a bit of a kink in its spine from either the fall or me having to pick it up off the floor. If I only lose that one I'm considering myself lucky still.

The fish is still swimming normally though, so it may live and just be a little crooked.

In that case it must have been a massive failure of the silicone and nothing you could have done to prepare. Just goes to show how amazing you’ve done to get cleaned up, saved up all the fish and got a new tank in the same day. Well done!!

I was just lucky one of my friends had a tank that was sitting empty. It turned out to be about 40 gallons with a stand. He gave me this for free, I'll give him a hand down the line... It all works out in time.
 

Avel1896

Fish Herder
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
1,207
Reaction score
479
Location
Nice
Jeez..... 50 gallons.... fishes seem ok that's a good point. Did you manage to contain flood ?
Tons of good vibes !
 
OP
Cydeth

Cydeth

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
184
Reaction score
236
Location
UK
Jeez..... 50 gallons.... fishes seem ok that's a good point. Did you manage to contain flood ?
Tons of good vibes !
Thank you.

Yes, the flood wasn't too bad because I've got stone floors in that room and it only managed to soak into a large rug. That's now laying out on my garden in the hopes of a sunny day tomorrow.

I'll say one thing, when you see a 50 gallon tank it doesn't look like too much water. When it's flowing on your floor it certainly does.
 

Uberhoust

Fish Crazy
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
314
Reaction score
280
Location
Nanaimo, BC
One thought is that most bow front tanks use tempered glass for the curve and sometimes bottom glass panel sections. The glass may have been nicked or otherwise stressed by use but Internal stresses and defects in the glass can also cause them to spontaneous break. The internal defects can be present for years before the glass breaks.
 

Circus

Fish Herder
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
1,068
Location
Washington State, USA
Note to self, no bowfront tanks. I know they are prone to leaks after several years, but hadn't heard about something like this first hand. I am glad all the fish (and furniture) are okay.
 

Most reactions

Top