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Large Rimless Build


TinyGiant

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I would like to build a tank that is 8ftx 2ftx 1.5ft comes out to roughly 180g

 

I was curious if a build of this size would be okay with a rimless setup...

 

also what thickness glass i should consider using?

 

 

the other option is to just use a regular standard 180.. but i would love to have a super long shallow tank (for enjoyment and propagating corals in my finished basement )

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8ft of glass and rimless seems like a disaster waiting to happen. i would at least euro brace it

 

or the glass needs to be so thick its going to be ridiculously expensive

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8ft of glass and rimless seems like a disaster waiting to happen. i would at least euro brace it

 

or the glass needs to be so thick its going to be ridiculously expensive

 

 

x eleventy billion, I'm not an expert but I agree

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what about bracing it inside teh tank... like running a 4" strip of 8ft glass along the bottom middle of the tank ? would that help.. i could always build the rock around it

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There are two structual issues to consider:

1) The bottom will be big, so if it will only be supported around the edges (raised floor) then the bottom will need to be thick enough to avoid sagging, or be supported underneath by a solid flat stand (with a thin foam pad on it) like an acrylic tank. So either build an appropriate stand and avoid a raised floor, or find out how thick the glass is on the bottom of a non-tempered glass tank with a 2' x (4' or larger) bottom, and use glass that thick.

2) The top edge of the long walls will try to bow outward in the middle. Side to side bracing at the top will solve this problem. Whatever kind of top bracing is used on a standard 180 will be more than enough for you, so copy it. If you can find a rimless tank with 8" long walls, that is at least 18" tall, then you can use glass equally thick for the walls of yours, and know that it will work (the forces trying to bow the walls go down as the depth goes down). I doubt that you can find an 8' long tank without any side to side bracing along the top because, as stated above, the glass would need to be really thick.

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i dont have a problem building a stand with a solid top.. would be easy enough to frame it out of landscape timbers 4x4 I have a bunch kicking around.

 

I might entertain the idea of two 4'x2 tanks that are connected in the middle. I could build the rockwork up and out of the tank and over to the other side.. I really want to have some tidal areas in setup.. this would be doable.. other than i would have a big seam in in the front middle.

 

i used that garf tank thickness calculator and it come up with 1/4" glass.. which cant be right. lol

 

i would think the pressure wouldnt be as bad with such a shallow tank. there wouldn't be as much concentrated pressure on the bottom as if i had a really tall tank.

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searching on youtube last night i found a few 200 and 300 gallon rimless tanks... none of them were 8ft though they were 5 or 6ft ... hmm

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phi delt reefer
searching on youtube last night i found a few 200 and 300 gallon rimless tanks... none of them were 8ft though they were 5 or 6ft ... hmm

 

its harder to get good flow in a super long tank like that so keep that in mind when doing your budgeting.

 

have you thought of lighting?

 

here is tank similar to the one you are looking to build - its 96"x24"x24"

 

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthrea...?threadid=69095

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I will be doing LED over the tank. I currently have LED over my 55g and love it.

 

cant beat the low wattage and high par values.

 

thanks for the link! i will check it out!

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looks like he euro braced it ..

 

i have seen some tanks have a brace that is about 5" thick that runs around the interior perimeter of the tank. That would look fine i think...

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phi delt reefer
looks like he euro braced it ..

 

i have seen some tanks have a brace that is about 5" thick that runs around the interior perimeter of the tank. That would look fine i think...

 

 

I'm sure you could build it rimless but like someone mentioned earlier its going to get expensive quick due to the thickness of glass needed. contact some custom tank builders and see what they say. May not be worth the money but you never know :)

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I just shot an email to glass cages to see what they thought about it.

 

I could always settle for the standard 180 glass tank. I really love the look of the shallow tanks though.

 

There is a standard 6ft 180 near me for 400 on craigslist

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My LFS owner has an 8ft display tank that he built. I think its 5/8" glass, but its only 12" high. The dimensions are 8'x3'x1' I think. It looks pretty cool top-down when shuts the pumps off.

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phi delt reefer
I just shot an email to glass cages to see what they thought about it.

 

I could always settle for the standard 180 glass tank. I really love the look of the shallow tanks though.

 

There is a standard 6ft 180 near me for 400 on craigslist

 

 

check you local reef club as well. You can try Miracles up in Canada as well - they are pretty high quality tank builder have pretty decent frieght shipping rates to the states.

 

I would think a tank that big is at least $1500 - $2000. If you get that one on Craigslist you can probably buy all your equipment and just be over the $2000 mark all in.

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Glassages .com said they would make a 180 rimless in my dimensions for $1000 and i could pick it up about an hour from me. if i wanted it euro braced it would be $650

 

$1000 isnt horrible for a new tank... with exactly what i want.

 

 

if i wanted a tenecor custom acrylic it was about 2200 shipped lol

 

glass cages said it would be 3/4" glass

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Here's a picture of the "rimless" 8'x2'x2' tank mentioned in the link above. It is made with 1/2" thick glass:

 

DSC05956.jpg

 

It's looks to me like there are three 4" (5"?) wide strips, each spaced 19" apart, and a 2" (3"?) strip at each end that runs along the top edge of each side wall. So in effect it is "euro braced" along the left and right side walls, and the top edge of the front and back walls are connected by three 4" wide strips of glass (each 24" long) spaced 19" apart. There are also 3" wide strips, about 4' long, glued on the floor of the tank, to reinforce the bottom seam in it's middle.

