Why Does My Fish Tank Keep Leaking?

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Common Causes of Leaks in Fish Aquariums

Leaks in a fish tank aren’t just a nuisance. They can also be damaging to the floors and surfaces around your aquarium. Breaks caused by cracks in the glass could pose potential risks for the aquatic life in the tank. It’s important to address leaks as quickly as possible to avoid cracks and breaks in the aquarium glass and ensure you can continue to enjoy the beauty of your fish tank for years to come. The staff at Aquatic Warehouse, a leading provider of fish tank supplies, wants to share some common causes of fish tank leaks and what to do about them.

Seam Leaks

The most common cause of fish tank leaks is often a deterioration or flaw in the silicone seal along the seams that hold the walls together. Leaks along the seams of an aquarium can be easily fixed at home.

Start off by draining the water in the tank so it’s below the leak in the seam. You won’t need to remove the fish from the tank if there’s still enough water for them to comfortably move around in. If the leak is low on the wall, you’ll need to acquire a temporary tank for the fish to live in for a couple of days while the repair to the seal dries.

Once you’ve drained the water, clean the area you’ll be repairing thoroughly and let it dry. After it’s fully dry, apply a bead of nontoxic, 100 percent aquarium silicone over the leak, on the inside of the fish tank, then smooth out the silicone with a caulking tool or your finger. A good idea is to safely add a clip-on fan to the rim of the tank and point it toward the patch to get the fumes away from the tank’s inhabitants and allow it to dry faster.

After applying the silicone you’ll need to allow up to 48 hours for it to dry completely. Once it’s dry, add water to your fish tank and make sure it’s no longer leaking. Now that the leak is repaired, you can add your fish and any decorations you may have removed while you were applying the silicone.


It’s important to address cracks in the glass of a fish tank quickly because they’re detrimental to the structural integrity of the tank and could lead to large breaks in the walls or the bottom. If the glass in your fish tank breaks, it could cause harm to your fish and damage to your home.

It’s not possible to repair a cracked fish tank at home because the entire glass panel will need to be replaced. Don’t attempt to patch the crack, as this will weaken the glass and could cause the crack to worsen or break over time. Your fish tank should be taken to a professional who has experience with glass installation or aquarium repair. Beware of used glass tanks, as most of the time the previous owners haven’t handled or stored the tanks correctly or the tanks have been abused. Acrylic tanks usually don’t leak.

One of the best ways to avoid cracks is to not buy a cheaply made aquarium. If you’re looking for high-quality freshwater planted aquariums, Aquatic Warehouse carries several options to choose from. We also carry all of the other supplies you’ll need to maintain a successful and healthy aquarium environment. Stop by our store in Kearny Mesa, or give us a call today at 858-467-9297 if you have any questions.

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