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FAQs on Glass Aquarium Repair,  Braces/Cross Supports 3

Related Articles: Aquarium Repair, Acrylic Aquarium RepairCleaning AquariumsMarine Tanks, Stands and CoversUsed Gear for Marine Systems, Designer Marine tanks, stands and covers

Related FAQs: Cross-Braces/Bracing 1, Cross-Braces/Bracing 2, Cross-Braces/Bracing 4, Cross-Braces/Bracing , Euro-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

55 gallon glass cross brace     11/7/17
Dear Crew
I purchased a used 55 gallon aquarium made of 3/8" glass with outside dimensions: L=48" x W=12 1/2" x H=20". It was up and running for 3 weeks.
Our goldfish was happy. We were happy. This is my first big tank.
I was just finished my weekly water change. Because of the way I was filling the tank I was directly above and close to the back of the tank and I noticed that the glass top brace had pulled away from the back panel (it
was still attached quite nicely to the front panel). Horrified, I measured and the front was bowed out by 1/8". Frantic, I started draining the tank and I moved the fish and all bio media to a 10 gallon. I drained the 55 gallon tank completely and the bow went away.
<Yes; can likely do/be fine about half filled>
We spent all the next day completely removing the cross brace and all traces of black sealant which had been holding the cross brace in place.
We used razor blades and vinegar. We used aquarium safe silicone and after several attempts managed to get the cross brace back to where it was and held in place with two bar clamps which had a piece of wood between the
clamp ends and the glass The clamps were left on for 24 hours. The silicone has now been curing for an additional 24 hours. The tank is still empty (except for about 1/2" of gravel)
<Mmm; I wish you would have written first. Are you familiar with "Euro-bracing"? I suggest you add long strips (2" wide should do) along the upper pieces of glass. Can run under the current brace if you'd like>
The cross brace was made up of three pieces of 3/8" glass. One piece is 2 1/2" wide and 12 1/2 inches long. The other two pieces are 2 1/2" wide and 6" long. The two shorter pieces are sealed across the top and bottom end of the long piece in the shape of a Roman Numeral One or a capital "I". I assume this shape would give a larger surface area for silicone to adhere to and have more strength than the single 2 1/2 " straight across the inside of the tank.( Correct me if I am wrong ).
<Not wrong... and though I've been in this trade/industry for decades, have never encountered this bracing scheme on a commercially made tank>
Unfortunately, the cross pieces were not exactly flush at the ends nor exactly square to each other nor exactly the measurement of the inside of the tank so there was no way to get an exactly even amount of silicone between the panels and the brace. I hope this makes sense to you.
<I think so; yes>
So my problems/questions:
1) Now that the wood blocks and clamps are removed I can see that there is now a slight indent in the front panel. It is now approximately 1/32" narrower across the top of the centre of the tank. Is this 1/32" indent a problem?
<Could be; yes>
2) Should we remove the cross brace and try it again?
<I would do the Euro brace as mentioned. Use the search tool on WWM and you will see/find several examples>
3) Should we remove this cross brace and remove the sealant holding the three pieces together and make it flush and square and try again?
4) Should we remove this cross brace, throw it out and have new glass cut which is the exact measurement of the inside of the tank?
5) Why would this brace come unglued? Is it primarily a result of the shoddy nature of the brace?
<Can't say w/ the info. provided>
6) Could it be a result of it having just been moved? ( It was up and running until a couple hours before we picked it up and apparently the seller bought it new only two years ago. It does not have any apparent label on it but it is supposed to be from a Fluval 55 gallon LED kit. It is possible that it was like this when we bought it because until I looked from directly above it was hard to tell that the sealant wasn't actually attached.)
7) The black sealant in the corner joints all appear to be fine and there has been no leaks so far but now that it has bowed out 1/8" and is now bent
in 1/32" has this caused irreparable damage?
8) The aquarium is level front to back and side to side but how do I test if the stand is fully supporting the aquarium. The stand also came with the tank. It is the bottom of a china cabinet which has been reinforced with
1 x 3 lumber on the ends and in the middle.
<Set the tank on the stand, empty... and see if you can jam a credit card twixt it and the stand. Oh, and read here:
I'm sorry to be freaking out but this is my first big tank. I live in Canada in a very small town. There are no local aquarium professionals. It is winter here. I can not do an outside test fill. I do not have a basement. I have to fill it up in my living room. Depending on your answers to the above, when it comes time to fill it up should I do a slow fill? i.e., fill it 1/3 wait 24 hours, fill it 2/3, wait 24 hours etc.
<Perhaps a good idea to do the slow fill as you mention>
I know there are no absolutes, in anything, in life, but I could really use your expert opinions on how to deal with this situation. Besides, my poor fish is very sad to have been evicted from his lovely new mansion. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Lee
<And I would use clear Silastic/Silicone rather than the black here. The Clear has more "body", viscosity. Do please write back if any of this is unclear. Bob Fenner>
Re: 55 gallon glass cross brace     11/7/17

Hello. Thank you so much for responding and so quickly. This is an absolutely amazing resource. I am vaguely familiar with the concept of euro bracing (utube, diy aquarium sites etc) but I do not think I can use euro bracing because I have two HOB filters (rated for 70 gallons each). If I were to euro brace I would need to cut holes in the back brace to accommodate the filters. I assume this would defeat the structural integrity of the back brace, would it not?
<Yes to losing the integrity of the brace by cutting it. The choice is EITHER the brace OR hang-on filtration>
You suggested I could install the euro brace under the existing cross brace, however, as described above, that brace is now pulling the center inward by 1/32". Don't I need to remove this brace and try to get the width to be the same all the way along the length?
<The longer, more complete, the better>
If I can not use a euro brace set up, I have an idea that I want your opinion on. I was thinking I could make three glass and silicone sandwiches (so to speak). The top slice would be 3/8" longer (than the bottom slice)
on both ends (my glass is 3/8"). They would be sandwiched together by silicone allowing them to cure and seal to each other before installing. I could then silicone one at each end and one across the middle. This way the long slice would be sealed to the top edge and the shorter slice would seal to the inside of both front and back panels. Sorry but I do not know how to draw this in computer language. I am from the age of pen and paper. I hope you understand my description =)?
<I think I do; and I like this idea>
My questions: 1) would this be enough to support the front panel and would
it add some stability to the corners?
<I do think it would>
My tank does not have a top frame
2) if I can find a glass company locally, exactly what kind of glass do I ask for? will any 3/8" glass do?
<Yes; just "float glass", non-tempered... nothing special. Bob Fenner>
Re: 55 gallon glass cross brace     11/7/17

