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Old 05-19-2004, 11:25 PM   #1
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Any experience with acrylic tanks

Just wanted to see what some of the experts thought. I was looking at a used 65g acrylic tank that is 4' in length.
Upon a careful inspection, I noticed that near the upper 1/3rd of the tank on both the front and back panels, the acrylic was slightly bowed.
Since I have no experience with acrylic tanks, is this okay structurally?
The tank was up and running and the seams all looked good.
As with all acrylic tanks, they have openings on the top rather than braces like a glass aquarium that is longer than 36". So the top pieces were fine, no separation or cracks.
The seller attributes the bowing to his initial attempt to use MH lighting under a canopy with no fan ventilation. Afterwards, he installed fans and raised the canopy off the top of the tank.
Would this be a plausible explanation?
Should I consider the purchase or walk away? Thanks in advance for your opinion.

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Old 05-20-2004, 08:15 PM   #2
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Oh my,

This is a tough one. I have a 40g acrylic that bows slightly on the front (36" long). A good LFS in my area uses nothing but acrylic. They stand on thiers to catch fish on the high up tanks. I flipped out the first time I seen them do it. I will say that my bow gradually starts at the top and bottum and crest in the center. How bad is the bow on the top 1/3 of the tank? Drastic?

MH under an enclosed canopy. What was he thinking It seams like with that much heat, the seams for the top of the tank could have been stressed. Is the tank full of water at the moment?

Thats a tough one. I know acrylic is amazingly strong, but I cant side for or against. Personally I would want to see it holding water for a while before I layed down any money. Good luck
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Old 05-20-2004, 09:59 PM   #3
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I dont know if I would trust it.
65gal of water on your floor wont be good.
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Old 05-21-2004, 01:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for your advice & opinions.
The tank definitely was holding water. It was actually up and running when I went to view the tank. Based on the appearance, the tank was quite possibly up and running for a good period of time. The seller had posted on another forum and had listed everything for sale. It seems that he had some immigration issues and had to return to his country within 2 weeks. He had sold off all his livestock, corals & live rock. The tank was left up & running with some live sand and critters.
This was my take on it during the initial viewing:
Sea Clear 65g acrylic tank with built in corner overflow, custom drilled bottom bulkheads with a Via Aqua 750 cannister filter attached.
Acrylic canopy that was in medium to poor condition, had a crack across the top.
Basic wood stand cabinet that needed refinishing or chucked.
Amiracle wet/dry trickle filter, in sump BakPak skimmer, 2 Ebo Jager heaters & 4 powerheads ( 2 circulation, 1 return & 1 for skimmer).
So my thinking was not bad for $300, RR acrylic tank and all the other equipment was worth it.
So I proceeded to drain the tank, but when I tried to lift the tank off the stand, it would not budge. Seems that the owner placed corner brackets made of wood on each corner of the bottom part of the tank and drilled these into the stand. I could not take these apart cause he had counter sunk the screws & filled the holes with wood putty. This is also when I noticed that the tank was bowed since I had access to the sides of the tank when trying to lift it off the stand.
The bowing-slight buldge is near the upper 1/3rd of the tank. The back is more predominate than the front panel. I wouldn't say it's drastic since I did not notice initially. Well with the braced tank to the stand and the notice of the bowing, I politely told the room mate who was in care of the tank that I could not transport the tank home due to the 1-piece height. I also expressed concern that the bottom of the tank could also be glued down to the stand cause I tried to slip my drivers license between the acrylic bottom & the wooden stand & I couldn't. Based on these factors, I had to walk away from the purchase. (I also mentioned & showed the room mate the bowing of the tank, she thought it was due to the owners intial setup of the MH mogols without ventilation & too close to the surface)
So at any rate, I'm thinking days later that: 1) the equipment without the tank, stand & canopy was worth about the asking price, 2) the tank obviously held water and was up and running, 3) maybe I can negotiate the price due to the need of a van rental for the transport.
In summary, I get a call back a week later from the room mate and she said that she spoke to the owner and the tank is not glued down, so all I would need to do is dremel out the filled screw holes and the price has been lowered due to the hassle.

So the tank does hold water, has your opinions changed? TIA
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:17 PM   #5
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I'm sure you got an answer (well inputs) from RC already, but I would like to say that you should go for it. I just picked up a brand new acrylic sea clear tank and it bows as well. All acrylic tanks bow.
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acrylic, tan

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