Help With Glass Tank Build!!!

MikePowell

New member
I am going to build my own starfire glass tank. Tank dimesions are 36 x 20 x 16 or 20 high (have not decided yet).

I have a few questions:
1) can I use starfire on three sides and regular glass on the back and bottom?
2) Should I use tempered on the bottom or will thick glass be okay?
3) what thickness should I have for the silicon?
4) when siliconing them do I put the sides on top of the bottom piece or next to it? Like the side edge resting on top of the bottom or the bottom edge on the side of the side?
5) Also would 3/8 inch be a good thickness for a rimless tank, or should I go with 1/2 inch.

Thanks!
 

MikePowell

New member
Also shoudl the edges be polished, roughed up with sand paper or just leave them alone after a cut (no treatment)
 

chudsosoft

New member
1. Yes
2. Don't know
3. The silicone shouldn't be thick at all. Just enough to squeeze out both sides.
4. The sides should rest on the bottom.
5. Don't know this one, either.
 

tinyfish

New member
My Opinion:
I cannot see using 1/2" on that size tank. There just isn't the need. Maybe someone else can comment on what thickness is appropriate. A tank with a rim only has 1/4" glass.
I would leave them all untempered.
Remember to drill if you are going to drill, before you assemble.
I would think just the top rim for polishing. The other edges can be sanded.
 

NanoReefWanabe

New member
it will look a lot better if all the edges are polished and or beveled aswell....at least the the front edges if only the front of the tank will be viewable

1/2" likely isnt necessary but i like the look of the thicker glass, however price and weight become an issue with thicker glass...

i have built tanks both ways...i would say for a tank this size, you will be fine sitting the panes on the bottom. be sure to have a very level and very flat stand...and a good 3/4" piece of foam under the tank...

no need to temper the tank unless you want to...

1/2" would be fine on the bottom...

remember the cleaner and smoother the edges of the tank are the less chance there is of chipping and cracking..silicone will adhere to glass no matter how it is finished.

panes should be cut to an exact size, allowing for a film of silicone between them...i dont mean cut the panes for the silicone though...cut them the size of the tank you want and exact, so that a dry fit will also be a tight fit, then a thin film of silicone will space the panes apart equally...

you can use any combination of glass you wish...if you want to temper the bottom. do so after the holes are drilled, it would be strongly advisable to order the piece precut, drilled and tempered...if your going with and external overflow then you can temper the bottom and not worry about holes...
 

ronreef

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14195059#post14195059 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by NanoReefWanabe


panes should be cut to an exact size, allowing for a film of silicone between them...i dont mean cut the panes for the silicone though...cut them the size of the tank you want and exact, so that a dry fit will also be a tight fit, then a thin film of silicone will space the panes apart equally...


I don't understand this part. How can a thin film of silicon space the panes apart equally? Esp. if it's a tight fit. When you clamp the panes together, aren't you effectively squeezing out the silicon from in between the panes?

Do you clamp the panes together then apply the silicon? OR do you apply the silicon then put the panes together then clamp?
 

ronreef

New member
Should there be a silicon gap between the glass interface?
Or should the glass touch each other?

If there should be a silicon gap, how do you maintain that gap between the glass so that the gap distance is consistent from end to end?

It would seem easier to just butt the pieces together and silicon the length of the interface and be done with it. No gap = no worry.

Which is true?
 

NanoReefWanabe

New member
there is no need to clamp the tank together, painters tape is all you need...and yes there should be a very thin film between the panes, ideally you should not be able to see the edge of the joining pane, it should look from the front like a bead of silicone (assuming your using black) you dont want the glass itself touching. the less there is to stretch between the panes the stronger it is...

you want to squeeze out a little wee bit of the silicone, but your bead should be laid accordingly too...with 1/2" glass you dont need a 1/2" bead of silicone up the edges, a 1/4" will be good, 3/8" might be too much...let it squeeze out a bit (make sure the outside ooze is consistent and fills the gap all the way along the edge), let it cure...trim with exacto, if necessary clean the inside of the tank edges, then run a nice smooth bead along the entire inside perimeter...tool it if you have too, taping it off along the entire edges will help you get really nice smooth straight lines...
 

pwoller

New member
Take a look at the dyi section of www.garf.org ,there are step by step directions as well as a tool to make your material list with the sizes of the glass needed to make your tank.
 

