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[APD] Re: Remove center brace from 75-gallon
I have a 75-Gallon tank that I would like to remove the center brace from.
The reason that I'd like to do this is that I have a newish 2x55 CF lamp
that incorporates a single 250-watt metal halide and I don't like the idea
of the single lamp shining down on the center brace. I never really
understood the MH hysteria until I hooked this unit up. Wow, the ripple
effect is beautiful. It'll also allow me to have a more truly open topped
aquarium like you see in The Optimum Aquarium.
Anyhow, is it considered safe to remove the center brace? Has anyone done
it on a 75?
Probably not -- if you remove it outright. First, consider that it is not
the heat (at least not the levels we are talking about here) that will
damage the brace, but rather sudden changes in temperature caused by things
like cold water being spilled on a hot brace. This ASSUMES YOU HAVE A GLASS
TANK though. Acrylic will deform noticeably at high temperatures, and will
also loose significant amounts of it's strength as it softens.
The easiest thing to do is to just keep the light far enough away that the
brace doesn't get too hot, and be careful to not splash it badly while it
is warm. This shouldn't be difficult to do if you can suspend your hood
several inches above the brace and provide adequate ventilation.
If you really want to remove the brace, you can replace it with a piece of
metal rod. Stainless steel rod is not terribly expensive, and it is easy to
thread the ends of 1/4" rod to take 1/4-20 nuts. You then need to make some
clamps to secure the rod to the edges of the tank frame. The brace
primarily prevents the sides of the tank from bowing out and thus needs
only to resist tension, which is easy to accomplish with a thin metal
rod. Note that a modification such as this must be done with the tank
empty, or at least drained down significantly.
It would be both easiest and safest to just raise the light a bit.
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