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Old 05-22-2006, 11:47 PM   #1
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20 gallon tank missing bottom frame

I recently got a free 20 gallon tank that looks like it should be leak free. I have not tested it since the tank is missing its bottom frame. It still has its top frame, but I am worried about filling it up without the bottom frame. First should I be worried? Secondly what are my options to replace the frame or make a new frame for the tank.
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Old 05-23-2006, 02:37 AM   #2
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It isn't necessary to have a frame on the bottom of the tank. I have several without frames, including 4 I built. If you are worried about them, place them on a piece of styrofoam. This will take up any irregularities in the surface you are placing the tank on. Either 1/2" or 3/4" will do.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:20 AM   #3
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the styrofoam trick is a myth, in my opinion. it will provide a safe and stable platform between the tank and the stand, but not help with anything else.

your tank should be fine without one, if your really worried about it, you can go to a LFS (not a chain store) and ask them to special order you a new bottom frame. i had to do this for the top frame of a 55gal yrs back, and it ran me about 20bucks and 2 weeks of waiting.

putting it on shouldn't be difficult, just make sure the glass is clean and free of any silicone from the last frame, apply silicon to the inside lip of the frame and insert your tank, after your sure its seated correctly put some weight on the top of the tank, i would think 100 lbs or so would good for this, let it sit like that for 24hrs and you should be all set.
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Old 05-23-2006, 05:56 PM   #4
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The styrofam "trick" is hardly a myth. If you look at a steel stand, it is more than likely that the centre of the tank will be unsupported. A piece of syrofam will compress where the stand is high, until the entire bottom is supported. That is fact, not opinion. It is not the answer for bad installations, but it will do the job of supporting the tank on uneven surfaces.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:18 PM   #5
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i have never seen a steel stand not support the center of the tank. thats where the most amount of downward force is being applied, the furthest point away from any supporting beams. Any commerically made stand (wood, steel, etc) will not have a plank for the tank to sit on, instead just a lip usually about 1/2" for the tank to sit on. this is because the weight of the tank is being distributed around the corners and edges of the aquarium, not the base of the tank, thus there is no reason to support the tank there.

the reason styrofoam does not work on tanks larger than 15 gallons is because of the of total weight of the tank, exceeds the stryfoam's ability to compress and flex, its just compressed. if we dealing with a 10gallon tank and a plank of 1inch styrofoam it should help equalize the downward forces and help the tank find a level plane, within reason. but anything larger than 15gallons; lets say for a 55gallon tank the thickness of the styrofoam needed for 1/16" equalization is massive, somewhere in the ballpark of 5and 5/8" thick. wouldn't it be easier and cheaper just to use a couple of shims on the stand and skip the myth ?
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:41 PM   #6
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forgive my ignorance but what do you mean by bottom frame?
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:48 PM   #7
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the little plastic piece that seperates the glass of the tank, from the stand. every commerically made tank has 2, one on the top and bottom. most of the time they are 'oak grained' or black plastic.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:10 PM   #8
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don't suppose you have any pics? i'm really lost on this one..
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Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos
Labidochromis caeruleus
Cynotilapia afra 'Cobue'
Pseudotropheus acei 'Msuli Point'
Aulunocara stuartgranti 'chipoka'
Labidochromis freibergi
Oreochromis mossambicus
Etroplus suratensis
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:27 PM   #9
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the arrow is pointing to the black bottom bracing. its also called a frame.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:57 PM   #10
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aaah ok thankyou.
I suspected so but wasn't 100%

For kitbasher: These have absolutly no structural strengthening advantage whatsoever.
They are purely for looks because people don't like seeing the edges of the glass.
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Dimidiochromis compressiceps,
Astatotilapia latifasciata
Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos
Labidochromis caeruleus
Cynotilapia afra 'Cobue'
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Aulunocara stuartgranti 'chipoka'
Labidochromis freibergi
Oreochromis mossambicus
Etroplus suratensis
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