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Old 10-25-2004, 12:55 PM   #1
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will this cause problems??

Okay, I got an acrylic 55 gal tank for FREE and upon further inspection, the front is slightly bowed. Is this normal or should I get rid of the tank? I live on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex and although my landlord is nice enough to let me have this tank, I doubt he will be nice if the tank breaks and I'll be responsible for ALL repair costs. Just to give you more info in the tank, the front corners are rounded and there is an acrylic top attached which has a support in the middle, two large holes for the lighting, two skinny cut outs for any "hang on back" equipment. I do not know how old the tank is, just that is has been empty for a while (but it is still water tight because th eguy who gave it to me filled it up before). gotta run to class!

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Old 10-25-2004, 01:26 PM   #2
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If the center support is missing or broken, the tank will eventually leak. JMO

Get rid of it!!
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Old 10-25-2004, 01:47 PM   #3
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This reminds me of a lotto commercial... The upside: get a free tank, The down side: have 2 angry neighbors, an angry landlord, repair costs.
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianNY
If the center support is missing or broken, the tank will eventually leak. JMO

Get rid of it!!
Yup...rule of thumb: if a tank was built with a centre support, and that support is no longer there, then don't use the tank.
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:25 PM   #5
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no no no, I went back and read my post and haD was suppose to be haS... sorry. I was in a rush to get to class :|
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:29 PM   #6
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what do your instincts tell you about this tank?
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:35 PM   #7
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I don't know enough about tanks like this to really make that decision. I've heard bowing is natural in tanks this size and that they are fine, but on the other side of that, I'm on the 3rd floor and I don't want my bottom neighbors getting wet
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:53 PM   #8
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you say it has rounded corners. is it a bow front?
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Old 10-25-2004, 04:13 PM   #9
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nope. not a bow front. it just has the rounded corners which make the front and two sides one peice (instead of 3 separate pieces sealed together) and the back is sealed on.
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Old 10-25-2004, 04:55 PM   #10
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Here is my 2 cents for what its worth.

If this were a glass tank I'd suggest tossing it for sure. But this is an acrylic tank and it makes a huge difference imho.

You said it bows... just how much does it bow? Is the bowing more pronounced near the top, middle or bottom of the tank?

If the bowing tends to be more at the top, I would simply beef up the center support bracket. If you strengthen up the top center support bracket enough the bowing will be minimized and I wouldn't worry about using the tank. Definately test this out by filling it up outside after you reinforce the top brace. You should see little bowing.

If the bowing is more towards the middle then I'd be more worried about that tank. In that case, I wouldn't use it.

hth Good luck!

http://honors.montana.edu/~weif/firs...tanktype.phtml
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Old 10-25-2004, 05:07 PM   #11
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Get flood insurance!! In our lease agreement, we cannot have a water bed, but our landlords did not blink an eye when they saw the 80 gal. We were lucky.
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Old 10-26-2004, 01:25 AM   #12
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menagerie, I am definatly going to insure the tank or whatever big tank I decide to set up. My semi-boyfriend's (long story why he is a semi-b/f) mom sells insurance and she can give me a really good rate.

atodaj- from what I can tell it is only a little bit of bowing in the center and the only way I can tell is if I run my hand across it and even then it is very slight. HOWEVER, it is enough to cause some discoloration of the acrylic (which is what caused me to inspect it to begin with). Basically if I shine a light on it, you can see a little haze, which I am guessing is the stretch of the acrylic.

now, if I had room for a 150 gallon, my friend at the LFS has been told a guy was giving his away from practically nothing! He wanted just a $100 for the tank, stand, lighting/canopy, and any of the salt water live rock, fish, etc... 8O But alas, my apartment can only fit a 50 gallon. So, with the information I gave you, I should chuck the tank? The guy I got it from is my friend from the LFS and I know I can trust him. He said he filled it up before giving it to me. I am going to go talk with him tomorrow. It sucks because I've paid for all my lighting, heater, filter, and now a stand (which I have to take back because one of the pieces was missing...grr...). I'm starting to think someone doesn't want me to have this tank :|
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Old 10-26-2004, 12:58 PM   #13
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Based on my research, if the bowing is "very slight" I wouldn't worry about it. Here is an excerpt that is consistent with everything else I've read about acrylic bowing issues:

"Thicker acrylic means a stronger tank. With thicker panels you get much less bowing. Bowing is the outward warping of your tank due to water pressure. Bowing is not in and of itself dangerous but the less bowing you can observe the more margin you have in your tank and therefore the less risk of failure. On a 72" tank, sighting down the length of the tank you should notice just a little bowing, maybe an eighth of an inch with 1/2 inch acrylic and perhaps almost nothing noticeable with one inch acrylic. With 3/8 inch thick acrylic, you will see a frightening amount of bowing: your tank will look like it is ready to burst. And it might."

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acrylicaqrepair.htm

Also, keep in mind that the discoloration you've noticed might not have anything to do with bowing. Acrylic will discolor over time and can accumulate small scratches very easily that can appear as a haze.

hth good luck
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:24 PM   #14
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thanks! that website was very informative. When I go home I am going to inpect the "hazing" and see if it was caused by pressure (I'll know because they should all be in the same direction). Again, thank you
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:15 PM   #15
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I dropped by the LFS and checked with my friend, he said the tank had been up for a long time and should be just fine. I'm going to insure it regaurdless. Haven't been home yet, but I'll check it when I do
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Old 10-29-2004, 07:17 PM   #16
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I had a 50 gal tank that was built like yours. The front center top bowed out about 3/8 inch. I never had a problem with the tank.
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Old 10-30-2004, 01:30 AM   #17
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cool. I've decided to get liability for the tank (I think that is what it is). I showed it to my landlord and he is even excited!!! He loves my other two tanks, especially the one with the three females because when he was in college he bred and sold bettas. So, it is official, my landlord rocks and I'll have the 55 gallon set up (still without lights cause they haven't arrived yet.....grrr.) by the end of the weekend
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