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Hi everyone, I decided to share some of my work here. I've written a calculator for both glass and acrylic DIY projects.

Rivermud's Glass and Acrylic Thickness Calculator - Guide not Gospel

The glass portion of the calc defaults to a 3.8 safety factor. This is a solid choice for a safety rating on a rimless tank. If you are using bracing such as a cross brace found on most mass produced aquariums you can reduce the safety factor by a large amount. As a guide I normally use 2.4 as a SF for braced tanks. This is only meant as a guide however so please choose a safety rating that you yourself are comfortable with.

Blue Yellow Colorfulness Text White


The areas in yellow are editable. As I stated before, it defaults to 3.8 as a safety factor, you can choose to change this. The calculator also has a reverse calculator built in to it. The pasted example shows 1/2" (.5000) glass, it will have a safety factor of 2.2 if used with the dimensions provided above without bracing. Useful for those who are trying to work within budgets. his is also provided for bottom thickness as well.

Next, the calculator will calculate the weight of your glass. This normally isn't a major issue, but for those who are building large tanks or or are working by themselves this helps to provide them with information that can be invaluable when telling your doctor how you threw your back out.

Lastly, I have added an acrylic thickness calculator. This calculator assumes you are using square seams. It does not have the ability to calculate for compound angles and corners. As such, it is built to fudge the numbers a bit high in the interest of safety.

This calculator is only a guide, please use it as such. I will happily answer questions if you have any. Comments stating something similar to "Well, my acrylic aquarium is 26 inches tall and built out of half inch, your calculator sucks because it tells me I need (insert high number here) will be ignored as whoever posts comments like that will have failed to read the initial post in the first place and is simply trolling.

Please enjoy.
 

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tempered question

I have searched in vain for hours for a calculator to handle tempered glass. (in my case starfire tempered). I have to use tempered for my tank as it is going in a public space. Any help on this one would be greatly appreciated, I don't want to use acyrlic.
Tank A will be 12' long, 36" tall, and a min of 28" across the bottom.
Tank B will be 8' long, preferrably 42+" tall, and 36" across the bottom.
Thank you for any insight.
Both tanks will be built of a full steel surround, backs and bottom and sides will be 1/2" bulletproof fibreglass panals coated with fish safe epoxy paint product.
 

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Starting my new 5'x5'x2.5' (LXBXH) reef tank with inbuilt sump in the main tank at the back side of main tank by giving partition after 4' width , giving sump dimension width of 1 feet, but the problem is that in the local market glass dimension of 5'x5' for base of aquarium is not available instead 5'x4' is available, so i am thinking of giving a joint of 5' x1' and 5'x4' to make it 5'x5' and doing partition after 5' x4' as main tank and 5'x1' as sump...
Can any one provide me if i am going right or their is any other way to sort out this problem, also i am doing this with 12 mm glass with braces ..
 

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Hi everyone, I decided to share some of my work here. I've written a calculator for both glass and acrylic DIY projects.

Rivermud's Glass and Acrylic Thickness Calculator - Guide not Gospel

The glass portion of the calc defaults to a 3.8 safety factor. This is a solid choice for a safety rating on a rimless tank. If you are using bracing such as a cross brace found on most mass produced aquariums you can reduce the safety factor by a large amount. As a guide I normally use 2.4 as a SF for braced tanks. This is only meant as a guide however so please choose a safety rating that you yourself are comfortable with.

View attachment 17302

The areas in yellow are editable. As I stated before, it defaults to 3.8 as a safety factor, you can choose to change this. The calculator also has a reverse calculator built in to it. The pasted example shows 1/2" (.5000) glass, it will have a safety factor of 2.2 if used with the dimensions provided above without bracing. Useful for those who are trying to work within budgets. his is also provided for bottom thickness as well.

Next, the calculator will calculate the weight of your glass. This normally isn't a major issue, but for those who are building large tanks or or are working by themselves this helps to provide them with information that can be invaluable when telling your doctor how you threw your back out.

Lastly, I have added an acrylic thickness calculator. This calculator assumes you are using square seams. It does not have the ability to calculate for compound angles and corners. As such, it is built to fudge the numbers a bit high in the interest of safety.

This calculator is only a guide, please use it as such. I will happily answer questions if you have any. Comments stating something similar to "Well, my acrylic aquarium is 26 inches tall and built out of half inch, your calculator sucks because it tells me I need (insert high number here) will be ignored as whoever posts comments like that will have failed to read the initial post in the first place and is simply trolling.

Please enjoy.
Hi there. This is a great resource, but I have a question. I am building a large cement tank with a glass viewing window. The viewing window will be 6' wide x 4' tall. The tank itself will be 7' wide x 4' deep and 6' tall holding roughly 1,000 gallons of water. So when referring to your spreadsheet how should I be going about calculating the necessary thickness of the viewing window? Should I just use the full tank dimensions and use the front pane calculation? If I do it that way it should show a thickness that is a little larger than necessary - but a little extra thickness wouldn't hurt just to be on the safe side. The glass will be held in place on the inside of the front wall, overlapping the opening in the concrete 2" to 4" on all sides.

I have been looking on Craig's List and FB Marketplace and have found several 1" thick glass table tops that are appropriate size-wise for a lot less than I can order a new piece. Some have even been free. any reason why I shouldn't go down this path?

Also - I'm getting conflicting info from several different forums I have read in regards to whether or not to use tempered glass. Some say only the bottom should be tempered due to the risk of a rock or other landscaping decoration in the tank hitting one of the side panes and shattering it. But If I'm not mistaken most commercial tanks use tempered on all panels.

What is your take on using tempered glass?

Thanks for any advice you might be able to pass along.

Jeff

FYI - I get it that your reply would only be a guide, not an opinion rendered by a licensed professional - ie a mechanical engineer. But I will sure be glad to listen!
 
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