Advice on Monster 1400 gallon used Acrylic aquarium

Pandashark

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Hi All, I'm looking for input on a 1400 gallon, 10'x52"x52" monster aquarium I am looking at purchasing. The problem is that it is used, and it has issues-

-Been sitting in a garage for several years, never filled by current owner (he bought it and decided it was too big)

-Top acrylic is cracked in 3 places allegedly due to first owner using metal halides

-Current owner says it has a 3" bow when full. Acrylic on 10' sides is 1.25" thick.

So the question is, how do we feel about the integrity of the aquarium once the top is repaired? Looking for input for people with experience in monster tanks as well as people in the aquarium building industry. Thank you!!

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Pandashark

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Kershaw

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He helped the previous owner take it down
Got it.
hopefully some tank builder will chime in. If it was me I’d consider cutting it down in height and replacing top. But I have no idea how hard that would be.
 

Ratherbeflyen

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As is, I would run away.

If it was a good deal, I would buy it and cut it down. I would never keep a 52" deep tank because you'll have to dive in it to get to the bottom. If it was cut down to 24"-30" tall, then you can rebuild the top bracing out of the cut off side pieces. That will dramatically reduce the stress on the tank, and you can reach the bottom. That would still leave you with a ~630 gallon @ 24" tall or ~800 gallons at 30" tall. Still monster tanks.
 

garbled

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That top crack is insane. There is no way that's from MH use. It's probably from a 3" bow. At 52", it could never be more than a fish only tank, you don't want anything to do with a reef tank that deep.

If it was near-free, I'd say think about taking it and cutting it down to 30" like others are saying. Assuming you have a way to buy 10ft sheets of 1.25" acrylic....

1.25" seems too thin for 52" height on 10' span to me. I bet that bow is because it's wrong, and that crack is because it ripped the top apart.
 

KrisReef

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I would discuss having a new top added to it, with a much shorter height with a tank manufacturer near you. I am sure it could be done but I don’t know how much it would cost to repair. If it’s just going to be fish only you can keep it tall but I would not want to deal with maintenance on a deep tank myself.

it is only a deal if the cost + repairs gets you a tank that fits your home.
 
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52" tall does not sound fun. Without knowing the age of this tank and how it has been stored I would not be willing to take a chance on it. If it was exposed to improper conditions during storage it could weaken the seams and even caused that crack. I would say it might have some scrap value if you want to cut it up and have it rebuilt but I would not trust it unless a professional tank builder was to inspect and certify its condition.
 

fuelman

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I'm not a tank builder, but i do own a few acrylic tanks & have a few freinds with monster acrylic tanks. i currently have a 75,110,180,240 acrylic. in 40 years in the aquarium hobby i have owned quite a few acrylic tanks. as a few others have posted the display panels on that tank are to thin for a tank of that height & width that's why it bows so bad. the cracks in the top panel are not from lights, its from the display panels bowing & the top panel trying to hold all four sides of the tank together. in tanks that tall/long the top panel needs to be much thicker than the sides because of the added stress of the large display panels, also the top panel has holes cut in it reducing the strength of that panel & the combination of both must be compensated for. it's not on this tank. that's why it cracks in the corners of the openings on the top panel. cutting the tank down & producing a fine finish edge to adhere a new top panel to with the tank fully assembled is far easier said than done, been there done that personally, it's not worth it. save yourself a lot of time/money/stress & walk away from this one.
 

PeterC99

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I'm not a tank builder, but i do own a few acrylic tanks & have a few freinds with monster acrylic tanks. i currently have a 75,110,180,240 acrylic. in 40 years in the aquarium hobby i have owned quite a few acrylic tanks. as a few others have posted the display panels on that tank are to thin for a tank of that height & width that's why it bows so bad. the cracks in the top panel are not from lights, its from the display panels bowing & the top panel trying to hold all four sides of the tank together. in tanks that tall/long the top panel needs to be much thicker than the sides because of the added stress of the large display panels, also the top panel has holes cut in it reducing the strength of that panel & the combination of both must be compensated for. it's not on this tank. that's why it cracks in the corners of the openings on the top panel. cutting the tank down & producing a fine finish edge to adhere a new top panel to with the tank fully assembled is far easier said than done, been there done that personally, it's not worth it. save yourself a lot of time/money/stress & walk away from this one.
While I have never had an acrylic aquarium (currently 90 gallon glass), I find these posts incredibly informative. One day I may step up to a larger aquarium And these tidbits of knowledge may just give me the confidence to do it!
 
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Pandashark

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Appreciate all of the input guys, I have been leaning away from taking this on as many of you have suggested, but dang do I want it :) I may see if he'll drop the price to the point it would make sense to cut it down.

Could anyone provide input on what would the an appropriate height for this thickness of acrylic?
 

garbled

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My 800 is 10x3(high) x4. It's 1" and does not bow. Been full of water for like.. 12 years? My understanding though, is that the thickness needs to start going up dramatically, with the height. Like if mine was 3.5' high, I'm pretty sure it would have to be 1.25. At 52.. sheesh.. I dunno.. that seems like it should be way thicker... 2"?

Also.. You really don't want it deeper than 30". I cannot express enough how un-fun it is to stick your face in a reef tank. Try picking up a dead snail with 30" tongs. Try scraping the front pane on a 52" tank? Oh hell no. The angle there would break your arm.
 
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Pandashark

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My 800 is 10x3(high) x4. It's 1" and does not bow. Been full of water for like.. 12 years? My understanding though, is that the thickness needs to start going up dramatically, with the height. Like if mine was 3.5' high, I'm pretty sure it would have to be 1.25. At 52.. sheesh.. I dunno.. that seems like it should be way thicker... 2"?

Also.. You really don't want it deeper than 30". I cannot express enough how un-fun it is to stick your face in a reef tank. Try picking up a dead snail with 30" tongs. Try scraping the front pane on a 52" tank? Oh hell no. The angle there would break your arm.
Well, at 52x52 the plan was to go in the tank for maintenance ;)
 

PeterC99

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Jon Warner

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I'll join in with the 30" cut-it-down crowd...

120 x 52 x 30 would be an epic tank...

And it's an EASY mod for an acrylic shop. Just cut straight and level and finish it with a router and join new top bracing

Also... if they cut the top off neatly, they could finish the scrap into a 120 x 52 x 20" (frag) tank itself with a new bottom and top brace
 
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