A thought about glass for tanks

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  • #1
Ok a quick question for those that know: can glass from windows (trailer windows, house windows) be used to make 10 gallon or 20 gallon all glass fishtanks?

Yes I've got a project
 
Coryd55
  • #2
Hmm I duno. I think there is somewhere that you can calculate the thickness of the glass needed. That's the only problem I would see with it...not being thick enough. Also make sure there isn't any chemicals or dirt and all that good stuff on it.
 
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  • #3
Oh I'd definitely give them a good clean after taking them out of the frames

I'm hoping that they would be thick enough for a 10 gallon tank .... thick enough for a 20 gallon would be a bonus ;D
 
COBettaCouple
  • #4
I'm not sure how you would test the stress that the glass has undergone, especially if some heavy-duty storms have come through.
 
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  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I would have thought that if they can withstand the weather they'd be suitable for usage as a small tank when put together ... just wanted to double-check before proceeding.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #6
Yea, I just would wonder if perhaps there could be hidden stress points if debris from strong winds had impacted it.. but that is a long shot. If you have the extra glass sitting around, it's worth a try.
 
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  • #7
Yea, I just would wonder if perhaps there could be hidden stress points if debris from strong winds had impacted it.. but that is a long shot. If you have the extra glass sitting around, it's worth a try.

A good point indeed. I can get some windows (by scrounging around ;D ) but wanted to get opinions before I do.
 
darkwolf29a
  • #8
I would build one and fill it in a bathtub or something. Likely, it'll work just fine, but a test wouldn't hurt anything. I'd hate to see a fish get hurt because of bad glass.

But, honestly, it shouldn't be a big issue. I have a few 10 gallon tanks that have been through **** and back and they still work fine.
 
MudHog
  • #9
you would have to measure the thickness of the glass. I'm building a 6G corner aquarium and it requires 1/8" thick glass, but I'm building it out of 3/16" for a higher safety factor.

Get me the thickness and I can help you determine the max. size aquarium you can without factoring any undue stresses on the glass
 
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  • #10
As soon as I get some glass/windows I'll post their thickness on here ... and thanks
 
Trpimp147
  • #11
last night I was walking in a store and I noticed one of there glass shelves had wire mesh in it. I would think that would increase the strenth of the glass from breaking???
 
MudHog
  • #12
the wire is more a safety glass for security of a breakin. A crook can't just break the glass and enter the room, they have to go through the wire too. Also, in the even it's broken it doesn't shatter into a million pieces as regular plate glass does.

In the end, I'm not sure that the wire glass is tech. "stronger" than the regular glass.
 
susitna-flower
  • #13
Good Morning all you DIYers, some of these questions come up now and again, and for once I found where I had squirreled away the web page to help! ow

all you have to do is plug in the dimensions, and they will tell you JUST the size and thickness you need the glass! It takes all the guess work out. Have fun! :;gift
 
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  • #14
Excellent link there girl x Just what I needed and they even give some instructions on putting one together at the bottom
 
MudHog
  • #15
They must have a safety factor of 4+ in their calculator. I ran the numbers for my corner tank in that link and it told me I needed 1/4" thick glass. By hand calculations, but with only a safety factor of 2 it requires 1/8". I'm actually building it out of 3/16".

Higher the safety factor, the better, but when you start getting into small tanks, your really using thick glass for no major reason. Higher safety factor would be more beneficial when making a much larger tank.


Either way, still a great link to a calculator. I'm working on a Excel based spreadsheet that will do this as well and have the option to change the safety factor. More to come.
 
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  • #16
MudHog, is that the one that is found on the net? If so, I wasn't sure which boxes I put the info in - the ones on the left or the ones on the right?
 
MudHog
  • #17
I did find a web based spreadsheet calculator from a site that had this huge aquarium. It's pretty good, but I don't like how they have a lot of areas exposed and it's kinda iffy to know where to input information. So it may be the same one your thinking of, mine will be a litle bit more user friendly.
 
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  • #18
Cool! Also, a quick off topic question: when doing the vinegar (white vinegar) test on rocks, if the rock has calcium in it, it should immediately fizz up ... are we talking fizz like alka seltzer fizz or small bubbles where I have to look real closely at the rock?

I just did a test on some marble chips I got from Lowes that I was sure would fizz but didn't and now I'm a bit stumped
 
neverendingninja
  • #19
Really, for the test to be accurate, you should use a much stronger acid...something along the lines of muriatic acid, and not vinegar. Muriatic acid should be available in the flooring or concrete areas of your local home improvement box.
 
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  • #20
Well, thanks for the suggestion but I managed to find out for sure what rocks I have in my back yard now. I took a few pieces to a place that makes headstones and they confirmed that I have slate and milky quartz. Woohoo!

Now I can get them cleaned up and go make some caves and what not. ;D

Tomorrow I'll probably be able to go check out some windows - I'm helping tear out a trailer - so, MudHog, can I PM you the glass thickness when I have that info?

x
 
MudHog
  • #21
Sure thing. Send it over and I'll help ya out.

Congrats on the slate too. I had jsalemI track me some down in VA and was able to get ahold of a few pieces for some caves myself.
 
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  • #22
Mudhog, I wasn't able to get any glass in the end, hence the long time between posting then and now.

I do have a request though, you mentioned some posts back that you have worked out required glass thickness calculations by hand, can you calculate what thickness glass I'd need for a 450g tank with a safety factor of 3 for me please? Also, let me know if that would be plate glass or tempered glass please?

Thanks in advance,
D
 
MudHog
  • #23
I can get you the info, but it will have to wait until Monday. I have everything at my office.
 
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  • #24
Not a problem and thank you in advance
 
MudHog
  • #25
HarleyMan,

What size tank are you looking at? I can get many of combinations to achieve 450G, but don't know what will fit your area.

10' x 3' x 2' will get you 448G of volume.

At that size noted above, 0.83" is the min. suggested glass thickness. It's an odd number and you simply increase to the next nom. thickness of glass. This is plate glass as well. Tempered (Toughened) Glass is about double the cost and can't be cut/drilled. You have to do everything in the plate glass form and then send the plate glass to get toughened. Once toughened, you can't do anything to it.

Get me your proposed tank dimensions and we can go further.
 
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  • #26
Thanks MudHog,

Ok the proposed tank dimension are 144"(L)x24"(H)x30"(W) - that results in 448.83 U.S. gallons.

I also downloaded the Glass Thickness calculator that you uploaded and put in the above dimensions and used a safety factor of 3. If I'm reading it right, am I correct in that the glass front and side would need to be 0.45"/11.44mm and the tank bottom would be 0.21"/5.26mm

If so, and increasing to the next nom. thickness of glass, I'd need to get glass 1" thick, right?

PS: Also noticed that if I change the height to 36", I get the same recommendations, so that has my mind's cog wheels turning now >
 
MudHog
  • #27
Your correst. The reason for the difference in numbers, you left the tempered (toughened) tensile number in the calculator. This put you at plate glass for the sides and toughened glass for the bottom.

If you go with plate glass on the bottom, you need 0.63" or 15.89mm thick glass.

I don't know glass, but the next likely nom. you would use is 1/2" (plate) for the sides and 3/4" (plate) or 1/4" (toughened) for the bottom.


Remember, this just gives you a glass thickness. You will still need to add braces across the top. That could allow a thinner glass, but if a brace would break, the glass could still handle the static load of the liquid.


144"x36"x30" would require .83" plate glass for sides and 1.15" plate glass for the bottom.
 

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