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[APD] Re: 75 gallon center brace

Best thing to do is call the manufacturer.  They should very happy to speak
with you.  I had a similar question about a 55 gallon Metaframe tank in the
early 1970s.  I am recalling this from a long time ago, but I think the
following is pretty accurate.  This tank had a very loose fitting top frame.
It was not completely glued on at the top.  You could pry the plastic frame
at the front with your finger and twist the plastic away from the glass.
The "brace" was a two or three piece plastic sliding arm with pins at each
end.  The pins locked into holes on the center of the frame.  The brace
pieces actually slid in and out.  The way I received the tank, the top frame
and the brace were more to support the cover glass than to keep the front
and back glass pieces from bowing.

Anyway the front and rear glass pieces bowed like crazy on this tank.
Something like over an inch as I recall.  I called Metaframe and they said
that the tank was designed to bow like that.  I recall someone telling me
that they tested their tanks by filling them with gravel and forcing a
mandrel down into the tank until the tank failed.  I think this was to
convince people in the early days of all-glass tanks that the silicone seals
would never fail.

The bowing looked so bad that I cemented the brace to a fixed length so it
would install on tank when the tank was not bowed.  I had to partially empty
the tank to install the brace.  This helped a bit but the top frame was so
flimsy that when pulled by the brace it twisted allowing the glass to
deflect somewhat.  I finally drained the tank and siliconed the top frame to
the glass.  After this I think I kept the tank for about twenty years.

By the way I really prefer the two plastic braces on my All Glass Aquarium
125 gallon tank over the single 10 inch wide glass brace on my Oceanic 75
gallon tank.  The glass brace get deposits on the bottom side which are
difficult for me to remove, does block quite a bit of light, and makes it
harder to work inside the tank.  But that it just personal preference.

So, call the manufacturer and ask to speak to an engineer.  He may say it
will kill your warranty, but he still should be able to give you an
off-the-record suggestion on how to modify the brace, or whether you can
eliminate it.

Steve Pituch

at North Padre Island where every day is Paradise, even when you have to go
to work.

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