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I've got two tanks - 50g and 55g respectively - that came to me with the top braces broken. How can I go about either repairing or replacing those braces? I know they are there to help prevent bowing of the glass over time, so I don't want to use them until they are fixed.

The 50g is destined to be an axolotl tank, so I won't be filling it completely. Water level will be about 6" below the top. The top brace is broken in half but still in place otherwise.

The 55g is to be used for fish, so will be filled completely. So it most definitely needs to be fixed. The top brace is completely gone as the previous owner totally broke it out. Can this even be repaired/replaced? Or should I consider it a write-off for fish?
 

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I have the same problem with a 90g tank (same footprint dimensions as a 55g tank - 48" x 12 "). What I did was pull off the old trim at the top of the tank (the whole plastic top). Then I went to a local pet shop and had them order the top plastic trim in black.

I haven't installed the trim yet but what you need to do is clean off the glass, make sure there is no old silicon left around the edges, then rub the surface down with rubbing alcohol and then apply a new line of silicon sealant along the edge of the glass. It should be a relatively generous amount of silicon so that when you put the trim on top the silicon squishes down the sides a little and glues the trim to the edge and the sides of the glass - securely fastening the trim to all sides of the glass.

The trim cost me about 30$ for the top, and 30$ for the bottom.

The half filled tank won't need a top brace since it isn't going to be filled all the way, but the 55g should have one for safety. Though they will hold water without a brace (they bow about an inch outwards which freaks me out too much to have no brace).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's great! I never knew you could order those as replacement parts. That would be perfect! I can most definitely handle removing the old one and putting a new one in place. Thanks for the info!

BTW, I know what you mean about wanting the brace in place. I think about setting up the tank without it and just about panic. The bowing would wig me big time!
 

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I came home one time to my 55g and saw that the center brace had broken, and the tank was bowing out sooooo much. I would estimate about 2 in either side. I was freakin out the entire time till I go the tank returned for a new one. I just wish I had my friends old 55g that had no center brace. It was one of those old high school aquariums for biology class.
 

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Yeaaaa... that would be cool.

The brace is pretty annoying when it comes to maintenance, I've often thought of snapping it myself to access my plants better and then slapped myself back into reality.

Thicker glass would prevent the bowing though - too bad it costs an arm two legs and a left ear.
 

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My friend sold the tank for $100. I wish I had been there, as I would have taken that thing in a heart beat. He also had a pleco I sold him that was about 20" long. I wonder though, can we buy those biology class aquariums?
 
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