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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good ol' craigslist! I found a 135 that needs a little help. It leaks, so it will need re-siliconed. The frame feels a little loose, so I'm not sure how much of a problem that is. The back is painted, which is fine, but one of the sides is also painted, as is part of the frame....odd. Anyway, the part that bothers me the most is that there is no center brace. It doesn't look like there ever was a center brace. A 6 foot span seems like a long way without a brace to me. Is this likely to bow? The glass is 1/2" if that makes any difference. I'm looking at about $100 bucks for this tank as is. Good idea? Bad idea?

Just for frame of reference....I saw a 55 gallon with everything tonight for $350. Saw a 10 gallon, tank only, for $25 the other day. We don't see many deals around here, and this sounds like a decent deal. I told the people I'd take it, but I'm not 100% sure.

Thoughts?? Thanks.
 

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hmm wouldn't go more than 100. Since its leakin anyways, if i were you I would make myself a couple really nice 200gal plywood tanks with it and sell one off. But thats probly more work than you want. I always like a fun project to last me the summer.
 

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Half inch glass could mean it is an older tank, so a resiliconing would be smart. Silicone only lasts about 25 to 50 years.

It probably never did have a center brace and would not need one for bowing problems inherent with thinner glass. but center braces also help keep light srips from falling in the water and provide a lip to hold tops which reduce evaporation and fish "crispy critters". Add a glass cener brace during the rebuild if you like.
 

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My 125g that's waiting in the wings also doesn't have a center brace. They are better built tanks IMO :)

I'd say get the tank, fix the leak and put a glass 'ledge' around the inside of it along with a center brace. Remove the outer trim and put a new one on yourself made out 2"x1" hardwood; you could even do a matching one at the bottom. :wink:

Tank will then be good as new, stable and be worth more than what you paid for it. :thumb:
 

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D-007 said:
My 125g that's waiting in the wings also doesn't have a center brace. They are better built tanks IMO :)

I'd say get the tank, fix the leak and put a glass 'ledge' around the inside of it along with a center brace. Remove the outer trim and put a new one on yourself made out 2"x1" hardwood; you could even do a matching one at the bottom. :wink:

Tank will then be good as new, stable and be worth more than what you paid for it. :thumb:
D007's glass ledge is what others have been calling eurobracing. There is a good photo of it at www.glasscages.com titled 240 Tall Aq. (Side / Closeup). I don't have the deep link to it, so you'd have to visit http://glasscages.com/?sAction=ViewCat&lCatID=2 and then click around for it. The side closeup pic shows both the top inside and bottom inside eurobracing. As to replacing the framing, if you are building a stand and canopy for the tank, simply bring up the front and sides of the "wrap" to create a lip covering where the frame would be. In some countries, glass tanks are often built frameless, and their stands include this kind of lip to conceal the raw edges of the glass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mepeterser2451 said:
hmm wouldn't go more than 100. Since its leakin anyways, if i were you I would make myself a couple really nice 200gal plywood tanks with it and sell one off. But thats probly more work than you want. I always like a fun project to last me the summer.
That had crossed my mind. However, I already have a piece of glass that's 84L x 37H X 3/4" thick that will eventually make a nice DIY jumbo aquarium. That project is waiting on a more permanent home. I know we'll only be here about two more years, so no point in making something I might have to leave here, especially when you consider I don't use my basement very much right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mcdaphnia said:
Half inch glass could mean it is an older tank, so a resiliconing would be smart. Silicone only lasts about 25 to 50 years.

It probably never did have a center brace and would not need one for bowing problems inherent with thinner glass. but center braces also help keep light srips from falling in the water and provide a lip to hold tops which reduce evaporation and fish "crispy critters". Add a glass cener brace during the rebuild if you like.
Excellent. I have no experience with larger tanks, so I didn't know if the glass should have been 1/2 or 5/8". If it doesn't need a center brace, great. I'm planning on making a DIY stand and canopy for it anyway, so the appearance of the frame is unimportant.

