Changing from centre brace to euro bracing, while full

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Stressed Eric, 20 Sep 2009.

  1. Stressed Eric

    Stressed Eric

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    Hi Hennie, I have come across a problem and need your advice and input please. I have a pretty commercial 1.2m x 0.5 x 0.5ish 6mm tank with side euro bracing and a horrible wide brace right in the middle of the length. I have recently upgraded to halide's and have my main 250w centrally mounted at about 100mm above water level. Right above the centre brace. This brings about two problems, obviously firstly i'm getting light loss from the glass and salt build up, which is a pain, but more critically i find that this brace gets REALLY hot, and i mean really hot, i'd guess it at the better part of 70-80 degrees. This is worrying me like mad because a few splashes of 25 degree water on it and it's history, then the tank says howzit. I have 6 x 75mm bracing ready made for the conversion to euro style. Now . . . I want to try do this conversion while the tank is full to avoid having to catch livestock and stress them out. My plan is to make an external brace with I beam and essentially clamp the tank along it's length to shape while i remove the centre brace and install the euro bracing. Do you have any critique and advice on doing this modification, I'm seriously nervous but it has to be done, at the moment i'm running my halide for an hour on then off for an hour just to mitigate the thermal risks . . . Thanks in advance, Stressed Mark . . .
     
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  3. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Hey dude I know this is for Hennie but heres what my 2c - no matter what bracing you have your tanks glass always flexes with you water - so if you gonna go euro bracing with it full the day you want to empty the tank I think you going to have issues as the glass will contract and .....
     
  4. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Lift the halide higher for now - 300mm or so. You don't have high light demanding corals yet, or did you add?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    I agree with you that having a 250W MH lamp so close to the center brace is just waiting for a disaster to happen, and that something must be done about it.

    I don't like the idea of removing or adding any bracing whilst the tank is full of water (even if you brace it on the outside...). I once added a glass brace around the outside of a sump, in order to increase the glass height (and thus increase the water volume), while the tank was full. Everything went fine for the next month, until I did a water change, and partially emptied the sump - it promptly cracked before I could fill it again.

    If I may suggest an alternative - why don't you change your lighting to two x 150W MH's, mounted on either side of the center brace. This would give you a more even distribution of light, and would give approximately the same (perhaps a bit more...) illumination than the single 250W unit.

    If you are adamant that you want to remove the center brace, then I would strongly suggest that you empty the tank (or at least more than 50% of the water) before you do the conversion.

    Hennie
     
  6. Stressed Eric

    Stressed Eric Thread Starter

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    Thanks Hennie, I thought the same but was trying to convince myself that it was possible to do . . . Bugger . . . So much for taking the easy way out ! I actually have 3 bulkheads above my tank, centre being the halide and the outer two have 105w energy saver's - altogether a good mix I think . . . Tobes, yes cuz I have added a couple of corals, and *cough a nennie cough*, i'll post pictures . . .
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Just keep in mind, currently with the MH above the central brace, you do heat it up and it EXPANDS.

    Whereto?

    Brace becomes longer... Back to front. And it will push the front and back glass out. Take a look while the brace is hot how much the front glass is bowed outward. You will have a freight and go crazy.

    Actually if you had euro bracing and the central brace, something would have cracked by now. Most likely the euro brace itself.

    2 options
    • Empty the tank and do the conversion
    • go for two 150MH.
    I will go for number 2.
     
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