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Thread: center brace

  1. #1
    Senior Member weeble's Avatar
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    center brace

    ok well im trying to start up my new tank but cant seem to settle on lighting i wanted MH but the center brace is interfering, is there a way to remove it or to use glass or a clear plastic to replace it so i dotn have the shadow stripe down the middle?? has anyone done this? any suggestions

    Thanks
    Craig

    Tank: 77gal reef, deltec AP600 skimmer, 440W VHO lighting.
    Livestock:Coral beauty, Tomato Clown, Yellow Tang, magenta dottyback, 3 stripe damsel, yellow tail damsel, coral banded shrimp

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    is it not clear alrdy? i don't think it'll matter unless its a thick piece?

    i would say if u really care about a shadow zone, then remove the brace and add a acrylic one then.

    or... go with T5 lighting! hehehe

  3. #3
    Sponsor - Ottawa Inverts
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    My 3" 60g had a center brace in it when i purchased it. I was concerned about the heat from the metal halides on the brace and any other interference that it may cause. So I welded up some stainless angle iron that quite tightly slid over the top edge of the tank and cut the brace out (before adding any live stock of course).
    to date it has worked perfect for me. my only regret is that i didnt paint the stainless as i thought it would be fine but there are very small spots of rust that have appeared. When i move in a months time I will be painting as much of it as i can.

    The stainless will be the most expensive part if you try this. bringing it to a welding shop should cost you very little, and even less if you swing by the back door with a case of beer
    Luckily for me we had some at my shop, and i did the welding so it was free.

    could you use aluminum for this though? cause it is WAY cheaper!! or could it be really bad for the tank (like copper)????

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    Al ions are non-toxic in water as i can recall, unless binded with something... which it most likely will, but when it binds, it usually precipitates so... why not just use acrylic?

  5. #5
    Sponsor - Ottawa Inverts
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    Although i could be mistaken, i think the concern is the heat related issues that may arise due to the proximity of a hot bulb to any material.

    Do you mean to add a piece of acrylic across the top or the tank, or cut it out ald slide it over the top to wrok in a similar fashion to my stailess steel trim design?

    I used stainless because it was available to me and i felt nothing could compare for strength. I guess i have a tendency for overkill sometimes though

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
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    yea i'd say you do...

    acrylics won't melt from heat from a MH, unless the bulb was touching it... and gosh, i bet the most it'll do is deform it...

    did u glue the stainless steel braces or weld them? cause the steel is only as strong as the glue holding it...

  7. #7
    Former Moderator swiseman's Avatar
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    If you are feeling ambitious, maybe Eurobracing the entire top would be a more economical and secure way. I would not cut the centre brace on a tank the size of yours (I seem to recall it was a 180) without, excuse my bluntless, some more qualified opinions. There is a big difference between a 60 and a 180. Again, I am sorry if this sounds rude to the previous posters, however, I am sure their opinions may change if they new the size of the tank in question and I would hate to see a large tank crack down the middle when fill it up. The only downside to eurobracing is the rim all the way around the tank. I would also get some advice from people experienced with acrylic before attempting to join glass and acrylic together.
    If my wife asks, it was only $20.

    Hardware:
    220 Gal Mostly SPS Reef, 66 gal sump with refuge, 33 gal refugium, Gen-X Mak-5 Return, 3 x IceCap 250 MH, 2 x 110 VHO, Deltec APF600 Skimmer and a Deltec AP-600, Geo 6-18 Calcium Reactor, 2 x Tunze Stream 6100, Profilux Plus II EX Controller.

  8. #8
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    I would suggest you leave the brace and get two lights, or 4 if you are looking at three now.

    There is a lot of force that a bigger tank would be putting on a center brace.

    Replacing it with stainless or a metal brace (if done properly) might work, but, acrylic would have to be fairly thick (3/8" minimun, my guess, on a 180).

    Someone I know took the center brace off a 90. They were a) surprized how tough the plastic is and b) how much the tank bowed out without it. The immediately went and bought some aircraft cable and accessories to replace the brace. Of course it is now showing signs of salt water exposure (i.e. rust).
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  9. #9
    Sponsor - Ottawa Inverts
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    Wow! A 180! Ok so that might be a whole different story! No i had no idea it was for a tank this large.

    Not that it matters now, but how exactly would you glue stainless?? No, the stainless on my tank is not glued. I tig welded it together.

  10. #10
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    now if were talking a 180g tank, is there not 2 braces? or is there one right up the middle? you'd want 4 MH lamps anyways if its a 180g so 2 and 2. shouldn't be an issue with leaving it there and you won't really get much of a shadow. the 2 lamps on each side will be facing each other with the mogul on the outsides so you'll be fine. If you WANT to remove the plastic brace then you'll need to do EURO bracing all around. that can cost you some big bucks!

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