Double check tank build - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Double check tank build

Hey. I'm planning my first aquarium/build and was hoping for some feedback to double check my measurements before ordering.

I'd like to order 1/2" low-iron glass in the following measurements

(2) 48x18
(2) 18x18
(1) 46 3/4 x 18

Front and back will sandwich the sides
All sides are outside bottom pane (not sitting on top)
Gap for silicone = 1/8"
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by angdigi View Post
Hey. I'm planning my first aquarium/build and was hoping for some feedback to double check my measurements before ordering.

I'd like to order 1/2" low-iron glass in the following measurements

(2) 48x18
(2) 18x18
(1) 46 3/4 x 18

Front and back will sandwich the sides
All sides are outside bottom pane (not sitting on top)
Gap for silicone = 1/8"
I don't think you should include a silicone gap. In the seems of a tank you want the silicone as thin as possible, I have made the silicon so thin before that is was almost like it wasn't there. Think about it, silicon is flexible, so the larger the gap the more the silicon can flex. This flexing can lead to a tearing motion, which can lead to the silicone being torn from the glass due to pressure. When the seems are made very thin, like paper thin, there is very little movement that can occur.

But as someone who has built multiple tanks, I strongly recommend that you build a small tank first. I started with a 12" cube. When building a tank you must move very quickly and methodically, this rhythm is something you get from experience. A tank with your dimensions is 65 gallons of water or over 500lbs of water, this means if you get an air bubble in any of your seems it could be catastrophic to a rimless tank. You will have upwards of $350 in 1/2" low-iron glass and water damage isn't cheap either.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Perhaps 1/8" is too much. The video below uses a toothpick (~2mm)

https://youtu.be/GNoU7a-SZ6Q

I was following this build method ("direct injection") because I liked having the panels clamped in place prior to gluing. Also, you can control air bubbles essentially by squeezing more silicone in the gap.

Changing the measurements for the bottom panel would be:
46 7/8 x 18

Thoughts on the video/build method? I thought it was quite idiot proof tbh.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by angdigi View Post
Perhaps 1/8" is too much. The video below uses a toothpick (~2mm)

https://youtu.be/GNoU7a-SZ6Q

I was following this build method ("direct injection") because I liked having the panels clamped in place prior to gluing. Also, you can control air bubbles essentially by squeezing more silicone in the gap.

Changing the measurements for the bottom panel would be:
46 7/8 x 18

Thoughts on the video/build method? I thought it was quite idiot proof tbh.
I can't comment directly on the injection method, as I've never done it. In acrylic they use the pin method, which is the same concept. But I see where your getting confused. The gap created by the toothpick should not be included in your measurements. Because once you have the silicon injected, you remove the toothpick, there by removing that added thickness. In my experience the silicon thickness after clamping is usually less than the thickness of a razor blade. If you ever take a professionally built tank apart, cutting the seems requires forcing a blade into the seem.

Your bottom cut should be 47x18. You can check with this calculator - Garf Tank Builder, and see that for a tank with the dimensions 48x19x18, these are the dimensions you would get with your current side panel width, it is recommended that the bottom is 47.5x18.5 which is calculated based on 1/4" glass not 1/2". So if you add the 1/2" difference that would accumulate, from the added thickness, your bottom dimensions would be 47x18.

If you want the tank to have the outer dimensions of 48x18x18 then your sides need to be 18x17 and the bottom needs to be 47x17.

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40b Low-Tech 72g Bowfront High-Tech
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Excellent. Thank you very much @Nexgen.

The website linked mentions having braces on the top. Is that necessary with 1/2" glass?

Ultimately, I was trying to replicate this tank, which is no longer sold.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by angdigi View Post
Excellent. Thank you very much @Nexgen.

The website linked mentions having braces on the top. Is that necessary with 1/2" glass?

Ultimately, I was trying to replicate this tank, which is no longer sold.
The only rimless tank I have built was a 12" cube, which I use 1/4" for. Normally I would use euro bracing, mostly because its cheaper. I have not been able to find a calculator or much info on making a rimless tank, but I would say that 1/2" should be thick enough, based on the fact that I have seen old 55g tanks that had no center brace but had 1/2" glass.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 08:16 PM
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I know nothing about this but I'm interested as I'm going to put together a smaller cube soon. Here is a table that says standard glass only has to be .35" and that's with a "safety factor" built in. https://www.thespruce.com/saltwater-...agrams-4122023 Looking at those charts it would appear that the height of the tank is more of a factor than the length.
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