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Taking apart an aquarium

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Ok, I was given a couple beat up aquariums that still have a few good pieces of glass in them so I was wondering if it's possible to take it apart and save the glass. Has anyone done this before? Any hints or tips? I'm guessing use a razor blade.. but I'm not sure how to get the plastic frames off since they're glued on differently..
 
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Maybe you can get some acetone or some other solvent to dissolve the glue. Be careful and work slowly because those glass pieces break very easily.
 

jimscott

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I did a quick search bit wasn't satisfied with the sites, so I don't really know. If you DO go with acetone, please do it outside, because the fumes are harmful. Acetone is a carcinogen. Uncured silicone sealer is also harmful.
 
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Wouldn't acetone dissolve the plastic frame thats at the top and bottom of the aquarium?

Silicone is tough stuff.. best bet is to try cutting it with a utility knife. You may also be able to work in a putty knife along the glass to free it from the silicone.
 
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I found a pentagon shaped 45 gallon aquarium for free that has a broken front piece. I've been cutting the broken piece out with a utility knife. I had a glass company cut me another piece to size but they said "make sure to remove all silicone from the glass before gluing it as silicone doesn't stick to silicone."
It's been a long slow process and I'm only 1/4 way done.

Found a 30 gallon hex aquarium for $5.00 which is my next project.... Good luck

Kirk
Fitchburg Massachusetts
 
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Kirk: those hex aquariums are expensive!! I'm thinking of starting a project to build a nice highland tank (see, that N. macfarlenei you all gave me got me started!), where are you getting your glass cut? Anywhere in Boston?
 
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Hi Michael,

Glad to see that N. macfarlanei will be well taken care of...
Actually, I brought the broken tank to a local glass company in Fitchburg. They took all the measurements and figured out the thickness necessary. then cut the piece. I think it was $11.00
I'm sure there are local glass companies near Boston (probably Allston would be a good place to look for you.)
 
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you can get glass, and get it cut for cheap. The only reason you pay more for them is that they are put together and cut for you. and the glass is thicker on hex's in order to suport the weight of the water since its size is so irregular, all you need is regular glass to build a growchamber, none of the tough stuff. I'm starting to build a 40 x 20 x 24 (LxWxH) glasshouse out of 4, 10 gallon tanks. each costs only $10 and in the end, it will make an 83 gallon tank.

Formula for calculating water capacity:
LxWxH / 231 = Amount of gallons
 
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Kinda on topic but does anyone know where to purchase the plastic pieces that go on the top and bottom of aquariums that hold them together? Afraid I might break mine while repairing the tank and want a replacement available.

Kirk
Fitchburg, Mass.
 
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