Cracked Tank

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Cracked Tank

Postby k1rr1e » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:24 pm

DISASTER - on Saturday I purchased a Marina 95 Tank and all the necessary equipment from Dobbies Garden Centre in Aberdeen who are a well repsected local supplier of all things aquatic. I should say that they only had one left in stock, a display model which came without packaging or instructions.

I spent the whole of Saturday afternoon and evening painstakingly setting everything up, fitting all the tank equipment, adding gravel, water, scenery, live plants and treatment chemicals and finally switching everything on. I should add that the tank was sitting on top of a VERY substantial bookcase, far more substantial than most of the cabinets or tank stands, supplied by the manufacturers and it was absolutely flat and level. The book case dimensions are larger than the footprint of the tank, so it was not overhanging at all.

I went out yesterday afternoon with my wife and on our return home, we found that the front glass of the tank had cracked from top to bottom and deposited all 90 odd litres of water onto the lounge carpet!

I followed all the instructions / books I have to the letter, so is there anything I could have done wrong to cause this and what are my chances of getting the tank exchanged for a new one?

Best regards,
Eric
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby shazadh » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:28 pm

Sorry to hear of your tank cracking. I have been following your post and been wondering if the base is really as strong as you say. From where you say it cracked then im assuming all the weight fell towards the front middle of the tank causing it to crack. Im afraid to tell you that your base is not strong as you think it is. Once a tank is full of water it is dead weight. You should reconsider buying a base. Good luck. :D
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby k1rr1e » Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:55 pm

The base I used is a solid hardwood bookcase.

Looking from the front it is square with two jointed cross pieces which divide the large square into four smaller squares. The outer frame and the two x-pieces are all three inches thick and where the tank cracked, was in line with where the vertical x-piece is jointed to the top, so the tank was very well supported at that point. The whole structure cannot be lifted by one person due to its weight rather than its bulk, which is why I say that it is a lot more substantial than most manufacturer supplied stands or cabinets.

I don't have space for a seperate stand or cabinet, so IF the bookcase is the problem (and I say IF), what else can I do to prevent a recurrence?

Best regards,
Eric
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby shazadh » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:28 pm

Did you check if everything was level. Maybe it could just be that the tank was faulty :wink:
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby k1rr1e » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:47 pm

Yes, the top surface of the bookcase is smooth and I checked it with a spirit level (in all three planes) before I placed the tank on top.

Best regards,
Eric
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby SparkyST » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:49 pm

By display model did it actually have water in it in the shop?

If not it has probably taken a few knocks and could have had a hairline crack somewhere and the pressure and weight of water was enough to make it crack.

Hope the shop replaces it
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby k1rr1e » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:59 pm

It was on display in the shop and contained gravel (about 12 kgs), the pump, heater etc, rocks, wood and fake plants when I bought it, but there was no packaging or instructions
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby Carylnz » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:19 pm

If the bookcase was the problem I would expect the base to crack, not the front panel.
I wonder if something had happened to it while in the shop (or on the way home) to cause unseen stress on the glass, which later cracked. I don't think you will ever know and unless there was an obvious mark on the tank, it will have been sold in good faith.
One of the joys of fishkeeping is having a lot of water suddenly (or not so suddenly sometimes) all over the floor :(
Go back to the shop and explain what has happened and see what they say. If you tell them nicely they might help you by replacing it, or offering another at discount but I do not think they will be obligated to do so as we have no way of knowing if it was sold with an existing fault. It will have been cheaper, I assume, being an ex-display tank and so second hand in effect.
Don't let this put you off fish keeping though. I have seen tanks treated very badly, with chips out of them, badly scratched etc and yet they are used for many many years yet others, like yours, seem in pristine condition but break. Luckily this does not happen often.
In all my years of fish keeping (and I had over 18 tanks at the height of my interest) I only had one tank crack the base and that was due to stress after an earthquake - 250L through 22ft of lounge carpet, round onto the dining room vinyl, through the kitchen and it was just about to start on the carpet in the hall when we got up in the morning. Which reminds me, did you have the tank sitting on a sheet of polystyrene or similar or was it flat on the bookcase? I would never sit a glass tank on anything without something protective between it and the stand (but we live in earthquake country so perhaps it is not so important in other countries).
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby k1rr1e » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:16 am

Yes, I had a proper thin foam protective mat (produced by Clearseal) and trimmed to fit the footprint of the tank.
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby englishmx » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:50 pm

Dobbies are a reputable chain, take it back, I am sure they will offer a replacement.

Doesn't help your lounge carpet mind, sorry to hear about the mess :(
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby k1rr1e » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:55 am

I took the tank back to Dobbies yesterday and they had no hesitation in offering a replacement - very impressed!

The guy I spoke to told me that the Marina tanks have the same quality glass is all other Fluval tanks, but that the covers are not that good, as he demonstrated with the one I returned.

Having had one disaster, I am a bit reluctant to have the same large tank, but unfortunately the Marina 95 is the only large tank which fits the space I have available. I am therfore considering something smaller and I look the look of the Fluval Edge 46.

Any opinions or experiences with this tank which anyone can share would be appreciated - opinion seems to be fairly evenly divided on it

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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby Carylnz » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:46 am

Why not get a tank made to size from a glazier? Why are you only looking at the branded tanks?
All my tanks have been made by glaziers. I have never bought a branded one.
You might find this helpful.
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby k1rr1e » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:49 pm

Got a full refund from Dobbies and paid a visit to Waterworld Aquatics in Aberdeen on Saturday, which I previously wasn't aware of. They are agents and distributors for Fluval, Juwel and Eheim in our area and were extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

Anyway, as a beginner I didn't want to start with a 'build your own' setup, so I have ordered an Eheim Aquabay 104 (80W x 45H x 30D) for collection on Wednesday of this week. Hoping for better luck second time around?!

Meanwhile, I have also purchased a starter tank and filter from Pets at Home to keep all my plants alive and for future use.
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby Carylnz » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:57 am

Just a point - it wouldn't be "build your own" as you just go to a glazier and say you want a tank this size please and they do it for you :wink:
Always good to have a small tank about, not just to keep your plants alive in this case but as a sick bay or quarantine tank when required. Once the plants have gone into the new tank, if you do not wish to keep the small tank running, just keep the filter in the main tank along with the other filtration. When needed, whip out the small tank, fill half with main tank water and half fresh then pull already seeded filter out of main tank and voila! All you need to do then is top up the main tank again.
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Re: Cracked Tank

Postby steve008 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:25 pm

k1rr1e wrote:DISASTER - on Saturday I purchased a Marina 95 Tank and all the necessary equipment from Dobbies Garden Centre in Aberdeen who are a well repsected local supplier of all things aquatic. I should say that they only had one left in stock, a display model which came without packaging or instructions.

I spent the whole of Saturday afternoon and evening painstakingly setting everything up, fitting all the tank equipment, adding gravel, water, scenery, live plants and treatment chemicals and finally switching everything on. I should add that the tank was sitting on top of a VERY substantial bookcase, far more substantial than most of the cabinets or tank stands, supplied by the manufacturers and it was absolutely flat and level. The book case dimensions are larger than the footprint of the tank, so it was not overhanging at all.

I went out yesterday afternoon with my wife and on our return home, we found that the front glass of the tank had cracked from top to bottom and deposited all 90 odd litres of water onto the lounge carpet!

I followed all the instructions / books I have to the letter, so is there anything I could have done wrong to cause this and what are my chances of getting the tank exchanged for a new one?

Best regards,
Eric

sorry to hear about tank sounds like the base to me or faulty tank, rare for it to be the tank but not impossible
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