View Full Version : center brace broke

12-31-2006, 04:09 AM
I just noticed that the center plastic brace on my 150 gallon tank is broke. (this is the plastic that is in the center of that plastic frame on top of the tank that holds all 4 pieces of glass in shape).
The two broken halves are about 1/4" apart , so its obvious that some stress must be pulling the sides slightly apart now (otherwise the part would be cracked but not much space between). I looked down the tank glass lengthwise to see if there was any noticeable bowing, and there is a slight rounding out near the middle top. I'd guess about 1/8".
I cant really say for sure though that the slight bowing is due to the plastic center brace being broken, it might have always been bowed a bit and I never noticed it. So my question is, do I now have a dangerous situation on my hands, or is that center brace pretty much only used to support the light fixtures?

12-31-2006, 08:16 AM
did it break becuase of the stress or did something else happen?

blue fin
12-31-2006, 07:23 PM
That brace prevents the front/rear glass from bowing out and breaking. I would have it repaired immediately and while you are waiting get a decent wood working clamp and pull the glass together until there is no gap between the two broken pieces. Just tighten the clamps slowly, you don't want to over-do it and cause it to break from being overzealous. Call the manufacturer and see who they recommend for the repair of the glass. if you can't figure out who made it call any reputable tank company and get advise from them.

01-01-2007, 02:15 PM
i would suggest bracing the inside of the aquarium with a 2x4 cut to fit between the front and back walls of the tank temporarily.

01-01-2007, 03:18 PM
Put the 2x4 inside the aquarium? I thought the brace was to prevent the glass from expanding outward, not inwarrd.
blue fin - do you think I can do the clamping while the tank is still full of water?

blue fin
01-01-2007, 03:22 PM
Yes, no problem there, better do it soon, glass is strong but brittle, if you are worried about over-clamping, you can put a 2x4 in between the two sides while clamping, but it really isn't necessary, just tighten the clamp slowly until the two pieces of the plastic support just meet, no more. get a clamp with soft grips on the ends, in case it slips off of the plastic rim it will be less likely to impact the glass hard enough to cause damage.

01-01-2007, 03:30 PM
the brace acts as a stabilizer. (hollding the walls from collapsing in and out)
i meant to tell you earlier also: get a rubber footed ,sliding,bar clamp from the hardware store and clamp the back side and frontside of the aquarium from the outside. then, place the 2x4 inside the aquarium positioned behind the rubber feet of the clamp. the reason you want the 2x4 inside the aquarium behind the "feet" is so it takes the stress off the glass that the clamp creates. i'm a carpenter by profession if that makes a difference

blue fin
01-01-2007, 03:42 PM
If the clamp is placed right where the brace sits there shouldn't be any substantial stress as that is where the brace pulls on the glass at the same location, the 2x4 can't hurt though but will limit how much the tank can be filled, you don't want the wood in the water as there could be contaminates in the wood that wouldn't be good for the fish. What do you think Jeff? They could also use a wood block on either side to spread out the pressure on the outside of the glass to prevent any possible stress points on the glass.

01-01-2007, 04:44 PM
yes. you want to place the clamp directly in the middle the clamp is of the tank where the brace is. the clamp will exert more pressure than the brace does against the glass because the brace is molded to the plastic rim around the top of the tank thus, creating equal, stable pressure throughout. this is the reason for the 2x4 down the center, to distibute the pressure through the wood of the 2x4 instead of directly to the glass. whatever you do, don not use pressure treated lumber because there is a possiblity that the preservatives will leach into the water. i would use regular pine for this because it has more flex properties and no chemical preservatives. also, make sure that you don't fill your aquarium all the way to the 2x4. --jeff

01-02-2007, 07:00 AM
Wow this has gotten really complicated...I suggest something much easier. Buy a new tank. lol