 

The euro bracing will keep the corner seems from separating at the top, and keep the side walls from bowing at the top, and the three 4" wide braces will keep the walls from bowing. The longest unsupported span is only 19" (x 24" tall) so the structure is very strong and stable. This design will definately work for you, and since your tank will only be 18"? deep, the forces on all the seems will be proportionally lower, so you could use thinner glass. The strength of any seam, is determined by the amount of glass surface area where the two pieces of glass meet (with a thin layer of silicone between them). So the seam made between two pieces of 1/2" thick glass is twice as strong as the seam between two pieces of 1/4" glass, because the surface area where they meet is twice as large. Therefore, the 1/2" thick seam can hold back twice as much water pressure as the 1/4" seam. That's a primary reason that glass thickness goes up as the depth of the tank goes up. The calculator is telling you that 1/4" glass is thick enough for the seams to deal with the pressure created by an 18" deep tank.

 

My conclusion is that if you meet the following three conditions, you could probably use 1/4" glass to make an 18" deep version of that tank, and that you could certainly do it with 3/8" thick glass:

 

1) The tank is supported by a stand with a very flat top that won't sag under water weight.

2) You use the bracing design shown in the 8' tank pictured above.

3) The walls rest on top of the piece of glass that makes up the bottom of the tank (as opposed to the walls resting on the stand, and butting up against the edge of the bottom piece.

If you use 3/8" thick glass instead of 1/4" glass, the seams will be 50% stronger, which is a lot of peace of mind. Another way to feel good about using 3/8" thick glass is to realize that if 1/2" thick glass is good enough for the 24" deep tank above, then you know that 3/8" thick glass will be fine for an 18" deep version of the tank. That's because the water pressure at the bottom of the shorter tank will be 75% of that in the taller tank (18 is 75% of 24) and the seams will be a matching 75% as strong (3/8 is 75% of 1/2).

 

If it were me, I'd save some money by using 1/4" glass for the 2'x8' bottom piece, and for the bracing pieces, and use 3/8" thick glass for the four walls. That way, all of the seams will still have a 3/8" wide layer of silicone in them, and be just as strong as if we'd used 3/8" thick glass for everything. The 1/4" thick glass bottom is just laying there, being squeezed between the water and the strong flat top of the stand. It doesn't need to support any weight because the stand top will support the weight. The braces also support no weight, and only need strong seams, so 1/4" will be fine for them. That means that 41% of the glass can be 1/4" thick, and only about 59% of the glass needs to be the more expensive 3/8" thick glass.

 

Glass Cages.com will sell you cut pieces of glass, and it might be interesting to see how good a price you could get from them for the glass to make this yourself.

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Okay, or you could just go the brute force route for $1000 and have it made with 3/4" thick glass. I'm assuming that it wouldn't need any bracing at all, and so would look much cleaner without all that bracing on the top. That might easily be worth the extra money. Just be sure to look through a piece of their 3/4" thick glass and make sure it's not too green for you. You could ask them how much extra to make the front (and sides?) out of starfire (low iron) glass.

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i know a guy that works at a glass shop i should give him a call.. i sent him a text a while back but never heard back from him .. he might not be working there anymore too..

 

glasscages said 3/4 for a rimless tank without braces at 8ftx2ftx15".. I would really prefer not to have braces as i want to build the rock up and out of the tank..

 

I would probably do a thick tempered piece at the bottom just for peace of mind. and do the sides in 3/4 or maybe 1/2 depending on the price.

 

I have seen some poeople run basically a glass ring around the top that holds all the walls together that is only like 2-3" wide .. i wouldnt mind that .. would stop water from leaking too if the power heads push the water to edge too much

 

starfire would be nice :) prolly pricier .. i think i could save up $1000 easy enough .. rather than settling for something that wouldnt be what i really wanted. .. this will be my biggest tank ever after 16 years in the hobby.. i want to get the right tank.. something that i wont regret!

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Acrylic euro bracing looks so much better than a glass tank with euro bracing.

 

Just find a glass shop cut you some 1/2 acrylic for all 5 sides. If you live in a bigger area they might be able to lazer cnc the stuff.

 

Then your just have to clamp it up,weld-on 3 it and your good to go. SOOO easy....

 

For sure have a glass shop do the cutting though, unless you have a kick ass table saw with a plastics blade and 3 friends to hold and pull it acrross the fence.

 

I think you can do it for under $1000 even with the cuts. For a job like that they probably will have the factory cut the sheets to size for you as they dont want to deal with it either :D. In my opinion its much better when the factory does it becuase they have the means to go nice cuts and even edging and charge a lot less than jo-bob the glass cutter. Seriously doing a solvent weld is super easy and almost fool proof. Even if you manage to seap a little extra in the joint its not going to be anymore tacky than what silicone looks like. But if you go slow and stop when you can see that the joint is evenly wet ( you can see this through the joint) your good to go.

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I don't like how easily acrylic scratches.. And algae seems to stick to it better.. And over time snails scratch it from eating algae.. Glass is preferred and usually cheaper too

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