Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > General Interest Forums > Reef Discussion
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Old 01/13/2012, 07:50 PM   #1
tang named junkyard
Registered Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: bakersfield
Posts: 1,185
How long will a glass aquarium last?

I just realized I've had mine for almost 10 years. Is there anything to look for when they fail or do they just let go? whats' the lifespan of silicon? It doesn't look like there's much silicon on the inside of the tank anymore. Maybe from years of cleaning.

tang named junkyard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/13/2012, 07:59 PM   #2
Registered Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: champaign
Posts: 3,152
If it is filled and maintaied- indefinatly. I have tanks I care for that were started in the
60s- metalframe tanks even. I have a ten gallon I got in 70 that is still fine, and has been wet and dry dozens of times. Likely the older the tank- the likely stronger the build- at least pre late 80s. Silicone would have to be seen to be judged- and that can happen to a new tank with a razor scraper and a few beers.

syrinx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/13/2012, 08:29 PM   #3
Registered Member
NatureNerd's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 879
A long, long time... My dad had a freshwater tank for 25 years. My reef has been setup for 16 years. It is as good as new except some annoying scratches that accumulate over time. No where near as bad as an acrylic tank but, they can't easily be buffed out. This is the reason/excuse for me starting to look to an upgrade.

Reef tanks since 1987.
Current tank: 75g SPS dominated reef tank set up in 1996
NatureNerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/13/2012, 08:32 PM   #4
Registered Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1,929
my tank is 12 years old a fe scratches but nothing major....

Psirex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/13/2012, 08:37 PM   #5
Registered Member
James77's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 8,273
Decades. But i'd keep an eye on any areas that show significant wear and tear.


Current Tank Info: 120g SPS and 75g Planted
James77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/13/2012, 11:29 PM   #6
Registered Member
Palting's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 6,912
PaulB has tank that just celebrated it's 40th year of continuous running.

Anything I post is just an opinion. One of many in this hobby. Believe and follow at your own risk of rapid and complete annihilation of all life in your tank :)

Current Tank Info: Incept 3/2010, 150 RR, 50g sump, 20g fuge, 150w 15K MH x3, T5 actinics x8, moonlight LED x6, 1400gph return, Koralia 1400 x4, 300 g skimmer, 4 tangs, 2 mandarins, 2 perc, 6 line, 3 cardinals, 2 firefish, SPS, LPS, zoas, palys, shrooms, clam
Palting is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/14/2012, 12:53 AM   #7
fishflorist's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PRC
Posts: 452
if the tank is well glued, I think it will last another 10 year no problem.


I do not speak English well , please kindly give your patience to my wordy posts try to understand my words ... if there is anything wrong in my words , do not take offence because what you see may be not my true meanings.
fishflorist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/14/2012, 01:47 AM   #8
Moved On
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Simon Bar-Sinistar
Posts: 1,108
I recently had a O'Dell 20L that was from the early 80's cousin had a 55G w a Ebo Jaeger heater and Aquaclear filter from the late 70's

doctorgori is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/14/2012, 05:17 AM   #9
Registered Member
billdogg's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Grove City, Ohio
Posts: 9,788
the 120 i use as a fuge on my 150 was ancient when I got it around 1990. my new tank was put in service in 1992.

I'll try to be nice if you try to be smarter!
I can't help that I grow older, but you can't make me grow up!

Current Tank Info: 120 mixed reef with 40b sump, ASM G2 skimmer, AI Sol Blue x 2, and a 60g Frag Tank with 100g rubbermaid sump. 2 x Kessil A360w lights, no skimmer (yet)
billdogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/14/2012, 08:28 AM   #10
Registered Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Tampa, Fl
Posts: 90
I know of several people that have had multiple freshwater glass tanks for over 20 years with no problems at all (at least related to the tank itself).

Paris_Wiley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/14/2012, 11:04 AM   #11
Cyprinius carpio
KafudaFish's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,486
2 55 tanks from '86.

One of the 55 is in my daughter's room no issue.

The other was my sump for a while and the Dell I don't use much because of the scratched glass but the silicone is sound.

KafudaFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/12/2016, 05:15 PM   #12
Registered Member
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 4
I was just wondering this same thing today as my current reef is being revived. It's a 55 gal I got in middle school 30 years ago it's gone through 1 stand about 15 years ago. I'm trying to decide if I should replace it before I go any further. It's never been moved except once to replace the stand. It's been salt for 25 years and fresh for 5 before that. It's been in constant use since the day I bought it. Any suggestions?
If I upgrade I only have room for no more than 50 inches long and 16 to 18 wide. Height luckily isn't an issue.

Serenade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/12/2016, 06:43 PM   #13
Registered Member
Timfish's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,588
I was comparing experiences a few years ago with a friend of mine who has managed a pet shop for over 38 years and we were guessing about a 10% failure rate at the 20 year mark with glass. They have one 200 display tank and a several 55s that were there when she started working there. But I have seen reputable tanks fail long before then. And like Srynx said the silicone would have to be seen to be judged. Certainly new air bubbles or changes in color would be reasons for concern. Algae working it's way into the joints between the glass would be keeping me up at night. Ironically, some of the cheaper tanks where the plastic trim around the top and bottom is used as a jig to hold the glass in place may hold up better as the plastic frame has to fail as well as the silicone joint to see a catastrophic spill.

"Our crystal clear aquaria come nowhere close to the nutrient loads that swirl around natural reefs" Charles Delbeek
Timfish is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:39 PM.

TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2018 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.