75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

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75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby wiscfour » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:26 pm

2 questions for the S.F. people, more expert than me.

I got a good deal on a 75 gallon super clear glass tank. It was reptile before but looks brand new. Side glass measures as 5/16 thick. It has the plastic middle braces on both the top and bottom. I am told 75 gallons need 1/4 thickness so that sounds fine.

How do I measure the thickness of the bottom glass - but what I am most worried about is the bottom glass thickness? I do not need 75 gallons of water in my living room - so
In my house, I want confirmation that the bottom also is 5/16? I know some of you would say why worry??? The bottom glass is not tempered. Should I drill a small hole to measure thickness? If I drill a small hole (say 1/8th wide) in the bottom glass near an edge, can I silcone over the hole? I have decided that I do not want to take off the bottom's plastic trim. I may crack it or it may be too hard to clear up from the silicone inside the plastic again.

2nd question. Can I just apply a second coat of silicone rubber over the original? Maybe it is the brand of siicone I have used (DAP) but I have never (for years) had a problem with new silicone sticking solidly to the old silicone. The old seal on the tank looks pretty good.

Is drilling hard? Appreciate the input - except someone telling me the bottom glass "should be" 5/16 and my living room rug should be "fine" --HaHa.
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby hoover86 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:55 pm

Is it a reptile or fish tank? If it is a fish tank the bottom should be tempered at that size. If it's for reptiles you would not want to fill it with water.

If it is a fish tank and you wanted to redoe the silicone you need to strip all the old stuff and do a fresh bead.

No experience with drilling, hope the rest helps! :)
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby Willy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:43 pm

Do not drill an 1/8 inch hole especially near an edge..... that's just asking for trouble
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby Railcar79 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:56 pm

if you are drilling a hole, the closer to the center the better. From my research, most if not all glass tanks these days have tempered bottoms
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby shifty51008 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:06 pm

For drilling you usually want to go the distance from the edge as the size hole your gonna drill.so if you wanna drill a 2" hole, measure 2" from the edge of the tank and thats where the edge of the hole should be
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby wichers » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:25 pm

Would not drill at all to check the thickness of the glass. Fill it up in a garage or driveway. Make sure it's leveled of course. If you are going to reseal it, I'd say from what was said above to strip it clean and then reseal.
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby Railcar79 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:12 am

If you do decide to reseal, if I remember correctly, we would cut the old sealent out flush with the glass, being careful to not cut between the panes, then wipe it down with acetone, tape out our lines and reseal. That was years ago, things might have changed since then.

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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby cdness » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:19 am

Do not drill a hole to verify the thickness of the glass. This seems like a good way to mess up a perfectly good tank ;)

Can you post a picture of the top of the tank, specifically the trim area? If it was a reptile tank it would have channels for screen tops. If it is a fish tank it will look like a normal fish tank. If it looks like a fish tank the bottom will be fine.

If you are scared, get it level and fill it up outside. Let it sit for a day, week, month or until you a comfortable it will hold the water. Then drain/clean/move the tank to the house...

If you want to re-seal the tank do not just put silicone over the top. The tank is built with silicone ADHESIVE not Sealant. GE Momentive 108 I believe is one that is used by high end tank manufacturers when building glass tanks. You will need to scrape off all old silicone and remove any residue as well because the new silicone will not stick if any silicone or residue is left over. Unless it leaks or looks like it has a bad seal, I would just leave it. A failed re-seal is more costly than a new or known water holding used 75G tank by far.

Drilling is easy on a non-tempered tank. Go watch the videos at Glass-holes.com and see how easy it is. Get a cordless drill with a torque stop. Set it to the lower speed and grind your way through. Make sure you have the plumber's putty and water to keep the bit cool or you will decrease it's life greatly. I have drilled 2 75G tanks, 1 125G tank, and a few 20L and 10G tanks in the past and the only ones I ever cracked were the 10G ones because they are too dang thin.
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby Bosch » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:54 am

Do not drill...
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby wiscfour » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:53 pm

Thanks for all the input guys! It was a reptile tank. My first sentence said so and should have had a period after reptile to make it crystal clear. Yet it has intact middle supports at both the bottom and top.
Petsmart both the store and on internet said construction of reptile tanks and aquariums are similar. Take that for what it is worth. My internet research found 50% said it could be converted to a fish tank and 50% said it could not. However that depends on the day you do the search and the exact wording.
Now for what "pretty much" cannot be disputed. When building an aquarium, Take any thickness calculator (I used 5) on the internet and it will plainly say that 1/4 or 5/16 thickness will work and has even enough for a margin of error.
I am not content filling it and seeing if it will hold on a level surface for 2 or 3 days. 3 other ideas. Carry it to glass shops and let them "tap" on the glass with their knuckles.
Some say experts can tell tempered glass by that sound. 2nd, used polarized sun glasses in the sunlight. tempered glass gives off some weird reflections that I need to read more about on the net. 3rd, the 4 sides are easily thick enough (5/16) so I just would glue one more sheet of glass on the bottom making it at least 1/2 inch thick. It will have to be ultra preped well however. A 1/2 thick bottom should make any living room carpet safe.

Thanks for all your help. I do appreciate ALL!!!!
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby hoover86 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:33 pm

LOL after I read it again its pretty clear what you meant, sorry! I would never chance a reptile tank simply because if you look long and hard you can find an honest fish tank that size for pretty cheap. Heck, I've seen 75's on people's curbs before.
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Re: 75 gallon aquarium repair and inspection

Postby wiscfour » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:05 am

The 75 gallon now has (about) a 5/8 thick bottom! It was cleaned out spotlessly (Acetone) as I wanted all glass to rest on each other with no dirt specs between. New silicone (GE type 1) was put on again around the entire Aquarium joints.

A glass company, using an electronic testing device, said the bottom was at least as thick as the sides. They claimed it was thicker. Personally, I still was not convinced but it made sense that the same glass thickness (5/16 for the sides) was used on the bottom as the sides. No need to drill as the electronic testing was good enough.

The glass company sold me two panes of 1/4 thick glass, cut and sized to fit into the bottom. Only $22, which I thought was a great price. This made it easy to slide the two pieces past the top brace. Then I put one more silicone line between the two bottom new 1/4 inch panes.

Thanks for all the input! A learning experience for me but the glass on this used tank was spotless.
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