Hi again Bob. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my questions. I now feel very confident that I can build and apply braces to support my tank.
<Ah, very good>
As I stated in my original e-mail, the original cross brace came unglued and we siliconed it back in place. However, the original cross brace pieces were not flush or squared to each other and the brace (in places) was almost 1/8" shorter than the inside dimensions of my tank.
Now, after the repair, the measurement across the top of the tank, in the middle of the tank, where the cross brace has been reinstalled, is 1/32" shorter than across the ends of the tank. When I asked if this was a problem you said: <Could be; yes>. When I asked: Don't I need to remove this brace and try to get the width to be the same all the way along the length? You said:<The longer, more complete, the better> I do not understand this response. Can you elaborate?
<Yes; and sorry for the lack of clarity. I mean/t that the closer (and longer) the connection (i.e. the closer-smaller the gap twixt the brace and front and back panels) the better the adhesion, functionality of the brace>
You also said that the tank would probably be fine half full. I am considering refilling to half full and transferring my fish, and filters back to the 55 gallon. That would give him at least twice as much space as the 10 gallon I frantically moved him into. Would you advice for or against this idea?
<I would do this; i.e., move the goldfish back into the half-filled 55>
I would have to find a way to temporarily extend the filter out-put spouts to lessen the noise of the water coming back into the tank, but I have a few ideas. Should I take the "too short" cross brace out before I add any water? Should I take it out now?
<The new pieces are to overlap this, no? IF so, then I would leave the current "too-short" brace in place and install the new with it>
It will probably be a week or two before I can order and pick-up and install my glass and silicone "sandwich" braces (the joys of rural living--life moves much slower). When I do order them, I assume the piece that will be siliconed between the front and the back panel should be as close as possible to the inside dimensions of the tank, yes?
Thank you all so much for your dedication to this hobby and especially to us poor first-large-tank newbies=)
<A pleasure to aid you, others. Bob Fenner>

Bracing for 125 gal Circa 92 O'Dell aquarium      3/27/16
Glad I found your forum.
<Mmm; WWM not really such; but an educational resource>
Q: Want to reestablish the 125 tank ,glass top had a detachable center brace that supported covers and lights no center brace at bottom!
<At the bottom? But does have one at the top; in the middle?>
Should I euro brace or just go with another top? Never had a problem with bowing and seems to be original q8 inch across width and 72 length 21 deep bern indife all these yesrd bought nee not used 7'-10 yrs.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
<? Don't think I'm understanding what you intended to write here. Please correct the English are re-send.
IF it were me, mine, I'd definitely have a center brace... likely making my own... Euro over spanning the center front to back. Bob Fenner>
re: Bracing for 125 gal Circa 92 O'Dell aquarium     3/27/16

Sorry for the confusion, I found what was my problem, the "center brace" was really a center support for the glass tops that came with the Tank.
<Ah yes; I do recall this feature. I sold O'Dell when working for Sears in the early 1970's and was the buyer of their line for Petco 1991-1994>
But that means this 1992 purchase by me never had the standard center support that prevents bowing.
<Mmm; I don't actually recall... where their braces were>
There is no bottom brace as well. Bought from a local dealer this a O'Dell 3/8 inch glass tank that I maintained for about 13 yrs that included about 8 others as well. Suggestions? Hope I'm clearer this time
<I would still put a bracing system on this; actually any six foot spanning tank. As gone over on WWM:
and the linked FAQs files above.
Bob Fenner>
re: Bracing for 125 gal Circa 92 O'Dell aquarium       3/29/16

Ok that sounds like solid advice! I will read the forums as you advised and I am really excited about the prospects.
<Ah, good>
I hope to enjoy the hobby once again as I did in my younger adventures when my prized 13 inch Pacu patrolled the above tank! Thank you once again Bob!
<Welcome Reg. B>

bottom brace. On a glass tank; cut it away?     2/22/16
I did find what I was looking for (see below); but it is such an old post and products have gotten less well made so I wanted to reaffirm. I want to paint the bottom of my 75 gallon Top Fin aquarium. The bottom brace is in the way. Can I safely cut it off?
<I would NOT do so. Likely IS functional, and if there should be a catastrophic tank failure...>
Isn't the bottom glass just one big "euro-brace" anyway?
<Mmm; most are more ornamental... useful for building the tank itself (holding the panels in place while the Silastic is curing mainly>
Was going to use a Dremel. Finally I get to ask EXPERTS! Everybody keeps telling me it will burst and I am scared.
Thanks so much,
<Again; leave it in place. Bob Fenner>
"Tank Bottom Brace 1/20/08 Well I was in the process of loading my 125g tank
into my truck earlier today, and wouldn't you know the center brace on the
bottom of the tank caught my bed liner and snapped in half. <Ooops!> I was
wondering if this will affect the tank in any way. <No.> I've been reading
most of the posts and only found issues dealing with the top brace. My
personal solution was to just super-glue 1/4in Plexi to both sides of the
brace and silicon it to the bottom of the tank altogether. Could you please
give me your advice. <If you feel like repairing it look for 'plastic
welder' type two part epoxies available at most hardware or automotive
stores. The only reason the bottom frame even has the cross brace is that
the use the same frame for the top, cutting production costs. These cross
braces help (minimally) to reduce bowing of the glass on top, but do
nothing for the bottom.> Thank you< Welcome, Scott V.>"

60 gallon Marineland heartland aquarium; failed cross-brace       1/22/16
I have a 60 gallon heartland aquarium with saltwater in it. I just noticed today that there is a crack in the tension bar. What can I do to replace or fix it? Here is a pic. Help me please!
<Mmm; IF the tank is under a year old (since you bought it); I'd try to have your dealer replace it. If not, DO lower the water down a good third for now (it is dangerous not to do this... the tank may fail, catastrophically); and READ HERE:
and the linked FAQs files in the series (at top). Bob Fenner>

Tank question; broken top brace      7/21/15
I just picked up a 240g tall tank 72x24x32 it has the plastic top with dual brace on of the braces broke. The glass is 3/4" thick i was wondering if i would be okay as is as i can not get anyone to order me a new top .
<I'd either buy a replacement plastic top and replace the current one, or fashion at least two (maybe three) braces across the top to reduce bowing here. Bob Fenner>

Acrylic/glass question    5/31/15
Hello WWM Crew,
After years of wandering your page, I finally have a question I couldn't find the answer to. I am considering buying a used tank in need of what I think may be an acceptable repair. The tank was originally made by A.G.E. (2004). Dimensions are 60L x 24D x 28H. The walls and floor are glass, and the seams appear to be in good condition. The catch is that the top is an acrylic eurobrace,
<?! A retrofit... and inappropriate. There is no bonding agent that will secure acrylic to glass>

which has mostly separated from the glass. Obviously A.G.E. thought they could get this to work, or they wouldn't have sold it, although it may be a lessons learned issue.
*The question I have is*: have there been any advances in bonding glass to acrylic?
<None that I'm aware of; no>

