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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Any tank builders?

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.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 05:03 PM
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could you draw a diagram?

At the depth of water you're describing, 1/4" will be fine brace-less.

I'm assuming only one end will be visible, and the rest plywood?

Personally, I'd probably still spring for 3/8" thick glass, if only that it will look better... or perhaps acrylic. 1/4" is just going to look thin and brittle on something so large.

cool idea though.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in the works now of drawing it in google sketchup. so when i get it done i will let you know. yes the front part is the only view able section, rest will be plywood. I think about the 3/8" glass all the time, but i really don't want to shell out that kinda of doe for such a little water depth, if it was to be a monster tank i would, but to have at least 75% of the glass covered in ply, i am very hesitant. not saying i probably wont. it just if i can save a buck and have it work with what i got would help in getting other needs for the build. but Thats why i am here lol to help me decide.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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ok quick question how do i add a photo from my computer?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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i hope my picture goes through, but this is a general idea of what i am going for. please don't laugh at my sketch i am not very good but i just wanted to give perspective. as you can see the water depth will not be much on the glass. and it be at a constant rate of fall per say. Click image for larger version

Name:	10 foot stream paludarium.jpg
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Size:	103.4 KB
ID:	497793
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 11:02 PM
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I'm not a tank builder so take what I'm going to say with a grain of salt...

You look like you are going to have multiple levels/tiers. If you treat each tier as is own separate tank, the ends of each mini tank can be silicones to each other to create a cascade overflow allowing you your tiers, but the more important feature is the internal bracing each would give you allowing for thinner glass.

You can also do the same thing as with sump baffles they act as part of the structure, but are less intrusive than a rim out top braces.

My concern is how are you going to keep water out of the bottom ?
This link summarizes the idea

Neat idea btw
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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the whole inside of the tank will be styrofoam, like that of a 3d background. keeping the tank dry under the styrofoam is easy as it will have layers upon layers stacked and carved to mimic real rock, that isn't my concern my biggest concern is the pressure of the water up against the glass. i don't need the glass to bow to the point of breaking. if two layers are at to different heights, one is a foot deep the other is a few inches, than the pressure of the two different points on the glass is what worry's me, if that makes sense.
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