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Old 02-18-2005, 12:25 AM   #1
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Plastic Center Support broke...

The plastic center support on my 55 gal broke...the one that runs from the front to back on top...at the moment i dont see an immediate danger as my hood is holding it all together up top but i am noticing a slight bow and u can see that the center of the glass at top has moved out about 1/2"

i highly doubt that Silicone will hold it together seeing as it is 55 gal of water forcing it out...i was thinking of getting some thin metal and basically fabricating a clamp, something along these lines... |______| just upside down so that the glass has support up top again...

does anyone have any other suggestions? are there any silicones or anything tank safe that would hold the pressure of "gluing" the plastic back together?

thanks...
Mario
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Old 02-18-2005, 10:56 AM   #2
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You definitely need to get it repaired. I know that you can order a replacement top for the tank, but that will require you to drain it, remove everything, pry off the old one, and silicone the new one on.

I know some people have replaced their opaque center brace with a thick, transparent acrylic strip. You'd drill small holes in the current brace at the ends, and then bolt this on. You'd need to drain the tank, so there was no bowing, and you'd get a nice fit...but you could immediately refill, check for bowing, and add your livestock back. Run the filters in a bucket of tank water, and you shouldn't see a mini-cycle.

I'm pretty sure some more detailed instructions have been posted on these forums, under the DIY section, or this Hardware section. try searching for 'center brace'
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:18 AM   #3
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I had one break all i did was drain it and epoxy it back together. It worked fine for years. Use a good epoxy like with at least a 1 hour set time. Do not fill it up for 24 hours after gluing.
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Old 02-18-2005, 05:41 PM   #4
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would a metal brace be sufficient? i would hate to have to drain 55 gals...

thanks...

also, if a brace isnt good, what epoxy should i get? this happened to a friend's 55 gal and he used aquarium silicone and it was fine for a few days but began to seperate again...luckily for him, he found a 75 gal the next day at a yard sale...lucky...
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Old 02-18-2005, 05:51 PM   #5
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There has to be some type of clamp or device that could be used. What the heck would be the point of draining the entire tank to fix it? If he's gonna drain the whole thing to fix it, he might as well just buy a new one.

Maybe one of those ratchet-slings - a small one?
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Old 02-18-2005, 06:05 PM   #6
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I would not try to unbow a bowing tank full of water with a clamp. That would greatly increase the chance of a tank shatter or cracking.
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:17 PM   #7
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what i could do is this...i have noticed that when i do my 20% water changes the top returns to its original place...i do do this clamp when i do a water change...

i think that should work fine...right? What should i apply to the metal in order to prevent rust or corrosion? it will not be in direct contact with the water so i might not have to coat it with anything, right?
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:42 PM   #8
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If you go metal it would probably need to be pure stainless steel so it doesn't corrode, but I would go with an acrylic brace.

I concur with the draining of the tank, water exudes a great force.
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Old 03-02-2005, 11:36 PM   #9
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I hade the same problem.I took a piece of scrap aluminium channel i had laying around the garage and bent it in a vise with a little heat from a propane torch.After making sure the width was exactly the same.I made the ears i bent about 1-1/2 " long and painted it black.Carefully easing it over the frame with a small gap left to slid the hoods under.Working great now for over a year.I would drain as much water as possible and make sure there is no bow in glass before proceding.HTH
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