Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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theleetbeagle 07-13-2009 11:27 PM

Center Brace For 130g all-glass?
I purchased a "new" 130g off some guy on Craigslist. It's all glass and appears to be .5" panes.

The center brace, if ever there was one, is no longer there. Dude has a small piece of glass silicon'd in the middle to hold lighting in place for what I guess was going to be a reptile tank. He said he never did use it.

The question I have is, this will be a fish tank: Are center braces necessary? There is a lip along the border of the tank (to hold lighting in place) where I can brace it using plastic or metal, but is this necessary? If I fill it w/o a brace will it simply fall apart?


Fishin Pole 07-14-2009 06:03 AM

i wouldnt trust such a large tank without a center brace, especially if it had one from the start..........Can you tell if it was cut out?.............Another thing to consider is the tank said the previous owner was gonna make it a reptile tank, are you sure this is an aquarium or is it possibly a Critter Cage or Critter Keeper?..........There are major differences in the construction of the 2 different setups............Critter Keepers are not designed to be filled all the way up with water, these type tanks are not pressure tested and USUALLY use thinner glass.......Make sure what you have is an "Aquarium"..........Now the center brace issue, if filled with water, i would look at the tank from the side and see if the glass is bowing out, if it is remove water immediately,the tank will not take the pressure long without the center brace............130 gallons of water is alot of weight to be held back by only a sheet of glass without a center brace..........Sorry to give you some bad news about your tank, but these are things you need to consider before placing it in the house and having a major disaster..........I hope im wrong about it being a Critter Cage, but i would look into it all to avert a disaster..........

JohnnyD44 07-14-2009 06:06 AM

Nick, I had a similar problem with my 55G tank....while setting up my tank, I noticed that the center brace had slowly started to crack along the frame and peel away from the top framing piece(the one you are referring to about hold the lights)...I did not think it was a problem, as it sat for a few days cycling without any leaks or anything like that.....

after about 3 or 4 days, I noticed the tank was starting to bow at the top of it due to the brace peeling doesn't look like much but that brace is a essential part for the stability of your tank. After realizing my issue and talking with some memebers.....later that day I drained my tank, bought a new one....the old broken bracee one is sitting in my basement.

I hate to be hte bearer of bad news, but without that brace, I would not trust it with 125G of water, thats alot of stress with a support brace......just my experience!!!

In response to your other all of the things you mentioned and monitor your parameters can simply move your 55G filter over and run it with the new filter and your new filter will acclamate itself off of your old one.

theleetbeagle 07-14-2009 06:55 AM

I will cut and install a brace. I plan on filling it on my back porch and letting it sit for a week so that if it explodes it doesn't do so all over my front room.

It is definitely an aquarium as the glass is .5" all around and the entire unit weighs close to 200 lbs or possibly more.

JohnnyD44 07-14-2009 07:17 AM

Just out of would you get it to hold your glass top together?

theleetbeagle 07-14-2009 09:31 AM

glass top?

JohnnyD44 07-14-2009 10:20 AM

Sorry, I meant to say how would you get it to hold to the frame uptop(that runs around the top of your tank), and even more will you get it to support the stress a regular brace is meant to do for your tank? it's a lot of pressure on those braces

WisFish 07-14-2009 10:38 AM

The main question was never answered. Did it ever have a center brace? With glass that thick, it's possible it never had one. Older 55gal tanks used to not have a brace. I'm guessing because the glass was probably thicker. I agree with Fishin pole. Fill the tank up slowly, keeping an eye on how much the tank bows out. If it startes to bow more than 1/4", I'd start to worry. But take a look an see if it ever had a brace. With 1/2" glass, I bet it didn't. If it did, definitely make one.

theleetbeagle 07-14-2009 06:29 PM

I'll take pics. I don't think it ever did. It is a very solid tank.

buzz4520 07-15-2009 12:58 PM

older large tanks were constructed that way, they used 1/2" high tempered glass and can withstand the water pressure hence no center brace. i've got a 125 gal that's about 10 yrs old and has no center brace and glass is 1/2" thick. newer large tanks have 3/8" glass so they added center braces for more support.

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