I know that resiliconing will take a fair amount of work, but I'm not in a huge hurry. Well, the two Rotkeils in my 55 might beg to differ..... :oops:
 

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mithesaint said:
Mcdaphnia said:
Half inch glass could mean it is an older tank, so a resiliconing would be smart. Silicone only lasts about 25 to 50 years.

It probably never did have a center brace and would not need one for bowing problems inherent with thinner glass. but center braces also help keep light srips from falling in the water and provide a lip to hold tops which reduce evaporation and fish "crispy critters". Add a glass cener brace during the rebuild if you like.
Excellent. I have no experience with larger tanks, so I didn't know if the glass should have been 1/2 or 5/8". If it doesn't need a center brace, great. I'm planning on making a DIY stand and canopy for it anyway, so the appearance of the frame is unimportant.

I know that resiliconing will take a fair amount of work, but I'm not in a huge hurry. Well, the two Rotkeils in my 55 might beg to differ..... :oops:
Sorry about all the typos. :zz: (srips instead of strips etc.) I should buy a can of compressed air and clean my keyboard. :dancing:
 

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As a matter of fact about a year ago I got a similar leaky 135 for $100 off craigslist, 1/2" glass all around and full inch on the bottom. I re-siliconed it and its working just fine. Same deal with it though, the top trim just comes right off and for a few months I just had it without any sort of bracing and it never bowed. I built a wood canopy for it that just fits on the top tightly and provides more support than the flimsy plastic thing ever did.

If you re-silicone it make sure to do a good job removing the old stuff. When I first got the tank, it was the first time I ever did a silicone job so I didn't really remove the old stuff as well as I could, and it failed after 130 days or so with a pinprick leak, so the second time I did it I really dominated it.

Get some glass scraping razor blade tools from lowes, they work wonders.

(edit) Oh and if you re-silicone it make sure to do the whole thing instead of just the leaky part, old silicone and new silicone don't like one another, learned that the hard way too haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I started taking the silicone off today, and uncovered an unpleasant surprise. At least, to me anyway. Maybe this is normal.

The seam where the lower edge of the front glass, and the front edge of the bottom glass.....well....they don't seem to come into contact. I assumed I would have a corner with glass on two sides. However, the bottom piece of glass seems to be about 1/8" short, and the gap is filled with silicone. I'm not sure, because I haven't poked it yet, but I can definitely feel the edge of the bottom panel glass.

Is this normal? I'm assuming it's not, as i thought the front piece of glass sat directly on the bottom piece....Do I have a bigger project ahead of me than i thought?? :-? :x
 

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mithesaint said:
So I started taking the silicone off today, and uncovered an unpleasant surprise. At least, to me anyway. Maybe this is normal.

The seam where the lower edge of the front glass, and the front edge of the bottom glass.....well....they don't seem to come into contact. I assumed I would have a corner with glass on two sides. However, the bottom piece of glass seems to be about 1/8" short, and the gap is filled with silicone. I'm not sure, because I haven't poked it yet, but I can definitely feel the edge of the bottom panel glass.

Is this normal? I'm assuming it's not, as i thought the front piece of glass sat directly on the bottom piece....Do I have a bigger project ahead of me than i thought?? :-? :x
Some early all glass tanks deliberately had their silicone seams close to 1/8" thick since for strength and ability to flex this was the ideal compromise. However much thinner seams are as strong and still have some ability to flex. If you are producing many tanks and can save 2/3's of the cost of one component, what would you do?

There are several tank "floor plans". One is to have the front, sides, and back glass resting on top of a glass base. Another is to have the glass bottom surrounded by the walls. The advantage of this second plan is that irregularities that push up against the glass toward its greatest thickness are not likely to crack the glass, but may cause some cosmetic edge chipping. Customized tanks may be hybrids due to some quirk of construction or dimension, otherwise you see one plan or the other.

The "newest" variation (years and years old by now) is the "floating" bottom which lifts the bottom up a fraction of an inch higher than the bottom of the walls. This has the advantages of the second plan, plus avoids bottom cracks caused by small objects under the tank. Furthermore it results in fewer assembly errors and defects.

