Let me explain what i want to do, I want to build a paludarium, i want this tank to be a fast flowing mountain stream. with fish from such a setup. the average depth of the water will be 5"-8" in flow area, with a depth of 8"-12" in the slow current area's, this build will be 8'-10' long, haven't actually decided on the length yet, but it will be 3' wide. and roughly 4' inside height.
A friend of mine gave me a busted 55g tank, i want to use the glass for this build, but have some concerns, so let me try to put this in a way that makes sense. so please bare with me,
the water level in the tank as stated above will be at different levels, just like a stream how it drops ever so often, now I don't want to brace this tank because it will take away the natural feel i am trying to mimic. so i want the glass to be braceless, how ever i will also have sliding glass doors above so i can keep terrestrial animals as well. another reason i want a braceless tank.
so my question is, because the water level in the tank won't be the same across the whole pane of glass, and will only be 5"-8" in most areas, with a deep part of 8"-12" in other areas, can i get buy with the 1/4" tempered glass being braceless?
i plan on running a small 1/4" aluminum U channel accoss the top so i can mount my sliding glass door track to. i feel it would also give me enough stiffness that i need to help with bowing.
Also take in mind that the width of water front to back will only be around 15"-20" with the pond for the water fall being around 30"
Another thing to consider is the fact that the front plywood panel will follow the contours of the water, so that will also add in the strength of keeping it rigid. also the whole aquascape will be done with foam, there will be no water under the main flow of water, it will all be drained into a sump. Really the amount of water in the tank will be relatively low, best guesstimate is 25g roughly of actual water.
So do you think that the 1/4 inch glass is ok to use, or should i up to 3/8" glass, I really don't want to buy glass just to cover most of it up with plywood, if you know what i mean, and besides i already have the 1/4" glass? but i leave it to you guys to help me out, one last thing in case it was hard to understand there will be very little water depth against the glass all the water will be in a visiable area, no water will be below the unseen part of the glass, it will all flow to a sump. just wanted to clearify to help you guys understand a little better, thank you
I am sorry this is a long thread but i really need the help, and would value any opinions you might have. and if this is in the wrong place can a mod move it please.