Budget Rimless tank - Removing clearseal glass bits??

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by gerlewis, 15 Jun 2009.

  1. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    Hi guys,
    Im trying to achieve a rimless clean aquarium look, with overhead luminaire. But on a budget - as this is my first tank.

    Ideally, I want to buy a 36" clearseal tank, and remove all the black plastic.

    BUT, and here is the big but... I also want to remove the two strips of horizontal glass which are siliconed to the inside top. Is this possible? with a scalpel or something? or are those things on for good?

    Failing that, can anyone recommend an alternative? - or have a spare for sale?

    Thanks, great forum by the way - Ive been reading it for days!

    Ger
     
  2. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,268
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Hi and welcome!

    Taking the braces off isn't easy but it certainly is possible. I've done it on a 6mm 80cm tank and it's ok, 90cm maybe pushing it, i don't know. A stanley knife is the way to do it and loads of patients. Oh, and once you've removed the braces, never fill the tank all the way to the top, be sure to only fill it to about 50mm before the top as silicone is at it's weakest there.
     
  3. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,300
    Location:
    London
    I would note remove the rims from tanks that are made with them in mind, I would be worried the tank would burst lol
    Get a quote from out sponsors about tanks, Aquariums Ltd are doing some good deals, send them a PM. Good luck
     
  4. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,987
    Location:
    Flintshire, North Wales
    Ive done it on my 60cm clearseal tank (See Icarus Ville in sig below) but Ive only removed the front brace and kept the rear brace intact. It does however bulge out at an alarming rate and Im always wondering if it was a good idea or not so Im hoping to replace it with a proper rimless in the future! Going braceless on the 36" might not be such a good idea with these tanks but im not sure if the glass on yours would be thicker than my 60cm??
     
  5. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    I thought they were just there for supporting the lights or something. It didnt occur to me that they stopped the glass from bowing!

    How about if I just kept them but filled the water up to that exact level, would they 'dissapear'? They would probably always annoy me though!

    I will pm the sponsor, thanks.

    Anyone wanna get rid of a rimless tank?
     
  6. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    If you want to remove the braces altogether you probably shouldn't fill it more than half full afterwards. The braces aren't just there to stop the front and back bowing they are there to stop pressure being forced onto the end silicon seams to stop them peeling open. It's very hard to push out the ends but easier to peel the front off if you take the join out of square.

    Rimless tanks are made of thick enough glass that they don't bow or bow very little. My 4 foot braced is 6mm glass while a rimless would be 10mm or 12mm dependant on height. This also increases the strength of the silicon join as it covers more area.

    If you do want to get a clean look you could always put some custom braces back on it. If you stick them on right at the top it wouldn't look too bad I don't think. If you double the width of the length strips and make them run full length you could probably get away with not having any centre or cross braces.
     
  7. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    are you guys sure the glass bits along the length are braces? or just there support drip trays / glass covers.?
     
  8. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,268
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Yes LOL
     
  9. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
  10. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,987
    Location:
    Flintshire, North Wales
    you can see the bow in the top of this pic but it looks more severe when you put a ruler against it. Tank has been running like this for about 2 years but I probably wouldnt do it again if I had the choice, especially if it was somewhere above any carpet!

    3594240362_f3bc1d60e9_o.jpg
     
  11. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,268
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    I'm sorry mate, i think Milla is mistaken there, those braces prevent the tank from bowing and bursting.
     
  12. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,987
    Location:
    Flintshire, North Wales
    dont say those words dan, youll jinx me! :)
     
  13. gerlewis

    gerlewis Member

    Messages:
    70
    thanks guys for all your help.

    I think, unless I can find a second hand tank, I will buy a clearseal one and live with the look for the time being - not ideal but I cant really justify a £200 quid tank to the mrs when she doesnt really get the whole fish tank thing.

    I might post a thread on here with some plant an layout questions soon, and maybe use that thread to case study my build if that ok with you guys.

    I have a couple of quickies at the moment and they are these:

    1. if I use the standard 16mm rubber hose on my filter or buy a glass outlet hose, how do I stop the tetras and shrimps from getting sucked up it?

