Rimless tank builders/ owners unite for critiquing! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Rimless tank builders/ owners unite for critiquing!

Of course, you are welcome to chime in even if you're not a builder but still have some knowledge to share.

Here are a few of the questions on my mind at this point...

1. Bulkhead hole size? How far in from back glass to allow for BH fittings?

2. With 3/8" glass, is it exactly 3/8" subtracted from the edges of insetting panes and bottom glass? (will be a floating bottom)

3. Is it necessary to edge the corners of the bottom pane even if it's floating? Will the bevel add any strength to the bond or is it wiser to maximize the contact area by not edging/beveling the edge? (all seams will be pressed with black GE RTV between) My glass cutter adds a nice rough texture to his edges somehow, which I imagine can assist the bond, might it be wise to do this to the bottom pane as well if I decide not to bevel it?

4. It's been said elsewhere to not press all the silicone out of the seems. How small of a gap is too tight, 1mm, 3mm, more or less maybe?

5. Is 3/8" glass sufficient for allowing adequate contact area at corner seams while keeping bowing at a minimum on an 18hx24L" pane holding ~40 US GL? Would 1/2" glass be overkill?

Last edited by jaidexl; 04-28-2008 at 09:21 AM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 05:13 AM
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If the tank is to be completely braceless, I would be happier if it was made in 12mm glass (1/2"). I would also allow at least 1/16" on the width for silicone, and also press them firmly in place to eliminate any air bubbles; the excess silicone that squeezes out can easily be removed.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thank Windsor!

So that's one vote for 1/2" so far, noted.

1/16" sounds pretty reasonable to me for the seam gap.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, in light of the info given here and at APC, I've converted the critical measurements to metric.

I'm sticking with 3/8" (9mm) glass in the plans for now until I make that decision.

Last edited by jaidexl; 04-28-2008 at 09:22 AM.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 01:54 PM
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I have a calculator for rimless tank glass thickness here:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...alculator.html

Don't trust the deflection number, so far from real world account I notice that the real deflection is a bit bigger. However the safety factor is useable.

Good luck, keep us posted.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 02:21 PM
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Check with your glass shop again, but I think glass may come in just even metric intervals. Glasscages.com lists 3/8 glass as 10mm thick.

Otherwise the thickness should be fine (ADA 75P uses 8mm glass). No need to get anything bigger.

My silicon did call for a gap of 1mm for the silicon to cure correctly. You just lift up the planes and push them in place. Duck tape will do to hold them in place. No pressure needed at all!

I did bevel my bottom panel as well with a rather ruff finish. My rational was to give it more bond area this way. But I never read any recommendation regrading that. Check with the Australian person (wendle) from scolley's thread, he is an expert on this. His comments are very valuable in the thread for a successful build!

BTW, there are two ways for the seam, the one scolley used and the way ADA builds tanks.

1. taping off a wider seam (scolley)
2. removing any excessive silicon beyond the glass contact areas (ADA and mention from wendle) I did not feel comfortable for the bottom with this

Good luck!

Cheers,
Jens


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Khoi, very helpfull!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens View Post
Check with your glass shop again, but I think glass may come in just even metric intervals. Glasscages.com lists 3/8 glass as 10mm thick.
Well, I just talked to the glass man and he said they work in inches down to 1/32. So, that should give me some room to play and set the panes flush with a little care not to press too far (and hopefully not have a huge gap left over). I plan on letting gravity and tape (just like you mentioned) help me with pressing and curing, rather than clamps. One large central bead, set pane and press to approx 1mm, then tape it down... sounds easy enough I just hope black RTV isn't so thick that I need any mechanical assistance to get it pressed to ~1mm, if so I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

I want to build a wooden jig to hold things in place and level while I drop the panes straight down, it'll likely take more planning than the tank itself. My glass man just told me one of our local reef shops has one built up for their own builds, so I'll be stopping by there to get some more ideas on how to make this as controlled as possible.

As far as edging the bottom, I brought that up with him and he stated he's going to need to put a good polish on the edge to make it as flat as possible to maximize contact and bond, yada yada yada, so he's pretty much got that one figured out for me (they've been working on plans for building tanks commercially, and have a bit of knowledge here and there already )

I haven't decided if I'm going to simply remove excess silicone or maybe mask and run a very thin bead down the corners then smooth it w/ my finger. If it's black sealant and the seam is small enough, then I guess you're not really going to notice it there as it blends in. I'm just not sure if it'll really help anything, but will probably do the bottom like yourself, at least, just to feel safe.

Thanks for the help so far, everyone! Anyone got some draw-ups or pictures of jigs to help me piece these images in my head together, feel free to share 'em.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 10:58 PM
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I recently built a rimless DIY 34g AIO cube that measured 20"x20"x20" with 1/4" glass. Similar to the Solano 34. No deflection, no leaks, no problems.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 11:04 PM
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Re: jigs, for a tank this small I do not think any jigs are required. If you like to build jigs then by all means do it but assuming your pieces are square then it will go together real easy with one extra pair of hands. It took my 16 year old son and myself like 10 minutes to put the cube together. I know this cause when helping me his attention span is 15 minutes tops.

Good luck
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:32 AM
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I built this tank out of 1/2" all the way around and had a floating plane in the bottom for strength. You might be able to get away with 3/8" but I like rimless and went 1/2" for peace of mind(it's so strong that it's going to last 10 years or more).I also used RTV103(black) and its thick-it's not a true silicone as it's a paste. VERY VERY strong. All I use is tape and alittle elbow grease. Tank is 25"x21"x16" running 2 month no leaks

This is tank is planted but I just don't have any recent photos

I think I'm a noob
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 02:36 AM
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Also this has to be done becuase all silcone skins over within 5 minutes and once it starts to skin over DO NOT MOVE THE GLASS PANES. practice everything and plans twice before anything is done. Good luck

I think I'm a noob
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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You guys are making this sound too easy

Giga, that's a sweet looking tank So, you didn't build any kind of jig either, just careful placement? Looks really nice from what I can see.

Thanks for all the input, everyone!
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-08-2008, 03:59 PM
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yep just planned planned and triple check my work. Also make sure you say your mesurment are met exactely as they tend to have 1/8" diference between panes the same measurments. Yeah no jigs-they just get in the way. Larger tanks you do need it though look in my signature for more info

I think I'm a noob

Last edited by giga; 04-08-2008 at 07:11 PM.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Well that's reassuring. Nice tank too, giga.

Last edited by jaidexl; 04-13-2008 at 09:40 PM.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2008, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, the glass is being cut, I decided on 3/8".

I said I wanted to do black sealant (both for strength and the visual), but after more consideration I'm thinking black edges kill the clean look of a rimless tank. I guess I'm not worried about the strength too much for a 40gl tank (would love some opinions here). The only other thing that has me swaying back and forth at this point is the fact that this tank will most likely have a black background at some point, in which case I think clear silicone would look awful. Opinions?
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