Question regarding 4ft square, 2ft tall tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question Question regarding 4ft square, 2ft tall tank.

Hey everyone. I am building a 4ft square tank which would be 2 ft tall with an in tank sump (5" from back, wall to wall glass partition). I am planning to use 12mm glass with 2" support on 3 sides and a 2" support in the center on top.
Do you guys think this is safe enough to build? Should I take extra precautions? Is there anything else I should keep in mind?
It'll hopefully be a brackish/marine tank with red mangroves and 12 mono sebae, with a humongous wavemaker like Jebao's OW -50 (24000L/hr).
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 06:07 PM
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9mm sides 15mm bottom..AFAICT.. Best you double check though..

4x2x2 requires 12mm sides 16mm bottom.. go figure.

Using tempered would be different..

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 06:47 PM
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Have never had or seen a tempered tank .... truthfully that would scare me a bit.

As for the additional recommendations .. I would look at going floating base.

Later Ferdie

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Jeff and Ferdie.
Jeff I cant seem to find 16mm glass in the local market.
Ferdie I looked into floating base and I liked the idea of it. So it means I attach sides to the sides of the bottom panel instead of them resting on the bottom panel, right? My only concern with that is how leak proof it would be? Would it help if I add 2" wide support bases running on all four sides so that the sides are attached to 24mm instead of 12mm. Would that help? Or I would still need 16mm atleast?
I was going to place a huge mound of lava rocks/diy live rocks on it. Will the bottom panel still hold? Also for the intank sump what mm size of glass should I prefer? 8mm or 12mm? Would resting that on the bottom panel will cause any troubles?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2018, 07:11 PM
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Floating bottoms are fairly common in commercial tanks.
1. Frames do not provide structural support. Yes and No. Frames made from an extrusion that are miter cut and then glued together before being siliconed onto the glass do not do anything to keep the tank from coming apart. The silicone side seams are stronger than the glue used to hold the frame together at the corners. BUT....injection molded seams that are made of all one piece as is commonly used in Aqueon and Perfecto tanks 220/210 and smaller does offer structural support as the unibody construction is stronger than the silicone seams. Both types of frame are helpful in tank construction but the former is more for aesthetics and one other reason which I will get into later.
2. Center glass straps add support. This is true. So does the center brace in an injection molded plastic frame.
3. Bottom glass is never tempered. This couldn't be more wrong. Bottom glass is often tempered and is an increasingly common feature of aquariums. Tempering glass increases strength tremendously and allows the tank bottom to be made from a thinner material than nontempered glass which saves cost. Untempered glass is used in some tanks where the added weight is seen as a quality factor. In the U.S. heavier tanks are often considered higher quality. Side glass is rarely if ever tempered as most panel failures are the result of edge faults or damage. Aquarium frames protect the bottom glass from edge damage but do not protect the sides. It's better to have a tank chip than shatter.
4. Capped bottoms are made on tanks up to 1". yes and no again. I have never heard the term capped bottom before so I can't say that's an industry standard. We don't even have a name but we just call it a regular bottom. The name for the other style is called a floating bottom because the bottom is floating within the side panels. This style of aquarium is the standard in Europe and Asia with brands such as Elos and ADA making this style exclusively. It is much more appealing aesthetically in a rimless tank configuration but is much harder to construct. In this style tank the bottom needs to be supported evenly by a solid surface which is also the style of cabinetry used in Europe and asia. They make them in all sizes from 10 to 200 gallons. In the U.S. we use framed tanks which use the standard bottom. A 1" thick side wall would be an extremely large custom tank. 210/220 tanks made by Aqueon and Perfecto are only 1/2" thick side walls.
5. Aquarium manufacturers recommend stands made of solid wood because the frames are only 1/32" thick. Not true. Although there is nothing wrong with a solid top stand, aquarium frames in the U.S. generally support the bottom glass 1/4 to 1/2" off the bottom of the frame. Even a miter cut frame is this tall and is actually providing structural support (vertically not laterally) to the aquarium. A perimeter stand works exactly the same as a solid top stand since only the perimeter is actually touching the stand. A solid top stand on a framed aquarium is just a waste of material. But it does allow you to slide the tank on and off easier and they do have some aesthetic appeal. Especially if the stand is meant to fit more than one footprint aquarium.

I hope that clears things up. Good luck with your new tank.

Andy Hudson
Central Aquatics (Aqueon, Oceanic, Coralife, Kent, and Zilla)
Research and Development
President Milwaukee Aquarium Society
So it means I attach sides to the sides of the bottom panel instead of them resting on the bottom

what thickness glass is available..?
Can you get tempered? (must be cut to size then tempered)..
Makes a much stronger bottom w/ less thickness.

There is this about floating bottom..

Not "exactly" sure about what you brace w/ bottom braces but they could be added..

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."

Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-18-2018 at 07:30 PM. Reason: edit
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