Acrylic Tank--How Much Bowing Is Too Much?

JulianBichir
  • #1
So I got this tank yesterday, used. I'm doing a leak test today, and the thing looks like it has a beer gut. I know a certain amount of bowing is normal in acrylic but this just seems like an awful lot. It's 1/4" acrylic, 55 gallon TruVu, 48" wide, and the front panel bulges out about 3/8"-1/2". Is this reasonable to keep in my house or should I ditch it?

Thanks!
 

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  • #2
it doesn't have a center brace on top?
 
JulianBichir
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
it doesn't have a center brace on top?

Thanks for the reply. It has a top panel with several holes cut in for access to the tank and sump:
 

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  • #4
some info I found

https://www.customaquariums.com/information/glass-vs-acrylic-aquariums.html
because acrylic aquariums are so flexible the acrylic can bow significantly in the middle of the panel, even a thick panel with quality welds, much more so than glass aquariums. This bowing creates visible distortions. Larger custom aquariums in particular have to be made of exceedingly thick and expensive acrylic to prevent the acrylic from bowing, sometimes an inch or thicker.


acrylic tanks require much more support across the top of the tank to keep the acrylic from bowing apart and either splitting seams or spilling water.
because of this rigidity, glass tanks require less structural support at the top to keep the tank from flexing or splitting its seams under the weight of the water. Though some bowing of a tank is normal, excessive bowing can lead to split seams or fractured glass.
 
AvalancheDave
  • #5
It shouldn't be too obvious. A casual observer should not notice it. I have 3 acrylic aquariums and the only one that bows noticeably is a poor second hand Tenecor that used too thin material for the height of the tank. That tank is only used for water storage in the unfinished basement these days.
 
JulianBichir
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
It shouldthan't be too obvious. A casual observer should not notice it

Thank you fir the reply Do you feel like the amount of bow described/shown in the picture is dangerous?
 
AvalancheDave
  • #7
Thank you fir the reply Do you feel like the amount of bow described/shown in the picture is dangerous?

It's more of an eye sore than a danger.
 
Nick72
  • #8
Could you try adding a brace?

A single piece of acrylic across the top in the middle, using the appropriate glue?
 
JulianBichir
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Could you try adding a brace?

A single piece of acrylic across the top in the middle, using the appropriate glue?

Can you take a look at the s cond photo, which shows the top of the aquarium, and let me know if that is what you mean by a brace, or if I need to weld an additional piece to the top panel of the tank?
 
Nick72
  • #10
Can you take a look at the s cond photo, which shows the top of the aquarium, and let me know if that is what you mean by a brace, or if I need to weld an additional piece to the top panel of the tank?

I can't tell from the photo. Not viewing it from my phone anyway.

It does seem to have a centre brace like piece, but it is very wide (atypical for a brace) and looks to be very thin.

From the photo I can't tell if this is glued (welded) in place. If not it's not a brace.

But this is the general idea. I'd get a piece around 2.5 inches by 2 inches, and long enough to be glued to both the front and back of your tank.

That would be plenty strong enough to brace your tank IMO.

Probably overkill, but that's what I would do.
 
JulianBichir
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I can't tell from the photo. Not viewing it from my phone anyway.

It does seem to have a centre brace like piece, but it is very wide (atypical for a brace) and looks to be very thin.

From the photo I can't tell if this is glued (welded) in place. If not it's not a brace.

But this is the general idea. I'd get a piece around 2.5 inches by 2 inches, and long enough to be glued to both the front and back of your tank.

That would be plenty strong enough to brace your tank IMO.

Probably overkill, but that's what I would do.

It's a TruVu. There are many s available online of their general design. I have attached a link to the manufacturer webpage.



Now, the advice you're giving--is it based on personal experience with acrylic tanks? If so, how many thanks have you modified in this way, and how are they holding up?

It's more of an eye sore than a danger.
Thank you. I contacted the manufacturer and they said it was normal. If it's not dangerous I am ok with how it looks.
 
Nick72
  • #12
It's a TruVu. There are many s available online of their general design. I have attached a link to the manufacturer webpage.



Now, the advice you're giving--is it based on personal experience with acrylic tanks? If so, how many thanks have you modified in this way, and how are they holding up?


Thank you. I contacted the manufacturer and they said it was normal. If it's not dangerous I am ok with how it looks.

I've never owned or modified an acrylic tank, but I have enough knowledge of engineering to know what will work.

If you're are now satisfied with the response you've had from the manufacturer, feel free to ignore my advice.
 
Skavatar
  • #13
the on the website does have a center brace.

my only knowledge of acrylics is from watching Tanked. they said "glueing" acrylic panels together is not the same as glueing glass with silicone. the chemical used on acrylics actually fuses the panels together so that it becomes 1 single piece.

more info
"the plastic was bonded together with a solvent that effectively welded the pieces together."
https://www.fishtankworld.com/glass-vs-acrylic-fish-tank/
 

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