I've seen some reports saying that using MEK (with good PPE/ventilation) as a surface primer will allow the two to adhere well enough.
<No to this solvent... useful for acrylic to acrylic solventing only>
I have not yet tested this myself to confirm. If not, are there any other recommendations?
<Yes; glass. See WWM re Eurobracing>
I have considered putting a glass euro-brace on the tank, but really do like the look of the acrylic top currently on it.
Regluing a panel won't be a problem for me, but I am inexperienced with the dissimilar materials.
Thank you,
<.... Welcome. Bob Fenner>

72 gal Bow-front broken center brace; reading        3/6/15
Hello=) I'm getting mixed information about whether an intact, functioning center brace is necessary on my tank.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/GlsTkBracesF3.htm
and the linked files above>
A guy at Petco says "no" but I'm thinking he's probably not an expert. When I hold the broken part back up after it should attach, there's space where it doesn't even touch the other side of the tank...which means it's brewing
<.... Bob Fenner>
72 gal Bow-front AGA       3/6/15

<Why have you sent us twice times 6 Megs of pix? READ OUR REQUIREMENTS and comply or go elsewhere>
Hey=) I have gotten some confusing opinions on whether or not an intact, functioning center brace is necessary. I've had this aquarium for 10 yrs, set up and operating without trouble, until last night when the center brace broke and dumped my glass top and LED light into the water. When I hold the broken part back up, it doesn't even touch the back of the tank.
There is space where it should meet. It's making me nervous!!
<See WWM re Braces/Bracing. This one needs repairing or retiring. Bob Fenner>
It originally came with the 48" fluorescent hood but that went out and I've replaced it with a very lightweight LED. The brace has looked weak for awhile. Those fluorescent lights aren't kind to the plastic. Do I need to hunt down a replacement trim/brace part? And if so, have any leads?
Thanks- Esther

55 Gallon Aquarium... Old Odell, can't find plastic frame replacement     7/15/14
I am reading your posts they are great. My problem is I have a 55 gallon aquarium and the plastic center support beam has cracked right against the glass on the front side. The tank bowed out so I have taken all the fish and water out of the aquarium.
I would like to replace the frame but I have no indication of the manufacturer of the tank. I have looked everywhere on the tank. Any idea where it may be. The only thing I found is a fish emblem with O Dell
written in the middle of it and I everyone I talk to stated this was associated with the glass and not the frame.
<Actually; this was a tank (with frames) manufacturer years back (in TN)...>
No one I contacted online who sells tank frames carriers the dimensions of my tank frame. My tank is 48 inches long and this is crazy but 12 and 3/4 inches wide.
<Mmm; well, you may well want to opt for making your own... glass supports... inside the long runs... Front and back panels... Have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/GlsTkBracesF3.htm
and the linked files above... till you understand your options>
I know it is an older tank. I have had it 10 years. Can you tell me who manufactured tanks with these dimensions or can you tell me a distributor who sells this type of frame. Even if you cannot tell me the
manufacturer, can you give me names of manufacturers and of distributors I will contact each one individually.
If I cannot find a frame, I was considering placing a 2 inch piece of angle iron, which I would cut 2 inches long along both the front and back of the tank and then using some type of bracketing maybe made of aluminum drill a hole into the top side of the angle iron and attach bracket to use as support between the 2 pieces of iron to brace the tank. I may do this twice and not just once in the center of the tank. What do you think?
<Not the route I would go... too much work; too likely to rust>
I am not an engineer but I think the iron being 2 inches wide on both top and side and each piece two inches long and the amount of force of the water should hold the pieces in place and using two may help distribute the load more evenly and hopefully keep the glass better supported.
I am even considering using 2 by 4's on the outside of the tank to brace the frame in the middle, bring it up the front attaching it to the stand on the bottom, using another 2 by 4 at a 90 degree angle over the top, attach it both front and back and another 2 by 4 down the back attaching to the back of the stand. Wasn't going to try this until everything else failed as a last resort because may not be very aesthetically pleasing but I bet it would hold.
<The metal would be stronger... the Euro-bracing or mod. thereof is what I would do>
I don' thing attaching glass under the broken frame with silicon would hold in my situation.
<Not w/o the addition of other strips of glass>
But like I said though I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO PURCHASE A FRAME 48 inches long and 12 and 3/4 inches wide.
Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
<Somewhere I just know there is a bunch of these frame pieces laying about.
Where I don't know. I'd fit the broken one back on (with Silastic, to prevent dripping, seeing the annoying water and light line) and the framing mentioned inside. Bob Fenner>

ORDER. Looking for aq. braces      1/20/14
Good Morning
Am Mr. Bartel, Emailing you to ask if you have (Cross Brace) In stock and if Yes you do Have, I will like you to mail me back with Types and Prices you do Have so that i will let you know how many Order, And let me know if you accept Credit Cards as Payment and Allow Pick Up at your Location..Hope to hear from you soon
<Look up the actual manufacturer/s of the brand/s you have and contact them re bracing. Bob Fenner>

125g Missing Center Brace     12/3/13
Hi Bob
I hope everything is ok with you. It's been a long time since my last question to the WWM Crew...
Here is the issue: that's a Jebo tank with round front corners, but without the plastic top rim that, from factory, has a plastic Center Brace.
I want to mount a glass center brace or even two but needing some advice about if it is better just a Center one (20 cm x 60 cm x 12 mm.) or two separate braces (10 cm x 60 x 12) about 60 cm. one apart from the other.
My best regards and tank you.
<Well... a few things. One; have you checked with Jebo re whether they'll sell, ship you a new plastic top rim? This is my first choice.
http://www.jeboaquarium.com/ ask them re... resellers/contacts in your area. Second choice would be to install Eurobracing along the long front and back viewing panels (search, read on WWM re); Last choice would be to put in two braces... maybe 15 cm. wide rather than ten as you state... doubled as in one piece over another (four pieces total), with one (the uppers) silicone onto the upper lip of the tank, the lower pieces butted up to the front/back. Bob Fenner>

Re 125 g missing center brace      12/4/13
Bob. Thank you very much for your help.
Sorry but I need some more help to clarify a thing about the third option in your advice (2 pairs of two pieces of glass one over the other).
I’ve understand that each pair of braces have two pieces with different lengths….is it right ?
<Yes; the uppers a bit longer to "go on top">
 Or instead, they are equal length but one goes flat with the glass lip and the other goes just below ?
Please see draw attached. Is that what you mean ?
<Nothing attached here, but likely in your further emails. BobF>
Thanks in advance
125 g missing center brace      12/4/13

Sorry. I forgot the picture (draw).
<Ah yes; nicely done. Just add a bit (smear) of silicone between the two brace pieces... so they're adhered together. B>

