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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my last 40 gallon breeder cracked on the bottom side and being in an upstairs apartment, its not a fun thing to deal with. The tank was level when it happened so I'm not sure what caused it e.e

How would I go about preventing this from happening again?


So far, I have taken these precautions:

1. I'm moving the tank so that its on tile instead of carpet, its still against a load bearing wall but not near my door. I have a sneaking suspicion that my rickety old stairs caused the wall to shift slightly

2. Bought a better brand of tank. I had the petco dollar per gallon tank that was an aqueon and now I have a top fin which seems to be pretty good?

3. Bought a yoga mat to put under the tank

4. Not using the massive driftwood that touched each side. If my tank was shimmying, it would cause varying points of pressure and I'm not going to risk it. The piece was too big anyways.


I dont know if theres more I can do though I'm tempted to add some wood to my tank stand since its really just an old TV stand. It was made for those massive old TVs though so it should be ok, those TVs weighed like 4 million pounds and it held up alright with my old tank.

I'm still nervous though so any help would be appreciated.


Here is the link to my journal with the tank that cracked, it shows bits of the stand and maybe has something I missed
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12-tank-journals/813665-filling-gaps-40b-journal.html
 

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Is that an actual tank stand or a piece of re-purposed furniture? Also Tetra(the tank in your journal) and Top-Fin(Petsmart house brand) are the same quality, with Aqueaon being considered better by a very small margin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
its Re purposed furniture, it was originally a TV stand for the giant older TVs



I /think/ top fin is actually rebranded Aqueon and what I had was Tetra now that I'm looking back.

I have a friend who works at petsmart tell me that the one I got was a better quality than the one I had but cant for the life of me remember the specific brands.

I definitely trust him on this though
 

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Strange. I've never heard of the bottom panel failing unless it was impacted or struck by something. this is a standard tank with the plastic trim along the bottom? Any chance you had any debris or foreign object between the tank and the stand?

The bottom of almost every tank is tempered glass which shouldn't really "crack" so much as "shatter". Mis-leveled tanks tend to have one seam or one "wall" give out and I'd imagine the same if the large driftwood was the culprit. (looks like you had multiple pieces of wood so even if they touched one side it shouldn't be a problem unless it was contacting 2 opposite sides at once). Your journal seems to show you leveling the tank before it was filled. Was it perfectly level once full? Did you check that over time to see if anything shifted? (could the carpet have compressed over time? house settled a bit? or any number of factors there). I doubt adding wood to your stand will help. If the stand failed you would've known that for sure and I again doubt any movement could cause a failure on that bottom panel. I would again expect to see one of the 4 sides fail if the stand or tank was jostled.

Tank brand shouldn't matter much for a standard tank like this. I think they all use the same thickness glass for these sizes. There is no center brace in a 40 breeder so its not like that failed (and again I'd expect no failure on the bottom panel if that was a factor here). Only difference you might find between brands is maybe one has better looking silicone seams than another. But pretty much the same otherwise AFAIK.
 

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You can use Styrofoam sheet. Cut it so it fits inside the frame at the bottom of the tank between the glass and the stand. If you can't source the appropriate thickness of styrofoam you may have to thin it out with a wire saw or a planer. This gives good support across the bottom of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Strange. I've never heard of the bottom panel failing unless it was impacted or struck by something. this is a standard tank with the plastic trim along the bottom? Any chance you had any debris or foreign object between the tank and the stand?

The bottom of almost every tank is tempered glass which shouldn't really "crack" so much as "shatter". Mis-leveled tanks tend to have one seam or one "wall" give out and I'd imagine the same if the large driftwood was the culprit. (looks like you had multiple pieces of wood so even if they touched one side it shouldn't be a problem unless it was contacting 2 opposite sides at once). Your journal seems to show you leveling the tank before it was filled. Was it perfectly level once full? Did you check that over time to see if anything shifted? (could the carpet have compressed over time? house settled a bit? or any number of factors there). I doubt adding wood to your stand will help. If the stand failed you would've known that for sure and I again doubt any movement could cause a failure on that bottom panel. I would again expect to see one of the 4 sides fail if the stand or tank was jostled.

