I was wondering how long the seals last on an AGA. My tanks been running continuously for about five years or so. I recently read a post where a reefer's tank suddenly blew out a seal. Is this common or a rare incident? Thanks for your time folks.
The lifespan on a typical quality glass aquarium is about 10 years with regular use. It's not to say that it won't last 15 or more, but for my money its worth replacing after that period of time. I had an aquarium blow out when I was on vacation a few years back and that one was only 6 or 7 years old. I believe it was an AGA 22 gallon too. I'm replacing my 75 that I've had since middle school with a new 250 acrylic system. I'm using my weak seal edges as an excuse to substantially increase my volume.
Not to mention if the acrylic tank was built correctly you should never have a seam blow out on a acrylic tank as they are all one piece after chemical wielding.....I have read different lifespans on glass tanks alot of it has to do with the curing of the silicone seals. If they didn't cure properly you will get early degrading of the seal. Like if the seals cured in a high moisture area etc.....I honestly think most breakage comes from not having the stand plum or level in the first place. That's not with just AGA but all glass tanks which puts undo stress on the seals and eventually break....That just my opinion though.
i've seen some references to aga seals lasting for 20+ years. my oldest is 12 and i have no worries about it leaking any time soon. always can re-seal them if your worried about it blowing a seam. acrylics aren't worry free as a chemical weld will eventually give out over time also.
Actually if the chemical weld is done properly there is no worry of it ever breaking. As the 2 pieces of acrylic have become one piece after the welding, if it does come apart then it wasn't done correctly.
Glass tanks have a lifespan of seven to ten years on average. Every once and a while, you hear about someone with a fifteen year old tank, but it's not very common. Re-sealing can be done by yourself, but the tank must be taken down and emptied.
An acrylic tank should last for a long, long time. If it's properly sealed, the seams are actually stronger than the main panels - it's not the seams that will fail, but the top panel that will crack. The stress placed on the top from the bowing the main panels experience, along with the expansion cycles from water changes / temperature changes are what will do it in.
As was previously mentioned, the type of surface you place the aquarium on is probably the biggest lifespan factor that you can control.
No offense meant but 7-10 years is just a number that is floating around the internet it isn't based on any facts that I can find. I've had more than one tank last for over 15 years I either just ended up scratching the hell out of them and buying new ones or the fish died and I switched them over to reptiles or rodents. I've also seen postings of people having glass tanks over 30 years old with no problems at all depends upon the initial quality and how you take care of it. A cheap tank from Wal-Mart made in China yes may only get 7-10 but a good quality tank will last 20+. Oceanic has a lifetime warranty on their aquariums so why would they offer that if its only going to last 7 years? The one thing that keeps me away from acrylic is that it becomes very brittle over time especially if exposed to UV light. I'll wait till they've been around a lot longer before I switch though I do like the looks of them.
One other thing, DAP which makes silicone sealants, has a lifetime warranty on their silicone for windows, most others have 40-50 year warranties on silicone sealants so it lasts a lot longer than 7-10. Here is an old thread on the same subject from 2000 from another site http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plants/month.200005/msg00570.html