Center brace and lighting

Airborne12B

Certified Soul Eater
Premium Member
I'm slowly but surely piecing together everything I need to get this other tank up and running. The next thing on the list are Kessil 360's. On their website it says the spread is 24" per light. My tank is 72" which would require three to light the whole thing without any dark spots. The only problem is my brace is right at the middle. Will that cast an obvious shadow? I also know that these are some bad mama jama lights that could potentially give a sunburn. What would exposure to that intensity of lights do to the brace overtime? I'm aware that last question is a bit of a stretch, but I tend to over analyze just about everything and it's something that crossed my mind. If I build a wood frame to slide over the rim of the tank could I cut that thing out?

Party on Wayne! :celeb1:
 

OrQidz

New member
I think the general answer to cutting the center brace is usually a "don't". At the very least you would have no claim against the manufacturer if the thing cracks the next day (generally altering the frame voids the warranty). I don't think a shadow would be a big problem, but not sure. You could always scape it to have a slightly lower light area there.
That's a good question about the effect of the lights on plastic. There have been strong lights over tanks for a long time (I'm thinking metal halides) and I've never heard of the plastic breaking down...someone probably has an answer on that though. Have fun with your tank!
 

PhaneSoul

New member
good question. im not sure if led's will degrade plastic overtime, but I do know the plastic trim can and will shrink over time (10+ years) and eventually break. this can be seen on old tanks, and if you cant find one you can come look at my 90g frame.

I would try and either go with 2 longer fixtures or cut the trim and put in 2 glass braces
 

Docdiggy

New member
I can't speak for Leds but, my t5s barely cast a shadow. I have a monti that grows like crazy and it started right underneath that brace.
 

Spyderturbo007

New member
You will get some shadow under the brace depending on the optics of the LEDs, but it isn't very noticeable in my case. Be careful with how close you put them to the center brace. I melted mine pretty good having my lights mounted on the tank. The manufacturer neglected to mention that issue when telling me I could mount them on the tank without issue. It also killed most of my coral being that low, but that's another story.
 

ca1ore

Grizzled & Cynical
Under no circumstances should you cut and remove the cross brace. It will, however, be an issue with the Kessils because they are a small diameter 'point source' light (as opposed to a 'line source' light like a T5). The solution is just to mount the middle light slightly off center and angle it back to where you want the light to fall. That is what I have done on my tank (2 braces) and it has been fine. Only problem I have ever had with cross braces was when a MH lamp was too close and melted it. User error!
 

Tigerdragon

New member
If worried bout shadow caused by brace add a 4th kessil to take of that. Two on ea side of brace. Brace is an integral part of keeping glass from bowing
 

Lucky Lefty

New member
I'm in the same scenario, but with 3 250w metal halides about 5 inches above the water.
First day I ran all 3, turned them on and left for work. While at work, I starting thinking to myself "ya know, those halides give off some serious heat, and that lamp was right above the center brace". So i text my wife, asking her to just take a look and make sure the brace didn't melt away.
She almost instantly called me saying something like "YEA ITS MELTING, *** DID YOU DO!?!" She said it was still attached but warping and starting to melt, so I told her to shut down the center light.
Since then, I've put a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the center brace, and never had a problem again.
Brace only warped a slight amount, and doesn't seem compromised.
The shadow you're worried about shouldn't be too bad, your left and right light will help eliminate it. With all 3 on, the shadow is only noticeable right under the brace, near the top of the tank.
 

BlackTip

New member
LuckyLefty: Could you please post a photo showing how you installed the gutter guard on teethless overflow box?

Thanks,
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
Friend of mine just went with another kessil because of the shadow caused by the center brace and the only thing angling did was shift the shadow line. You can try angling it but you should prepare yourself for getting another kessil.
 