RE: 125 g missing center brace      12/4/13
Always a very good help from you !
<A pleasure to share>
Wondering if it could go without the silicone between the pieces regarding a better light penetration for the corals ?
<Ah, good point. Yes; better to leave out for this purpose; though a bit of structural strength traded, ease of install diminished>
Well, .....probably I can re arrange the planned position of the lights in order to not put them directly over the glass braces...
Also, the silicone I already have at home is black colored. So, I think I can use it just for the ends and found / buy a transparent one for the smear between the strips.
<Agreed; though will not be optically neutral... will filter (reduce, shift wavelength)>
Thanks a lot for your words.
<And you for sharing. BobF>
RE: 125 g missing center brace      12/4/13

Sorry for one more email about the same subject today, but I've pressed the "send" button without referring to the eurobrace option: from what I've read (WWM) that option would be the more simple. If I've read right, the right thing I should do is to silicone glue two strips of 135 mm x 80 mm x 12 mm glass at the top (2.5 cm below the upper edge) of the front and back panels ? (My tank has 150 mm long panels)
Thanks again
<Yes; and this would be my preference... stronger and less visually obtrusive. BobF>
RE: 125 g missing center brace      12/4/13

Thanks, once more.
I´ve contacted the JEBO Portuguese distributor about the need for a reinforcement for their tank and he told me to wait until tomorrow because he must check about what type / model of tank he has sent me. That's ok for me.
Anyway, and supposing that tomorrow he will tell me : " if the factory does the tank without braces, there is no need to install them", I think that, independently of their answer, I will go the eurobrace route.
<A good idea>
(BTW, I am in Europe, so the eurobrace will fit good...)
My best regards
<Nos vemos. B>

Chips in 240gal Tank     8/13/13
Hi guys,
I've been poring over your site for the last couple of days and haven't managed to find a problem that really fits 'exactly' with the problems I have.  I may just need to do some more digging.
<Mmm, if you scanned through all the chipped glass tank repair FAQs you're done>
I acquired (about a year ago), a 240 gallon, custom aquarium, approximately 24"w x 32"T x 72"L, made form 5/8" glass.  It has a built in overflow that uses 8" of one end of the tank and has euro-bracing around the perimeter of the tank.  It does not have a cross-brace.
<I would add one (a foot or more wide) in the "middle"; on top or bottom of the (doubled) Eurobraces already present (and chipped/broken)>
 This tank, as you can imagine is a beast to move and was treated rather roughly by it's previous owner during moving due to lack of planning and too few hands  (cost one of them a finger). 
The trim on both ends of the bottom were torn off.  On one end, the glass escaped unharmed, but the other wasn't so lucky.  In the picture attached, "bottom_corner_chip", you can see the rather large chip on the bottom pane.
<Yes; but/and this doesn't look/appear "too bad">
There's also a sliver chipped off the opposite end, at the top, just below the trim.
<I see this as well>
In addition to those, the bracing has broken and cracked in the center on both long edges.  I think those were more due to the stress of holding the water and had less to do with moving.
<Mmmm; I hope/trust due to something other than holding water>
Alas, I really want to set this tank up.  The silicone looks a little rough in a few places and discolored (orange/brown color) in others and I would really like to 'not' have to reseal this monster if I don't have to.  It would be my first time and I'm not terribly confident I wouldn't make it worse.
<I would try it as is; then as the next level of repair, cut out and replace the corner seals... LASTLY I might attempt cutting out the between glass, cleaning up (w/ Toluene likely) and completely re-assembling... But more likely would turn into something other than an aquarium...>
The tank was originally used as a saltwater tank, and has not yet been cleaned.  I intend to use it for African Cichlids and upgrade their living space.
I intend to set this up in my garage prior to moving it inside the house to its final destination, but I would rather get it repaired before putting water in it to even bother trying to test it. 
<Good. I would go this route as well>
Moving, as stated before is an issue and requires minimum 4 people and lots of luck, so the fewer times it gets moved, the better.  It's currently sitting on 2 furniture dollies, with 2x4's under each end so I can move it around while cleaning it, but flipping and lifting requires planning.
So my question is, can this be repaired to a point where it wouldn't explode?  If it can, what's the best method of doing so?
<I would try simply "filling in" the external gaps/chips with Silastic (to prevent hand cuts), and do the repairs/additions mentioned above... Easy (even fun!) to add the bracing atop or below the extant... and the front/back brace piece on top or below the long run braces>
Thank you in advance,
<Glad to assist you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Chips in 240gal Tank     8/13/13
Thank you very much for your quick response.  I'll make the suggested repairs and let you know how it goes.
<Thank you, BobF>
Thanks again,

Re: Chips in 240gal Tank; plus bracing and resiliconing     9/4/13
Hi Bob,
Thanks again for your previous help, but I have some more questions and I wanted to compare ideas a little.  I talked to someone that works at/for glasscages.com.  He suggested that I go with 2 center braces, vs. 1, even if they're smaller.
 He said, "Two braces are always better than one."
<I do agree with this statement; just the more there are, the harder it is to get "stuff" in/out of the system, catch livestock... at some point, having more braces/bracing is of not much more benefit>
  I just wanted your opinion on doing (2) 4" wide or 6" wide vs. (1) 12" wide as previously suggested.
<... also; "the wider the braces the better"... w/ same comment re "diminishing returns">
  My plan is to put a cross brace or braces between the existing bracing, and then laminate a second cross brace on top of it with the rest of the laminated bracing.
He also pointed out that they build theirs with euro bracing at the top and bottom of their tanks.  I like the "idea" of doing the euro bracing at the bottom as well, however, I'm leery about doing any cutting on the existing silicone.
<Mmm, this isn't really a big deal... a bit of work (look into tools for holding on to single edged razors), but can be done leisurely; not all at once>
 From what I've read on your FAQ's, I would have to cut the silicone out of the corners, being careful not to cut in between the glass panes. 
<Yes; and again, not hard to do>
If I do that though, will I not have to replace 'all' of the silicone in the rest of the seams as well?
<You will not have to replace the rest; no>
 My concern would be tying into the silicone on the vertical seams if I only cut out the bottom silicone where the bracing would go.
<The "in corner" Silicone is not functional in terms of holding the tank together (not much anyway), but really to protect the "between glass" Silicone...>
Another concern would be physically crawling into the aquarium to work on the bottom of it.  I know the water puts a lot more pressure on the glass that I could, but it's spread out over the whole pane.  Would me (155 pounds) crawling around in the aquarium hurt it, so long as it was resting on a blanket to keep from scratching it etc.?
<Yes; assuredly... Though I'd likely have friends help tilt the tank on the face, back and just enter it this way; rather than crawl inside>
  It's 30" deep, and to work on the bottom, I would have to crawl in.
Thanks again,
<Welcome. BobF>

