Cracked Aquarium – Is It Dangerous? And What Should I Do?

When you see that your fish tank is cracked, you may start panicking. Will it explode? Will the water just spill on the floor with your fish? How much time do you have to fix this? All these questions start attacking your brain. But what you need to do is to calm down and learn why this actually happened. Then you can somehow deal with the problem.

You shouldn’t just wait and see what will happen. If the crack is new, it can be a sign that something is wrong with your aquarium. It isn’t likely to break completely, but this should not be excluded from possible consequences. So, what you need to do is to start solving the problem right after you understand what’s going on with your aquarium.

Here’s what we’ll talk today about:

  1. Why a crack may appear in your aquarium?
  2. Is there a chance that the glass will explode?
  3. How to repair a crack in your fish tank?
  4. How to make sure that the new glass will not crack?

Let’s get started!

Why did your aquarium glass crack?

You should investigate the reasons for this problem. Sometimes, it’s just about the bad quality of the fish tank, but in most cases, you will find some other reasons to deal with. The investigation is probably the most important part of your actions. If you don’t know why the aquarium cracked, replacing the glass will not help much – in a month or two the new glass may crack, too.

We’ve found some reasons why it may have happened to your fish tank. Here are some of the most common and obvious:

  1. Unstable base. If your stand is unstable and it keeps shaking, the load on the glass grows and it can just cause some cracks. It’s actually a dangerous situation because at some point the glass can burst because of inner tension. These situations are very rare though.
  2. Physical damage. Someone might have kicked the glass with any sharp or hard object. It could be just an unintentional movement towards the tank. It could even be a hit with the metal part on your clothes. Small cracks are often caused by this.
  3. Bad glass. If the aquarium manufacturer used bad glass and then didn’t check the work, it can crack just because of water pressure. It sometimes happens with big tanks where the water pressure is high. These cracks are tiny and they are formed in the bottom part of the side glasses.
  4. Uneven position of the tank. You should know that all fish tanks need leveling. If they are uneven, the inner tension may form and this will lead to bad consequences such as cracks and even the explosion of your aquarium. Glass is not a flexible material at all.
  5. Drilling problems. Sometimes we just need to attach something to our glass tanks and we decide to drill the glass. We don’t recommend doing this at home, but if you do, you should know the risks. Cracks are very possible in the place where you drill the glass.

So, if you see the cracks in your tank, you shouldn’t just think that it’s OK. It’s not OK. You should do something to avoid other damages and to stop your aquarium from cracking and bursting. You should investigate the possible reasons and call a professional if you can’t do anything by yourself.

Then, be careful with any repair tips because they may be dangerous for your aquarium. We recommend discussing all your repair methods with a specialist.

What are the chances of the aquarium exploding?

There is always a chance that your aquarium will explode. But this chance is not high at all. We’ve had dozens of different tanks and they never exploded. But aquarium explosion is not a myth – we know at least two cases when the front glass of the aquarium exploded and it caused bad consequences for home decoration and for water life.

We would say that the risks of exploding are about 0.01%. We’ve used a mad formula for counting it. You can see that the risks are very small but they exist. For avoiding the explosion of your aquarium glass, you shouldn’t forget about repairing it if something goes wrong. For example, if you see some cracks or any other damage.

How to repair aquarium cracks?

Repairing your aquarium is a task for professionals. Even if you know how to work with glass, you shouldn’t do it by yourself, without any help. You can destroy the aquarium and be in a situation where you just don’t know what to do and how to save your fish and other water animals.

Repairing a crack in the glass, in our point of view, is quite simple – you should replace the glass. But some specialists say you can repair a crack and keep using the same glass for years. We are skeptical about this idea, but you may choose which way you like the most.

Here are some step-by-step tips on how to repair cracks in your aquarium:

  1. Move your living creatures to some other tank. It can be any temporary tank where you can create optimal conditions for your fish.
  2. Dry your tank before you are going to do anything with the crack. The walls and the bottom of the aquarium should be absolutely dry.
  3. Investigate the crack. Do you feel it with your finger? It’s bad, the glass is ruined and needs to be replaced. Consult with a specialist and find some way to fix the crack.
  4. Avoid using any silicone fillers and other products that are advertised online as wonderful crack repair options – this is a bad way to spend your money.
  5. If the crack is repairable, use a drilling technique to stop the spreading of this crack. Drill a hole in the very end of the crack and fill it with special polymer material you can buy in some glass shops.
  6. If the crack is hard to repair, get your aquarium to some company that may replace the glass. But before that check the price of this procedure. Maybe, a new aquarium will not be much more expensive.

Unfortunately, not all cracks can be repaired. What’s more, the method to repair your cracks with a polymer filler is not the best idea and it’s just a temporary decision. You will still need to think about what to do with the aquarium in a month or two.

When you decide to let your fish back to the aquarium, you should think about what could cause the crack. Then do everything to avoid additional problems with your aquarium – fix the reason. If you don’t, you will have to repeat the repair procedure very soon.

How to avoid glass cracking in your aquarium?

When you repair your aquarium or buy a new one, you should be sure that the problem will not repeat. For this, you should know for sure what was the reason for the crack. If you don’t investigate the reason and just put your new aquarium in the same place, chances are you will have the same problems very soon.

To avoid this, check your stand and the place where it is located. Check whether there is a risk of physical damage because of unintended movement. You should be sure that the problem is solved before you install the new or repaired fish tank.

Here are some tips:

  1. Your stand should be ideally leveled. Even one degree of deviation will create inner tension in the glass.
  2. Check whether the stand is not shaking. If it is shaking, you will have a lot of problems. Mainly, your new aquarium may crack very fast.
  3. Change the place of your aquarium. Maybe, the place is not good and the tank is always at the risk of being hit with something.
  4. Make sure you don’t overfill the tank with water. Every tank has a certain limitation of water pressure and water level.
  5. Be careful when you install the tank. Careless installation may lead to small cracks that will grow over time.

These are just some simple tips you should remember. If you don’t do anything, you will not be able to guarantee that your new tank will be safe. And this may lead to another problem and some more expenses or some gallons of spilled water.

Final words

We know for sure that cracks in aquariums are not as rare as you may think. They can bother you even if your stand just shakes a little. You have to make sure that the tank is installed according to a lot of different requirements and recommendations before filling it with water and with fish. Otherwise, many problems can come and make you spend more money and time on solving the consequences of bad positioning.

Remember that avoiding any problems with your fish tank is always a better idea than repairing or replacing your aquarium once it’s broken because of these problems.