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Old 02-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

So the center brace of my son's aquarium broke. I know there are some other fixes out there, but I just went with replacing the top rim. There are a lot of how-to's on the interwebs as well, but I never found one with pics, so I thought I'd share. It was a success. It took about 2 hours to get the rim off.

Picture of it before I ripped off the rim with a clamp on it so it wouldn't bow out


Then drain the water over halfway to take the clamp off.


The broken center brace


After using a paint scraper under the rim to loosen it, I started to just pull it off (carefully so the glass doesn't break


Two hours later....

Used a blade to get the silicone that stayed behind


Son helping...


After all the silicone is off, started to put new silicone on the inside of the new rim (and you can see the pieces of the old rim all torn off next to me)


Put the new one on, fill it back up...


Good as new with a happy kid!


All in all it wasn't that hard...the hardest part is not shown in pictures..Being careful not to break the glass when pulling off the top rim.

Hope this was a little informative and shows it can be done by someone with very little handy-man skills :-)

Last edited by bmoore09 : 02-07-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

Couple more pics for good measure :-)





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Old 02-08-2012, 03:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

Good job! You made it look easy
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

I the same problem on almost the same size tank where did you get a replacement rim from? and about how much? Thanks happy I found this!
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

One of my local fish stores can order them.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

God job with the pics, this is a good thread to send people to when they ask about broken frames.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sucoftvs View Post
I the same problem on almost the same size tank where did you get a replacement rim from? and about how much? Thanks happy I found this!
I got it from a local pet/aquarium store (props to Jack's Aquarium in Columbus...only store that would/could order it for me). It took about a week to arrive. I think I paid about $22 total.

I think there are some other sites online, but with shipping it came out to be about the same, so I ordered locally.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmoore09 View Post
I got it from a local pet/aquarium store (props to Jack's Aquarium in Columbus...only store that would/could order it for me). It took about a week to arrive. I think I paid about $22 total.

I think there are some other sites online, but with shipping it came out to be about the same, so I ordered locally.
When measuring is it all outside dimensions you give them?
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

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Originally Posted by Sucoftvs View Post
When measuring is it all outside dimensions you give them?
Truth is, I just told them it was for a standard 55g / 48" long tank, and it came in perfectly. It may be harder to find a less-standard size. If your LFS can't get one, look online, there are some places that sell them. I just can't seem to find the links right now.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

Here's one place that has some options:
Glasscages.com - Tank Frames
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

nice! the center brace on my 55 is broken, but has been re-done somehow by my aunt and uncle who had it before me. good to know if their fix doesnt hold up taht I can just replace it.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

I have had the same issue with 2 different 55 gallon tanks. According to the LFS its a fairly common problem. especially with the 55s for some reason.
I just fixed mine a couple weeks ago.

I figured out that the problem is the weight of the glass lids pushing down in the middle and the light from the 4' light bar weakening the plastic. I came up with a fix that you might be interested in since it looks like you have the same lids and light I do.

I went to the hardware store and bought 4 feet of 1/2" x 1/2" aluminum angle. it cost about $4. I cut it into 12" pieces. I took the light and lids off the top of the tank and put a dab of aquarium sealant at both ends of all 4 pieces of angle. I placed on piece on the end of the frame with the bottom edge of the angle facing in, then another piece in the middle with the bottom edge of the l facing out toward the first piece. Set the lid down into the 2 pieces of angle and adjust them so they will support the lid. then repeat on the other side.

I took a couple pics but am having trouble uploading them, will try again later.
When you are done it should look like this..


I_-----------_I I_-------------_I

The Is and underscores are the angle and the dashed lines are the glass lids. the lids should actually overlap the underscores.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by dante322 View Post
I have had the same issue with 2 different 55 gallon tanks. According to the LFS its a fairly common problem. especially with the 55s for some reason.
I just fixed mine a couple weeks ago.

I figured out that the problem is the weight of the glass lids pushing down in the middle and the light from the 4' light bar weakening the plastic. I came up with a fix that you might be interested in since it looks like you have the same lids and light I do.

I went to the hardware store and bought 4 feet of 1/2" x 1/2" aluminum angle. it cost about $4. I cut it into 12" pieces. I took the light and lids off the top of the tank and put a dab of aquarium sealant at both ends of all 4 pieces of angle. I placed on piece on the end of the frame with the bottom edge of the angle facing in, then another piece in the middle with the bottom edge of the l facing out toward the first piece. Set the lid down into the 2 pieces of angle and adjust them so they will support the lid. then repeat on the other side.

I took a couple pics but am having trouble uploading them, will try again later.
When you are done it should look like this..


I_-----------_I I_-------------_I

The Is and underscores are the angle and the dashed lines are the glass lids. the lids should actually overlap the underscores.
Cool. Thanks for the info.

I'm not sure yours is like this, but my light is actually a shop light from Home Depot. If I have the light on there right it barely even touches the center braces. It sets on the outer edges of the rim.

I hate to admit it, but I actually bought the tank used and i knew the center brace was broken (now i know why i got such a good deal). I really thought that the center brace was only for holding up the glass lids, so i just kinda left it with the glass kinda tilted. I had no idea it helped the structure of the tank. But after reading online about it's importance I decided to fix it. I went out and bought the clamp immediately since the rim took a week to get delivered.
Glad I read up on it, or I might have 55 gallons of water on my floor :-)
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

It'll actually work better with your light. an aquarium light bar has cut outs on the ends so it will sit down into the top frame. yours is straight all the way across so it will actually rest on the angle braces batter.

the middle



the end



sorry about the picture quality the flash was a little brighter than i expected.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

Lol wonder if this would work to just de-rim a small tank. I wouldn't try this with anything larger than 5 gallons, but that'd still make a cool tank...
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

I just noticed all 4 of my twin bar platys got into the picture of the middle rail. they are such hams. surprised none of them were holding up the old bunny ears behind another ones head.
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

bmoore, how long did you wait before filling the tank? a couple hours or did you fill it instantly after putting the rim on?
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

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bmoore, how long did you wait before filling the tank? a couple hours or did you fill it instantly after putting the rim on?
Not sure if I should've waited, but I filled it up about 15 minutes after putting the rim back on. Months later, it's still doing well.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

ok cool, thank you. I just bought a used 55 gallon tank and after filling it the center split. I didn't notice the crack before putting the water in. Thank you for replying to such an old thread.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:54 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Replacing top aquarium rim / frame. Broken Center brace. *pics

I am an idiot and cut my support beams thinking that they were just there to hold glass. I now have the brackets on my tank to keep it from bowing.

Is their anything else I could use that is low profile to provide support? I really don't want to try to get this top off of my 210 gallon tank.

If not, did you heat the plastic when takin it off? Any advice you can give to getting the top off would be great
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