Bracing on a custom 75" tank    1/31/13
Hi crew,
<Hey Steve>
Firstly, can I say what a superb site. I've spent hours trawling through it, and it is a veritable gold mine of info. However, I have a fairly specific question regarding bracing for my newly acquired 75" tank, and I'm hoping you may be able to help. I have read just about every single post on here regarding bracing, and have a rough idea of what is needed, I would just like your opinions please.
The tank is second hand, and for all intents and purposes it is a home-made tank. It's dimensions are L 75", W 14.5", H 18", and it is constructed from 3/8" glass. The first thing I did when I got it home was to leak test it, and it appears to be fine. The only problem with this tank was the euro bracing that was fitted to it was so large ( the rear brace was 7" wide ) that furnishing the tank
<And ongoing maintenance>
 as I would like to was going to be a major issue.
That and the fact that the two end braces were acrylic "bonded" onto the front and rear glass braces. So, I have painstakingly removed the rear brace, and the two end braces with a view to replacing them with suitably sized glass braces.
<All right>
At the moment the tank is sat empty with one full length euro brace on the front panel, about 1" below the rim. This brace is 2" wide, and as far as I can tell this will be fine as the front brace. My plan is to fit a full length 3" wide euro brace to the rear panel. (I have spent several hours removing all traces of the original silicone bead using acetone).
<Good solvent for the job>
It is at this point that my questions arise regarding the cross bracing.
The tank is going to be set up as a tropical river tank for Clown Loaches, and as such is going to have a current flowing from one end to the other. This will be powered by a Fluval FX5 set-up, with the inlet pipe clipped to one end panel, and the outlet pipe clipped to the other end. With this in mind
I intend to fit a 3" wide cross brace at either end, approximately 2" in from the end of the tank. This would leave a distance between these two braces of roughly 65". My question is, would one single centre cross brace 12" wide be sufficient, or should I be looking at fitting 2 smaller cross braces at the 1/3 and 2/3 points ?, and if so how wide should they be ?
<The single, center one of a foot width is fine; all I would use here.
Silicone it (of course) to the front and rear braces>
Also, when I approach my local glass merchants to get these braces cut, should I be asking for annealed glass, or tempered ?
<Any is fine, even just float/cheap>
Thanking you in advance for your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bracing on a custom 75" tank   1/31/13

Hi again Bob,
Thank you for your prompt reply.
<Welcome Steve>
It would appear I've been busy trawling through your old forum (oops), and I've just noticed you've upgraded to a newer vBulletin format, so I'm going to pop over there and join up.
Once again, thank you.
<Cheers, BobF>

Tank design review please – 05/13/12
 You have helped me several times in the past and I would love your advice once more please.  I am finalizing the design of a large cichlid tank and had a few questions.  The tank is 78 in long X 18 in wide X 29 in tall and I plan to use 12mm glass with bracing (12 mm glass again) as follows:
1.  Length-wise bracing end to end at front - how wide should this be?
<Five cm.s or more>
2.  Length-wise bracing at back with 2 in gap at either side (for pipes) - same width as above?
3.  Two cross braces, one at the 26th inch and one at 52nd inch so it looks like 3 equal sized boxes from top.  Critical question - how wide should these be?
<Ten cm.s>
4.  Two cross braces, one at either end.  How wide?
<5 cm.s>
5.  Do I mirror the same bracing at the bottom too?
<Not necessary, no>
6.  An 8 in X 4 in overflow box with an 1.5 in drain hole drilled on side wall (tank will rest on ground) 3 inches off the bottom.  Will I still need a standpipe because I can't see how air will enter the hole to make noise?
<See WWM re... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm
will make noise if not aspirated>
Thank you so much in advance!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

125 Double Brace Aquarium w 1 Brace Broken    5/1/12
Hi I've read through lots of your forum about broken/cracked braces on fish tanks however I don't think I've come across one that has my issue (correct me if I'm wrong as I'm interested to read it).
I bought a used 125 gallon fish tank several months ago and I think it's an All Glass product. It has 2 plastic braces and the glass is quite thin, it is lighter than most 125s I've carried. 1 of the braces is cracked in half while the other 1 is perfectly still in tact.
<Both need to be intact>
I've used this fish tank since I bought it without fixing the brace and have never noticed the bowling until I actually took the time to measure it. I was naive and thought it was no big deal.
<It IS a big deal>
The side with the broken brace is bowling 1/2 inch while the other side with the unbroken brace is not bowing at all. I've tried to duct tape

(I know this is a horrible idea as it did nothing) but failed. Right now I am using a 24 inch clamp to hold the tank together.
Should I be worried about this or will this be OK for a while months yet?
<Third time's hopefully a charm... NOT Ok. I'd drain the tank down... Bob Fenner>
Re: 125 Double Brace Aquarium w 1 Brace Broken 5/2/12

If I don't mind the look, will having the clamp on the side of the broken brace be a long term solution?
<Not a good idea, no. Read what is archived on WWM re bracing. BobF>

used custom aquarium    4/20/12
Hi All,
    I've been searching for any info i can find on bottom euro bracing.  I purchased a used custom aquarium that is 78"L X 24" W X 36" T.
<Wow! Quite tall. Hope you've got long arms!>
  Tank looked good when i picked it up.  After getting it home and cleaning it i realized the eurobracing at the bottom had what seemed to be large bubbles or spots of very little silicone.   So I have been searching the internet to find out if i can rip out the eurobracing  clean it all up and put it back in without having to dismantle the entire tank.
<I would very likely just leave what is there in place... VERY hard to cut out strips of glass in this area... esp. w/ three feet of reaching to do so>
 Or it will be fine and do nothing.
<Yes, this>
 The bottom is a floating panel if that helps with anything. The tank does hold water.  I had it filled up for 2 weeks.
<Ah, good>

 Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.
<I'd use as is. Bob Fenner>
Re: used custom aquarium    4/20/12

 Thank you so much for the quick reply.  Should have wrote in a while ago.
Thanks again
<Ahh, welcome. BobF>

