Do we really need Polystyrene?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by moz, 28 Nov 2008.

  1. moz

    moz

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    Been thinking lately on the design of a new tank and was wondering on if polystyrene was really necessary on a rigid level surface such as a post formed top.
     
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  3. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    i think it is, it softens the pressure on the glass and spreads it out. It also stops the nasty scratches and things. Why dont you want to put it in?
     
  4. moz

    moz Thread Starter

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    Aesthetic reasons, with my current stand idea, the polystyrene would be visible. Guess back to the drawing board.
     
  5. Mtroboer

    Mtroboer

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    In theory it's not necessary I suppose but in practice I think it's way safer to go with the polysterene as the slightest imperfection will cause the tank to break!
     
  6. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    just put a little ''perimeter'' of wood or somethin around the base of the tank, that covers the polystyrene and possibly the base of the tank. Or you could make your cupboard door a little higher so they cover it?
     
  7. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Agree with scuba, I miht be new 2 marine but have been breeding FW for 15 + yrs, once tried a tank with chipboard base ......had to replace 2 carpets..mine and the old tannie living in the flat under me..IMHO..the stuff they put under commercially bought tanks is 2 thin and the wheight distribution factor dies after 6 months...if DYI go for a bit thicker...just my 2c
     
  8. marine101

    marine101

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    Yeah, u can put i nice wooden mould around around the base of your tank. Looks quite fancy
     
  9. ml

    ml

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    SO we are on the topic

    Why does my tank crack or burst of the pressure I am running a 523L {main tank} on press wood couted with nothing but vannish !!! It's running for over 6 months now
     
  10. FransSny

    FransSny

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    MO...poly just reduces the risk...also not failsafe and what ive seen carcks are more frequent due to bad construction, frong materials etc than poly / no poly but i would still err on the side of caution
     
  11. Mtroboer

    Mtroboer

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    Please PLEASE put in some poly, 6 months is not long enough for all the stand's flaws to show. It could still be a year or two but this will cause you to mop the floors sometime and lose precious marine life!
     
  12. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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    I don't really know y somebody would not use it, the stuff is not expensive and you can hind it. So for what ever reason it is really silly not to use it.
     
  13. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Ditto my local hardware charges abou 12 bucks per sqm (16mm thick) and its a small hardware..no financial gain in not using it ...unless your tank is 100sqm
     
  14. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    friend of mine moved a few weeks ago... put the empty 1.5m tank on the level lawn... SNAP CRACK.... i got a seriously distressed phone call.... brand new tank....
     
  15. shiks

    shiks

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    I agree that u should use it....hid it with a wooden freeze .....if avail is an issue...try a company called isolite they might have a branch near u ....was abt R35 for a 1.5 x700
     
  16. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    Are chipboard cabinets bad? Sounds like it from reading this thread? Just noticed mine is made of chipboard...will it last?
     
  17. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    as lond as it does not get wet should be fine. as if you have an open sump just make sure the woods properly sealed
     
  18. FransSny

    FransSny

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    agreed just seal corrners, screws etc with silicone...all mine are chip with melamine covering
     
  19. Dillon

    Dillon

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    I'm in the process of building a 1300l freshwater aquarium, and have chatted to a lot of people and done a great deal of research. The following is important to note;
    • In general, you do not want the glass to bend more than 0.5mm
    • Wet wood swells, a lot!
    • Tanks are heavy, my tank will weigh roughly 2000kg with glass, rocks and water. That is without the sump. The stand needs to comfortable support the weight without deforming.
    • Most tanks are not supported wholy on the base, they are supported around the edges with thick glass at the base that supports all the weight. But foam is still used to cusion the glass.
    • Use at least 15mm of very supportive foam.
     
  20. FransSny

    FransSny

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    agreed dillon

    last thing to mention...it is virtually impossible to get a DIY (see ml..spelling has improved!) stand 100 % square & level...unless u work / weld for OCC ! therefore the poly it makes up for mm size mistakes
     
  21. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Well, as with everything marine, it's not that simple - there are two schools of thought on this, and both are actually correct...

    Here in South Africa, and most of Europe, as far as I know, we believe in building our tanks with the side panes resting on the bottom pane. In this case, all the weight/pressure is transferred to the bottom pane, which transfers it to the stand. If there is any dirt (sand particles, etc...) between the bottom pane and the stand it can cause a point load which can crack the glass. If the stand warps a bit due to (e.g.) water causing the wood to swell in certain places it can also cause unequal pressure on the bottom pane, which again can cause cracking. In both cases, a thin layer of polystyrene will eliminate point loads and ensure an even load distribution

    In the USA the trend is to build the tank with the bottom pane "floating" between the side panes, with the bottom pane a few mm's above the bottom of the side panes. Only the side panes are thus in contact with the stand. Glass is much stronger when standing on end (thus acting like a beam and not a slab), and the chance of actually having a piece of dirt caught below the narrow end of the glass and the stand is also pretty remote. As the bottom pane is raised some distance above the stand, there is also no chance of any dirt actually touching the bottom pane - this thus reduces the risk of cracking the bottom pane significantly, negating the need for a polystyrene sheet.

    If you really cannot have a polystyrene sheet under the tank you can always consider building the tank as the Yanks do.

    Me? Personally I have a thin layer of polystyrene below my tank...

    Hennie
     
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