Fixing broken center brace

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skald89

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Jul 18, 2012
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The top center brace on my fish tank has been broken for a year or longer. The front glass has bowed out a bit. I would ilke to try to fix it this year.

How would you fix it? whats the simplest and cheapest way to fix it?

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dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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Cheapest and Simplest would likely be to check craigslist or the facebook marketplace for a used tank and just replace it.. it's less prone to failure that way.


It looks like a standard 55g from here? They are pretty common, and less expensive to buy a complete one than the top rim with the brace.
 

skald89

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Jul 18, 2012
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Ive seen people trying to sell used ones for too much. Cheaper to buy a new one at full price. Im also skeptical of how long a used one would last before it has the same issue or something worse
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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You may find that new ones do not last as long as a lot seem to be more cheaply made than they used to.. say Oceanic in the 90s and early 2000s

I've personally seen far more failures on $/gallon tanks than I have from older used ones.

if you aren't worried about the looks, you can go to home depot or whatever hardware store, and get a couple of angled pieces, and connect those with screws or welding or whatver to the correct length.
 

skald89

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Jul 18, 2012
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that sounds like a lot of work and doing stuff I have no knowledge of. Im too scared of making it worse. I don't care about looks that much as long as its presentable
 

the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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I would be concerned with the glass bowing, with or without center brace. Chances are a random used one is much safer.
This one can still be used as a terrarium.
 

joyjoy22

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Sep 9, 2019
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I've seen a lot of people replace it with polycarb, and plastic hardware. I feel like the best solution to this problem is to get a new fish tank.
 

skald89

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Jul 18, 2012
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I tried fixing it and failed. I used jb weld 50112.

This is what I did. The brace had a piece that was cracked. (red line in picture. the red circle is a pressure point where the broken piece and frame joined). I broke it off and started with epoxy to bond it to the glass and plastic rim. I spent 30 minutes of pressing and using a clamp to get it to stay. Finally it held without me holding it. I let this part cure for 30 hours before starting the next part. I put the epoxy on almost every surface. Under the plastic piece. On top of it to cover the seam/crack. Underneath it where it meets the glass.

Saturday night I used a bar clamp to bring the glass to its original place. Again I put the epoxy on every surface and cracked part to connect the brace to the frame. I let it cure for a couple of hours. As I took of the clamp the brace and piece I fixed Friday started to come apart. I closed the clamp back and started putting epoxy everywhere again. Let it cure overnight. Same thing happened in the morning. Taking off the epoxy was easy. It peeled right off.

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skald89

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Jul 18, 2012
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Its a 55 gallon display tank.

I think if I would cut a piece of glass to put under the brace and either bond it withe silicone or epoxy it would help reduce the pressure on the original brace. Then even a weak bond would keep the center brace in place and make it look presentable.

My question is if I cut glass with a glass cutter or the twine and fire method would it create a clean break that doesn't need sanding?
 

the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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I am not surprised that happened; the glass doesn't bow out just like that. It is one thing to have it empty, imagine the pressure when filled?
Even fixed I would only use it as a terrarium. I agree with Doug just get a used one they just aren't worth much.
 
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