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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 150 a week or two ago and never even noticed the top molding is cracked all the way around in the front. It was no center brace and is about 3/4" thick glass. What I was thinking is several options.

First - take off the bottom molding and switch them. THe only problem is how do I get it off? It's siliconed in place. Razor blades would work for the outer edge, but what about the inside where the bottom of the tank prohibits me from getting at it?

Second - buy a piece of glass roughly six inches wide and silicone it inside at the top to keep it together. This immediately sounded good to me because then it would be easy to buy 36" light strip and have them on a center brace. The only problem is I do not know if that is enough reinforcement.

Third - build a canopy that is snug to the top and won't allow any bowing. There is no overflow so I am probably going to use a combo of canisters and HOBs, so this option isn't as appealing.

Last - I've done it before and can do it again - go to the local metal smithing place and have a brace/bracket made that fits over top of the tank in the middle. They work excellently, but do not look professional.

I bought it from a lady whose husband had recently passed away. She told me he bought it for a reef tank and when they got it they saw it full of water. Since they only moved it into storage then he died, I assume it had the crack in it when they saw it full. I can stand in the tank and push as hard as possible and cannot make it bow. What do you guys think, you're the experts, that's why I'm here.
 

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i would do the metal frame out of 1/4 inch aluminum and make the complete molding with center brace and all, or out of some steel. steel is cheaper. with a tank that big do take the risk.

maybe make the wood canopy to cover the ugly look of steel.

another thought that diamond steel that they use for truck tool box's would look pretty cool.
also expensive, then you dont need a wood canopy
would look pretty cool with the lights that stand over the tank

aluminum and diamond steel wont rust

just a couple thaught's im sure theres better out there

goodluck :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a metal stand for it. I'm not home to measure it, but there's a possibility that I could cut off the top of the frame and use that to fit over the existing frame. I had planned on making a stand for it anyway. I would like to hear some other opinions though, I think the metal would be rather ugly around it unless I made a canopy to cover it.
 

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Are there any markings on the trim that indicate the manufacturer? A lot of manufacturers offer replacements if you can figure out which one you have. You may want to take some really accurate measurements and contact some manufacturers to see if they have something that will work for you as well. Try glasscages.com. One thing to consider is that if both pieces are going to be visible there will be a noticeable difference between the two if you don't do both. If you do a canopy later you can cover the top one to alleviate that.

As far as taking the old one off I've heard it can be a real pain, but certainly doable. One of the guys at my LFS said he had very carefully used a die grinder on the inside corners of the trim to get through it and then broke the pieces off. If you have a steady hand and access to a die grinder it's worth a shot. If it's cracked all the way through you may be able to pry from that point and not have to worry about the die grinder at all. Be patient is all I can advise. Also, a heat gun may help soften the silicone to aid in removal as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The top piece is no problem to take off, i can pry it from the split. The bottom would be a pain and is really not something i want to do. As far as the heat gun thing, I was advised that I could damage the molding doing that. Any other ideas would be appreciated
 

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A 3/4" thick 150 gallon tank is not normally made with a center brace. The glass is thick enough to not bow in typical 150 gallon dimensions. If you are building a stand and canopy, you can leave a lip that covers the plastic frame on the tank, top and bottom. No need to do anything to it then.

Heat will not soften silicone, unless you are getting up above 316 °C ! Tools used to loosen silicone beads on windows can help when facing a similar job on an aquarium frame. Once the silicone cut is started, slowly and evenly pulling up the frame will remove it. Remember one big reason for the frame is not structural, but to protect people from the razor sharp edges of the glass. It would add to the cost to grind these edges flat so they are just covered over. Be careful.

Is there a center brace incorporated in the bottom frame? If not, switching them does not make a lot of sense to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There is no center brace in the bottom frame. I just thought that the molding was there to hold it all together. I could be entirely wrong, but I thought it worked like this - put together a base and four walls, add some pressure(water), and hold it all together using a molding. It would make sense though that the molding is not entirely necessary, the weight pushing out could be entirely too much for a small piece of plastic to hold it all. Building a canopy around the top will probably be what I do, but it's not what I wanted to do, then I have to use all canisters because the extra molding will not allow HOBs to fit.
 
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