60 gallon breeder with miter framing, is it safe?
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:33 AM   #1
pianofish
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60 gallon breeder with miter framing, is it safe?


Hey everyone,

So today I scored some awesome tanks from a local club member here. 2 X 60 gallon breeder tanks that were custom built by another local club member here a year ago. The tanks seem to be built, well, like a tank. Very structurally sound, holds water well. However... it was built using a mitered wooden rim... From a strictly vertical support view, this seems to have been done very very well, meaning that the bottom is well supported and I will be leaving the bottom trim on. However, right now, being that its a mitered wood trim (4 pieces of wood, glued at the joints) I'm not sure how I feel about the structural integrity of the tank from a bowing safety rating.

The tanks dimensions are 36" long X 19" Wide X 20" high

Safety calcs that I have used show that this tank without bracing has a safety rating of about 4.4-5 . While this is well over the industry standard for a braced tank. It is definitely not at the 7.6 mark used for rimless tanks.

I plan on filling the tank and measuring bowing tomorrow. But depending on how much it bows I may end up bracing the corners? Like this tank

Basically 6"X6" right triangle on each corner? I think that would look better than eurobracing and I could just leave the top of the aquarium rimless without the mitered rim. I do plan on drilling for an internal/external overflow like the user, "crazymittens" has here on TPT. I would leave the bottom rim braced.

What do you guys think? Can I just do the corners? Or should I euro brace it?
I feel like with the bottom trim and corner bracing I shouldn't have a problem? I have plenty of spare glass, I may try corner bracing and see the bow/deflection and see what happens.
The glass is 3/8" thick, which falls right in between 9 and 10 mm
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:27 PM   #2
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Hmmmmm........Tough one.

20" high using 3/8" is just a little beyond my comfort zone for a rimless tank.

I think I'm mis-reading this, but are the glass panels mitered too, or just the wooden trim? It's rare I know, but not unheard of.

I'm not sure you'd be buying yourself much in the way of insurance with corner chevrons. Bowing occurs in the middle and the chevrons won't do much to alleviate it. I would measure the bowing first, just to see if there is anything to be concerned about.

While I certainly understand that rimless tanks fill an aesthetic niche, you should also consider where and how the tank will be displayed. In other words will being rimless be that big of a deal? Certainly a personal choice / decision that's unique to you, but should just be part of the thinking this through. So that if you're even considering adding corner chevrons, you'd be better served just eurobracing it.

If you want a point of comparison: I was given an old 125G made entirely of 1/2" glass. Weighed twice as much as the one I already had, and felt like more. No one-piece trim. The plastic trim on top was four mitered pieces of molded plastic. The tank was essentially rimless. The only thing special about it was that there were small clear plastic "spacers" in all the silicone beads between the panels. Kind of like the little bumpers on the inside of overlay cabinet doors. That made the silicone bead a hair thicker, and probably allowed it to be assembled without any special jigs that would keep the 1/2" panels from squishing all the silicone out.

So there may be some bowing. But in the end I think we tend to overthink these things and overbuild as well. I think you'll have your answer when you fill it to test the bowing.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:30 PM   #3
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Well the tank glass is not mitered. Built normally. Just the rim.

I guess I'm also asking because the tank is "essentially rimless" with the mitered trim on. So either way, I might a well just take the mitered trim off the top since it's adding nothin structurally. But I will be derimming the top today and filling with water, so we will see. I've read that even a millimeter of deflection is bad, so I will measure and see. I really want a bulletproof tank so I may go ahead and eurobrace the front and back panes with 2 inch glass panes either way.


Do you think that would give me a better guarantee?
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:56 PM   #4
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Bushkill, adding the triangle corner braces does a lot of good. It isn't as effective as Eurobracing, but still very effective. This sketch shows why:


With the corner braces the glass is restrained from bending all the way from corner to corner, so the total deflection is considerably less.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pianofish View Post
I've read that even a millimeter of deflection is bad, so I will measure and see.
Joshua
Every thing that is stressed bends. No material is so stiff that it can resist a bending load without bending a little bit. All glass tanks have the glass bowed out a little when filled with water. How much they bow out depends on both the glass thickness and the length of the panel. I suspect that most tanks of that size bow out a millimeter or more in the middle of the front and back panels. Someone who wants to take the time to calculate or research can tell us what the acceptable bowing out distance is for that tank, while still having an adequate safety factor.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:19 PM   #6
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Based on a safety calculator poseidons dot uk something or another. Don't have the actual address at the moment. I shortened the length by 10 inches basically making it a 26" tank in reference to bowable length an the calc showed a safety factor of 6-6.4 which is really really good for rimless bowing. Showed a max of a 1/4 mm bowing. I know industry standard is 7.6 but 6.4 is pretty darn close. I'll call a local glass cutter and see which is cheaper. The 5x5 corners in 3/8" glass or 2x 2" wide 36" strips for front and back euro bracing.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:00 PM   #7
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You're right. My phrasing was bad. The bracing would just be be more effective. Corner chevrons that would cover 1/3 of the tank's overall length would have to help minimize bowing. The effect your diagram depicts would probably be even more distinct.