    2. I want to do some kind of twist on the iguwami (excuse the spelling if its wrong) layout - and by that I just mean some feature rocks! - but start with just a few plants as Im new to planted tanks - what kind of substrate/sand should I be looking to get to allow me to grow stuff as budget and skills develop.

    3. im going to go CO2-less for the time being - can I still grow some pretty low medium and tall plants?

    Thanks

    Ger
     
  14. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

    Messages:
    569
    I took all the braces off my brand new no-name tank (it had braces on all four sides), 45 x 37.5 x 37.5 cm, no problems. (I fill it to less than 1cm from the top.) however, the glass thickness to tank size ratio is probably greater on this sized tank - I think it's the same 6mm glass that would be used to make a 60 x 30 x 37.5 tank. There's a few mm of bowing, but it's not visible to the naked eye.

    What I did find when I was doing it was that it was impossible to get a stanley blade between the tank wall and the brace, so I had to use a razor blade in the end. Of course, you have to be very careful because of the double edge, but what worked best in the end was to get the blade down through the silicone, hold it top and bottom, and drag it along the seam with a see-sawing motion. Once I had this technique going I could go through about 30cm per minute.

    Even though I took care, and have handled razor blades before, my fingers were covered in tiny cuts when I finished (no horrible disasters though), so I'll say it again - TAKE CARE IF YOU'RE USING A BLADE!

    Most fish shops have there own local tank maker, always worth asking at the shop if they can make you a braceless tank from the start. They might have to speak to the maker and get back to you, but you'd at least have another price and option.

    Lastly, if you're setting up a tank from scratch, have you done a budget of EVERYTHING you'll need to buy to set up this tank (filter material, substrate, chemicals, plants, fish, water changing equipment, scissors - I mean everything)?

    If you do this honestly, then you might find the difference between hacking up a clearseal tank and buying what you really want from the start only makes 1 or 2% difference to the total cost of the project - at which point you might decide to wait till you can afford the tank you want!

    Enjoy whatever you go with, don't cut yourself!! :D

    Mark
     
  15. skinz180189

    skinz180189 Member

    Messages:
    325
    Location:
    Selby, N.Yorks
    Would it not be possible to get some thick clear 6mm plastic channeling and construct some clear braces from it? Even a bit of clear plastic would be better than no braces at all.
     
  16. mr. luke

    mr. luke Member

    Messages:
    1,038
    Location:
    Lincoln
    Im removing the front brace on my 18 inch tank as we speak so ill let you know how it goes.
     
  17. oldwhitewood

    oldwhitewood Member

    Messages:
    356
    BE REALLY CAREFUL removing braces. Dan's right the only way to remove the braces is with a bendy razor blade, but I would tape up one edge of it. I've done this before on a 60cm tank and my fingers looked like they'd been chomped at by a lunatic gerbil! After doing this and filling up the tank the bow was just far too severe and I also observed air bubbles forming in the silicone seals. I only use the tank now as a dry kinda test bed for trying out different hardscape combinations, would never fill it with water.

    The tank itself is the most important element in your setup, the quality and construction of the proper rimless tanks are superb, I got mine from AE when they were importing the german made ones which ADA re-badge for their own tanks, not sure if they're still selling them or how TGM's tanks compare to them. If I were you I wouldn't mess with trying to remove braces from things which should have a brace. There's not a cheap way to do it IMO without significant risk.
     
  18. mr. luke

    mr. luke Member

    Messages:
    1,038
    Location:
    Lincoln
    my 18 inch is fine with one brace removed ;)
     
  19. Sye Davies

    Sye Davies Member

    Messages:
    47
    i have a 18 x 15h x 12 clearseal tank with the braces removed and there os no problem. did it with a 2 ft and emptied it again. the bow was too much for my liking :wideyed:
     
  20. howanic

    howanic Member

    Messages:
    88
    Hi I know this post is a little old and you probably have already got your tank but if not have you looked at jewel rekord 70? It is smaller than you wanted but the lid and black trim are not supportive and can be removed very easily. They are cheap as they are jewel's budget range but still have the build quality of jewel.

    Also you said that you are going to start with only a few plants as you are new to planted tanks, and although I know this sounds logical, I would recommend that you aim for 80-90% of the tank to be planted to prevent algae in a new set up.

    good luck
     

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