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Broken Tank Support

This is a discussion on Broken Tank Support within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Varkolak If its small enough it shouldn't be an issue, what is height and width? For height I'd say about 20,21 ...

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Old 06-29-2012, 02:57 AM   #31
 
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Originally Posted by Varkolak View Post
If its small enough it shouldn't be an issue, what is height and width?
For height I'd say about 20,21 iches. The width is the same as standard 55, and I know this because it sat on a 55 stand, before I got my 55.
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:16 AM   #32
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Not so fast - I would like to reiterate again that if the manufacturer thought the tank is safe without a brace, why on earth would they bother to spend their resources in putting one in?

The only way to really tell is to gradually fill the tank, say up to 1/4 full and take a measurement with a tape measure to see how far it's bowing, then at 1/3 full, measure, 1/2 full, etc... I'm going to go with the German industry standards here and say the bowing should be less than the length divided by 500, so for a 3 foot tank (36 inches / 500) that would be 0.072 inches of bowing that is the allowable maximum. That's the amount of bowing for one side by the way, so if you're taking the measurement from front to back in the middle of the tank, this measurement would be for both panes combined so your maximum allowable would be double that.

I have just a 30 gallon tank, and in an experiement in removing braces, I found that the amount of bowing exceeded these guidelines, and therefore I quickly had to build a new bracing solution. Again, the manufacturer put those braces there for a reason, and wouldn't randomly waste an expensive piece of glass just for the heck of it.

Last edited by eug; 06-29-2012 at 03:18 AM..
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:19 AM   #33
 
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If its a plastic brace and it just broke in the middle you can drill 2 holes in each side and bolt it back together with a piece of metal, At that height I would say fix it just to be safe and it shouldn't cost too much - if your willing to risk woods slow deterioration you can simply use screws through the underside into a piece of hardwood above but I would still drill holes before using the screws so you don't damage the brace any further

Btw I love how this forum doesn't have a hissy about derailed topics
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:13 AM   #34
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Derailed? In the wrong forum, definitely, but we're still very much on topic!

With the drilling/bolting method, because basically all of the force is going to land on the bolt joint, I'd be afraid of the plastic eventually cracking under the pressure. I think it's safe to say the wider the area you can distribute the force, the less chance of failure. A plastic brace that is integrated with the frame that is well designed can ensure this, but if you DIY by just adding a hole or two, a) the drilling might compromise the strength of the plastic and b) as I said, the stress will be concentrated on the plastic directly around the bolts.

I do believe a glass strip siliconed directly to the front and back panes is actually one of the best methods, and also prevents light from being blocked out. The only downside to a glass cross brace is, as this thread illustrates, it doesn't hold up very well to hard impacts caused by falling objects, etc. The strip of glass also needs to be wide enough to provide an adequate sized surface for silicone to adhere to, although I can't say for sure how wide that actually is.

Jayy, it would be really useful to provide some more information, since there are several different types of braces commonly seen in aquaria. A photo would be best. It's hard to give good advice otherwise.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:58 AM   #35
 
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Originally Posted by eug View Post
Derailed? In the wrong forum, definitely, but we're still very much on topic!

With the drilling/bolting method, because basically all of the force is going to land on the bolt joint, I'd be afraid of the plastic eventually cracking under the pressure. I think it's safe to say the wider the area you can distribute the force, the less chance of failure. A plastic brace that is integrated with the frame that is well designed can ensure this, but if you DIY by just adding a hole or two, a) the drilling might compromise the strength of the plastic and b) as I said, the stress will be concentrated on the plastic directly around the bolts.

I do believe a glass strip siliconed directly to the front and back panes is actually one of the best methods, and also prevents light from being blocked out. The only downside to a glass cross brace is, as this thread illustrates, it doesn't hold up very well to hard impacts caused by falling objects, etc. The strip of glass also needs to be wide enough to provide an adequate sized surface for silicone to adhere to, although I can't say for sure how wide that actually is.

Jayy, it would be really useful to provide some more information, since there are several different types of braces commonly seen in aquaria. A photo would be best. It's hard to give good advice otherwise.
I'm away from home at the moment, but I'll try to post pictures torromow or Sunday.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:54 PM   #36
 
We acquired a 55 with a broken brace. It's been up for three months. Upon reading the thread Friday, I put a tape measure to it when I got home. Sure enough, it is 1/4" wider in the middle.
I drained twenty gallons into a tub, clamped the brace in place and smeared silicone around.
This morning I drained another ten gallons to minimize the bow and fabricated a brace of a 1/4" threaded rod, large fender washers bolted into position at each end; two nuts to each washer.
There was a moment of panic-no, sheer terror-when the second tub had a large hole in it, and I thought I'd cracked the tank.
We're back together, refilled and looking good.
Sorry I chickened out and didn't wait to see of the silicone held it together.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:18 AM   #37
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Jayy,

Did you get around to making photos of this broken brace?

cwmorrow,

1/4 inch is definitely enough to be worried about. It's definitely good you chose to build a new brace, because smearing silicone around the old plastic brace was unlikely to hold - silicone is only really good if it's joining two pieces of glass together. From your description though it sounds like the brace is contacting the glass in a fairly concentrated small area? I understand what the cross brace is made of, but I'm not sure how you attached it to the front and back panes. Can you provide photos? Because the point where the glass meets the brace will see a lot of strain, it's best to make that area of contact as wide as possible to spread out the force from the water pressure pushing outwards. Basically the same idea as when for example the tank bottom glass is sitting on an uneven surface, and thus the localtion of the tank stand where there's a bump in the surface will be the place where most of the weight of the tank will be concentrated on, and therefore will be the likely place for an eventual catastrophic breakage.

Last edited by eug; 07-08-2012 at 07:23 AM..
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:45 AM   #38
 
It is a 1/4" threaded rod with fender washers bolted in place at each end.
The usual apologies for my phone camera.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Repair1.jpg (27.7 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Repair2.jpg (30.8 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Repair3.jpg (30.0 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Repair4.jpg (35.8 KB, 21 views)
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #39
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Yeah that's what I thought from your description.

I guess because since the brace is supporting the bit against the plastic frame which should even out the forces a bit, it's probably fine, although I would personally take the time to make the brace sit more flush with the tank frame somehow instead of having it sticking out like that, and make the "hook" that holds the glass panes in place a bit wider.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #40
 
I'd rather have a piece of stainless steel with elbows at each end, but fir Saturday morning and four dollars, it ain't bad.
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