Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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coydog429 06-27-2012 05:32 PM

Broken Tank Support
My cat went after a fly, like usual, except he knocked a picture off the wall and broke the middle support of my gallon tank. :cry: I managed to pull the broken pieces out before to much damage was done. I did take it down below half mark on the tank. I only have a few guppies left after the accident and the lower water doesn't seem to be messing with them. All my plants besides the Anubias and my floating hornwart have been moved to my other betta tanks till I can get it fixed. Do you guys have any suggestions on what I could do with it for now since I have to get to a glass shop to have a new piece cut? What would you all do about it?

PS: sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

rjordan390 06-27-2012 06:53 PM

I believe your post is a bit confusing.
You say gallon tank or is it gallons? Supports are mostly made of plastic. You say your cat broke that but then you say you need to go to a glass shop to get a new glass. Can you post a picture of the damage?

coydog429 06-27-2012 07:28 PM

The tank is an all glass 55 gallon aquarium. The support across the top is glass, 1/4th inch thick. My cat broke it by knocking the picture off the wall above the tank and it had hit the middle support in such a way as to break the glass. I will post a pic as soon as I get my camera working.

coydog429 06-27-2012 07:41 PM

3 Attachment(s)

rjordan390 06-27-2012 08:19 PM

This is the first time I seen something like that. The glass appears to have been put there to support something laying on top of it. Every tank that I have seen over many years had one piece plastic framing all around the tank including a center support that is also molded into the framing.
How old is this tank? If it was purchased used, I suspect a former owner cut out the center support. This places a lot of pressure on the front and rear glass. I don't see how a piece of glass can support the front and rear glass. Unless this tank was designed for reptiles. These tanks do not reqiuire a center brace. Then if thats the case, I would not use it for a fish tank. its an accident waiting to happen.

rjordan390 06-27-2012 08:51 PM

The above message was meant for tanks over 30 gallon.

coydog429 06-27-2012 09:20 PM

This is how the tank was purchased new about 12 years ago as a fish aquarium. The top support was used to keep the front and back glass from bowing out due to the water pressure. It is still all original sealant, frame, and glass. The dimensions are 48" long X 12" wide X 20" deep.

coydog429 06-27-2012 09:28 PM

After reading your post again, I was thinking that I might just make this tank into a Bombina Orientalis (Fire-Bellied Toad) Vivarium. They don't require much water in thier enclosure so should not stress the glass very much. I can also keep what is left of my guppy fish in the water section.

rjordan390 06-27-2012 10:14 PM

That's about all its good for.
Aquarium sealant is only meant to keep water in the aquarium and not for support.

eug 06-28-2012 01:02 AM

rjordan390's advice is totally wrong so far. That middle brace is indeed critical for the structure of the tank, and is a common construction seen on many aquariums. You can verify how crucial it was by taking a tape measure when the tank is filled up, and you can check how much the middle is bowing out now. I know from experience because I've recently had bracing issues of my own. Silicone sealant is nearly always used to fix the brace in place because of its surprising strength and flexibility. If you you do some research on DIY aquarium building, you'll see that it's standard practice.

For now, lower the water level to a point where the bowing isn't too extreme (for a tank your size, I'd say like 2-3 mm altogether combining both sides) and get a new piece of glass cut asap. You can easily fix it in again with silicone sealant - but remember that you will have to lower the water level to a point where the bowing is hardly occuring before you slilicone the brace back into place. Good luck!

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