Tank rebuild advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Tank rebuild advice

I found an old 120g oceanic on craigslist, got it home and it was way more scratched up than I thought.

It is 48x24x24 1/2 inch glass and 3/4 inch bottom. I have ordered new front glass, so I cut two 3" strips from the old front to brace the top on front and back euro brace ish style. Everything I have found points to this being adequate but nothing conclusive. the old brace was a 10 inch front to back piece and I would like to open the top up for easy access.

1) Will this be safe?

The sides sit on top of the bottom piece. With the bottom being so thick, the trim only stuck up a 1/2 inch at most, and didn't look sturdy to begin with. It looked obviously non-structural, just a lip for the tank to rest on.

2) Would I be ok leaving the bottom trim off? Would I need to support the whole bottom or could I use a typical 2x4 stand supporting the perimeter insuring a flat and level surface?

I've got all the old silicone off and want to hear opinions before I commit to the changes.

Thanks all!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 03:16 PM
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The idea for the euro bracing should be better than factory. The single crossbrace used originally just saved on glass. As for the bottom, you would probably be safe without the trim as the entire bottom pane acts like a euro brace. The question would come from the properties of the sealant used, shear strength vs. tensile strength. Get the best adhesive sealant available, GE-1 won't cut it.
You could leave the original trim off if you design a stand that incorporates a full perimeter banding that acts like the original trim. Oceanic tanks were built like army tanks, very strong. Most were used as saltwater tanks with corals and such, and as you have found, are usually pretty scratched. Good luck with the rebuild. Edit- Yes you want to support the entire bottom, full top from plywood.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 04:21 PM
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1) To be honest if this is your first tank I probably would not attempt a tank this big. Silicone will skin pretty quickly and then it does not create a great bond as will be evident by what looks like bubbles along the seam between the glass that can be easily seen when filled. So its important to be setup properly and work quickly to ensure its one continuous seam.

2) I would not only remove and reseal only the from pane for the reasons I stated above. You want the silicone to be seamless and it does not bond well to itself once it skins or dries. I would suggest completely disassembling the tank and completely resealing. I would consider attempting this on a small tank but definitely not a 120g for a first timer.

3) Although the brace on the bottom does provide support its more for the purpose of being able to place the tank on a surface that may be a touch uneven such as wood without creating uneven pressure. If you remove this it can increase the risk of a blowout (I'm not saying it will but rather it will increase the risk but I cannot say how much) so you will want to put something like a sheet of Styrofoam under it to achieve a good dispersion of weight. I would remove and reinstall the bottom trim if its in good shape.

4) I use https://www.amazon.com/GE-1200-Const.../dp/B001G0YLXA for building tanks and so do other professional tank builders. I am not a pro tank builder but I have built many tanks. I have used this for all my builds so I cannot attest to other products that may be better.

To be honest I would disassemble the tank and clean the glass up then try to find a local tank build to assemble it for you. It should not cost you much to do so since the glass is the expensive part.

Just my opinion and my experiences others may not agree.

Dan
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-04-2017, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies! I understand reluctance for advice on rebuilding something of this size and had kind of given up hope on hearing anything.

This isn't my first rebuild but it is on something this big. I've done a 75 and a weird 32x18x36 tank that the seals held fine on for 18 months until I took it down. I did get a new front glass and pulled everything apart and spent a week getting all the old silicone off.

I have everything assembled and curing, not a 1 person job. i was liberal with the silicone and it still only used 1 tube. I cut small 1/8 inch long spacers from zip ties to keep the front/back and sides from squishing all the silicone out due to their weight. I got the idea from the injection method.

My stand is ready to go and very flat. I think I am going to put the bottom trim back on just for piece of mind. I will report back, success or failure, when I start the fill test.

On another note, the day I ordered my glass I found another big tank on craigslist! Same footprint but 31" tall. It was a leaker so I got it for $100 and the glass is in great shape! I just cut out the seams without getting between the glass and resealed that way. We'll see how that one goes as well.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryguy View Post
Thanks for the replies! I understand reluctance for advice on rebuilding something of this size and had kind of given up hope on hearing anything.

This isn't my first rebuild but it is on something this big. I've done a 75 and a weird 32x18x36 tank that the seals held fine on for 18 months until I took it down. I did get a new front glass and pulled everything apart and spent a week getting all the old silicone off.

I have everything assembled and curing, not a 1 person job. i was liberal with the silicone and it still only used 1 tube. I cut small 1/8 inch long spacers from zip ties to keep the front/back and sides from squishing all the silicone out due to their weight. I got the idea from the injection method.

My stand is ready to go and very flat. I think I am going to put the bottom trim back on just for piece of mind. I will report back, success or failure, when I start the fill test.

On another note, the day I ordered my glass I found another big tank on craigslist! Same footprint but 31" tall. It was a leaker so I got it for $100 and the glass is in great shape! I just cut out the seams without getting between the glass and resealed that way. We'll see how that one goes as well.
Never tried the injection method so please let me know how it works for you. I have never built a tank that big. I do have some reservations on the method but that's probably because I have never used it. Although 1 major benefit is the fact it eliminates the worry of skinning. 1/8" spacers concern me a bit as I don't think I would be comfortable with anything more than 1/16" gap.

$100 score if the silicone between the glass looks good. 1-2 hrs. and $10-15 later you have a great tank.

Dan
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman911 View Post
Never tried the injection method so please let me know how it works for you. I have never built a tank that big. I do have some reservations on the method but that's probably because I have never used it. Although 1 major benefit is the fact it eliminates the worry of skinning. 1/8" spacers concern me a bit as I don't think I would be comfortable with anything more than 1/16" gap.


I did a hybrid method borrowing from the injection method. I cut 1/8" long spacers from a 1 mm thick zip tie. I put a glob of silicone down, squished the spacer down into it and proceeded as normal. I used 2 per side so I didn't compromise a lot. They held the sides 1 mm off the bottom glass. I too would be uncomfortable with a 1/8 inch silicone joint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman911 View Post
$100 score if the silicone between the glass looks good. 1-2 hrs. and $10-15 later you have a great tank.

Dan
Elbow grease, a tube of caulk and if it still doesn't work I'm out $100. I'll take that risk. The seller said it was a slow leak so I'm hoping that does it up right.
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