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Old 04-29-2010, 09:41 PM   #1
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Help! My 180 gallon aqaurium exploded!

I need help!

First of all check out my aquarium here: 180 gallon freshwater in-wall aquarium. 100% starphire glass.

It is 180 gallon freshwater aquarium that I bought from glasscages.com, i have had it setup for the past 7 months with water.

A few days ago in my sleep I heard a big *crack* then followed by the sound of flowing water! Water was gushing out of it! My house was flooded with water and has ruined my expensive hardwood floor and my silk rug!

Well I got it all cleaned up now, and after I took everything out of the aqauirum I see a big 3 foot crack on the bottom of the tank! After examining everything I think I came to the conclusion of why it cracked. The surface that the tank is sitting on is not completely flat! It kinda "bows" in, and right where it bows in the crack is right there!

The stand is custom built by my contractor, it has 6 legs (2 by 4 boards) and the top is Formica (laminate counter top).

Well, my contractor is coming over tomorrow to take a look at this.

Apparently my contractor has like no idea how to make a good fish tank stand that holds a 180 gallon aquarium!

What I need is suggestions on how to do this right so I can tell my contractor how to build the stand right!

I called glass cages and they suggested to use granite for the top the tank sits on. Is that a good idea? It sounds good to me, it would be completely flat and sturdy! You guys have any other suggestions??
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:56 AM   #2
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I say ditch the plans to TELL your contractor how to do it right, fire that idiot, and hire someone new. Someone with tons of experience in building complete setups of large tanks. That's what you need to do and who you need to look for. In my opinion of course..

And yeah.. granite sounds pretty good to me too.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:57 PM   #3
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Wow, I'm sorry to hear that. What you described is my biggest fear in owning an aquarium. I can only imagine how stressful that must have been, especially a 180 gal tank. I give you credit for getting over it quickly and staying calm about it. I don't even know what I would do in that situation, who did you call to clean up your house?

About a month ago, I heard a similar loud crack in the room where my aquarium is. Turns out it was a glass pane that is part of my desk furniture that shattered for no reason. I thought for sure it was the tank and I almost had a panic attack.

Didn't the water get all into the wall too?

Again, I'm sorry you had to deal with that.
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:59 PM   #4
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Cool sorry about your tank

sorry for what happen .I got a 125 in the wall and I
will go crazy if that was to happen to me. I will be switching
to salt water soon. i think a tank in the wall should be of
salt water,it adds much more beauty and wow expression when
people go to your house:p
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:22 PM   #5
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Ohh, this is going to give me nightmares.
We're replacing a panel of glass in a 260 gal, and I dread to think of what could happen.

Typically, granite is cut very cleanly and level without bulges or dips. Obviously it doesn't swell or bow. Take pictures once you get it set up! I love wall tanks.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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If his manufacturing was not currect then you should file a claim against his insurance company (if he is licensed and insured). You will need to preserve your current stand and not let anything happen to it so they can look at it.

I'm kinda suprised this happened though. Is there no frame around the tank? My tank glass doesn't sit on anything as it is like 1/8 or 1/4 inch off the ground because of the framing. If there is a frame and still that much bowing then there was something seriously wrong with that stand.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwilks View Post
I need help!

First of all check out my aquarium here: 180 gallon freshwater in-wall aquarium. 100% starphire glass.

It is 180 gallon freshwater aquarium that I bought from glasscages.com, i have had it setup for the past 7 months with water.

A few days ago in my sleep I heard a big *crack* then followed by the sound of flowing water! Water was gushing out of it! My house was flooded with water and has ruined my expensive hardwood floor and my silk rug!

Well I got it all cleaned up now, and after I took everything out of the aqauirum I see a big 3 foot crack on the bottom of the tank! After examining everything I think I came to the conclusion of why it cracked. The surface that the tank is sitting on is not completely flat! It kinda "bows" in, and right where it bows in the crack is right there!

The stand is custom built by my contractor, it has 6 legs (2 by 4 boards) and the top is Formica (laminate counter top).

Well, my contractor is coming over tomorrow to take a look at this.

Apparently my contractor has like no idea how to make a good fish tank stand that holds a 180 gallon aquarium!

What I need is suggestions on how to do this right so I can tell my contractor how to build the stand right!

I called glass cages and they suggested to use granite for the top the tank sits on. Is that a good idea? It sounds good to me, it would be completely flat and sturdy! You guys have any other suggestions??
Sorry to hear about your situation and I'm glad to hear you are not giving up after this disaster. I think a level granite slab would work fine as long as it was supported properly. Granite is going to add a lot more weight.

Sweet house and in-wall tank setup!!! I love the way the tank divides two rooms and I like your theme. I went to Ireland a couple years ago and really enjoyed all the medieval castles/history.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Samantha_p View Post
sorry for what happen .I got a 125 in the wall and I
will go crazy if that was to happen to me. I will be switching
to salt water soon. i think a tank in the wall should be of
salt water,it adds much more beauty and wow expression when
people go to your house:p
These were my thoughts exactly, when I first saw the picture of his tank I said to myself in my head "WOW that would make an awesome reef tank."
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:00 PM   #9
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Sorry for your disaster! And kudos for staying calm. One other thought, what is the stand sitting on??

It doesn't matter how level someone build the stand, if it is sitting on an inadaquate foundation, that will sag & throw the tank off balance. A contractor may not have the experience the set the foundation for such a large tank, this may be a job for a structural engineer. <Agree that granite would be inert & a good surface, but it must be sitting on a solid foundation or you still can get into trouble. ... and pre-made formica counter is not a good top material ... they are particle board & can flex .... When I lay down my counter, I just snug down the top to the cabinets, and I can easily do a 1/4' correction to hide any imperfection in the cabinets ... this is not obvious to the eye, so is a good shortcut, but not for a tank! ...>

As for the stand itself, again a contractor may not be the best guy for the build. They are used to doing framing where tolerances can be up to 1/4". You want something good to 1/16" or better. This is a job for a cabinet maker who can hand plane & fit things to close tolerances. <Not to say the contractor is not up to snuff, he may well be a woodworker in his spare time .... but you have to be careful & check the work.>
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:07 PM   #10
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Black granite would look good with your set up. Possibly one with veins of red. I cant believe your guy used 2X4's, at least 2X6 on end.
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