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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Acrylic Tank?

Got a acrylic tank with a crack in the top piece. I borrowed a picture from someone on monster fish keeper forum. I modified the picture to show what I have.....

40 gallon, with top piece that is attached to rest of tank, there are two holes in the middle with a center section dividing the two holes.

The crack is in the front left corner of the top piece.

Several questions....

How important is the top piece to the integrity of the tank? Could I some how remove the top piece and the tank still work?

If I didnt want to remove the top piece altogether, could I cut the holes to make them bigger and thus cutting out the crack?

Any other ideas?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 03:25 AM
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that top bracing is called eurobracing and it is absolutely imperative that it is intact. where you show your crack if you fill it with water that crack is going to wind up (sooner or later) running to the corner, then down in when its full of water. I'll give you two guesses as to where the water will wind up, and your first guess cant be the ceiling......

Weld-on acrylic glue will work to fix it. do not, I repeat do not fill the tank without repairing the crack. it may not fail the first second or hour but it will fail. when that outside corner lets go its going to be a holy mess. and whatever you do dont try the drill and zip tie method. it wont work.

and no do not remove the eurobracing. you can maybe enlarge the hole by like 10% not much more after that counter flexing comes into play and the tank fails catastrophically.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 03:26 AM
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The top piece is what keeps the front/back from bowing out too much. That crack is in the right place to have been caused by over stressing it, weakening it considerably. You might try cleaning the underside very thoroughly, then using acrylic glue to clue a 2 inch or so wide strip of 1/4 inch thick acrylic to the underside of the top, to bridge the whole crack. It isn't a hard thing to do, but give the glue 24 hours to dry before putting any water in the tank.

Hoppy
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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ok here's the thing, water and fish are in the tank.

sounds like bridging the gap would be the simple solution. Trick will be not letter the glue get into the water. I can drain most of the water and work on it.

I figured the center brace was important...I wasnt planning on removing that. I was thinking I could just cut the the back, left and front sides of the hole to make the hole bigger but also cut out the crack....but its sounds like that isnt a good choice.

According to the previous owner the damage was done about a year or 2 ago when they were moving. They drained all but about 3 inches of water and the movers went to pick it up by grabbing the top piece and it cracked (DUH). Oh well I got an awesome deal so a little repair work is no big deal.

So repair....what steps do I take?

1. drain most of water, leaving only enough for fish (or remove all water and put fish in buckets, not ideal)

2. clean underside of top piece, What should I use to clean it?

3. use weld on acrylic glue to place a bridge over crack as hoppy described. where do I get this weld-on acrylic glue?

4. wait 24 hours before refilling.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 04:18 AM
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getting past the fact that asking before filling and adding fish would have been better, I am gonna assume wet acrylic glue is not fish safe so it is probably best to at minimum take the fish out and drain all the water, then cover the substrate with a trash bag or something when you are working with the glue.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jwm5 View Post
getting past the fact that asking before filling and adding fish would have been better, I am gonna assume wet acrylic glue is not fish safe so it is probably best to at minimum take the fish out and drain all the water, then cover the substrate with a trash bag or something when you are working with the glue.

the tank came with the fish and everything. all i did was drain the water to move it properly to my house. got it home and put the water back in

So i will remove the inhabitants into buckets with the water, put something over the substrate, then fix the crack.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 04:50 AM
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Hi kamikazi
To prevent the crack continuing you can drill a 1mm hole at the point of the crack (make sure the point of the crack is the centre of the hole you drill)to remove the stress on the material, and then bond a new plate of acrylic to it from underneath the larger the plate the better.
Search on line for the adhesive or a local acrylic dealer (which you will need anyway for the plate) they will carry the adhesive and cleaner solvent.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 10:27 AM
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where do I get this weld-on acrylic glue?

.
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Weld-on+acrylic+glue+sale

"[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." -original author unknown-

125g marine reef tank, 6 gallon fluval edge minimalist aquascape (in progress), 1 gallon aqueon evo 2 betta tank.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by robbowal View Post
Hi kamikazi
To prevent the crack continuing you can drill a 1mm hole at the point of the crack (make sure the point of the crack is the centre of the hole you drill)to remove the stress on the material, and then bond a new plate of acrylic to it from underneath the larger the plate the better.
Search on line for the adhesive or a local acrylic dealer (which you will need anyway for the plate) they will carry the adhesive and cleaner solvent.
that is very good advice. if you drill a hole make sure you use a proper acrylic bit, if you use a traditional wood bit you stand the chance of "snagging" the crack and making it worse. (you can also cheat and use a wood bit in reverse on high speed and it will melt its way through, I dont recommend it though)

if he gets the right type of weld on though the hole and the bridge may not be needed as he can just reglue the crack, after filing a small groove with a corner file or cutting a shallow grove with a dremel set on low with a rough burr (so it doesn't melt the acrylic). but bridging may be simpler.

oh and forgot to mention, you can buy weld-on acrylic prep/cleaner the same place you buy the glue. don't get any in your water, masking tape and plastic with a towel or rag for absorption is your fishes friend.

"[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." -original author unknown-

125g marine reef tank, 6 gallon fluval edge minimalist aquascape (in progress), 1 gallon aqueon evo 2 betta tank.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 11:16 AM
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Move the fish out and empty that tank before cleaning the corner area and gluing that bridge piece Hoppy mentioned. You can put the fish in another tank or large clean plastic container. Just the fumes from that glue could have adverse effects on the fish. Even worse if some dripped into the water.

Steve


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Hopefully Lowes sales the glue. I don't want to have to wait for it to ship here. Thanks for all the helpful advice guys.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kamikazi View Post
Hopefully Lowes sales the glue. I don't want to have to wait for it to ship here. Thanks for all the helpful advice guys.
as far as I know they dont sell weld-on products, you can check their website.

"[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." -original author unknown-

125g marine reef tank, 6 gallon fluval edge minimalist aquascape (in progress), 1 gallon aqueon evo 2 betta tank.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yeh, lowes doesn't sell it. I will order it and hopefully it will ship quickly. In the meantime, tank is half full. hopefully fish will be ok with that.
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