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Why are my silicon seals in a newish tank already breaking down?

Tansyjune

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Hi: I am not new to keeping freshwater tropical fish - but lately I have been having a lot of trouble with the silicon seals in the tanks degrading much faster than I think they should. Last week a 10-gallon tank sprung a leak because its silicon was shot full of tiny holes - this was an older tank (about 4 years old) in which I had treated sick fish with various meds....so I thought perhaps that was the cause.

Now I noticed that in my new (bought last year in August) 45 gallon tank - the same small holes are appearing in the silicon seams that hold the tank together. It looks like swiss cheese. We have really hard water here with high mineral content - and although I use peat and black water to soften it - I am wondering if this could be the cause. I am now in fear of the thing starting to leak. All of my tanks for the past two years are heavily planted tanks - so no chemicals of any sort are used. Anybody have any experience, tips, ideas to offer as to why the seals on a new tank are already starting to erode????
 

StevenF

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Did you by modify or remove the metal trim of the tank? Any modifications might explain this. Normally silicon is inert and doesn't degrade. So I don't know how water could cause this.

We have really hard water here with high mineral content - and although I use peat and black water to soften it
Adding anything to the water all not lower GH or soften the water. The tennis peat and black water in the tank will reduce the PH temporarily. But otherwise will not remove calcium, magnesium or any minerals in the water.
 

DrRob

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Bubbly sealant sounds like a too rapid cure. Happens in damp/hot conditions. Where's the tank from?
 

hobby5

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I would suspect bad luck and manufacturing problems. Or can you for sure confirm that the silicon was without holes at the beginning? As already mentioned silicon is inert and lasts decades under normal usage.
 
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