Mixing glass thicknesses - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Mixing glass thicknesses

I recently acquired two things for free.. a 100gallon tank made of 1/2" glass, and a large plate of 3/8" glass that was an old tabletop.

The aquarium is 5ft long, 24 high and 18 deep. It needs new panels - notably a single side (cracked) and a front panel ( scratched up). there is enough glass to cut a front panel, as well as two new sides. is it generally okay for me to mix these two thicknesses?

I would be keeping the original bottom and back piece of 1/2" and putting on a new front and sides of 3/8.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 05:26 PM
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I'd be wary of varying thicknesses asymmetrically. I would be afraid that the pieces would flex differently and put too much strain on one seam. It seems that every panel that is the same size should be the same thickness (front and back, or left and right sides).

“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.” -Jules Verne
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 05:41 PM
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There are calculators out there than you can check and its not overly uncommon to use a thinner glass for the short sides when building aquariums (I would not use it for the front or back). But I would be concerned over the type of glass of the old table. A lot of times things like coffee tables, screen door windows, glass doors for furniture are made with tempered glass for safety reasons. The type of glass most commonly used in aquariums is regular float glass with sometimes the bottom piece being tempered. However once glass has been tempered it cannot be cut and will literally shatter into thousands of pieces if you try.

Just a word of caution.

Dan
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think its tempered glass as I couldn't see any abnormalities through my polarized sunglasses... I can take it into a glass shop and they can tell me for sure.

Really the only side that will be different would be the back of the tank.. both thicknesses of glass would meet the minimum requirements for a 5ft tank, and it would be braced as well with some of the leftover glass.. 3" pieces siliconed to the top.

I would also be reducing the overall height of the tank by 3-4 inches as the plate glass is only 42" wide... so my total height will actually be around 20.5 inches.

Safety factor of 4.0 ( with 10mm glass) according to http://www.theaquatools.com/building-your-aquarium. seeing as the back and bottom of the tank are actually thicker, I would think the rating wouldn't be any less.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyGrimgore View Post
I don't think its tempered glass as I couldn't see any abnormalities through my polarized sunglasses... I can take it into a glass shop and they can tell me for sure.

Really the only side that will be different would be the back of the tank.. both thicknesses of glass would meet the minimum requirements for a 5ft tank, and it would be braced as well with some of the leftover glass.. 3" pieces siliconed to the top.

I would also be reducing the overall height of the tank by 3-4 inches as the plate glass is only 42" wide... so my total height will actually be around 20.5 inches.

Safety factor of 4.0 ( with 10mm glass) according to Calculate Aquarium Glass Thickness - Custom tanks are great investments | Aquarium Tools. seeing as the back and bottom of the tank are actually thicker, I would think the rating wouldn't be any less.
If you are reducing the height and getting a safety factor of 4.0 from your calculations then your good to go. I would calculate the whole tank based on the thinnest glass used which is what I am assuming you did since only 1 pane will be 1/2" and the rest 3/8". Definitely want bracing at 4' or over on all glass so sounds like you did your homework and have things figured out.

Dan
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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I will likely change how I'm getting the glass cut..

my large panel has enough to cut a new front and back long piece... one of the existing sides can be split in two to make two new 1/2" side panels.. so each opposite side will be the same thickness.

10mm front and back, 12mm sides. 12mm bottom.

and really - if it doesn't work out, I'm not out anything as it was all free.
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