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Old 04-30-2010, 07:21 PM   #1
timmo2009
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Default 55 Gallon top middle piece?

Hey, so I inherited an empty 55 gallon tank last week from a friend. The top middle plastic divider was broken off, and I know i can purchase a new complete rim that i could replace it with to get this divider back. I know i need it to keep the tank from bowing, and to place the glass covers on as well. But is it possible just to get a think piece of wood and fit it in there instead? Any suggestions on how to make it work, without replacing the entire rim?
Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:06 PM   #2
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I used a 2-part epoxy and little bitty spring clamps to attach a piece of aluminum to the top of both sides of a broken center brace on a 55. It holds fine, but makes the lid sit wrong. The other fix I see a lot is to glue a piece of glass or acrylic under the top rim and center brace so it touches both sides of the tank. To use wood and make it last, you'd have to coat it, maybe in epoxy, like you were finishing a boat.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:03 AM   #3
timmo2009
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ya that makes sense for the wood piece not to work well, looking at it closely, it looks like more of the plastic edging for the lit to sit on is cracking than i originally noticed, so unless someone has a really good idea, i'll prob end up buying a whole new rim.
The guy at the fish store said its kind of a annoying process to remove the silicon to get the old rim off, anyone done this?
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55 Gallon Planted Tank (still working on adding fish)
8 Buenos Aires Tetras
8 Red Blue Columbians
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:56 PM   #4
Mikaila31
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When my old 55 gal broke its center brace we took a peice of metal and bent it in this [ shape and fit it over the tank so the two little legs were on the outside.
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:55 PM   #5
timmo2009
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Is it necessary to have little grooves in the metal for the glass edges to sit in? or did it work for them to just sit on flat metal?
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55 Gallon Planted Tank (still working on adding fish)
8 Buenos Aires Tetras
8 Red Blue Columbians
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:14 PM   #6
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If you go with the new rim, make sure you match the manufacturer. Different makers have slightly different dimensions. Use a razor blade (buy a box) in a scraper to get off all old silicone and don't start until you have a new rim in hand that you've compared to tank and know will fit.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:22 PM   #7
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okay thanks for the heads up emc, it looked right in the store but i will be cautious about it to make sure i don't mess up a return if needed or something
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55 Gallon Planted Tank (still working on adding fish)
8 Buenos Aires Tetras
8 Red Blue Columbians
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:28 PM   #8
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got the same problem, still heavnt got it fix yet, im thinking ill just use a full HOOD.
the middle piece is just there to hold the 2 hood.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:30 PM   #9
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what u can do is cut a small piece of some kinda hard plastics and screw them on each side and than follow up with a long piece to screw into the middle.

if i end up doing it, ill post pic ...
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:06 PM   #10
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the middle piece is just there to hold the 2 hood.
In the past, this was true. The 55 gallon tanks that were made with 3/4" thick glass don't need center braces. The modern, light-weight, thin, tempered glass tanks (I think they might by 1/4" thick) really do need the center brace to hold their shape. My 55 that broke its brace pulled apart in the middle. Before I drained it, there was a good 1/2"-3/4" between the two halves and this was nearly immediately. I ran in the room when I hear the "pop". I understand the longer is sits, the wider the gap between the front and back of the tank gets. Sooner or later, the bowing long sides of the tank will pull away from the sealant and "pop a seam". If the bottom seam of a tank fails catastrophically, you will likely have 55 gallons of water on the floor in short order.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:09 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by emc7 View Post
In the past, this was true. The 55 gallon tanks that were made with 3/4" thick glass don't need center braces. The modern, light-weight, thin, tempered glass tanks (I think they might by 1/4" thick) really do need the center brace to hold their shape. My 55 that broke its brace pulled apart in the middle. Before I drained it, there was a good 1/2"-3/4" between the two halves and this was nearly immediately. I ran in the room when I hear the "pop". I understand the longer is sits, the wider the gap between the front and back of the tank gets. Sooner or later, the bowing long sides of the tank will pull away from the sealant and "pop a seam". If the bottom seam of a tank fails catastrophically, you will likely have 55 gallons of water on the floor in short order.
my 55,the bottom glass is thick, dont know how thick but its thicker than the other piece, if what u say is true, ill have to check my 55 and see if there any lose to it. i really dont wanna replace it, just to replace it, its half of a used 55 tank.

im thinking about buying another 55 for 50 buck anyways, so lets see what happen.

i sure dont want 55 gallon of water on my basement floor. HA, got the house heater right next to it too. maybe ill just silicon any lose i see.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:27 AM   #12
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Measure the center top across and compare to the sides. If it is wider in the middle, you have a potential problem. If you don't care about looks, there are a lot of ways to "fix" it. A big pipe clamp comes to mind. The thin glass bows outward, you just need to hold it together.

But old tanks can last forever with resealing and thick tanks are still made for special orders (salt-water lights tend to melt center braces). If you got your tank a long time ago or got it used, it could have old-style thick glass. If you can pick it up by yourself, the glass is thin.

Last edited by emc7; 05-26-2010 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:59 AM   #13
ForMany
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i can pick it up but will die carrying it.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:34 AM   #14
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ok i know this post is old,

but hmmm, will hot glue be ok?
im thinking about cutting a piece of acrylic to glue it in the middle.
i dont want the water to touch it and than dip back into the tank if its not safe.
i was thinking maybe ill silicon it but i dont see how silicone will hold the piece together at all.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:39 PM   #15
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I use acrylic hex rod and 2-part epoxy to replace broken center braces. I just measure the inside width, cut the rod to the necessary length, and glue it in place. Leaving the rim on the tank after trimming off the broken parts covers the epoxy and the ends of the rod so it isn't visible in the front of the tank, and not too noticeable in the back.
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