Question on glass thickness to repair center brace.   3/29/12
Hello Crew,  first, thank you for your site and the information and help you provide.  I have a question regarding a fix for my broken plastic brace. 
I recently purchased a used 125 gallon Aqueon aquarium with corner overflows.
The aquarium has two small plastic braces across the top of the tank.  One of the braces broke through and the other is cracked as well.  I have read through the site and plan on the following fix.  I will get two pieces of
glass each at 10 x 17.25 inches. to uses as replacements for these broken plastic braces.  I will silicone them in place across the top.  My question is how do I know what thickness and width of glass to use?
<Mmm, half inch if this is all you're intending for bracing... could make it quarter inch as you state below if you incorporate/add two eurobraces on the long (inside) panels as well>
 I am planning on a width of 10 inches and a thickness of 0.25 inches.   Will this be sufficient to use as braces?
<Not w/o the addn.s...>
 Also, if my approached to fixing it is not sound, please let me know or make a recommendation.
Thank you for your support and assistance,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Center brace    2/22/12
Hi crew,
Read through everything in the center brace section, silicon and  repair. Could not find a specific answer, so...
The center brace in my 30" high, 72" long, 24" wide fell down last  night. (One side) Nothing is placed on it, happened while we were  asleep.
<Does happen>
In one post Bob recommended lowering the tank to half full and  running powerheads, which I have done, then clean the tank and brace,  and re-silicon it, then let cure for at least 48 hours. My question  is, as I pull the top inward with clamps how tight do I clamp it?
<With a piece of wood along both sides, to spread the force with both clamp heads, as much as it takes to bring the glass brace back into position. In fact, I'd take this opportunity to install a strip of glass, Euro-brace along both long panels... Silicone them to the re-placed center brace>
 In  the silicon section it talked about making sure to leave a width of silicon inside the seam. I actually plan on making the clamps out of stainless and leaving them if that matters.
<Mmm, it does... do Silicone over these as well>
Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Center brace
Thank you for the quick reply.
It did not end with the top brace. The top section on one side of the  tank's seam failed also, about 8 inches worth - dripping.
<Yeeikes! Am very glad (and sure you are too) that the whole seam didn't give way>
(I could not see it because it was behind molding, discovered wet  carpet so removed molding.)
I would like to know if you think my game plan is a rational one,  knowing that it is not ideal.
<Let's see>
I am making two more claps (These are 24" pieces of stainless all- thread that has one end welded to 4" stainless angle that has a 1" lip, the other piece of angle has a stainless tube  welded to it that the all-thread runs through and then a nylock bolt it tightened down to create the clamping force.) I  have drained the water down a couple inches below the failed seam and have been blowing it with a blow dryer to get all the moisture  out. I plan on running a bead of silicon up the corner
then plan on placing one clamp below the failed area and one towards  the top of the failed seam. Letting it dry for as short a time as  possible and
<Wait two days>
I have two air stones going to keep oxygen up and powerheads going inside the tank.
So, my concerns are:
I can not afford a new tank for at least 6 months and plan on leaving it with the clamps in place until I can.
<Can be done>
Some of my live rock (no corals) that I can not move ( maybe 5%) is out of the water, am worried about die off.
<Place it in a plastic bucket, trash can... something that has not had soap, detergents... in it; and don't worry. As long as it stays moist it can set out for a week or more>
There is no filtration going beyond a 6" deep sand bed and the live rock.
How long should I risk the lack of filtration verses curing time on the silicon?
<Two days>
Thanks in advance for your input,
<I would STILL install the Euro-braces. Cheers, BobF>

45 Gallon Used Tank - Center Brace And Bottom Trim -- 01/07/12
Good evening crew,
<<Hello Astrid>>
I just bought a used 45 gallon tank (36x12.5x24tall).  The previous owner had a MH light centered on it and the center brace, at the top, broke.
<<Mmm, yes'& #166;but be aware that over time even seemingly innocuous 'standard' fluorescent lighting will harden and make brittle these plastic braces>>
I have been reading your site and found to put a piece of glass under the brace and secure it with silicone.
<<Yes'¦likely the most simplistic approach.  Another option is to contact the tank manufacturer and try to obtain a new trim piece w/brace>>
Being as I have some understanding of physics (engineering degree that I don't use), this does not make much sense to me.
I believe the center brace works in tension (hold the glass from bowing OUT).
The glass you recommend placing under the (broken) plastic brace would do a bit in compression (holding the tank glass from bowing IN) but nothing in tension.
<<Not true'¦>>
This leaves all of the tensile force depending on the silicone.
Can the silicone really take the same tensile force that the plastic brace took?
<<Think about it, this is what holds the 'sides' of your/a glass tank together.  Very large glass tanks use glass braces 'siliconed' betwixt the panels as we describe.  If the brace is properly sized and installed, the silicone allowed to cure, it will hold.  You can 'beef it up' a bit by affixing a second small piece of glass (layered) to the ends of the glass brace (do this first and allow to cure overnight) to increase the attachment surface area>>
Also, having searched the site, I cannot seem to find a definitive answer regarding the bottom "trim."  One corner on the trim of the tank I bought is broken thru and it slides off the tank.  Is the trim a structural component of the tank?
<<No...Generally a decorative component and/or used to protect the edges of the glass>>
Do I need to replace the entire thing?
<<Up to you'¦assuming you can find a replacement>>
Can I use it as is?
Or can I repair it in some way?
<<Perhaps a bit of 'black' Duct Tape?>>
Thank you for your patience and answers.
<<Happy to share'¦  EricR>>

Re: 55 Gallon Middle Brace... A clamp. Now Guppies... killed by CAE?    12/17/11
Hello WWM!
<Jer... sixteen plus megs for your pix? We require that folks only send hundreds of Kbytes due to storage restrictions on our mail program>
Thank you for your replies in re: to the 55 gallon tank and middle brace I was asking about. I am happy to say that, although maybe an eyesore for most, that same tank is doing well, with a 24" clamp bought from home depot! :)
<Not a route I would go>

(Pic included. Some of those larger goldfish are almost two years old. "Colby-jack" as we call him/her, is the largest fish in the tank, weighing in at about 10 oz (hard to tell, I don't have a proper scale. And I try not to net these guys unless I absolutely have to).
I digress;
My question today, is in regards to my guppy tank. I have had an established guppy community of 4 females and 3 males for almost a year.
The tank sits on a window-sill in the kitchen next to the window and therefore gets a lot of natural light during the day. Tank-mates included a neon yellow and red tetra (both tetras were added when guppies were first obtained - tetras came from goldfish tank, as old as the oldest goldfish; almost 2 years), and the smallest of 3 "common" plecostomus from our goldfish tank (also as old as the oldest goldfish).
The females had multiple batches of fry (maybe 6 or 7) from all females throughout the 9 or 10 months I had them.. During this time, right before I changed their tanks, the Pleco randomly dies. I find him underneath one of the ornaments he liked to hide under. I know for sure he didn't starve as there was a lot of algae in the 10 gallon tank... My yellow tetra also is showing signs of something being wrong.. not eating, swimming very erratically, staying close to the bottom, not responding to taps...  He ends up dying as well :( So a few days before I commit to the tank change and after the two losses, I obtain two small algae eaters to kind of "clean up" until then.
<Gyrinocheilus? Not compatible... see WWM re>

