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Old 07-30-2009, 10:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Glass lined masonary tank.

I have constructed another 1000 litres hole in the wall tank using bricks and mortar for the rear and both sides, the front is to be all glass and the bottom is a concrete slab. The tank is built outward from the wall of my den and the glass front, where the wall used to be, would be the viewing side from my den.

Now I have built tanks like this before and have had no problems (except rectifiable minor ones) with them. What I intend to do next with this tank; is something I have never done before - line the 3 masonry sides with glass.

I intend to use 5mm thick dark tinted glass, 27 inch high (water level to be 24") and paste them to the three sides with silicone. I would like all your advice to avoid any future problems - with the construction and the longevity of the tank.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Glass lined masonary tank.

How did you seal the other tanks you did like this? Did you use epoxy?
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Glass lined masonary tank.

I used granite sheets with Styrofoam between the masonry and the granite.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Glass lined masonary tank.

I havent built a large tank but I would think that if the glass were up against the masonry and was evenly distributed by silicone it would be okay. Of course the face of the glass where the viewing area is would be the most important as far as strength goes. If it were me I would put the bottom peice in first, the viewing pane, and then the other sides. Id spread the silicone out so it had as much surface area contacting the glass and the wall to have the most surface area attached to the masonry to evenly distribute the pressure.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Glass lined masonary tank.

If the masonry was strong enough to hold the water the last time you did this, then just set the back glass in -the entire width- then set the two sides in against that, then set the front over the edges of the sides with silicone in the seams. That'll all be locked in when the tank is empty, as long as your method of mounting the front works well. When the tank is full, water pressure will hold everything up, so I really don't think you need to be that generous with the silicone, except in the seam where the front sits against the two side edges, and maybe some dabs at the back of the sides to keep them from slipping inward. I'm assuming your last project(s) had glass in the front and you were able to mount it effectively and avoid blowouts.
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Glass lined masonary tank.

My way of fixing the front (viewing) glass leaves no scope for even Murphy's law. I use epoxy to attach 2" X3/4" strips of granite to the front edge of the masonry wall and the concrete beam above to form a complete (all 4 edges) frame. I then attach the front glass from the inner side (tank side) with silicone. The water in tank can only push the glass tighter against the frame. 2" X 16' of epoxy bonding will hold the frame against this thrust.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Glass lined masonary tank.

I would be concerned about having a wide or lo0ng span of glass that isnt even supported at the bottom where most of the pressure of weight it. Potentially the water pressure could push the glass out and crack it if it werent evenly cushioned by silicone.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Glass lined masonary tank.

You can do just about anything as long as you have a flat, well supported base. I would only use silicon along the edges. You will be able to see any silicon that is place in the middle of the pane and it would probably annoy you. Seal the masonry part from the air or it will get dusty behind the glass, big dust bunnies will also bug you.

You might consider using acrylic across the back sides that are against the masonry. It's easier to work with and is more forgiving to bending and impacts if you live in earthquake country.

There's two ways of building it.
1. Attach each pane to the masonry separately and then seal the panes.
2. Build a box that slides into the opening and then attach the front pane to the masonry.

Option two lets you test waterproofing before final assembly and is easier to replace if you have a problem. Option 1 is faster to assemble. The weight of the water in a store bought tank is supported by the sides of the tank. The bottom does not actually sit on the ground but is glued to the four sides. Using the same assembly technique lends itself the second method of assembly.

Not having done this myself, I can't advise which way is best. I'm just bringing up things to consider.
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Glass lined masonary tank.

I finally finished all the cement mortar work. Tired! Will take pictures tomorrow to show what I achieved till date. What took time was the curing period before I could remove the scaffolding of the 2 beams it was necessary to cast. The next job I must finish is chipping the concrete roof of the aquarium to enable me to attach white vitreous tiles on its surface. I use the tiles as my reflecting surface.

The glass for the bottom has been delivered, that goes in first, its 12mm transparent.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Glass lined masonary tank.

In the future, if you don't want to wait for cement to harden, mix in some quick set hydraulic cement. By itself, it'll harden in a few minutes. We use it to plug up "seepers" in pool shells, where the gunite crew shoots the shell but allows groundwater to seep up through the floor before it dries. careful what ratio you use though, close to 50/50 concrete + quickset won't give you much time to work with it. I do about 80/20 when I need time to poor bigger volumes and smooth it out.
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