No reason to change now from one assembly plan to another. They all work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
IT HOLDS WATER!!!!!!!!

Not that I'm excited or anything. I wasn't thrilled with how the silicone turned out because the tape pulled up the edges of the bead in the corners. It doesn't lay nice and flat against the glass, but rather has a bit of an edge. I can live with that.

It does bow a little bit though. About 1/2" in the middle when it's full. That bothers me a little bit, and was thinking of adding bracing. Any suggestions? My initial plan was using 4 pieces of 3" x 17" glass staggered throughout the aquarium to maximize bracing, but I'm afraid that would annoy me. What about just a 6" piece in the middle?

I don't really want to eurobrace at this point because I'm keeping the idea of HOB's (which I already have) for mechanical filtration. I'm sure a canister would do a better job, but if I already have the HOB's.......

TIA.
 

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An 1/2" of bowing should bother you alot bit, not alittle.
Bracing is a must.
On a six foot tank I'd do to 2 braces, split the tank into 3 two foot sections.

Ah I see your from Buffalo. I just picked up a 150 gallon off craiglist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I'm finally getting around to finishing this tank. A large project (new windows and siding for the house :drooling: ) sorta got in the way this summer. Anyway, I'm going to put two glass braces across the middle to divide the tank into two foot sections. I'll be getting 3/8" glass for the brace, and was planning on having the braces be 3" wide. I have exactly 17" from the inside of one side to the inside of the opposite side. I'm assuming I'll want the glass to be 16 and 7/8" then, right? Do I want a bigger gap or smaller gap?

Any suggestions? TIA
 

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I have one of the old oceanaic 135's with no center brace. The glass is very thick so bowing in the middle is not an issue. I measured mine when full and there is no detectable bow (at least not down to the 1/16" precision of my tape measure.

Tanks were just built stronger (and costlier) when these bad boys were produced. It does take 4 men to carry bone dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
tannable75 said:
I have one of the old oceanaic 135's with no center brace. The glass is very thick so bowing in the middle is not an issue. I measured mine when full and there is no detectable bow (at least not down to the 1/16" precision of my tape measure.

Tanks were just built stronger (and costlier) when these bad boys were produced. It does take 4 men to carry bone dry.
I'm glad that yours doesn't bow. Mine does. Probably a full 1/2 inch of bow when full. Too much for my taste.
 

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mithesaint said:
tannable75 said:
I have one of the old oceanaic 135's with no center brace. The glass is very thick so bowing in the middle is not an issue. I measured mine when full and there is no detectable bow (at least not down to the 1/16" precision of my tape measure.

Tanks were just built stronger (and costlier) when these bad boys were produced. It does take 4 men to carry bone dry.
I'm glad that yours doesn't bow. Mine does. Probably a full 1/2 inch of bow when full. Too much for my taste.
Interesting, yours was made without braces, or they are missing? How thick is the glass? Mine is 5/8"
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mine was apparently made without braces. The plastic frame appears to be original (not a good thing) and there is no evidence there was ever a brace in the plastic. The glass is 1/2" thick. I think I would *probably* be ok without the brace, but getting two glass braces made is cheap piece of mind.

Anyone know how much space to put between the brace and the glass?
 

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mithesaint said:
Mine was apparently made without braces. The plastic frame appears to be original (not a good thing) and there is no evidence there was ever a brace in the plastic. The glass is 1/2" thick. I think I would *probably* be ok without the brace, but getting two glass braces made is cheap piece of mind.

Anyone know how much space to put between the brace and the glass?
I remember reading (in a book, remember those?) 1/8" was tested to be the optimum with the 50 year silicone and probably would be the same results if tested with the 25 year stuff used now. Additionally I would measure and install cross braces with the tank half filled with water. This would incorporate a very slight bow into the long glass panels so that when the filled tank bows out the glass slightly between the crossbraces, it is a more gradual bow with less point stress on the glass.
 
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