They were all very content in the 10 gallon tank for a while until they started having lots of babies... Then I fed some fry to the goldies (kind of the whole point of having the breeding gups), and the beta we have, and also gave some to our good friend and neighbor who has a really good 2.5 gallon tank running (at least I think it's good, I set it up!). By some I mean 3 fry.. who are doing well i am happy to report!
At any rate, I still needed to upgrade my guppies tank, so I moved them to my 30 gallon Oceanic. (I love this tank - so classic and pretty). I kept the same filter, gravel, ornaments, fake plants, and most of the original water when I did the tank change but here's what I added:
-Larger Algae eater (picture included - I stupidly lost one of the algae eaters, I think in the sink, when moving the community to the new tank.. Stupid!!)
-some live plants
-additional fake plants
-gravel (fluorite - from the same source bag as the original)
-2 guppy males (one blue tail - one yellow tail)
-1 female (yellow tail)
-underwater pump (low-end; Wal-mart bought 120gph) to help with keeping surface flow since I kept the same 10 gallon filter.
-larger heater (100 or 125w, I can't remember).
So right away, the newest additions (the males) are dead overnight. I had the heater right behind the pump in the corner, and they were both dead next to it. So i figure they cooked themselves somehow..
<Not likely; no>
I clean them out, add some stress coat to the tank, and move the heater over to the corner next to the filter. I know none of them will try to "hang out" next to it, if it's over there.
I take the males back and get replacements. These males end up dying as well within a few days. No real indicators, just overnight. I come to the kitchen in the morning, and one of them will be sucked up against the pump intake, or hovering around upside down in one of the plants.
Now, slowly, all of my guppies are dying off one by one. I am down to my 3 original males, and one of the newest females. And as of this moment, this female is exhibiting the same symptoms as the others (she just had a batch of fry the night before last)!
All of the other females have died. The first 4 were my originals.
The first two looked like they were ready to give birth when they died.
And they had horrible, gut wrenching expressions on their faces (big "O" mouths). Both of them looked very "worn out" when I netted them in the morning (separate days). Belly scales were very rough.
The third one to die, actually had a "split" in her front belly when I found her. And was very-very pregnant.. poor fry :(
The fourth one actually had her batch of fry, and then died the next day.
Looking the same way as the others, very "weathered".
The last female (picture included) is now showing the same symptoms after having just had a batch of fry two days ago. Her belly scales are very rough looking and her color is very opaque.... (picture included).
I apologize for the quality (or lack there-of) of the pictures. I am using my phone, and it's hard for it to focus in the water.
In the pictures hopefully you will see:
The female in her current state at the time of this email:
The males (to a certain degree)
the remaining tetra
the fry (there are bigger ones closer to the camera in the shot, the first batch... and the freshly birthed in the back)
the larger algae eater (the picture with the flash going off)
the smaller algae eater
the pump, the heater, and the filter
the overall tank location
Tank stays between 78-80 degrees, and the drop is usually at night recently with the colder weather. But it's always gradual.
At this point, it could be any number of things killing them off. The original males seem fine for now, and the guppy fry are all thriving in the current tank (growing rapidly, I think due to the current in the tank from the pump).
I feed a big variety of foods. I drop small pieces of algae wafers every other day foe algae eaters, and I feed the gupps twice a day. in the morning it's flake food, in the afternoon I feed either bloodworms, freeze dried river-shrimp, or just more flake. Anytime I feed the shrimp or bloodworms, I meticulously crush them up very fine in my fingers before I sprinkle in the tank (so they can eat the pieces).
Please help me figure out what's killing these guys off! My first suspect is the pump, with the current causing too much physical stress.. I can get a smaller pump, or larger filter or both. I just would like to know the best way to do this without stressing them out too much more.
Actions I have taken so far:
- tank antibiotics (arithamyacin - after the first two died, I tried a few days of this with no apparent affect either positive or negative so i stopped after the 4th day).
- stress coat (every time one dies, i add a capful to the water, since the dead fish has usually been in the tank overnight at that point)
<Killed by the CAE?>
- turning off the pump - at one point I though the pump may be stressing them out, so I unplugged it for two days. during this time my first two original females died one after the other. I turned it back on, since the water seems to "stand" too much with just the smaller filter running - partial water change - I did ~%30-40 water change with fresh, treated water hoping to cleanse the tank of whatever might be in there. This was following the antibiotic regiment.
- adding fake plants - I did this to help break the current by the filter.
As it is set up now (see attached pictures) I have the pump in one corner, pointing the flow towards the surface, and towards the filter on the opposing side of the tank. This has proved to be the best setup in this particular tank, to maximize the circulation in the tank. I have put some aquarium sand in the "flow" of the jet to watch how the current moves, and I have witnessed a multitude of "spots" where fish can sit out of the current completely. I also have ornaments in the tank, "fake log" type of ornaments, that provide a dark, enclosed space for hiding and ducking, along the bottom within the gravel.
immediately at my disposal I have available:
-55 gallon tank (older tank - cosmetically ugly but functional - otherwise it would be used currently)
-filtration for 55 gallon tank (tetra brand 55-75 gallon filtration system,
dual filter cartridge, yatta yatta yatta)
Or I can take out anything in the tank that might immediately be harming them... I've tried to research the relationships between the guppies and the algae eaters, but due to my ignorance on what species the algae eater is, I can't find much.
Thanks for taking the time to read my novel, and thank you also in advance for all of your help.
Bring on the critiques! I'm not the best fish owner, but I really do try to
do the best I can with what I have. I love my fish!! :(
<No useful information provided... re water quality tests, well-resolved images of lost fish...>
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GupDisF7.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>


Top frame question  11/19/11
<Hiya - Darrel here>
Found an older 100 gallon tank (72x18x18) with 1/2" thick glass.
<Just laying there? Wow, some people have all the luck.>
The closest thing to a manufacturer's mark I found was a vaguely fish shaped label about 1/2" long and 1/4" tall that looked like it was white writing on a black background.
<The aquarium manufacturing industry has always been populated with small companies and what we call "Mom & Pop" operators that come and go '¦ You'd be surprised how many use a fish as a symbol.>
Leak test on the (flat and level) front porch went fine. Cleaned up well.
<Excellent!!! You have NO IDEA how many people skip that step and end up with significant water on their living room floor!!>
There is a slot for a center brace, but there wasn't one with it. I bought a glass lid for it.
My question is: Is it structurally necessary, or just for supporting the glass cover?

