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Welcome to our page. I have been keeping marine and fresh water aquariums for over 20 years off and on. We try to provide lots of up to date articles on maintaining an aquarium. We also have many awesome links on the right side bar to all things both Fresh Water and Salt Water Aquarium related. Things like Medicines, diagnosis charts, Fish Identification Databases, DIY Projects, Just to name a few. Quick Links to our tank Journals there as well.

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Awesome article on replacing the center Brace on a 55 Gallon tank. By user name: cm11599ps - http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/members/cm11599ps.html

The full article in its original location can be found here:
http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/freshwater-tank-equipment/66920-how-replace-top-frame-aquarium.html

Posted on March 18th, 2010 in www.fishlore.com/fishforum by a user of that forum named:cm11599ps.

How To Replace The Top Frame Of An Aquarium
As some of you may know, the top center brace of my 12 year old 55 gallon aquarium snapped about 2 weeks ago when I was trying to adjust my automatic feeder. My frame finally came in today and I just sat down after finishing the job. Here are some pics for your enjoyment.....


Below is a shot of the tank with some of the required materials needed. You will see the new black frame, aquarium silicone, razor blade, python and more.
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My first step was to pour myself a nice cold draft beer from my kitchen. This is the most important part in ANY project you undertake. lol

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Below is a shot of my automatic feeder. It is placed right over the center brace and when I went to adjust the feeding schedule the center brace of the tank snapped.

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A pic of the broken brace.


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I then had to remove the aerator on my kitchen faucet in order to attach my python.

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Attaching an adapter to connect my python the my faucet.

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Finally attaching the python.

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You then need to turn the water on and the python hose gets full of water. The other end of the python hose (the gravel cleaner) in in the tank. This is the first step in using the python.
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You then need to unscrew the bottom of the python. You will see the water going into the sink now. As the water from your faucet goes down through the green plastic and into the sink it creates a siphon and brings in the water from your tank. The water that is going into the sink is a mix of your tap water as well as your tank water.

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Below you will see one end of the python nestled in the red plants in the tank with the other end in the sink and the hose going across the floor. Please say hi to my Maltese, Timmy. I ended up draining about 50% of the tank to relieve some of the pressure on the glass since I was removing the entire top frame.

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I began by using a razor blade to cut the silicone on the inside and outside of the glass. This didn't work well.

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I then went to the garage to get this 5 in one paint tool. I grasped the handle and used that pointy side to score all around the tank. This worked MUCH better then the razor blade and I highly suggest this tool if you ever need to replace your frame.

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It took over an hour but you can see that I was finally able to get the frame up a bit. It's about 1/4" above the glass at this point but the rest of the tank still needs some work.

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I was finally able to get the entire thing off. Once you got some of it up the rest was a LOT easier.


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Side by side shots of the old oak frame and the new black one. The color doesn't matter because I have a full wooden hood so the frame doesn't show at all. Plus the black is cheaper too.

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Little bits of silicone floating that I removed with my net.

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Removing some of the loose silicone cuttings.

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Have a drink!

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Dry fitted the new top.

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Use a razor blade to scrape off the remaining silicone from the glass.

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This should be above, but I used a piece of wood to tap up on the frame to loosen it.

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Using the gun to silicone the inside of the frame. I also siliconed the corners because I was using my tools in the area so I wanted to play it safe and recoat them.


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New frame on and tank being filled with python.


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Getting there. I didn't want to fill the tank all the way up because I siliconed the top few inches of the corners.

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Everything back in place!

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Then the worst thing happened!!!!!







An empty glass.
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So I had a refill.

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Last edited by cm11599ps; March 18th, 2010 at 09:56 PM.

I got the frame from my LFS. Total cost for the frame plus the tube of silicone was about $35.
About 3 weeks ago I thought my tank was ruined and that I would have to get a new one. I did research on trying to replace or fix it and I really didn't find much info. Some places did say you could replace the frame but it didn't really give you step by step directions or even pictures for that matter. I need to be able to SEE something done and then it becomes a lot clearer.

I figured if I snapped a few pics and wrote up a brief summary then I might be able to help someone in the future. The whole process wasn't that hard now that all is said and done. If I didn't take pics or beer breaks then I could have had the whole thing done in 2 - 3 hours. If I had to do it again then I could probably have it done a lot quicker because I would be using the right tools from the start.

The first 1.5 - 2 hours was not fun. With all the cutting I was doing I still couldn't get even a corner to budge a little bit. After some more cutting I tried pressing up on the frame with my fingers and I was finally able to push it up a tad!

I did a little more scoring with that painters tool then tapped up with the piece of wood and it began to come off pretty easily. Once I was able to get it up a bit the rest of the process (removing the top) was a cinch and only took about 15 minutes.

My wife and I are glad this is finished. For the past 3 weeks we have been worrying about the tank breaking because you could see it bowing out in the middle. It's not the kind of bow front tank I wanted. lol

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting !I bought a 55 gal.tank. The frame brace was already broken ,little did i know that when i filled the tank that the side would bow out, my husband happened to notice that it was bowed so i can't believe that the pet shop owner would sell me this tank ,knowing that i was intending on filling it with water .What if this thing would have burst , OMG what a mess i would have had !!!Maybe the owner will at least pay for the top frame brace to be replaced ! Thanks again !

    ReplyDelete
  2. what size of hoods do you have on there?
    i bought a 55 gallon and am getting a replacement frame like you did but need to know what size of hood to get.
    let me know at jfoust98@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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