Tank construction

KevinW

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Hi all,

When siliconing glass together for a tank is it best to put a bead of silicone along the edges of the glass before putting them together or just tape everything in place and then silicone? I have always used the second method but have been wondering if the first may be better as you will not get glass directly against glass....
 

phat

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definately bead as that is your strength to hold the tank together then after that has dried clean off any excess silicone and seal your tank from the inside:D
 

KevinW

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Been thinking the same thing Phat. Just that I have noticed that all the pictures of tanks being built are usually taped up glass and then siliconed.
 

phat

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only way to do it IMO
 

viper357

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I agree with phat, I really wouldn't feel comfortable if there wasn't silicone between the 2 panes. I think the tape you are seeing is there as a support to hold the panes together while the silicone bead is drying.

What I do is silicone the edges together, smooth the excess off, then run silicone down the inside.
 

DragonReef

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Agreed with Phat, Kevin bead first.

If you don't have a jig and second pair of hands is a lot of help. Run the bead then place the glass. Tape the 2 panes together (That brown box tape stuff works the best - one strip at the bottom, one at the top) That will hold it in place and the you can run the silicone seam across the length.
 

phat

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the tape also presses the glass together to get any air bubbles out the silicone between the 2 panes(lookslike crap) best way if you dont have tape is gravity
 

Tridan

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Just remember not to put to much pressure on the pain and squeeze out all the silicone, then you defeating the object, apply just enough pressure as to get the air bubbles out.
 

KevinW

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Guess I need to rebuild my tanks! They seem to have lasted long enough though (touch wood!)
 

Mike

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Guess I need to rebuild my tanks! They seem to have lasted long enough though (touch wood!)
Is that going to join the hall of fame in the famous last words section:whistling:

I had a tank custom built, the bloke was a pro and very quick, first of all the base, then plenty of silicone along the back of the base and up went the rear pane, taped up - then he wiped off the excess, then again with the sides, loads of silicone and wiping off each time, then he built the two weirs and finally the front pane - all done in about half an hour no problem at all - i was most impressed as he didn't use a square once but it was spot on.
He then explained to me that the main strength of the tank is the silicone between the panes of glass about 1-1.5mm thick it's actually stronger than the glass itself.
(Meaning that the glass usually breaks before the seal gives.)
 

Hill

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If you have ever tried to pull a tank apart you will realise just how strong silicon is.
 

Mike

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And on the subject of tank construction, i would like to underline the importance of brace bars, especially in larger tanks.
Keith Windsor, a very well known tank builder in the UK, told me he built a 2mx6oox600 tank out of scratched/scrap glass without brace bars, left it to cure, then filled up, 7 hours later the front pane exploded, the whole tank shattered, but al the silicone was intact, had the tank been sufficently braced, it would have been fine.
 

Galibore

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Kevin,

I have used both methods but never been more nervous than when I didn't bead first.

My preferred way is to put some silicone first. But I use so little that hardly any gets squeezed out the sides when the weight of the glass is applied.
 

nakoma

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the best way is to ad some silicone and then put the glass ontop of it you can never be to safe sure you can do it any other way but i it was me i would want to me extra sure nothing is going to happen i even put brases on the bottom it is not about how mutch you use it is about how mutch comes out on the sides when you place the glass if nothing comes out well then you did not put enough not to say your doomed and it is going to fall appart hell i build a 300 L tank out of 3 mm glass and it still runs i never thought it whould but then my buddy did not want to spend more money on glass build the sucker so we can add the fish if it pops well then you try again i build my 2000 L and it has a cracked bottom and has hade a cracked bottom for 10 years and touch wood no leaks
 

sandersc

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One thing to remember with siliconing glass together. If you look from the sides at the joint, and you see any bubbles in the silicone, best remove the panel, clean everything and redo the silicone. I can bet you, that if anything is going to happen with the silicone, its gonna happen where you had bubbles in the joint. This is a fact, known through experience.

Cheers
 

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