<It's probably OK, Becky. Normally no one would manufacture a 6 foot long tank without a center brace however, 18 inches tall is unusually short for a 6 foot long tank and 1/2 inch glass is very thick. Measure the exact width (right at the center) when empty and again when full and see if the glass bows outward at all. My guess is that it won't in which case you don't have to worry. >
If it's just for supporting the glass hood, can I just cut a piece of acrylic that fits from one lip of the rim to the other?
<yes. The biggest concern I have is that 72 inches is a long stretch for the relatively thin material of a glass cover. Acrylic will work just fine.>
Thanks in advance,

De-Rimming a 29 Gallon Tank   11/14/11
Before I get into my problem, please disregard the last e mail that I sent you guys, as it was blank and was a goof up on my part.
Now, I am starting a 29 gallon tank and have built the stand and gotten everything ready, but I want it to be rimless. I have been following someone else's build off of DFWMAS and he removed the rim off of his 29 gallon and it has been set up for a while now with no problems.
I removed the rim off of my 29 gallon and water tested it. It did not leak, but I did notice that the front and back glass panels bowed about 1/10 or 1/8 of an inch.
<A bit>
I love the rimless look and my build has been coming along very nicely, but I want some reassurance that if I set this tank up rimless it will not explode on me! What do you guys at WWM think?
<I would add a "Euro Brace" along the front and back inside glass near, or on the very top>
I look forward to hearing from you.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: De-Rimming a 29 Gallon Tank   11/14/11

Could I use an acrylic brace and just silicone it to the inside of the front and back tank walls?
<Mmm, no... Silicones don't adhere well to Acrylic... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/glstkbraces.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/glstksilasticf3.htm

Removal and replacement of bracing on a 120 11/11/11
Hello Crew
Hello all,
I have recently acquired a 150 gallon aquarium as an upgrade from my 55 gallon. The dimensions of the new tank are 72"x24"x20", the glass is 1/2" thick. The tank has the plastic trim around the top and bottom with two cross braces, a total of four cross braces.
I am wanting to remove the top trim and braces to replace them with a euro brace, as I think it would make the tank appear to be deeper.
<Due to the lighting not being blocked?>
My problem is I have had no luck in finding a calculator or anyone to tell me what would be safe in doing this. I am thinking that 3/8" thick tempered glass 3" wide that runs the full length of the tank and have the two side pieces sandwiched between those would be enough?
<Should be; but I'd make these 1/2">
Also I would prefer to attach the brace on top of the tank glass instead of flush inside, I am trying to get as much height as possible. Is this doable or am I wasting my time?
<Well, is do-able... but will void any manufacturer warranty...>
Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hello Crew 11/11/11

Hello all,
I have recently acquired a 150 gallon aquarium as an upgrade from my 55 gallon. The dimensions of the new tank are 72"x24"x20", the glass is 1/2" thick. The tank has the plastic trim around the top and bottom with two cross braces, making a total of four braces.
@two braces on top, two on the bottom@
I am wanting to remove the top trim and braces to replace them with a euro brace, as I think it would make the tank appear to be deeper.
<Due to the lighting not being blocked?>
@no, due to the trim coming down the glass almost 2" making my view only 16"@
<<Ahh, I see>>
My problem is I have had no luck in finding a calculator or anyone to tell me what would be safe in doing this. I am thinking that 3/8" thick tempered glass 3" wide that runs the full length of the tank and have the two side pieces sandwiched between those would be enough?
<Should be; but I'd make these 1/2">
@that's what I was afraid of, the price of glass drastically increases when it is 1/2"@
<Mmm, or two pieces of 3/8" Siliconed together then>
Also I would prefer to attach the brace on top of the tank glass instead of flush inside, I am trying to get as much height as possible. Is this doable or am I wasting my time?
<Well, is do-able... but will void any manufacturer warranty...>
@no warranty, as this is a used aquarium@
Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
@thank you again!!!@

75 gallon center brace    10/24/11
I just brought home a new-to-me but used 75 gallon tank. There is a sticker on the bottom of the tank that indicates that it was built in 2003. The previous owner said he had it set up for 4 or 5 years, the tank, stand and equipment are in excellent shape. The tank has the "oak" colored trim, and the center brace is quite faded in the middle under where the lights would have been. I do not see any cracking or distortion in the brace, but the fading bothers me. I had a center brace fail on an older 55 gallon so I'm a little nervous about it. Given the age of the tank and the fading, if it was yours, would you just go ahead and replace the top trim?
<Mmm, no; not likely>
Or am I most likely worrying about nothing? The tank will be set up as a freshwater planted tank, with 2 2x54 watt T5HO light strips.
Thank you!
<Perhaps installing a Euro-brace in the front and back panels... would ease your mind. Bob Fenner>

Re: Chipped glass 8/24/11
Hi Bob,
Update on the repair:
I tried to cut the glass today. It was a disaster!
Couldn't get the glass to break at the cut... crack went the wrong way etc...
<Mmm, do look for, get some help here. There are very different "types" of glass and tools for working them>
I decided to stop trying while I still had some good pieces of glass left..
Tomorrow I'm calling some glass distributers, maybe they can cut the glass, I hope for a small price.
<Ah good. This is what I would do as well>
I asked some people about the repair. Some suggested only 1 piece of glass stuck to the side would be enough (so the big side of the glass-strip is stuck to the side of the aquarium and the side (small side, 8mm) is connected to the front of the aquarium. I'm not sure if this will be strong enough since the damage is in the front glass... What do you think?
<Would be better than nothing, but nearly as secure as your #4 repair.
Best wishes,
Re: Chipped glass, and brace addn.  8/24/11
Hi again Bob,
<Hey Daniel>
Yes, I think I'm going with the 2 strips of glass. I'll be using a 5 cm strip on the side and a 2,5 cm strip on the front. Then a glue <Silicone> a back wall to the side, and I will only have a 2,5 cm glass strip on the front. This would not be so bad I think.
<Should be fine>
I called the glass distributor today. They told me to come by tomorrow and they will cut it for free :)
<Ahh, great>
I was also thinking of adding one more support strip, since the construction doesn't have a strip in the middle. Or don't you think this is necessary?
<I would add this. Are you familiar w/ "Euro-bracing"? Please read here re:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/glstkbraces.htm... Ahh, I see in your photo/drawing that you are aware>
I made the existing braces black so its easier to see in the picture, The red one is what I was thinking of adding.
<Ah yes... Perfect>
Best wishes,
<And you, BobF>

Re: Chipped glass   8/24/11
Hi Bob,
<Good evening my friend>
I've been reading about euro-bracings on WetWebMedia, and I have come to the conclusion that I currently have euro-bracings(sort of.. in my case the side braces aren't directly to the side of the tank but a little more to the center because there have been holes drilled at the sides..) and euro-bracings don't have/need center bracings right?
So my Question: Do I really need to install the center brace that I was planning to install?
<Not really, no>
Since the tank didn't have any center bracings before and it has been used by the previous owner without any problems.. And I think having a center brace would be annoying when working in the tank, and placing a back wall (of course I could always first install the back wall and after that the center brace if this would be necessary..)
My tank is 51.2 inches x 19.7 inches Height of the water = 23.6 inches.
The thickness of the glass = 1cm = 0.4 Inch
My second question is about the repair.
How should I place the glass plates?
A or B? : http://tinypic.com/r/359d1jc/7 (I hope the picture is understandable)
<Yes, A is superior>
I would prefer option B because then I would have less glass on the front of the tank.
If option A is stronger I would use option A of course
Sorry for the many questions, I just want to be sure I'm repairing it the right way instead of finding out I did it wrong after the repair.
Thanks again for al the help!
Best wishes,
<And you, BobF>

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