Glass Thickness Guide

amehel0

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Apr 3, 2007
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There seems to be alot of people on here that keep asking the same old question how thick should my glass be. well i am going to write it up so you all can know and can just look it up here. i build glass aquariums from 24x12x15 to 96x36x24". Now remember folks when calculating that you need to consider the end panel and not the front. Ok so here goes in LxWxH terms

24x12x15 4mm

36x15x18 6mm
36x18x18 6mm
36x18x20 6mm
36x24x24 10mm
36x24x28 10mm
36x36x24 12mm
36x24x36 12mm
36x30x30 12mm

48x15x18 6mm
48x18x18 6mm
48x18x20 6mm
48x24x24 10mm
48x24x28 10mm
48x36x24 12mm
48x24x36 12mm
48x30x30 12mm

60x15x18 6mm
60x18x18 6mm
60x18x20 6mm
60x24x24 10mm
60x24x28 10mm
60x36x24 12mm
60x24x36 12mm
60x30x30 12mm

72x15x18 6mm
72x18x18 6mm
72x18x20 6mm
72x24x24 10mm
72x24x28 10mm
72x36x24 12mm
72x24x36 12mm
72x30x30 12mm

84x24x24 10mm
84x24x28 10mm
84x36x24 12mm
84x24x36 12mm
84x30x30 12mm

96x24x24 10mm
96x24x28 10mm
96x36x24 12mm
96x24x36 12mm
96x30x30 12mm

PM me For Custom sizes or sizes not listed

once again once your end panels are 3x3 15mm is required
3x4 19+mm 3x5 25mm

as a general guide

6mm is 1/4"
10mm is 3/8"
12mm is 1/2"
15 is 5/8"
19 is 3/4"
25 is 1"

If you have a size you like to know post on this thread or Pm me
 

amehel0

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Apr 3, 2007
2,424
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0
Brisbane, Australia
Attention:

Please be advised that the OP has supplied this tool as a starting point to building your own tank. The numbers listed here are not set in stone. Tanks can be built many different ways.

It is up to the individual person to build their tank to the level that they see fit.
This is what works for the OP. Some prefer a higher safety factor, some do not mind what has been tested and works. That risk, is passed on to the builder of the tank. It is the builder's responsibility to verify that the thicknesses listed below meet the safety requirements desired.

Please be advised that little has been mentioned regarding proper bracing. This is most certainly a concern when designing your tank. This is something you should research further before proceeding with your build.

Thank you.
MFK Staff
 
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rallysman

Polypterus
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Aug 7, 2005
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indiana
Can you give some examples?
 

coolkeith

Candiru
MFK Member
Nov 1, 2005
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rallysman;1749620; said:
Can you give some examples?
Tilapia Buttikoferi;1749739; said:
Oh and your an expert now? explain please.
I’m not an expert, but I’m fairly good with calculations and engineering principals.
I wrote a safety factor calculator for aquariums that can be found here–
http://www.geocities.com/chefkeithallen/index.html



Are these thicknesses listed for tempered glass? If so, then ignore all my comments and delete my post if you want. But if these thicknesses are for plate/float glass, then this thread should be deleted ASAP. There must be better glass in Australia if those thicknesses are correct. Those thicknesses are well below safety standards in the USA and MFK could be liable if someone gets hurt. The only reason I post is because I’d hate to see someone get hurt.

Please ignore me if you want, but I wouldn’t build potentially dangerous structures with minimal safety factors. The bigger you make structures like houses, bridges, or aquariums, the stronger you need to build them because their failure will be more catastrophic.

I can almost understand using only 6mm glass for a 36x18x20 (56 gallon tank), but a 72x18x20 (112 gallons) does 2x more damage if it breaks. We are talking about ¼” glass here. Think about the liability if the tank breaks. The tanks might hold up fine in a basement on a perfectly level and sturdy stand. With just 6mm, I’d be sure that the tank is next to a floor drain and there are no tank busting fish in them. I wouldn’t want any children around that tank either. Glass breaking can serious harm or kill a child.

One thing that needs to be considered is that the reinforcement strength from the corner edges decreases as you increase the span of the glass. The 55 gallon might not bow out much, but the 112 gallon certainly will. The more glass bows, the closer it gets to its maximum elasticity or point of failure.

There is also a 96x24x36 (360 gallons) with only 12mm or ½” glass? I think that tank would be dangerous with regular float/plate glass. With ½” tempered/toughened glass it would be fine though.
 

coolkeith

Candiru
MFK Member
Nov 1, 2005
403
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The original post has no details about the construction method used. Bracing is not a given. Some of those thickness listed wouldn't hold up without bracing or with low quality glass. Knowing how cheap some people can be, I wouldn't recommend some of those minimum thicknesses. Also those thickness are for glass tanks only, not for plywood tanks with glass viewing windows. Many here might confuse the difference.
 

amehel0

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Apr 3, 2007
2,424
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0
Brisbane, Australia
coolkeith;1761361; said:
The original post has no details about the construction method used. Bracing is not a given. Some of those thickness listed wouldn't hold up without bracing or with low quality glass. Knowing how cheap some people can be, I wouldn't recommend some of those minimum thicknesses. Also those thickness are for glass tanks only, not for plywood tanks with glass viewing windows. Many here might confuse the difference.
end of the day theres the same amount of water sam pressure, yes theese thicknesses are under the assumptiomn you are using braces as folows, up to 4' one brace 5 6 and 7 2 braces and 8' 3 braces.
 

coolkeith

Candiru
MFK Member
Nov 1, 2005
403
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Detroit
Putting 2 braces on a 72x18x20 - 112 gallon tank with only 6mm glass won't make it much safer. It's still just 6 mm glass no matter how you brace it. That thin of glass combined with that much water might make a few lawyers rich though.
 
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