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Strange tank construction

iburley

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Apologies if this is in the wrong place in the forum as I'm not a newbie but I have purchased a new tank and it's a bit unusual and would like some advice.

IMG_20191012_123445.jpg
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You can hopefully see that there are extra glass strips bonded (silicone I think) to the front and rear glass near the top.

I purchased this tank because my existing one is quite old and has leaked unexpectedly (sealed for now but I think it's no longer trustworthy). The one I have just purchased is the only one I could find that was 1 foot/30cm deep and approximately a metre wide, which is similar to my existing tank. This is on a shelf in an alcove and is the maximum depth supportable.

I'm not very keen on these extra bits of glass as they will get in the way of the fixings/pipework for my spraybar and the pump inlet downpipe. I also have a twin-fan cooler for the summer that will be partially obscured by the glass strip.

I'm guessing these strips are for strengthening. Oddly, the front and rear panes of glass are thinner than the sides (opposite to my existing tank).

I'm seriously thinking about removing at least one of them (at the back where it causes the most problems for my setup.

I'd be interested to know what people here think?
 

Colin_T

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Can you post a picture of the entire tank from above?

What are the actual tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

How thick is the glass?

If the tank is 3 foot long or more, it should be made from 6mm (1/4 inch) thick glass, and it should have support strips, which it appears to have, and a cross member that goes from the front to the back of the tank.
 

essjay

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The strips are also useful for holding cover glasses.
 

essjay

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I have had several tank with those strips. My first 60 litre tank (Marina) had them; my first betta tank (25 litre, Clearseal) had them; my current custom built 180 litre (N D Aquatics) has them. The 180 litre also has cover glasses and the runners rest on the strips.

As Colin said, with larger tanks they stop the glass bowing outwards. The tank in the photo has them instead of a bracer bar running from the front pane to the back pane over the middle of the tank. My old 125 litre had this bracer bar; unfortunately it was attached to the trim and the trim pulled off the back pane and the tank started to bow. I didn't want to try to repair it so I used it as the excuse to get a bigger tank :)
 
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iburley

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IMG_20191013_164007.jpg

The side panes and the extra bits are 6mm thick and the front and back are just 4mm. This was an off the shelf tank and a cheap one (UK£90). 36x18x12 inches.

I'd have paid more but this was the only one that would fit into the space available at a decent capacity. It's slightly deeper than the old one but a few cm less wide. It's 100L instead of my old tank's 120L.

I have my spray bar on the left side so the flow is from left to right. I'll have to seriously re-jig the pipework from the pump because the gap between the end of the strip and the side of the tank is too small.

The repair on the old tank is holding but it doesn't look that great if you look closely. basically the right-front vertical seam gave way. It was a very close call as the tank half-emptied all over the floor in about 5 minutes - basically just a few minutes after having got home. All the fish were saved and are still going strong :)

This was a few months ago. We completely emptied the tank and re-siliconed all the seams (though not removing the old silicone). The original tank is an old Juwel Rekord (no longer made). It has a plastic/rubber seal along the seams rather than traditional silicone. I don't really trust it and there is tape holding the right front seam togegther in case it goes again.
 
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iburley

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The strips are also useful for holding cover glasses.
I have a Red Sea DIY aquariim net frame (lost an overnight jumper a while back) and this rests on the top of the tank so no need to rest anything on the strips, which are a bit low, anyway. Basically, they are in the way.
 

Colin_T

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I am concerned the front and back of the tank are only 4mm thick. In Australia we have tanks that are 3 foot long x 14 inches wide x 18 inches high (similar to this tank), and they are 6mm all round and have the support strips and a cross member on the top.

Having the front and back made of 4mm thick glass is unusual because the front and back (long sides) have the most pressure on them and are more likely to bulge or crack.

Not having a cross member on the top is a concern too. The cross member holds the front and back together at the top and stops the sides bulging out. You can silicon a cross member on the top but I would contact the shop and make sure the tank is meant to have 4mm thick glass, because I don't think it's safe.
 
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iburley

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I am concerned the front and back of the tank are only 4mm thick. In Australia we have tanks that are 3 foot long x 14 inches wide x 18 inches high (similar to this tank), and they are 6mm all round and have the support strips and a cross member on the top.

Having the front and back made of 4mm thick glass is unusual because the front and back (long sides) have the most pressure on them and are more likely to bulge or crack.

Not having a cross member on the top is a concern too. The cross member holds the front and back together at the top and stops the sides bulging out. You can silicon a cross member on the top but I would contact the shop and make sure the tank is meant to have 4mm thick glass, because I don't think it's safe.
Yes, my concerns too!
 

Hairy_Trev

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Hi;
Just for my twopennyworth, and probably repeating what others have said, The strips across the top of the front and rear glass are for strengthening, (I beleive this style is referred to as "euro-bracing) intsead of having a crossmember centrally in the tank.
I think if you check through a previous post I've made on this forum, you'll find details of a 200 litre Fluval Roma tank which I found at the roadside with a broken front glass. These tanks normally have a plastic brace incorporated into the top frame but as the frame was broken when I found it, I bought a new sheet of glass for the front and two extra strips approx 30mm wide which I siliconed in at the top in exactly the same manner as you describe in your own tank. I've had no problems with the tank since doing this repair.
So.... my answer summary would be, although there is a chance that the glass would be ok without these braces, they are there to stop the surface from flexing and causing undue stress on the glass. When you fill a tank of this size, there is a measurable increse in size as the glass panels bow outwards, and I'd rather keep the extra security than risk 200 litres of Thames Water's finest from flooding my living room!!!
 

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