The part I left out is that corner chevrons, especially that big, will make maintenance at least inconvenient. Even in eurobraced tanks, that area under the corners ends up being a PITA at times. A 2" bracing strip just makes it more manageable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Bushkill, adding the triangle corner braces does a lot of good. It isn't as effective as Eurobracing, but still very effective. This sketch shows why:


With the corner braces the glass is restrained from bending all the way from corner to corner, so the total deflection is considerably less.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:19 AM   #8
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Although a miter corner is fairly weak I would have to believe that if it is wrapped around the glass it is preventing a large bow. Just the fact that the glass rests against the wood is adding resistance to a bow. Pictures would help a lot. I wouldn't take the trim off as it is probably structural.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:52 AM   #9
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Too late, already took it off. But that's okay, it came out pretty clean. I'm gonna do a bow test tomorrow afternoon and see what we are looking at.
If I can get away with the chevrons then I will, I prefer the look of an open top if I can. However, I wouldn't mind 2" euro bracing strips. I'll see what is cheaper.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:53 PM   #10
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That's an old Oceanic tank. The exact same plastic / resin trim that was on the 125G I was referring to above. It's not wooden. I'll agree that that specific trim added some structural integrity, but not very much. The silicone used wasn't the same formula you see used in stock tanks today. That's a very old tank and you may want to extend the leak test a bit and inspect the inner beads for air pockets and the outer beads for adhesion / torn areas.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:12 PM   #11
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Still doing euro bracing on top. Decided against doing the chevrons, I'll feel safer with 2" bracing.

Yeah figured out it was a plastic trim panel. But talk about not very strong. It was cut like butter with a razor and the joints came undone very quickly with a little prodding. Not much structural benefit.

Turns out tank was custom built, and it is only a year old. Further inspection on tank shows no sign of wear on the actual seals at the joints, no bubbling. However, the inside of the tank the silicone is pretty ragged in some places, so I think I will cut down to the corner flush, and reseal the internal silicone with industrial grade silicone.

Also plan on using muriatic acid to clean off some of the mild mineralization on the glass, get a real clean finish. Glass shops are getting back to me with quote for this afternoon on the euro braces. So we shall see!
Any tips for silicone reseal besides using tape, and a good bead size?
Joshua
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pianofish View Post
Still doing euro bracing on top. Decided against doing the chevrons, I'll feel safer with 2" bracing.

Yeah figured out it was a plastic trim panel. But talk about not very strong. It was cut like butter with a razor and the joints came undone very quickly with a little prodding. Not much structural benefit.

Turns out tank was custom built, and it is only a year old. Further inspection on tank shows no sign of wear on the actual seals at the joints, no bubbling. However, the inside of the tank the silicone is pretty ragged in some places, so I think I will cut down to the corner flush, and reseal the internal silicone with industrial grade silicone.

Also plan on using muriatic acid to clean off some of the mild mineralization on the glass, get a real clean finish. Glass shops are getting back to me with quote for this afternoon on the euro braces. So we shall see!
Any tips for silicone reseal besides using tape, and a good bead size?
Joshua
Try this: http://www.grainger.com/product/4UH1...140113181238:s

If you have a Grainger store nearby, give it a shot. The title reads "sealant", but if you look at the tube it reads "adhesive". Big difference. A big bead won't make it any stronger. The thicker the bead the longer the cure time. Tape the joints and just run you finger right up the corner in one continuous motion. It sets fast so you won't get a second chance.

Good choice on the Eurobracing. Shop the price. There's no rhyme or reason as to what glass shops will charge.

If this was a SW tank, those may be areas where coralline algae encrusted. If it's going to come off, run a mild vinegar solution over those spots. M A may be overkill. Coralline can etch glass is it isn't scraped off every so often. I have tons of hazy patches on the back and one side of my 125G.
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