How to fix a broken glass tank

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
I do not like having to fix tanks, but the alterrnative is even woerse for this case.

I did not allow a good landing spot for a 120 gallon tank I received when moving.
Nor did I have enough people when I moved it (just myself and another person), so I was being impatient. The stand was behind the tank so it was loaded weird, again, my fault, I thought I'd just set it down somewhere and then go get the stand.

Typically I'm very very careful and much more well planned, but we are all human.
I've never broken a tank with water etc in it, only empty tanks(then only, 2 and both where my own).

I'd have to drive to LA and spend 300$, + 500$ for a new tank and a whole weekend and wait a couple of months to replace the tank.

I do not want to do that.
No glass shop in a 100 mile radius will touch a repair job even for 300-400$.


I have repaired numerous tanks over the years folks where going to toss out and replaced the glass, none have leaked.
I've made my own tanks, modified others to have no trim etc and added center bracing etc as well.

So with all this, I will be repairing this tank.

1.First thing is removing the broken glass, this case, it's the bottom panel.
Side panels are rather easy, fronts and backs can be tough.
It can depend on how the tank was constructed also.
The Glass cages tank has an easy to remove bottom trim on this tank and the entire frame(4 panels) is set on top of the bottom of the tank.
So, I just need to carefully break and edge the seal apart.

One thing to think about do with tank repairs: go slowly and make sure it's well prepped.

Keep working back and forth, eventually it will come off.
Having several thicknesses of scrapers, razor blades etc will help.
Obviously, use thick gloves to avoid cuts.
After the old glass is removed, sand and razor off the remaining silicone, it's very important to get it all off.

Go get the new replacement piece of glass needed cut and slightly beveled or edges sanded.

I'll post some pictures in these threads later as I finish this project up.

Tom Barr