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Help building a custom 120x60x45 aquarium

Vishnuvarthan

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31 Jul 2022
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India
Hi all ,

I am in the process of building a custom aquarium for aquascape. Aquarium will be 120cm L * 60cm W * 45cm H with 12 mm glass.
My LFS is insisting on adding 4inch glass braces on both sides. Adding braces means I cannot use glassware for filter nor can I place inlet and outlet in the front sides. I would need to install them at the back end which would limit the aquascapes I can build.

My question is can I go without the braces ? I think the safety factor would be greater than the recommended 3.4 without the braces.
If bracing is a must to avoid any long term issues , how can I go about with my filter inlet outlets.
 

hypnogogia

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Only a few litres less than nominal max volume. I guess they’re allowing for it not to be brim full.
 
Last edited:

Vishnuvarthan

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May be a dumb question, but what defines a strong tank build ? Isn’t all the tanks bonded using silicone ( 2 coats probably)
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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The strength of the tank is determined by how good the joints are, so for a strong tank you need to be confident in your silicon application. I agree that with that sized tank you shouldn't need bracing and in the past 10mm glass was used for such a span without the need for bracing. Bracing is just a added safety measure that gives more confidence.
If they won't build it without braces and you still want to use that company then talk about what you need from the tank as bracing can be moved. I don't really see the benefit of braces on the short width side glass anyway tbh.
 

castle

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Yeah, I would say 12mm is fine.

As long as they’re using good silicone, and there are no air bubbles I can’t imagine the seals being weak.

Personally, anything at 60cm and higher should be braced (euro preferred). As the forces at that height are life ending, should something catastrophic happen.
 

Vishnuvarthan

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Yeah, I would say 12mm is fine.

As long as they’re using good silicone, and there are no air bubbles I can’t imagine the seals being weak.

Personally, anything at 60cm and higher should be braced (euro preferred). As the forces at that height are life ending, should something catastrophic happen.
Thanks for the reply, the tank height would be less than 60cm so I think I should be fine without any bracing
 

codpin

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When I built a 60x40x40 tank using 8mm glass, the guys at my LFS added braces at the bottom. Basically adding bands of 2cm wide on all sides of the bottom. The final look from outside is the same as if you would have a double bottom panel.

They said it helps with bowing and thus avoiding top braces for aestetics purposes.

I'm fully aware the bottom braces can't add the same structural resistance as a top brace but they still help.

Now, since your tank will be only 45 high, maybe that's an option for you too?
 

Vishnuvarthan

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When I built a 60x40x40 tank using 8mm glass, the guys at my LFS added braces at the bottom. Basically adding bands of 2cm wide on all sides of the bottom. The final look from outside is the same as if you would have a double bottom panel.

They said it helps with bowing and thus avoiding top braces for aestetics purposes.

I'm fully aware the bottom braces can't add the same structural resistance as a top brace but they still help.

Now, since your tank will be only 45 high, maybe that's an option for you too?
Thanks for the reply, yes I can check with them. Any support without affecting the look of the tank would help
 

mort

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Do u mean the 4inch size of the brace ?

I was imagining they wanted to brace the two side panels, as you were mentioning it would get in the way of the glassware. If I miss interpreted that and you mean they want to brace the front and back panels, then that will add structural integrity but I still don't think it's needed.
 

Wookii

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Thanks for the reply, yes I can check with them. Any support without affecting the look of the tank would help

As mentioned above, no bracing is necessary for a tank that size. There are a number of manufacturers that offer tanks of that size, and larger, without bracing - they just generally increase the glass thickness with larger sizes to compensate, which helps eliminate bowing, and gives a wider silicone seam.

Try Aquariums 4 Life if you get no joy from your LFS.
 

Vishnuvarthan

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I was imagining they wanted to brace the two side panels, as you were mentioning it would get in the way of the glassware.
Yes you are crt about this. When you mentioned small width I was confused ( since my tank width would be 60cm )
 
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