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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Guys,
I am looking to custom make a rimless tank, 54X22HX18W.
There will be a 5'' overflow chamber on the left side making the tank 48'' usable area.
There is a glass shop in my area that is willing to cut all glass for me and i will get it together myself. I have never done a build myself but got a whole garage and a ton of tools and help. I had a quote from an aquarium shop at around $3K for the tank only. I cannot afford that.

Anyways I am looking at around $1200 for all the glass cut, polished, holes drilled and all that. All glass except the bottom is low iron starfire.

The questions for you guys i have are:

1. What do you think the glass thickness should be for given size.
The guy swears by 12mm (1/2 inch) and can temper all the glass for me at no cost. Since I've never seen a tank with tempered glass (except bottom) it raised a question. What are the pros/ cons of tempered. Is the glass thickness OK? Will tempering affect viewing under light?. The tank will be used for freshwater planted.

2. Does it really matter if side glass goes on top of the bottom glass or it can be glued to the side of the bottom glass making the build much easier since there has to be a 1/16 inch gap between the glass.

3. I am planning to use
GE 1200 Series Construction Silicone Sealant - Clear
From Amazon.

What do you guys think?
Any suggestions are highly appreciated.
The front view plan is attached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks, I've seen this thread. It is not clear on glass positioning. Did he put front on the bottom or on the side. As for silicone i thought GE was better. How RTV 108 is better than GE? Cure time?
 

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Thanks, I've seen this thread. It is not clear on glass positioning. Did he put front on the bottom or on the side. As for silicone i thought GE was better. How RVT 108 is better than GE? Cure time?
It's a floating bottom so all the sides are not sitting on top of the glass but beside it.

As far as the silicone every big tank build like I have seen has used the RTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, That makes perfect sense now because floating bottom is easier to build (I think).
I guess it really does not matter in tums of the strength of the tank.
As for silicone, I will gladly take your advise and change my build plans for RVT 108. I also see a lot of builds using it.

Any suggestion(s) on should i temper all the glass?
 

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Thanks, That makes perfect sense now because floating bottom is easier to build (I think).
I guess it really does not matter in tums of the strength of the tank.
As for silicone, I will gladly take your advise and change my build plans for RVT 108. I also see a lot of builds using it.

Any suggestion(s) on should i temper all the glass?
Tempered glass is tricky because you can't drill it. Since you are doing an overflow you definitely can't use tempered on the side with the overflow holes.

Unless the glass builder can temper the glass after the overflow holes have been cut? If he can do that then I would definitely go that route as you will have a super strong tank that way. If you do it this way though make sure you get the hole placement right the first time as you will no longer be able to cut holes in it afterwards.

What type of overflow are you thinking?

Floating bottom allows for less pressure on the bottom glass which is a good thing. All my rimless tanks and every ADA and Mr. Aqua I have seen all use floating bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
This tank is my wife's design. If this were me designing it I would definitely go wider (not taller or longer). But the space in our house is limited so the decision was made to make it taller and longer and have 5 inch overflow box on the side. The overflow panel will be sandblasted glass so that the plumbing is not visible. Just plane ½ thick polished edge panel. There will be 4 holes on the bottom pane (3 drains) 2 main, 1 emergency and 1 hole closer to the back that I am hoping to “elbow” from pvc into a tank with a glass (1 ½) or so tube. The idea is to have a glass spray bar. That if I would be able to drill glass tubing and find an end cap for it.

Bump: I am not an engineer but do have some technical knowledge. And it seems to me that floating bottom is less safe unless I am wrong. I sketched it (attached) and it seems that in floating bottom silicone seam has to work 2 ways (down and outward) where in regular bottom only outward. Or am I wrong?

Bump: The holes will be all drilled. All tested and after will be sent to kiln for tempering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I heard good and bad things about tempered glass. Trying to weigh in the pros and cons. Like I said the guy is willing to do it for free. My problem with tempered is that it might degrade visual effects of star fire. Polarization? Transparency? Imperfections etc…
 

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A glass that size will be heavy. By laying it on top of the bottom you will be putting considerably more pressure on the ends which might crack the glass if the surface you are laying it on is not completely even.

Using silicone of this strength you have to worry more about the glass cracking than the silicone breaking down and creating a a leak.

I am not sure if tempering starphire will make it look less clear. That is something I would ask the glass maker. All starphire glass tanks I have seen are all non-tempered including mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
A glass that size will be heavy. By laying it on top of the bottom you will be putting considerably more pressure on the ends which might crack the glass if the surface you are laying it on is not completely even.
Using silicone of this strength you have to worry more about the glass cracking than the silicone breaking down and creating a a leak.

I guess in the case of floating bottom the tank has to 'sit' on a solid surface like a granite counter top where warp is not an option.
 

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A glass that size will be heavy. By laying it on top of the bottom you will be putting considerably more pressure on the ends which might crack the glass if the surface you are laying it on is not completely even.

Using silicone of this strength you have to worry more about the glass cracking than the silicone breaking down and creating a a leak.

I guess in the case of floating bottom the tank has to 'sit' on a solid surface like a granite counter top where warp is not an option.
Other way around. Floating bottom the surface is less forgiving than laying the sides on top of the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks. Again.
There is an update the glass thickness is changed from 1/2 to 3/4 not tempered. I am going to order the glass tomorrow. Will let you guys posted.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Today I've ordered the glass. Decided to be safe and ordered 3/4 thickness.
All sides starphire not tempered. Bottom is regular glass also 3/4. Not sure if i want to temper the bottom yet. What do you guys think?

It will take about 3-4 weeks to compete.

Overflow panel will be cut out of 3/8 acid glass. Apparently sandblasted (my original idea) glass does not look good in water at all.

3/4 starphire came with a price tag but looks so much clearer compared to regular glass. $300 difference i think was totally worth it.
 

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Today I've ordered the glass. Decided to be safe and ordered 3/4 thickness.
All sides starphire not tempered. Bottom is regular glass also 3/4. Not sure if i want to temper the bottom yet. What do you guys think?

It will take about 3-4 weeks to compete.

Overflow panel will be cut out of 3/8 acid glass. Apparently sandblasted (my original idea) glass does not look good in water at all.

3/4 starphire came with a price tag but looks so much clearer compared to regular glass. $300 difference i think was totally worth it.
Awesome can't wait to see the final product. That is going to be a super beefy tank. That acid glass on the overflow will look really good IMO. I wish ADA would've used that on the overflow version of their tanks.

As far as tempered on the bottom I don't know but I doubt you would need it to be since it will be floating type.

I don't even want to know how much that thing is going to weigh assembled. :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Smart Calculators out there estimate total weight of 424 pounds. I am still debating with if i want/need to temper the bottom. I will update the first post with updated tank measurements. I went a bit longer and higher and 3/4 starphire. Spent an hour today calculating drain holes locations. Blue print will be attached tomorrow at work. Received 4 1'' bulkheads from [Ebay Link Removed] I am going to build an internal bean animal 2 drains, 1 emergency.
 

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This is serious business...
Can't wait to see the finished product. All glass tank that large will be beautiful
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)

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