My 55 gallon tank walls bow that normal?

  • #1
Hello! This is my first post, and after browsing this forum it looks like a nice place to hang out

I currently have a 10, and a 29 gallon tank, and was recently given a 55 gallon tank. That's what my question is about.

Like I said, I was given the tank, so no complaints there, but the center brace on the top of the tank (plastic) is broken in the middle (prev owner leaned into it) I thought about using some epoxy to fix this, but haven't gotten to that yet. I filled the tank half way last night to test the lower seams, and it passed. I filled it today and that crack spread 1/4 inch because the long glass walls are bowing out. IS THIS SAFE?

As of right now I don't trust the tank, and drained it. When I drained it, the crack closed back up, so I'm going to epoxy it.

Can I use this tank or is it a reptile only tank now?

I built the stand for it. Nothing special, but its nicer than the press wood stand that came with it
  • #2
Welcome to Fishlore - I'm new too, but my son has been on for a much longer time. we have a total of 7 fish tanks and 1 reptile tank.

Bummer I'm no expert, but I wouldn't trust the tank. Since the crack spread, I would say it is toast. Even if the crack hadn't spread at first, I wouldn't want to chance it. I'd hate to wake up or come home to find my tank missing water with fishes on the floor and water everywhere.

We had a similar issue with a 30 gal. We asked folks in the know and were told pretty much what I shared with you. So, it is here in case we have to use it for an emergency to hold somehting til we could get to the closest open place - Luckily we have 3 24hr Wmarts within minutes. Actually, I'd probably try to use 5 gal buckets first!

Some reptiles can bump the glass pretty hard - It may not even be reptile safe anymore...

You're stand looks terrific! Don't let it go to waste. If you don't use it for a reptile, check smaller fish stores, local craigslist or the paper for another tank. Sometimes you can get awesome deals.

Let us know how it goes.
  • #3
welcome to fishlore!!!!!!!!! I wouldnt chance it with water...but as a critter tank, I think it would be could even do a terrarium heres an example pic..but you could have sand/water and maybe do some newts or frogs or a combo of things....goodluck!
  • #4
From what I understand that center plastic brace is very important on the larger tanks (such as your 55). If it is broken then the tank will not be able to hold water. The silicon that holds the glass wall of tanks together is not strong enough to withstand the pressure of water without that stabalizing brace. You will probably get leaks at the corners and edges. I do know there are ways to replace or repair the center brace but I've never done it so I don't know how. Pardon me if I miss understood your question, I was a little confused.

I am not sure where the crack you are describing is but it sounds like it would be fine for a reptile tank. A reptile running/slithering around the house is probably a little better than 50 gallons of water on the floor and lots of fish in a bucket
  • #5
Welcome to Fishlore. It is not normal or safe. Without the brace, the glass will break, and this will happen soon.
You might be able to make a new brace. Otherwise, a terrestrial tank would work well.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
thanks for the input. I'm going to see if I can fix the brace, but ive already listed it on the Local CL. I'm looking for another 55 gallon as soon as I can afford it. I'm not worried because I'm still deciding what I want to put in it. I really want angelfish, but I don't know what to put with em
  • #7
HI greatXpectations
You should be able to fix it a lot cheaper than buying a new one.
Using a box cutter / razor blade , carefully cut the silicone away from the glass . Start with the edges and the end of the brace first . To get the big blob at the end , you will need to wrap the brace in cloth so you are not holding the glass ( bit of protection ) and lift it slightly . Work the blade carefully through the silicone while you put a little pressure on it ( not to much ) . If it breaks again , so be it .
Take all the pieces to a glazier and they should be able to cut a bit the same size and thickness .
Scrape the remaining silicone off , clean the surface , and reglue using aquarium safe silicone.
Hope this makes sense.
  • #8
I also agree with the posters above, I sure would not trust it to hold.
That center brace really does help in stabilizing the tank. A critter tank, now that would be awsome as Shawnie mentioned.

I agree Seedy if it was only a problem of the silicone around the glass, but it is much more than that, with the broken brace. I wouldnt chance the repair..
  • #9
How thick is the tank's glass? If is a thicker glass than you may be able to use it. But I would try and repair that center brace just in case. If's it is bowing than it's thin glass.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
its got thick glass compared to some of the tanks ive seen. here are some shots of the damage.

What gives me hope about this tank is that it bows inward without water...

This is really frustrating because ive decided on a ciclid tank and now I really want to get it running!
  • #11
its got thick glass compared to some of the tanks ive seen. here are some shots of the damage.

IF I was going to repair that tank, I'd cut out that brace as cleanly as possible, then install TWO braces spaced apart. I'd use a really good epoxy and maybe even a screw at each end.

For braces, I'd probably use a 3" wide piece of plexiglass, or even aluminum.

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