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Discussion Starter #1
so i recently bought a 55 gallon rectangular tank-used for 60$. the rim and support bar at the top aren't in great shape, they have cracks and wear. i was wondering if it is possible to just remove the rim on a tank this size? if so, could i put in a new support bar of glass with silicone?
if anyone has done this, i would greatly appreciate some advice and pictures especially. as always, u guys rock!


 

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My 50G (same as 55, just 2" shorter) had a warning that read something like "do NOT fill tank if center brace is cracked." I am sure this has to do with the center brace keeping the glass on the front and back from bowing too much.

I would definitely find another way to brace the top if you are going to remove the trim entirely.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yea, i have read several posts saying this isn't recommended because of bowing. what about if i add a glass support bar connected to the front and back panels with silicone? do you guys think this would suffice? would i have to worry about the corners also? c'mon people help me just LOOK at how hideous this frame is! haha
 

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I don't remember who, but someone managed to bend acrylic sheets into the proper shape to mount a fixture to the top of a tank.

I am sure you could use the same method to make a flat plate with two tabs that could be secured in place with a bit of silicone. The original plastic bar is not very sturdy so the replacement doesn't need to be built like a tank.

I will look for that thread.
 

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Found it:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/planted-nano-tanks/88221-first-nano-10-gallon-diy-light.html

I think he just heated it and bent it. It has been a while since I read into it, but it should all be in the thread somewhere. He set up a really awesome light, too.

At first I was thinking that something like plexi or Lexan would work, but I wouldn't have any idea as to how you would make those adhere. Using something like he did you would only need to use silicone to keep it in place, not actually holding the front and back together under pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
wow- that is way cool with the bent acrylic to hold the lights up. unfortunately, i don't have the resources to bend acrylic like that haha, or could even imagine getting it right. i know that alot of people remove the rim on a 10 gallon like in that post, my major concern is the size of the tank
 

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You should be able to silicone a 6 inch or so wide piece of glass across the top, and it should work well. I would cement it in place inside the tank glass nor across the top of the tank, so the silicone would be in tension not being sheared by the forces. You do have to get the tank glass very clean and free of silicone haze before doing this, in order to get the full strength of the silicone. I would use about 6 inches for the width of that piece only so it would be stronger if someone hits it with something. It doesn't take that much to stop the bowing out of the tank glass.
 

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euro-brace that sucker!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
euro-brace that sucker!
haha- thanks hoppy you gave me some hope to help this god awful rim! so you think the brace should go inside the panels instead of across the top of them? maybe i should put one toward each end of the tank just in case...
 

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haha- thanks hoppy you gave me some hope to help this god awful rim! so you think the brace should go inside the panels instead of across the top of them? maybe i should put one toward each end of the tank just in case...
id put the side pieces on top and the front and back braces just on the inside...

or like this..
 

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Silicone isn't very strong when it has to resist shearing loads (loads parallel to the plane of the joint), but it is very strong when it only resists tension loads (loads that try to pull the two joined pieces apart.) If you look at the size of the plastic piece that you will be replacing, and keep in mind that glass is very much stronger than plastic, you can see that it doesn't take much to stop the bowing out of the glass. But, if you tried a 2 inch wide piece of 1/8 inch glass and accidentally dropped a pair of scissors on it, it would very likely shatter, where a wider and thicker piece wouldn't.
 

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I see what you mean, Hoppy. That sounds much easier that bending acrylic.

Would it be a good idea to use a pair of evenly spaced braces, then? One at 1/3 and 2/3 the length of the tank? Just thinking, "what IF something happens to one." Then the other would hold it safely long enough to fix the problem.

Maybe unnecessary, but I would think that overbuilding it would be a good idea. We are talking about a retrofit of sorts after all. Although, I have never done this kind of thing myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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The upper corners are not stressed much by the water pressure. The maximum water pressure is at the bottom of the tank, not the top. I wouldn't be at all worried about the corners. The Eurobrace method is most likely the strongest way to deal with the sides bowing out, but I can't see a real need for going to that much work. And, that method requires a lot more silicone joint surface to get very clean, a lot more trouble getting the glass pieces in place without making a mess of the silicone, and at least 4 pieces of glass to get cut to a very close tolerance on length - a real problem. Hardware stores cut glass accurate to about +/- 1/16 inch, which is not nearly good enough. It takes skill and care to cut accurate to +/- 1/64 inch, which is still a bit too big a tolerance for this job. If I were trying this I would try to use a single piece of glass, concentrating on getting it cut accurately, then concentrating on getting it installed with good silicone joints.
 

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The upper corners are not stressed much by the water pressure. The maximum water pressure is at the bottom of the tank, not the top. I wouldn't be at all worried about the corners. The Eurobrace method is most likely the strongest way to deal with the sides bowing out, but I can't see a real need for going to that much work. And, that method requires a lot more silicone joint surface to get very clean, a lot more trouble getting the glass pieces in place without making a mess of the silicone, and at least 4 pieces of glass to get cut to a very close tolerance on length - a real problem. Hardware stores cut glass accurate to about +/- 1/16 inch, which is not nearly good enough. It takes skill and care to cut accurate to +/- 1/64 inch, which is still a bit too big a tolerance for this job. If I were trying this I would try to use a single piece of glass, concentrating on getting it cut accurately, then concentrating on getting it installed with good silicone joints.
when I've done euro bracing what ive done is use tap the control the silicone bead usually a 1/4" under the joint some times smaller...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thanks for all the input! does anyone have pictures of larger tanks they have removed the rim on with success?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
redman- you removed the rim on that? it looks pretty good! does the canopy give it the support so you didn't need a brace?
 

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i am sure if the glass bowed some more the canopy would give some support but i didn't make it that tight of a fit.
 
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