How to Recycle a Glass Aquarium

Written by jeva anand Google
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How to Recycle a Glass Aquarium
Start a new hobby with a recycled aquarium. (Pineapple fish image by nata_rass from

Chances are, you have an old aquarium in your basement or attic. Perhaps you bought one at a yard sale. Old aquariums can be recycled with minimal effort and expense. If the silicone seals around the edges are still good, the old aquarium will clean up quickly and easily and you will be able to add a piece of underwater tranquillity to your home. It takes a bit more effort to repair the silicone seals. If you don't want to go through the trouble of fixing the seals, you can recycle your old aquarium by converting it into a terrarium.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Plastic scrubbing pad
  • Razor blade aquarium scraper
  • Paper towels
  • White vinegar
  • Razor blade, single-edged
  • Silicone, aquarium safe
  • Caulking gun
  • Masking tape

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  1. 1

    Inspect the aquarium's seals and glass panes. If the silicone seals are chipped, you will need to reseal the aquarium before you can use it. Minor chips in the glass can be filled with sealant. If the cracks go all the way through the glass, it is not safe to fill it with water. The aquarium will leak. Worse, the water pressure can break the glass. Check the aquarium for animal smells.

  2. 2

    Clean the aquarium with white vinegar. Use a razor blade aquarium scraper to remove debris from the glass panes and a plastic scrubbing pad to clean the silicone seals. Rinse the aquarium thoroughly.

  3. 3

    Fill the aquarium with water. Dry off the outside with paper towels. If you notice any leaks, you need to replace the silicone seals.

  1. 1

    Cut into the silicone with the razor blade. Usually, it takes several passes with the blade to cut all the way to the corner. Avoid cutting into the joint between the two glass panes. Remove all silicone pieces.

  2. 2

    Place strips of masking tape along both sides of the aquarium's interior edges. Begin with the verticals, then proceed with the horizontals.

  3. 3

    Run a bead of silicone along the aquarium's interior edges, between the strips of masking tape. Allow the silicone sealant to cure 24 to 48 hours.

  4. 4

    Remove the masking tape. Fill the aquarium with water to check for leaks.

Tips and warnings

  • -- Always use caution when working with razor blades.
  • -- Make sure the sealant is aquarium safe. If it is not, it could contain chemicals that are toxic for your fish.
  • -- Always cover your aquarium or terrarium, especially if you own cats.

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