SGT_York

New member
Centering the LED's over the openings and place them high enough so the area is covered. You won't even be able to tell there is a brace there.
 

rfgonzo

New member
I always hated the shadow that you get. This is what I've been doing for the past 15 years, I figured it out on accident one day when I tried to pick up my aquarium holding onto the center brace and it snapped in half. So I took a Dremel tool and I cut both plastic bars out and used a piece of 1/4 acrylic held on with nylon fasteners and it works perfect with no shadows. Now every time I get a new tank I do this automatically I'm sure it does void the warranty but I've never had any issues.

20150119_180047_zps0a74562d.jpg
[/URL][/IMG]

I just posted this on another thread earlier today. And I believe the acrylic is stronger than the bracing.
 

RocketEngineer

Space is big.
I just posted this on another thread earlier today. And I believe the acrylic is stronger than the bracing.

Sure but all the load goes through the bolts and the trim plastic around the bolt holes is NOT stronger than the intact brace would have been. I've seen plenty of cases where the holes stripped out and then the "fix" has caused more problems than it solved.

OP: I have the same size tank with the same center brace. I use T5s and you can't tell the center brace exists on my setup. If you are set on Kessils, go with four and be done. Please don't compromise your tank on questionable advice.
 

rfgonzo

New member
Sure but all the load goes through the bolts and the trim plastic around the bolt holes is NOT stronger than the intact brace would have been. I've seen plenty of cases where the holes stripped out and then the "fix" has caused more problems than it solved.

OP: I have the same size tank with the same center brace. I use T5s and you can't tell the center brace exists on my setup. If you are set on Kessils, go with four and be done. Please don't compromise your tank on questionable advice.

Nylon Fasteners are precision molded or machined of nylon 6/6 - a highly crystalline, light-weight, high melting thermoplastic resin. The mechanical advantages include toughness; good thermal properties; abrasion, friction, and chemical resistance. Max Tensile strength: 12,000 PSI. Resistance to heat: 270-300 deg F. there's also a few manufacturers that will build aquariums this way. The OP shouldn't take my advice, but I'm giving them an alternative to do the research and find out the information on their own. Do you happen to know the load weight on the top brace? It's actually not very much.
 

fredro

New member
If you're using kessils, couldn't you get them in goosenecks and aim them on an angle, leaning into the middle slightly? Almost so the light spread looks like the letter M, if that makes sense.
 

RocketEngineer

Space is big.
Nylon Fasteners are precision molded or machined of nylon 6/6 - a highly crystalline, light-weight, high melting thermoplastic resin. The mechanical advantages include toughness; good thermal properties; abrasion, friction, and chemical resistance. Max Tensile strength: 12,000 PSI. Resistance to heat: 270-300 deg F.

All well and good. I didn't say the screws failed. I said the plastic AROUND the screws failed. Nothing you add is what fails. Its the part of the tank frame that you leave in place that fails. The part of the brace that you bolt the acrylic too isn't strong enough to do the job.

there's also a few manufacturers that will build aquariums this way. The OP shouldn't take my advice, but I'm giving them an alternative to do the research and find out the information on their own. Do you happen to know the load weight on the top brace? It's actually not very much.

I have never seen a manufacturer build a tank by cutting the plastic and bolting a piece of acrylic into its place. What I have seen are aquarium builders who use glass cross braces attached using the same silicone they build the tank from. Those I don't have issue with.

If there wasn't a reason for the cross brace, the tank builders wouldn't include them. Simple economics proves that removing those few ounces of plastic from the mold would save the company THOUSANDS over the number of tank frames they build every year.

:sad2: I'm not trying to start an argument, I just don't want someone taking potentially dangerous advice. :sad1:
 

Airborne12B

Certified Soul Eater
Premium Member
Okay, so I'm leaving in the brace then lol. I guess I'll be getting a 4th Kessil. Time to bribe the wife again. Maybe 100 lbs. of chocolate this time. I'm not so much worried about it melting. I'm more worried about it becoming brittle and cracking.
 

Tcook

Premium Member
I guess I'll be getting a 4th Kessil.

That will be the better solution to start with. Three Kessil 360we would be insufficient for that length of tank. I use 4 on my 48" tank due to shadowing from the peaks of 2 bommies in my rock work. You may find that you need a 5th.
 
Top