use terrarium as aquarium. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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use terrarium as aquarium.

I got a free 40 or so gallon tank. Has nets on top but can hold water. I just want to know if I need any extra reinforcement or if it should be normal that the tank face glass bows a little when filled with water.
Tank is 36 inches long and measures 16 5/32 wide. When filled full, the width increases about 3/32 " inches. Totaling about 16 1/4". Is this normal and should I worry about reinforcing it?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 09:27 PM
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I wouldn't do it. I have been told that these tanks are not made to hold large volumes of water and will eventually fail. I believe the glass isn't thick enough to hold that volume of water.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 01:03 AM
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Ditto. Tanks build to hold air (reptile habitats, terrariums... will not stand up to the weight of water. If you can find out for sure how it was built, that would help. If the prior owner actually bought an aquarium and just used it for something else, then that would be OK. (as long as it does not leak, of course)

Make it into a riparium. Small amount of water and mostly air (soil, rocks, plants) would probably be safe.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys.
Upon further inspection it looks like the glass is only 1/16 or 1/32 thinner than what they would normally use for an aquarium of that size/ dimension. I have a 30 gallon tank that is almost same dimension just a couple inches shorter in length and width but it does not have a brace that goes down the center of the top of tank. This terrarium does have one, It's not the biggest/ strongest, but it is still there, though it is off center to the left a little. Any other input / opinion would be appreciated

I think it should be garage grade quality? I just may take the risk.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:01 AM
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not worth the risk. if that thing blows out when someone is around it …….


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Play at the edge of your comfort zone
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:51 AM
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You do what makes you happy. As for "garage grade", if you mean to keep it in a garage/man cave I understand why you'd try it. Just remember that if have any livestock, there is always the risk of losing them. If I had this tank in your situation, I follow Diana's advice and look into making a palludarium, riparium. Since I've discovered them I've thought of one as something that I will attempt when I know more about aqua gardening.

I'd make one of those or sell it on Craig's honestly, the risk of a break or leak is too terrifying. In a garage, maybe but nothing but plants for me. Good luck!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 02:32 PM
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From the picture it looks to be corner bead trim to hold the screens. If that is what I am seeing then I WOULD NOT trust it with water. To me it seems like someone removed the original plastic trim from the top, euro bracing it might help, but a riparium or terrarium would be the safe option.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 05:14 PM
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ripariums are super cool anyway.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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Here's are more detailed picture of what the brace looks like. Also, I have some trimming from my old 100 gallon tank, what if I just retrim it and reinforce with glass or something on middle top?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 05:21 AM
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I also suggest doing a paludarium. It can be as simple and basic or as complex as you feel like doing.

I've seen great looking set ups made from carved up and coated foam that took a lot of effort to build, and also great set ups just sicking some cork/tree fern fiber on the back wall and stuffing plants all over.

You have a lot more options as far as plants go, and can consider some critters like newts or frogs or something if you want something to hangout in the terrestrial portion.

poke around over on dendroboard a bit, and see what some of the setups people have over there.

If you are dead set on doing a full aquarium, find one of those volume/glass calculators, and see how the thickness of your tank compares to what the calculator recommends. I'd also check the silicone, when used as a terrarium/vivarium, a lot of livestock will tear up the silicone seals either by clawing it, or chewing on it.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 11:53 PM
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In your last pic, that trim is basically balsa wood. It adds absolutely no strength to the glass, nada ,zip, zilch.The joints on the corners are purely decorative. Euro bracing would be the way to go if you are set using it as a full fish tank. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I wouldn't fill it more than 1/2 full with water. Most reptile tanks are made from thinner(usually tempered) glass than their equivalent water based tanks.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 02:52 AM
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Ditto what everyone else has said. If you fill it with water it will fail. Only go half full= riparium terrarium or paludarium.


Tyler


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Funny thing is. I filled up a 30 gallon smaller slightly shorter tank full of water. Its glass is only 1/16 or 1/32nd thicker and it has a full plastic one piece frame on top. That tank bowed out 1/4 in the middle compared to the sides which is more than the terrarium I was talking about.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 05:57 PM
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I vote riparium. I would NOT be willing to try that at all. If there is even a small inkling that glass will fail in an aquarium, I will not fill it. I'd rather do something else pretty with it instead of cleaning up all that water and glass.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-27-2014, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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I think im just going to sell both and buy something a little bigger.

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