Tank brand shouldn't matter much for a standard tank like this. I think they all use the same thickness glass for these sizes. There is no center brace in a 40 breeder so its not like that failed (and again I'd expect no failure on the bottom panel if that was a factor here). Only difference you might find between brands is maybe one has better looking silicone seams than another. But pretty much the same otherwise AFAIK.
Apologies, I must not have been clear. It was the right side panel but the bottom half of it, not the bottom panel that broke.

It is a standard tank though, one of the dollar per gallon ones from petco.

I did check it a few times after it had settled though and it still showed level.



You can use Styrofoam sheet. Cut it so it fits inside the frame at the bottom of the tank between the glass and the stand. If you can't source the appropriate thickness of styrofoam you may have to thin it out with a wire saw or a planer. This gives good support across the bottom of the tank.
I'll actually be using a yoga mat instead of styrofoam. I think it'll look nicer and should still be able to do the same thing :smile2:
 

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The stand could have caused this as its not designed for a tank, even though the tank itself is level a corner could be dipping etc. Even those big TVs were not 400 pounds. The mix of moving around, bowed stand, and the hardscape could have caused this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The stand could have caused this as its not designed for a tank, even though the tank itself is level a corner could be dipping etc. Even those big TVs were not 400 pounds. The mix of moving around, bowed stand, and the hardscape could have caused this problem.
I'm not sure that could be it, i was able to check each side of the tank if it was level or not and it was. I can always reinforce the stand if need be though

I'm not sure i can afford a stand as well is my main issue, I've always just used furniture
 

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I'll actually be using a yoga mat instead of styrofoam. I think it'll look nicer and should still be able to do the same thing :smile2:[/QUOTE]

If do it properly you won't even see the styrofoam and you can still use the yoga mat as well. The styrofoam can be fitted tightly into the space between the glass and the bottom edge of the black frame. The black frame sits on the yoga mat.
 

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If do it properly you won't even see the styrofoam and you can still use the yoga mat as well. The styrofoam can be fitted tightly into the space between the glass and the bottom edge of the black frame. The black frame sits on the yoga mat.
I will look into doing that then

So in thinking it over and looking around a bit at the price of a new stand, I have decided to buy a new metal one that i found for a good deal


I like the looks and it's actually made to hold a tank and bonus, my cats cant claw it lol





still open to other suggestions on how to prevent the tank from cracking but the old stand will not be an issue now
 

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You can use Styrofoam sheet. Cut it so it fits inside the frame at the bottom of the tank between the glass and the stand. If you can't source the appropriate thickness of styrofoam you may have to thin it out with a wire saw or a planer. This gives good support across the bottom of the tank.
Isn't this a terrible idea unless the tank has a flat bottom (no frame and the sides are glued on top of the bottom?) If it has any kind of frame, this setup would at best be putting pressure across the entire bottom panel of glass, without providing any support at all.

Depending on the tank design, you'd want to support it in different ways.

I have an acrylic tank, the bottom of that tank is a solid piece of acrylic, which has the sides glued on top of the acrylic. For that tank, having styrofoam (or a yoga mat) underneath is ideal. The weight is evenly distributed and there's no extra sheer added anywhere.

If your tank has a frame around the bottom though, then there is quite likely going to be a 1/4" (or deeper) gap between the tank frame and the bottom pane of glass. With this kind of tank design, you'd want to *only* have the underneath support on the frame itself, def. not under the glass and not the frame.

If you put something under just the glass with this kind of tank design, it will push up against the glass and cause pressure/sheering where the bottom pane connects to the sides.

For this type of tank, you'd want to support the frame, not the bottom pane.
 

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It could have been anything mentioned. Could also have been a bad sheet of glass. The Tetra 40B only has the bottom tempered. I've seen tempered shatter for absolutely no reason. Did it at my shop.
But your problem came from a regular pane. It could have been a stress crack.

I've seen tanks supported by much of nothing for decades without a failure. I doubt it was the repurposed stand.

I wouldn't put anything under any of my tanks that's for sure. It's possible to cause more problems than it solves. I would venture I've got tanks older than most of the people here have lived. And they still hold water. Hell I still have my first 29. Has a bunch of guppies in it now.
 
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