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40Gal Tank Glass Broke!


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Oh man oh man oh man.

The 40gal's front SPLIT today, emptying an insane amount of water and my precious fish onto my floor. I have moved all the fish to QT and melafixed and salted to prevent infection, but oh man, their in a bad way. Luna had shards of glass and due to the 'slide' along the floor, has lost many a scale, as well as punctured an eye. Lady is in better condition, but still pretty bad off. Lexie luckly was in a holding tank to get some food into her and was saved the horror.

I've lost a full HM betta spawn that was also being raised in the tank, and maybe Luna. She's in a pretty bad way.

But you guys want to know the irony? I bought this tank since I was worried the other one would bust! :o The old tank is still going strong, yet this has shattered!

Luckily insurance will cover it, new tank, stand (water ruined it) lights, filters, all were destroyed when the water hit the powerboard (despite it being grounded, and sure proof). I suppose lucky in a way, if it was a minor leak onto the board the fish would have been fried instead of freefalling.

Anyone else had this happen?

Fingers crossed for Luna. She's in a bad way, but she's a fighter. I think if I can keep infection at bay, she'll be ok. ;)

Edit- I hope they cover the carpet and walls. Water went EVERYWHERE.

Edited by Amber
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  • Regular Member

Oh my gosh! This is just awful Amber, I am so sorry! Luna is so precious, you just can't lose her :(

The tank was just sitting there and then busted open out of the blue?! That is scary :unsure: I'm wishing you and all your fish the best, and keep us posted.

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Oh dear :(. Its okay, though, i can share your pain. The same thing happened to me with a 40g just before Christmas. Unfortunately for me though, the insurance wouldn't pay out. I had new carpets fitted, new wallpaper, all new bedding, and i lost 2 computers, a BRAND NEW xbox 360 that wasn't protected under water damage in the warranty. All my guitars got wet including a 40 year old Hofner (?3000) bass that started to warp badly.

The main thing though, my fish were fine. Not a scratch. A bit shook up but i immediately put them into the 20G Frog tank with my ADF's so it wasnt that bad.

Best of luck to you. Dont get to down because things will get better soon :)

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  • Regular Member

OMG! I am so sorry, I can't even imagine. :heart

What causes an aquarium to just combust like that? My father is always warning me about that, but he is paranoid about everything so I always just brush it off....I had no idea that it happens that often!

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Oh my gosh! I hope Luna recovers. So how does this happen? How thick is the glass? Was it a bow front?

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  • Regular Member

I hope your fish recover!! Geesh! What causes that to happen? Was the tank damaged or bumped by anything? What would weaken the glass?

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Wow hun. im sorry :(

This happened to me when I moved from CA to OR. My 45 gal tank got a split right down the front of the tank, i was lucky and found it before it could burst on me.... :(

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Thanks for all the support guys, especially for Luna and Lady. I'll try to answer everyone's queries. :)

Surprisingly, Luna is looking alright. Cut up and looks like some slime coat is coming off one side (I'm assuming this is from the slide down the carpet with he water, they were across the room from the tank!) but she's eating and generally looking ok. Lady's whole slimecoat has lifted off and she will not eat. Sticking with melafix for her wounds and trying to get her to eat. Missing scales on both will hopefully grow back, and shredded fins can heal. I think they may get some scaring though, the damage is pretty extensive, and judging on experience with Solar getting shredded in the sump in the pond and the resulting scars, same might happen here.

I think I have it under control, but anyone know if damaged eyes heal? It's only the top 'clear' cover, but it looks pretty bad.

As for the tank, it split on the front glass, on the left side. If it was from too mush pressure, I think it would have burst more centre. My best guess is a microcrack/microscopic break in the glass spreading. When the crack weakened it enough, it burst. This would also account to the way it didn't just split down the front, but shattered shards everywhere. The tank is a 3ft 40gal. Glass is a good cm thick. It's a real sturdy tank, re-enforced frame and everything. Not a bow front or anything, just a standard rectangular tank.

I seriously just walked out of the room (this tank is/was in my bedroom) and I heard this crack noise, then this waterfall noise. Instantly it was "Oh no! Luna! Lady!" If the tank had just cracked, I could have probably got a bucket, but it seriously burst and drained in a matter of 30 secs. I spent the rest of the night picking glass out of fish. :doh11: Rather sad I couldn't save the betta spawn, but their the size of this -- and were literally impossible to find on the floor.

To be fair, we have had the tank for awhile, and it's done a fair few moves where it may have gotten afew bumps and knocks, but it looked in pristine condition. I'm going to invest in a good 40gal tank, but I think I'll give up breeding. If Luna and Lady pull through, just them and Lexie and that will be it. :(

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Guest amynicole

Thank goodness you were home! What an awful experience.

