Help! My 180 gallon aqaurium exploded! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-29-2010, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Help! My 180 gallon aqaurium exploded!

I need help!

First of all check out my aquarium here:

It is 180 gallon freshwater aquarium that I bought from, i have had it setup for the past 7 months with water.

A few days ago in my sleep I heard a big *crack* then followed by the sound of flowing water! Water was gushing out of it! My house was flooded with water and has ruined my expensive hardwood floor and my silk rug!

Well I got it all cleaned up now, and after I took everything out of the aqauirum I see a big 3 foot crack on the bottom of the tank! After examining everything I think I came to the conclusion of why it cracked. The surface that the tank is sitting on is not completely flat! It kinda "bows" in, and right where it bows in the crack is right there!

The stand is custom built by my contractor, it has 6 legs (2 by 4 boards) and the top is Formica (laminate counter top).

Well, my contractor is coming over tomorrow to take a look at this.

Apparently my contractor has like no idea how to make a good fish tank stand that holds a 180 gallon aquarium!

What I need is suggestions on how to do this right so I can tell my contractor how to build the stand right!

I called glass cages and they suggested to use granite for the top the tank sits on. Is that a good idea? It sounds good to me, it would be completely flat and sturdy! You guys have any other suggestions??
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-29-2010, 07:54 PM
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Yeah, when you get to that kind of water volume, custom-built stands become a whole other ball game. 180 gallons of water weighs in at just over 1,500 pounds -- and that's just the water. That's not rock, substrate, so on, and so forth.

What I'd suggest is taking a peek at some of the premade aquarium furniture that's designed to hold that kind of weight, and follow a similar design. The engineers that design those spend alot of time making sure the right supports are in the right places. Designing something similar will probably yield better results.

On a side note, I've done two wall tanks in the past, but neither were that large. The ones I have done, though, had cement foundations, and were supported by stone. A thick stone top may very well be your only option. Wait for some more opinions though -- maybe someone around here has done a wall tank that big before and has some first-hand experience.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-29-2010, 08:35 PM
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I'm glad you have everything in order now, but OMG, I would have KILLED someone in your position.

Also, I can't wait to see pics of when you get it back up!

I'm a spaz...
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-29-2010, 09:07 PM
Its a 180 gal and you are saying it just cracked along the bottom pane of glass!? It could of easily been the stand, however I would take up an issue with on why that bottom pane cracked. A bottom pane especially on a tank that size should never crack. This is because the bottom pane should ALWAYS be tempered glass! Tempered glass AKA saftey glass does not crack, when it fails the whole pane will fracture into tiny bits. This doesn't seem very important, but tempered glass is 4 or 5 times stronger then a regular pane. Any larger tank you buy from a chain will have the bottom pane tempered. It is the only safe way to hold up that much water with a piece of glass. Here is a test to tell if it is tempered or not.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-29-2010, 09:59 PM
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I have nothing to help you with, but I am jealous of the tank. And even more so of your garage

5 gallon
3 MTS(sure to be mean more soon)

55 gallon
Bloat who is a Fahaka puffer
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-29-2010, 10:53 PM
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The same thing happened to my 55gal. The metal stand I purchased didn't support the middle of the tank. So 1 night the tank bottom cracked.
I put all the fish in a coleman cooler and re-siliconed the tank. When I put the tank back on the stand, I put a layer of cork in between the tank and stand to take up the gaps.
I don't think you need granite. But you do need support especially at the ends and alone the front and rear. Basically where the black plastic frame is along the outside of the tank. Having the stand level is also a must.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-29-2010, 10:58 PM
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that sucks...

If it was me, I would not be using a wood frame... I would go with steel frame that has been covered with wood ...

ummm go here to see what i mean
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-29-2010, 11:40 PM
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i had this saved on my computer from awhile ago. i remember finding it on the web, just not where but its a good sturdy design. i would include atleast 1 sheet of plywood across the back for added rigidity. i would also be sure to take a level to the stand after its in its resting place to be sure its lying flat. building the stand square is obviously also very important.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-29-2010, 11:44 PM
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I would also add in triangular bars wherever possible, as triangles will make it that much stronger.

if you use wood... I'm still a big fan of the steel though lol
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-30-2010, 12:43 AM
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i had an entire page typed and it got deleted so heres the quick version. i would def. do the red and yellow boards in 2x6s at the minimum, even better the entire stand. i would also add a sheet of plywood across the back for added rigidity instead of triangles. be sure to check the stand before and after adding the plywood across the back. it may be level before adding it and after it may add a slight twist in the stand, making it not sit fully flat and level. i would also test this in the place where it will be going, not where it was built.

and i went ahead and added a sheet to the front

if you want to get technical i used some wood putty on screw holes and seams as well as some bathroom caulk on the inside of the stand around the edges. this is to prevent any spills or leaks from getting down under the stand to the hardwood floors.

primed and added some basic doors

and a door on the right side opens to a small storage area for dosing chemicals

since the basement ceiling was exposed at the time during this, i added 2 more beams to the existing ones

just a cheap way of knowing i wont wake up finding my tank in the basement. i also did this because the tank runs parallel to the beams as oppose to the beams running vertical under it which would be a stronger support. even if the tank wasnt going to fall through the floor, it will help incase it decides to sag.
added basic molding trim

tank and stand, the open window in the bottom is my sump

i originally was going to build an add-on for the skimmer to sit next to the stand but i ended up using one my of in sump skimmers anyways. i still may do this but havnt got around to it.

and heres a FTS from 7.12.09

if building with wood, i would start with that basic frame i posted in picture one and then add onto that. ply if its just getting painted or a nicer wood grain for stain. hope that helps some and sorry to hear about your tank.
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