Reefer08

New member
In general is glass more expensive in cost vs acylic? Is glass purchased wholesale by the sheet? If so what size?
 

ronreef

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14203440#post14203440 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by NanoReefWanabe
there is no need to clamp the tank together, painters tape is all you need...and yes there should be a very thin film between the panes, ideally you should not be able to see the edge of the joining pane, it should look from the front like a bead of silicone (assuming your using black) you dont want the glass itself touching. the less there is to stretch between the panes the stronger it is...

Understood. There is no need to clamp the tank together.

I can understand in the vertical interfaces the glass itself is not touching, but on the horizontal interfaces how do you keep the glass from touching??? The weight of the glass itself will weigh down making them touch. Unless you use a pencil polish. In the case of a pencil polish, a small area per unit length will touch. How do you maintain gap distance on any edge. Horizontal or Vertical?
 

therealfatman

In Memoriam
1/2" thick plate glass would provide a factor of safety of 7.88 on your front glass and 4.29 on your bottom glass. The industry standard for an all glass tank is 3.8 on the front/back and sides.

Opinions differ on the davatages or disadvantages between have the front/back and side glass on top of the bottom or surrounding the bottom glass. Theoretically having the front/back and side glass surround the bottom glass is less prone to bottom glass breakage as the bottom glass is actually placed above the bottom edges of the glass. Structurally it should make very minimal differences. GARF recommends that the bottom glass be surrounded and they have had that method posted for a long time without raising many neck hairs in the aquarium community.

A good downloadable glass thickness calculator can be downloaded at the below link.

http://www.teamvn.com-a.googlepages.com/AquaCalc.zip
 
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ronreef

New member
Understood. There is no need to clamp the tank together.

I can understand in the vertical interfaces the glass itself is not touching, but on the horizontal interfaces how do you keep the glass from touching??? The weight of the glass itself will weigh down making them touch. Unless you use a pencil polish. In the case of a pencil polish, a small area per unit length will touch. How do you maintain gap distance on any edge. Horizontal or Vertical?
 

coralnut99

New member
Just to give you some insight on how some of the bigger AGA tanks are built: I just dismantled a non-rr 125G. I plan on re-using the front and back panels. When I dismantled the tank I found very thin clear plastic "bumpers" between the panes. Think of the bumpers that are stuck on the inside of cabinet doors to keep them from slamming. They weren't more than 1/16" thick, and smaller that the thickness of the glass. So that if you looked at the silicone bead through the glass you wouldn't even know they were there. My best guess is that they put them there to insure a uniform silicone bead thickness, since the heavier glass would cause too much squeeze-out during curing leaving the bead too thin.
 

ronreef

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14223127#post14223127 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by coralnut99
Just to give you some insight on how some of the bigger AGA tanks are built: I just dismantled a non-rr 125G. I plan on re-using the front and back panels. When I dismantled the tank I found very thin clear plastic "bumpers" between the panes. Think of the bumpers that are stuck on the inside of cabinet doors to keep them from slamming. They weren't more than 1/16" thick, and smaller that the thickness of the glass. So that if you looked at the silicone bead through the glass you wouldn't even know they were there. My best guess is that they put them there to insure a uniform silicone bead thickness, since the heavier glass would cause too much squeeze-out during curing leaving the bead too thin.

Interesting news. The best information I've received yet. Thank you.

Can you provide dimension on the spacers? Thickness is 1/16th", but do you have xy dimensions? How far apart were they spaced from one another? Were they also used in the vertical interfaces?
 
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