55 g top cross brace broken

pennyg

Exodon
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 13, 2019
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Central Ohio
This is probably a silly question but I didn't find anything by searching the forums and I am not confident enough to try this without input. I got a old used 55 gallon aquarium for nothing but the top center brace is broken. I thought about putting in a glass brace but then I noticed that the bottom trim also has a center brace which is not broken. I filled the tank and there's no leaks but the sides do bow out at top. Can I swap the top trim with broken center brace with the bottom trim that has a good center brace? The bottom is solid glass which is pretty much the same as having a glass center brace except it is the entire length of the tank instead of a few inches of the length.
 

deeda

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Mar 26, 2008
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Medina, Ohio
55G tanks usually require the top and bottom trim pieces to prevent the bowing you are seeing so I suggest checking with your LFS to see if you can order a new top trim. Petco/Petsmart, etc. probably cannot order them but you can always ask.

You will need to measure the tank length and width at the top of the empty tank to get the correct dimensions as they vary slightly from different mfg.'s.

You might also try posting a pic of the trim including the glass canopy lip to help figure out the mfg. if you don't already know who made it.
 
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BIG-G

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Dec 12, 2005
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NC
It would definitely be better to replace the top frame with a new one.
That said, what you are suggesting would also work.
Assuming you could remove both frames without damaging them any further.
You can switch the top for the bottom.

The bottom frame is important for the rim that the frame provides, supporting the tank around its perimeter floats the bottom pane and relieves pressure points.
The top frame is necessary for the center bracing preventing the bowing that you’ve mentioned.

If it were mine, I would probably leave the bottom frame and add some glass euro bracing on each end and in the center.
It just seem like an easier fix to me then trying to remove both frames.
 

Raka

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Oct 22, 2019
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Seems like the easiest cheapest option.
 

pennyg

Exodon
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 13, 2019
45
52
26
50
Central Ohio

Seems like the easiest cheapest option.
this place has the frames but shipping costs as much or more than the frame itself. So it was about $50 for the replacement which is nearly as expensive as a brand new tank. I do very much appreciate all of the help though. This website is full of amazing people :)
 
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Raka

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Oct 22, 2019
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Facts, $70 new at Petco, tax will be on the $140 price so depending on where you live (8.9%) here it may be worth it to go new. Thats a lot of piece of mind for a few bucks!
 

Rass

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Oct 3, 2005
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55's are a dime a dozen. Not worth your time and labor for the dollar value in my opinion. Check out craigslist or other places like that. I picked up a 75, 55, a 40 breeder, and a 20 tall off of craigslist, all for $40. All in great shape. The people had a red eared slider that they had recently lost, and they had upgraded the tank size repeatedly as it grew. They were asking individual prices for them which added up to $60. I offered them $40 to pick up all four tanks that day. Since I have a full size pickup it was no issue scooping them up, and they were happy to get rid of them all at once.
 
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Raka

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Oct 22, 2019
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Agree with Rass Rass , my 55 was on the street corner, they thought it was a 30 and gave it to me for $20 with two heaters and 2 filters.

I'll add its a marineland black silicone tank as well, probably my nicest looking tank.
 

davet

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Nov 21, 2008
61
2
38
USA
I just replaced the top frame on my 55g because the center brace cracked. I got a new one from aquariumframeswholesale.com for $26 including shipping. It fit great'
 
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