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Re: Remove aquarium rim

Adam asked about removing the upper black (plastic) rim from his 75 gallon
All Glass tank.

Copy cat! You saw Tom Barr's photos, and now you want to do it

Its possible, but I'd advise caution. High end tanks (read, EXPENSIVE ones)
can be built that way on purpose (no visible top frame, highly polished
exposed glass edges) and have been available for years, but they were
designed using a glass thickness able to withstand the deflection caused by
the water in the tank much better than the usual thickness of glass used in
cheaper tanks.

Most (most, not necessarily all) "lesser" tanks use the minimum glass
thickness possible, to cut down on cost and weight. They depend on the
plastic frame to offer protection to the upper rim (can you say "crack" ten
times, really fast?) of the glass. Additionally, the edges of most "lesser"
tanks are either the plain cut edges or at most, only roughly ground to ease
the razor sharp edges. You can polish the glass by hand, but its a lot of
work. This is done commercially using high speed machines and adds
considerably to the cost of the glass (but makes it look more like crystal
than glass, so in some cases its well worth it).

I once had a 33 gallon high tank that was made by All Glass (with the black
plastic edging. When it was filled with water, the center (lengthwise) bowed
out over an inch when compared to the ends of the tank. The glass wasn't
thick enough to resist the pressure. It never broke, but I never removed the
top trim.

I think that Oceanic (now owned by All Glass, I believe) brand tanks use
thicker glass and have more highly polished edges. They might be a safer bet
to use "frameless".

Somewhere on the KRIB there ought to be an archived post I made many years
ago which gives recommended glass thicknesses for custom built tanks. I got
the numbers out of a long out of print book.

An alternative could be to have a tank custom made. Doing that, you can
specify the glass thickness and edge treatment (polished). You can also
specify the type and amount of silicone used to hold the tank together. The
nicest tank I've ever seen had polished edges and the barest minimum of
black silicone holding it together. The front pane was made from "water
white" glass (regular glass has a slight green tint). Depending upon the
supplier, this might cost you an arm and a leg, plus a few other body parts,
or it might be surprisingly reasonable. You can also specify that they add
glass bracing to the upper rim (across the width of the tank) which can add
a lot of strength. A properly made and maintained glass aquarium can last
for many, many years, so the up front cost is quickly forgotten.

James Purchase