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FAQs on Glass Aquarium Repair,  Braces/Cross Supports: Euro-Braces

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Related FAQs: Cross-Braces/Bracing 1, Cross-Braces/Bracing 2, Cross-Braces/Bracing 3, Cross-Braces/Bracing 4, Cross-Braces/Bracing , & Glass Aquarium Repair 1, Glass Aquarium Repair 2, G lass Aquarium Repair 3, Glass Aquarium Repair 4, Glass Aquarium Repair 5,  & FAQs on Repairing Glass Tank:  Scratches/Blemishes, Leaks, Chips/Cracks, Whole Panes, Tools: Cutting Glass, Silicone, Moulding/Frames; Techniques; Olde Tank (Slate Bottom, Metal Frame, Pecora...) Repairs, Troubleshooting/Repairs, & Acrylic Aquarium RepairUsed Aquarium Gear


Glass Tank Brace Question 04/03/09
Dear Crew,
First, thank you all for the great info you provide. I am sure the reef-keeping hobby would not be what it is today without everything you do.
<Mmm... well, am sure we have a pervasive effect, helping others help themselves, their systems, livestock... but don't know re this stmt.>
Now, to my issue. I recently purchased a 60"L x 18"D x 24"T glass aquarium. The glass is 1/2" thick. Both the top and bottom have plastic rims, which are heavily siliconed in place. There is also a center brace at the top, which is 16"W x 1/2". As you've likely guessed, here lies my problem. The tank will be used for a saltwater reef, lit by 250W MH.
<Mmm, wait... only one fixture? I would not do this... see below>
With the brace in place, I could only place MH fixtures at the ends of the tank. Even if usable light could penetrate the 1/2" glass brace, I still would not put a MH lamp over it, as I'm sure it would crack.
<Mmm, not if placed high enough above>
The solution I have come up with would be to remove the brace and have it cut from a 16" x 18" piece into two 8" x 18" pieces. I would then reinstall them, spaced 10-12 inches apart. I think this would leave adequate room for a center light, while still keeping the bracing as close to the center as possible. I could also add 4" braces on the ends of the tank for a little more support if needed. I would appreciate any opinions on this solution. I did consider Eurobracing, but I would rather not have to remove the top rim and buy all the extra glass if not needed.
<Mmmm, no... the bracing glass strips can be placed/secured lower down, below the plastic rim>
Thank you.
Best Regards,
<Well, what you propose could be done; but I wouldn't do it... IF you elect to remove the present brace, you might well be better off installing a "Euro-brace" See WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/glstkbraces.htm
and/or the Net re... But, if it were me, mine... I'd instead go with either moving the one 250W fixture to one side (looks better than centered) or better, use two such fixtures, even go with smaller wattage (150s), one over each "open" area... All depends on what you hope to accomplish, but looks and function-wise these are better options IMO than cutting out the existing centered brace. Bob Fenner> 

180 gallon center brace cracked/Euro-brace mod 12/28/08 I have appreciated all the advice and good info on your site. <Great! Thank you.> This is the 1st time I have asked a question because I definitely want to ensure the stability of my 180 gallon room dividing custom tank. The tank itself is 13 years old and I bought it used and have had it set up in my house for 1 month. No problems until I upgraded the lighting to 400w MH x 2 over center portion of tank too close to center brace (4-5") and it cracked. <Oops!> I applied 2 bar clamps as a temporary measure. <And did so in a fine way.> I don't know who manufactured the tank but it is a full view room divider w/ standard dimensions 24x72x24 made of 1/2" glass. It appears to have a combo euro-brace (3" rim of 1/2" glass) w/ center brace (23" wide)). I measure the bowing after the center brace break and it is 1/16". I really hate the wide center brace b/c it makes it near impossible to get to main portion of tank and I have MH above it. <I agree, the stock design is strong almost to the point of ridiculous.> I would like to remove the cracked center brace and place a 3" glass rim to complete the loop around the tank. This would essentially be euro brace but with extra seam where the center brace was. Does this sound reasonable? <Yes. You will need to completely clean off any silicone where the brace will attach.> Another possibility would be to put the 3" ledge in as above, but add in 2 thinner (3-4" width) cross braces. This would give a total of 4 cross braces (2 on the ends and 2 in the middle). I request your thoughts. <The Eurobrace is enough, but cross bracing is a good idea, better to overbuild. In this situation I would do the Eurobrace with maybe two 6' or so crossbraces between where the lights will sit.> I've attached photo's. <Good photos too.> Thanks in advance. Michael <Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Aquarium brace spacing during repair 12/30/08 Scott, Thanks for your advice. <My pleasure!> But you do bring up another question when you suggest a larger brace. Although I didn't buy this aquarium new I'm confident the existing brace which is 17d x18w x 1/2 inches is the original. <Possibly, this is quite a wide brace.> This is a substantial piece of glass. Is it really possible I need to go larger? <After hearing of the size I think not.> I begin to have accessibility issues if I do that. Right now it covers 25% of the surface area (72" tank). At the same time poor access is better than repairing yet again or 110 gallons of water on my floor not to mention possible safety issues. <Agreed.> If the current brace size is indeed adequate that begs the question: what might the root cause be and how can I prevent reoccurrence? <It sounds to me like this may possibly not be the stock brace. If a smaller/thinner brace was employed to begin with and failed, the silicone was likely not completely removed before placing the current piece. You will of course need to completely remove all the old silicone/residue from the mating surfaces. Using your existing piece will be fine, perhaps add some strips of glass along the top where the two pieces meet to strengthen the joint. The brace is definitely enough, you just need some good bonding/more bonding area here.> I did notice the mating surface of the brace is very smooth when I was removing silicon so if I reuse it I will use some emery cloth to roughen it up a bit. The aquarium too? <You can, but overall prep and design will be what lasts.> Thanks again for the quality info! <Welcome, Scott V.>

Broken 55 Cross Brace 9/1/08 Hi Guys, I've looked all over the site but haven't been able to find what I'm looking for. Basically, the cross beam at the top of my 55 gallon tank has broken and the top of the tank spread out about 3/4 - 1". <Yikes!> Luckily I don't have any fish in it yet and I was just testing it out so I immediately drained the tank halfway and went online to see if I could find a solution. I'm intrigued by the idea of using a piece of glass with silicone to reinforce the tank like you've suggested, but I have a few questions: Should the glass piece get attached to the very top lip of the glass on the aquarium? My tank has a plastic lip that sticks out a bout .5" from where the glass starts. Should I try add the silicone around it? <No, you will want to silicone the glass to glass, as high up, right against the plastic trim as possible. You will want to use a piece at least the thickness of the tank and around 8-10' wide to provide a good wide bonding area.> Do you have any photos of a repaired cross beam that you can send? <Sorry, no.> I think once I see it I'll have a better understanding of what needs to be done. <A Google search of cross brace repairs will certainly show you some examples.> I've also though about drilling into the broken beam and using a piece of Plexi to reinforce it. Do you think that would be a suitable fix? <This can work, but the glass cross brace will be a better long-term fix.> The cross beam is awfully flimsy and I can't believe that something like that would be an integral part of the aquarium's structure. <Some of these are quite cheaply made, but the bowing/gap you are seeing shows how integral it is here. You could also 'Euro-brace' this tank, running a 3' or so wide strip of glass lengthwise down each side, but this will greatly reduce the open space to get into a 55. Do also consider contacting the tank manufacturer to buy new trim for the top and simply replace what is there; just another option.> Thanks!
<Welcome, Scott V.>

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