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Old 01-23-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
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No Center Brace!

OK....I have searched on here but I haven't come up with a real "answer" to my question. I recently aquired a 180G tank. Looks like about 1/2" thick Glass. Obviously an older tank but the glass is in good condition and it doesn't even have any hard water film which can be pretty bad down here by Houston.

The main question I have is, did some of these come without a center brace? This one looks like it never would have had one in it. I found an old aquarium piece of glass(1/4" thick) and tried it in the spot the brace would be, and it fit like a glove. I am going to have to reseal the tank, this is not in question.

But also, should I have a 1/2" thick X 12" Wide center Brace cut at a local glass shop and put it in there? I am just not sure how that would work. The center brace is just Held in with Silicone? Is that strong enough to do it's job and keep it from bowing out? Is that all you do to put it in is just run your bead under the seal and then place it in there and then reseal around it? I am just wondering if the will actually help or not.

I didn't realize it didn't have a center brace until I had got it home, but I got a screaming deal on the tank/stand/wet Dry, so I knew I would have to put some elbow grease into it. This I am ok with. It is going to replace my 125G reef tank so that the 125G can be come my eel and Box Fish's new home.

Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:03 PM   #2
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While I'm not sure it came with a brace, I'd think a 180G tank would and I know I'd want one. Instead of trying to add a brace and since you are going to re-seal anyway why not contact glasscages or someone similar about replacing the entire top frame? Glasscages makes a tank that size but from the website they don't sell frames that big. Making a call might get you one or a contact where you could get one.. Guessing in the $50 range?
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:40 PM   #3
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i would feel alot better if it did have a center brace... if it came with one, then it has to be in there, if it didnt, it would be a good idea to put one in. i agree that getting a new top frame would be the best bet. not sure how well the glass center support idea would work since it would only be held on by silicone
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:25 PM   #4
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I too would want a center brace. Might be why it was such a good deal.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
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My 125 g is an older one and did not have an origianl center brace, I didn't fix one for it either. It doesn't bow or anything. I think while researching on this that I cam across an article saying that older tanks were made with thicker glass than newer ones and that is why there is no center brace. Don't quote me on that.. but it may be worth some further research on your part to find out.
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:28 PM   #6
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I had an older 75 gal that did not have a center brace. The glass is twice as thick as my newer tank.

If you want to add a brace for peace of mind, siliconing in a glass brace like you described is a good option. This is called a "Euro-brace", and a lot of DIY tank use that.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:57 PM   #7
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I was going to put SOMETHING in there if I did it myself. But I remembered a guy here in Houston that does good work relatively cheap. He is going break the tank down and reseal it, then also put a nice center brace in.

When I went to look at starting to reseal it, I noticed that one part of the seal between the glass didn't look right. I pushed it with my finger nail and the seal between the glass was broken. No Bueno!

He is resealing it and putting in a brace for $150. So the tank will look like brand new he said and it will have a brace for the center of it. PLUS it will come with a 1 year warranty on the seals. I don't think that is to bad with a warranty. It would have taken me a month or so just to get it all ready to seal ONLY the inside. so I have no problem with having it professionally done for that price. With everybody saying to get a brace, I figured I would ask him about it and he said he would get one in there for only like $30. So $120 for a break down and reseal and $30 for the Brace in the center, I can deal with that. It keeps me from having to smell those nasty fumes. HAHAHA

Thanks for the comments everyone!
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:01 PM   #8
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Doesnt sound too bad in my opinion... its $150, but hey, at least you'll have the peace of mind of knowing its been done by a professional, and has a warranty. And whether the center support is needed or not, you'll have one, so you wont have to always worry whether the front is just going to flop out on the floor one day
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:25 AM   #9
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hmm... i aquired a 55gal tank today, $20 off craigslist... but the center brace is broken.. i was going to just make a fiberglass wrapped rod to go across.. but i just checked out glass cages and $13 for the frame, well worth it.. how hard is it to get these frames off though? looks like it on pretty good, i assume silicone.. are they easy to get off?
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobberwobber View Post
hmm... i aquired a 55gal tank today, $20 off craigslist... but the center brace is broken.. i was going to just make a fiberglass wrapped rod to go across.. but i just checked out glass cages and $13 for the frame, well worth it.. how hard is it to get these frames off though? looks like it on pretty good, i assume silicone.. are they easy to get off?
You need to pry it off, after you cut out all the silicone around the perimeter from underneath. I used a chisel & gently work it under a broken part. Once I get the chisel under, it is easy enough to pry/cut the silicone. <Careful, don't crack the glass!! I use mostly cutting with very little prying force.> To get purchase, you might have to break the frame. <I would hacksaw the frame in one place - carefully, stopping at the silicone so as not to scratch the glass - so I can get my chisel under the frame at the saw kerf.>

If the frame is loose, you might be able to just lift it off after cutting the seal with a razor from underneath. That was how I got the top one off (it was loose to begin with), but the bottom one needed the more extensive work above.
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