Mehaffy's 1100+ gallon Plywood display in North Alabama

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mehaffydr

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Good evening all Right now everything is on Hold as I experienced a substantial setback Monday morning. Sunday night everything was looking good and I was preparing to order some fish. Parameters were good temp was good water was moving exactly how it twas supposed to. I got up Monday morning and opened the door to the building and there was water on the floor. At first I didn't panic as I have left things like RODI's to overflow and have had water on the floor before. I think we all have. But as I started looking the worst thing I could have seen which was a small stream of water coming out of the tank at the seam between the glass and wood right in the center at the bottom of the glass. Look how nicely the water cleared up. I was supposed to be heading to Indianapolis for the day something for work and had to immediately cancel those plans and quickly figure out what to do. So I rounded up everything I had that would hold water and started pumping water into containers which in hindsight was probably a waste of time as I will most likely dispose of most of that water. See second picture. Next post I will get into what happened.
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mehaffydr

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Thanks for the support. I have been studying the issue and reviewing with an Engineer that I work with and it appears that because I held the glass up 3 1/4" off of the bottom and did not run the glass all the way down the wood flexed and the glass did not. This caused the silicone to give way which let the water out. That is why it is at the bottom center because that is where there is the most pressure and the weakest point on the entire tank. If I would have not built the rabbet for the glass and just ran it all the way down this would not have been an issue. ( Live and Learn I guess). SO the fix will be a good amount of work but this tank will fill again. I'm estimating 30-60 days.
1. I am removing the rock and sand. ( all water has been drained already)
2. The hard part I must remove the front glass.
3. I will them sand down the front lower area and the first 6" of the bottom.
4. I am building a section approx 3" x 4" of plywood glued together to support the front seed drawing below.
5. This piece will be glued and screwed in place and then layered in fiberglass cloth and resin.
6. I will then repaint the inside with multiple coats in the repaired area.
7. I will them reinstall the glass wait a few weeks and start the fill test once again.

So yes a setback but I am determined this tank will get filled and will last a long time. The reinforcing piece I am adding will do a couple of things. First just having this wood glued screwed and fiberglassed in will add a lot of strength to the area and with the angled front it will divert the intense water pressure so that it is not pushing so hard on the front panel.

This is the drawing showing the plan. If anyone has any ideas I am open to listen but I am certain this will do the job.
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Red_Beard

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I like the idea of the internal brace, i think that will do a lot do eliminate pressure warping. The only other idea i had would be to whaler it out with a brace on the outside. But, that would give you a lip. Forgive my crude rendition. The white would be whatever ridgid material you fancy, maybe 8020 aluminum or a 2x6 that would be lag bolted to your internal brace to sandwich it all together.
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Or maybe even carry it the whole width if the frame so its flush with the socket for the glass and the bottom of the frame. So it will look like it belongs.
HTH
 

Monkeynaut

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Just saw this and I am sorry to see it!

Is it possible just 1 support in the middle will create a bow half way between the middle and the ends of the glass pane? How much extra work would it be to have three equidistant across the front?

I can’t believe there isn’t a patch for something like this that wouldn’t involve removing the whole pain of glass. That is awful.
But if there isn’t a good patch, I have some of those suction cups people use for moving glass. I have four of them and each one holds 210 pounds for a vertical lift. Let me know if you could use them. If I am available I will help with the lifting too.
 
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mehaffydr

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Just saw this and I am sorry to see it!

Is it possible just 1 support in the middle will create a bow half way between the middle and the ends of the glass pane? How much extra work would it be to have three equidistant across the front?

I can’t believe there isn’t a patch for something like this that wouldn’t involve removing the whole pain of glass. That is awful.
But if there isn’t a good patch, I have some of those suction cups people use for moving glass. I have four of them and each one holds 210 pounds for a vertical lift. Let me know if you could use them. If I am available I will help with the lifting too.
The support I am adding will actually go the full length of the front from one end to the other covering the entire 10' length.

I was considering some way of possibly injecting silicone just in the middle area but if I did I would always be concerned that there could be another failure so I am going to remove the glass so that the seal is just one complete continuous seal the entire perimeter.
 
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Mark1

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I am so sorry that this happened. Better now than later as everyone is saying. You are handling this better than I would I think. This has been an amazing build to follow and has given me some ideas when I am ready to go up in tank size. Thank you for letting us follow your progress!
 
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mehaffydr

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Was that RTV 108 or silicone that was used?
It was not RTV108 but it was an extremely high quality Silicone. I do not think that anything would have held now that I have reviewed the problem. The main downfall was that the wood flexed more than the glass and with 8000lbs of water it was destined to fail.
 
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mehaffydr

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What did your engineer friend think of your plan to fix it? I would trust that opinion over us knucklheads. ;Wacky
The engineer and actually 3 of them all reviewed and made minor suggestions but all agreed thsi was the best course of action and all were confident it would solve the problem long term.
 
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