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Old 09-11-2010, 04:53 PM   #1
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20 year old tank, good idea?

Hi everyone, I'm new around here, but only slightly new to keeping fish.
I have a 40g malawi tank at home and a 55g with guppies and gouramis that I maintain at work.

Well I was hoping for a bit of guidance, I may have the oppotunity to get a 110g tank for free, but my understanding is that the tank may be about 20 years old. I've seen the tank it looks in good condition other then needing a good cleaning, it seems to be 60"x18"x (24 or 30), my concern is leaks, i know it's been sitting for several years would leaks be an issue?

Any info will be appreciated
Thx
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:59 PM   #2
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one other thing i forgot to mention is that the tank has no crossbraces on top, now i havent looked into big tanks to much but this struck me as a bit odd because even the 55g i take care of at work as a center brace. One thing i guess worth mentioning is that the glass on the 110g is very thick, might be as much as half inch but im not 100% sure on that i would have to see it again to be sure.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:13 PM   #3
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I would be worried about no cross brace myself. Can you see if it used to have one and it was removed? If you can find the dimensions you may be able to just get new framework for it and it would still be a good deal.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:00 AM   #4
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What's the purpose if a cross brace? Is it that bar at the top middle of the tank? I'd take it it wouldn't hurt if it's free. I'd just bring it home and see if it leaks and patch the leaks. If you don't want it I'll take it lol!
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:57 AM   #5
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What's the purpose if a cross brace?
To keep the glass from bowing. On a 5' tank, without a brace I'd be scared to death it would bow. A 55g will bow without a cross brace. I have heard that some older tanks dont have them, but not sure how accurate that is. The good part is that you can buy frames relatively cheap. I'm not sure where you would get one for that tank, but I know that glasscages has them for up to 90g and they're only $16 (no help, but just an idea on cost). IMO, your best bet is to throw a new frame on top and call it a day. If you wanted, you could even do a complete overhaul on the tank and redo the bottom frame, reseal the tank, and have one that will last for a long time
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:14 AM   #6
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Ok mine has a brace but what do you mean by bow? Mines a bow front but I'm pretty sure that's not what you mean.
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To keep the glass from bowing. On a 5' tank, without a brace I'd be scared to death it would bow. A 55g will bow without a cross brace. I have heard that some older tanks dont have them, but not sure how accurate that is. The good part is that you can buy frames relatively cheap. I'm not sure where you would get one for that tank, but I know that glasscages has them for up to 90g and they're only $16 (no help, but just an idea on cost). IMO, your best bet is to throw a new frame on top and call it a day. If you wanted, you could even do a complete overhaul on the tank and redo the bottom frame, reseal the tank, and have one that will last for a long time
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:09 AM   #7
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When the tank is full of water that water will put pressue on the glass. Water weighs in at just over 8lbs a gallon and that is a lot of pressure to be putting on the glass.

I don't know anything about older tanks and if they can hold the water without that middle brace, but the idea is to help support the glass from bowing out from the pressure because as the glass bows out, it will get weaker. My (and I'm sure other's) concern would be a catastrophic failure and all the water would come rushing out along with all the live stock.

If you are concidering using the tank without a brace then I would recommend at the minumum you fill the tank somewhere where if it does fail, you don't soak your house (like do it outside or in a garage or something). You can see the bowing by putting a straight piece of wood or a long straight edge along the side. Without water it should lay flat, see how far off it sits with water. If it doesn't bow at all, then you *MAY* be ok... if it bows even 1/8" then you could be in trouble...
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:19 AM   #8
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Thanks I was wondering what that bar was for in the middle of my tank. I just thought it was to hold the light or something because it's just a flimsy piece of plastic on mine.
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When the tank is full of water that water will put pressue on the glass. Water weighs in at just over 8lbs a gallon and that is a lot of pressure to be putting on the glass.

I don't know anything about older tanks and if they can hold the water without that middle brace, but the idea is to help support the glass from bowing out from the pressure because as the glass bows out, it will get weaker. My (and I'm sure other's) concern would be a catastrophic failure and all the water would come rushing out along with all the live stock.

If you are concidering using the tank without a brace then I would recommend at the minumum you fill the tank somewhere where if it does fail, you don't soak your house (like do it outside or in a garage or something). You can see the bowing by putting a straight piece of wood or a long straight edge along the side. Without water it should lay flat, see how far off it sits with water. If it doesn't bow at all, then you *MAY* be ok... if it bows even 1/8" then you could be in trouble...
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:23 AM   #9
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Thanks I was wondering what that bar was for in the middle of my tank. I just thought it was to hold the light or something because it's just a flimsy piece of plastic on mine.
no its not

I cut one in two that was starting to break on a 55g. They have metal bands in them for support, the plastic is just there for cosmetic/lighting reasons, the metal is what provides the support
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:31 AM   #10
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So it is or isn't a cross brace? It's on the top middle but it's just a flimsy piece of plastic. Also do bow front tanks bow? Or do they have less chance of bowing? Thanks
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no its not

I cut one in two that was starting to break on a 55g. They have metal bands in them for support, the plastic is just there for cosmetic/lighting reasons, the metal is what provides the support
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