Fixing Broken Center Brace

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skald89

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The top center brace on my fish tank has been broken for a year or longer. The front glass has bowed out a bit. I would ilke to try to fix it this year.

How would you fix it? whats the simplest and cheapest way to fix it?
 

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max h

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You could try fixing the brace with an epoxy, probably the best way to fix it is to replace the top frame. Aqueon and Marineland frames can be bought online.
 
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skald89

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I have tried replacing the whole top frame. I found a fish tank that had an intact one. I couldn't figure out how to remove it without breaking it.

Is Epoxy better than silicone?

Whats the process?
Empty the tank to about 1/3 full. Use a bar clamp to straighten the front glass. Epoxy or silicone the brace to the glass? Let it cure and fill it back up?

I wanted to replace the whole tank. I just missed the $1 per gallon/50% off sale at Petco. Im also not sure if they make it the same quality as they did 10 years ago.
 

treadingwater

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skald89 said:
I have tried replacing the whole top frame. I found a fish tank that had an intact one. I couldn't figure out how to remove it without breaking it.

Is Epoxy better than silicone?

Whats the process?
Empty the tank to about 1/3 full. Use a bar clamp to straighten the front glass. Epoxy or silicone the brace to the glass? Let it cure and fill it back up?
silicone is flexible, epoxy is hard. I too, would go with epoxy. You can get it at Walmart for pretty inexpensive. JB Weld is pretty good stuff. I recently used it to repair a broken cement pineapple off the top of my water fountain.
 

kallililly1973

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I would lower the water level a bit if you say the glass is bowing a bit and wait for the next $1 per gallon sale and in the meantime as someone else mentioned you could use the bar brace and leave it there it may be a bit unsightly but will help with the tank bowing any more
 

angelcraze

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For removing the trim frame

For replacing a brace

You'd want the brace to fit in snug.
 

Islandvic

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Lower water level

Use a bar clamp to draw the front and back toward each other to their proper position.

Use a liberal amount of J.B. Weld to join the broken pieces of plastic back together.

Do not remove the clamp for at least 24hrs.
 
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skald89

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Islandvic said:
Lower water level

Use a bar clamp to draw the front and back toward each other to their proper position.

Use a liberal amount of J.B. Weld to join the broken pieces of plastic back together.

Do not remove the clamp for at least 24hrs.
How do I determine if the brace is fine to fix instead of replacing with acrylic or glass?

Thanks!
 

angelcraze

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skald89 said:
How do I determine if the brace is fine to fix instead of replacing with acrylic or glass?

Thanks!
The JB weld would hold together if clamped and cured properly. It's the original brace so strong enough to support the top and prevent bowing.
 

max h

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If you do the repair with epoxy make sure that the area that you will appy it too is cleaned very well and grease free. some rubbing alcohol is goo at degreasing. if both surfaces aren't well cleaned the bond of the epoxy won't be as strong.
 

treadingwater

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Be sure to let us know how you did with your repair.
 

Skavatar

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Pet Supplies Plus is having the $1 per gallon sale this month if you have one in your area.
 

coralbandit

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I would brace with glass like @angelcraze posted
It is called Euro bracing and is stronger and cheaper then most other options ..
Or new tank ...:woot:
Welcome !
 

yukondog

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First thing is how many gl., is it a tank that is display or breeder? If it is a tank that is breeder, for the cheap but effective you could go to Lowes/Home Depot and just use a piece of 1" aluminum flat bar and just bend a 90 dig. angel on each end to hold the top where it is supposed to be or sand it and paint it gloss blk. and it actually works and looks good.
If you wanted to fix the top you have now if was me I would silicone the flat piece against the glass and epoxy the rest, but if any of the plastic stays open where the cracks are you will need to get them closed before any gluing [epoxy] can be done, you could use a heat gun or maybe hairdryer if it gets hot enough. Good luck and let us know how you do. The main thing is to clean and degrease and sand so the glue/epoxy will bond.
 

angelcraze

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coralbandit said:
I would brace with glass like @angelcraze posted
It is called Euro bracing and is stronger and cheaper then most other options ..
Or new tank ...:woot:
Welcome !
It also looks nicer and doesn't shadow the middle. But if I had a Petco here I'd rush in for 1$ per gallon sale!
 
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skald89

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I tried fixing it and failed. I used jb weld 50112.

This is what I did. The brace had a piece that was cracked. (red line in picture. the red circle is a pressure point where the broken piece and frame joined). I broke it off and started with epoxy to bond it to the glass and plastic rim. I spent 30 minutes of pressing and using a clamp to get it to stay. Finally it held without me holding it. I let this part cure for 30 hours before starting the next part. I put the epoxy on almost every surface. Under the plastic piece. On top of it to cover the seam/crack. Underneath it where it meets the glass.

Saturday night I used a bar clamp to bring the glass to its original place. Again I put the epoxy on every surface and cracked part to connect the brace to the frame. I let it cure for a couple of hours. As I took of the clamp the brace and piece I fixed Friday started to come apart. I closed the clamp back and started putting epoxy everywhere again. Let it cure overnight. Same thing happened in the morning. Taking off the epoxy was easy. It peeled right off.
 

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skald89

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Its a 55 gallon display tank.

I think if I would cut a peice of glass to put under the brace and either bond it withe silicone or epoxy it would help reduce the pressure on the original brace. Then even a weak bond would keep the center brace in place and make it look presentable.

My question is if I cut glass with a glass cutter or the twine and fire method would it create a clean break that doesn't need sanding?
 

Jimmie93

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They make tools for welding plastic but even if you repair it like that it will be weak.
 

Thedudeiam94

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Just replace it. Honestly as much hassle as it would be to glue it several times you could just save some headache. It’s not easy getting the frames off but it’s also not going to hold with any glue or epoxy imo.
 
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