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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I junk-picked a 20gal. high aquarium and a 10gal aquarium from the side of the road. Both aquariums are a little beat up but I am pretty sure that they will hold water. So here is the actual question, can and how do I de-rim the 10gal. OR is it advisable that I dont? The trim is REALLY ugly and somewhat cracked, so I thought that I should remove the rim and make it look cool. Thoughts and critisisims are appreceated.
 

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Thought about it myself, but never tried it. I think that the rim is siliconed in place, so I can't see how you would get it off without breaking the glass. Since you trash-picked the tanks anyway, you might as well give it a try. If you break it you aren't out any money:) If you do manage to get it off without destroying the tank I think I would fill it with water and let it sit in a safe place like OUTSIDE for a few days, just to make sure a seam doesn't open and flood your house. I would guess that rimmed tanks are made with thinner glass than a tank designed to be rimless, so it may not be as strong...but I'm not sure about that. What have you got to lose by trying?? I wouldn't disturb the bottom rim though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am going to use the 20g as a breeding tank for my Convict Cichlids, and if the de- riming works out I will use it as a planted nano. I love free stuff!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I took the top rim off and unfortunatly a little bit of glass is broken (not me). I have some pictures in one of my albums. Is their a way of fixing it???
 

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I bought a 15H tank on craigslist, that had been sitting outdoors for a long time. The top rim was partly melted from when the tank was used as a reptile tank, and it was cracked badly. I removed the rim. It was very easy, using a thin blade putty knife shoved between the rim and the glass from the outside of the tank. I just shoved it up to the top of the rim, moved it an inch and repeated, until I went all around the tank. Then, used a utility knife to carefully cut through the rim at each corner, to make it be 4 pieces. As I recall, 3 of those pieces just lifted off, with little effort.

The effort required for this was in removing the silicone haze from the glass. That was hard work. The top edge of the glass was also pretty sharp and rough. I used a silicon carbide sharpening stone to "file" the top edges to eliminate the sharpness. I'm satisfied with the result, but it isn't an easy, quick job, because of the silicone removal problem.
 

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Removing the rim of the tank isn't hard if you have the right tools. People that derimmed their 10g tanks seemed to have a little bit of bowing. Anything over 10g should not be tried to be derimmed. Fact that the bowing could be so server that the tank can blow and leave you LOTS of water on your floor.

This type of blade works the best and you wont crack your tank if done right.
http://images.google.com/imgres?img...ols&ndsp=18&hl=en&safe=off&sa=N&start=36&um=1
 

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I'm willing to remove the upper rim if I plan to use the tank exclusively for a riparium, with it only 40% maximum filled with water. It shouldn't bow at all with so little water in it, and that would be true for any size tank. But, any tank with a cross brace across the top, as part of the rim, obviously could have serious problems if de-rimmed and then filled full of water.

I noticed with my tank, that the silicone was mostly attached to the top edge of the glass, only partly attached to the front of the glass, and not at all attached to the inside of the glass. As a result removing the rim tended to pull flakes of glass off the top edge of mine, leaving an even rougher edge than it started out with. I sure wish there were inexpensive rimless tanks available in a variety of sizes.
 

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If you leave the rims on, sand them with fine to very fine sand paper or emery cloth, then paint. Use masking take and newspaper to mask the glass and the inside of the tank. Krylon Fusion is the best paint for plastic. It will be dry to the touch in about half an hour but for best results let it cure for a week. After a week the paint will have fused to the plastic.
 

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the 29 gallon i derimed doesn't bow much. i used brute force to pull the plastic off both the top and the bottom.
 

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I have read that the plastic rims on tanks are primarily to protect the edge of the glass from being hit and cracked. But tanks like 55 gallon ones do use a front to back brace that is part of the rim and which presumably reduced the amount of bowing out of the glass. You can silicone in a 3-4 inch wide piece of glass across the top to replace that missing brace if you want to add that strength. I know I have read about some people doing that successfully. And, you could silicone on a 1-2 inch wide piece of glass along the top of the entire front and back glass to stiffen it.
 

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I have read that the plastic rims on tanks are primarily to protect the edge of the glass from being hit and cracked. But tanks like 55 gallon ones do use a front to back brace that is part of the rim and which presumably reduced the amount of bowing out of the glass. You can silicone in a 3-4 inch wide piece of glass across the top to replace that missing brace if you want to add that strength. I know I have read about some people doing that successfully. And, you could silicone on a 1-2 inch wide piece of glass along the top of the entire front and back glass to stiffen it.
I figure the same to be true, especially regarding older tanks with the 4 piece rims. On those tanks I don't see how the rim does anything other than protect the glass from impacts, cover up the raw cut glass and provide a place to put lights and what not.

I picked up an older 110 gallon (60"*18"*24") recently that needed to be resealed due to the previous owner getting a bet zealous with the glass scraper. During the clean up I removed the rim, which took about 5 mins total due to it being held on not with silicone but with some sort of glue, possibly even double sided tape. After the silicone had cured I leak tested it (outdoors mind you) without the top rim and it had less than 3mm total deflection at the top centre of the tank. Note: This tank was never centre braced either and is made of 14mm thick glass.

IMO on smaller tanks derimming is fine, but I wouldn't remove the bottom rim as it does help the weight be more evenly distributed. As for the larger tanks, if it has a cross brace I wouldn't even consider derimming without replacing the plastic cross brace with a suitable glass one, but if it isn't normally cross braced and has thick enough glass I figure you're likely in the clear removing the top rim.
 

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I popped the rim off a 29g, just pulling rim outwards and slowly working my way around. Then filled it up outside and let it sit for 1-2 weeks. No leakage and no really noticeable deflection. I'd still be wary of using it as a filled aquarium, but I did find my soon to be riparium/mudskipper habitat! Probably going to de-rim a few 10g's for a project I've got in mind...
 

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go ahead and do it on the 10g! just be careful not to crack it.... i derimed my 20 long and its fine. i would go ahead and try the 20H but let it sit filled outside for like a week to make sure its safe...

to actually take the rims off, i used a filet knife and a blowdryer. use the blow dryer to heat the silicone underneath,not essential but helpful. try to get the knife or whatever to go vertical, if its angled to much it will chip the glass. then i used a razor and alchohol to get the excess silicone off.

there were instructions via PDF i found on google, but i couldnt pull it up again. that showed were to make the cuts. so youll have to search to it
 

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Heat Gun

You can remove just the outer rim using a heat gun and a knife or razor. I did this on a 20 gal long to fit under a 55 gal stand.

Bump: Use a heat gun to remove the outer rim with a razor. Heat gun 20 bucks at walmart, and it has fixed so many things for me, melts plastic great! I did this with a 20 long to get it to fit under a 55 gal stand. I would not remove a rim with a tank that has a brace, unless u replace the brace somehow.
 

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I've been thinking about going rimless on my 55 gallon long as the rim just slides right off anyway and the center brace was already missing when I got it used four years ago. The rim can't be doing anything for me can it? The glass is 3/8 thick but could one of the seams blow out at the side without the rim? I really don't know and this whole DIY rimless thing sounds like a heckuva gamble.
 

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Yup, overfilled it a bit and it blew out on one of the sides.

Don't make a mistake you'll always regret---leave the rim.
 

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You should never de-rim a tank that large.

Most people will tell you never to attempt to de-rim anything > 10 gallons. The amount of water in a 55 gallon puts a good amount of force on the glass.
 
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