Honesty, that has always been my biggest nightmare about aquariums because the same thing happened growing up. We had a huge aquarium burst and we were on vacation at the time. Came home to a smelly house and dead fish, moldy carpet and glss everywhere.

I wanted fish for years but was scared of the glass breaking.

If I recall though, ours burst on the seams.

Now I only buy acrylic. All my tanks are acrylic. They have their issues as well (my 75 gallon was bowing pretty badly and I recently as in the last week gave it up because of bad bowing and I was afraid it would leak but I'm extra paranois due to our tank bursting when I was a kid)

I'm down to 2 50 gallon and 1 30 gallon tank now. all acrylic. My 50 gallon and 30 gallon tanks are a few years old and holding up great. I just got a new 50 gallon recently.

Acrylic is more expensive but it gives me peace of mind.

Like I said earlier, you are so lucky you were home. I hope you don't have too much water damage.

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Yikes! Sorry to hear about your tank and fish. I hope they pull through for you.

I JUST replaced my 20 gal long tank this weekend. It's my hospital/QT tank. I had one new fish in there and was about to move him the next day. I walked passed the tank and caught a reflective area out of the corner of my eye. Upon further inspection, it was a tiny crack. I'm not sure how long it was there but I moved that fish over within 15 minutes. I didn't want to wake up to an empty tank and dead fish in the morning. I emptied the tank, brought it to my lfs for disposal and got a new one.

I guess this is more common than we know!

Good luck with your fish. Please keep us posted!

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Guest amynicole

I do think its more common. I have told my story of what happened to my childhood fish to lots of people. Especially when I have people over and they comment on the tanks not being glass. I have heard many other comments about tanks bursting. I was surprised. I thought that over the years they would have gotten stronger.

In fact, my husband was not on board at all with me getting large aquariums (to him anything over 20g is large) unless I agreed no glass. I have kids too and I think the acrylic is overall safer and stronger.

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Now I am getting scared! I shipped a beautiful amano tank home from Japan, and it got an inch long chip acrosss the very top of the rim in the process. I was planning on setting it up eventually as a planted tank for tropicals, but now wonder if the glass was weakened by whatever chipped the top. It looks fine--I see no cracks--but maybe it's not safe..yikes. These stories are going to make me an acrylic convert.

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Hello all ... I am back (Sorry I disappeared; my PC had crashed, so not able to get online for a while.)

I'm so sorry -- That is awful; I had that happen to a 60 gal one time; insurance also didn't cover! It was in my second floor bedroom, leaked through the floor, through the ceiling & into the floor below. What a mess!

Since then, I always keep an extra tank on hand, set up & ready to go. I periodically transfer all my fish to the other tank, drain the main tank, clean & reapply sealant, if needed. I then let it cure thoroughly, refill, check for leaks & that becomes my back up tank. Just an extra bit of assurance & peace of mind. Haven't had that happen since.

I hope Luna, Lady & Lexie have pulled through and recovered from their ordeal ... and I hope things are back to normal for you too!

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The girls are great! :) I thought we'd lost Lady but their all back and well. Afew scales down, but otherwise wonderful!

This time of year (summer turning to autumn here) I usually put the teles outside for afew weeks to get some breeding going on. Since the girls have bounced back, I've put them back outside (and Lexie too) for afew more weeks until I can get a new tank up. The cold nights wont hit for another month yet, so atleast this gives me some time to get a cycled tank up and running.

fish_pot_empty.JPG

I'm actually thinking of setting up something like this. Traditionally this was how goldfish were displayed indoors I believe? I've seen them up to 200L (Abit over 50gal for you guys). I think something like this by the door could look wonderful. I've always wanted to have my fish on a top view display (though they are beautiful side view too)

Would have to go with internal filters I guess, but it would be something nice!

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I feel your pain--had the same thing happen to me a few years ago. My new 60 gal started to crack right after I filled it up for the first time! Split lengthwise across the front and blew out some big chunks of glass. Made a huge mess in the livivng room but thankfully I didn't have any fish in there yet. The manufacturer of the tank ended up paying for the water damage and of course I got a refund for the tank/stand from the store I got it at. Glad to hear your fishies are doing ok. Beautiful vase, too! It would look neat with goldies. :)

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When I was in Japan I visited a three hundred year old goldfish breeder who displayed their fish like this. They mostly had green water, live plants and an airstone---no filter. But I think that this was due to the green water. They were beautiful. Where did you find that vase? I have had visions of setting up something like that when I get a porch someday...

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