Glass Thickness Guide

Mat031

Feeder Fish
Jul 12, 2017
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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
Hi there,

Could you please tell me the ticknes i need to use to build an aquarium mesuarments Lenght 152cm Depth 40cm and Height 110cm please.

Thanks regards,
Matthew.
 

rastaangel

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jul 22, 2017
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Hello all. I made a account just to post on this thread even tho I know it's almost 10years old haha
Wondering if anyone knows the relavence of these thicknesses or a better version of them? Every other calculator I google suggests the exact same thing for thickness vs size
 

windsor

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Feb 24, 2015
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sheffield UK
Hello all. I made a account just to post on this thread even tho I know it's almost 10years old haha
Wondering if anyone knows the relavence of these thicknesses or a better version of them? Every other calculator I google suggests the exact same thing for thickness vs size
Surely that fact alone suggests that possibly the overwhelming majority could be right?
 

rastaangel

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jul 22, 2017
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Yes there is that valid point, and after reading threw the whole thread it states it's a starting point not in stone. But it makes me nervous it suggesting you can make a 8x2x2 from 10mm, that's over 200g, when most 180 are made from 12mm
 

David R

Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
Apr 26, 2005
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Yes there is that valid point, and after reading threw the whole thread it states it's a starting point not in stone. But it makes me nervous it suggesting you can make a 8x2x2 from 10mm, that's over 200g, when most 180 are made from 12mm
Thing is, if braced properly the length of a glass tank has very little impact on the required glass thickness. If you keep the W and H 60cm, you can go from 150cm to 350cm long with 10mm glass and still have a safety factor of 2.6, or 3.5 with 12mm glass. Going taller increases the weight on the side panels and therefor increases the required thickness.

If you want to understand the science behind the calculators you should read this; https://aquariumworld.nz/fish/artic...alculating-glass-thickness-for-aquariums-r23/
 
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nzafi

Goliath Tigerfish
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Mar 14, 2008
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David R David R Do you know what the impact on glass thickness is when you are doing a plywood build and will only have a viewing window made of glass? I want to do a 8x4x3(T) and if it was all glass it would need to have 3/4in but not sure if that applies in plywood builds. Thanks!
 

BIG-G

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Dec 12, 2005
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David R David R Do you know what the impact on glass thickness is when you are doing a plywood build and will only have a viewing window made of glass? I want to do a 8x4x3(T) and if it was all glass it would need to have 3/4in but not sure if that applies in plywood builds. Thanks!
You would go by the water depth on the glass. The tank itself can be made of anything (that would safely hold water of course). But depending on the depth of the water in relation to the glass.
You could build the tank say, 36 inches deep but raise the glass so that it's not at the bottom of the tank by 6 inches so the glass would only have 30 inches of water to support. This would allow you in theory use a thinner pane of glass.
Im not advising you to do that, Im just trying to explain the choices you could make. And explain the idea behind choosing this or that thickness of glass.
I would over build If it were me to the extent budget would allow.
 

nzafi

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Mar 14, 2008
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I am heavily leaning toward 3/4in. Not just because of the depth but the tank will be using an aimara that at larger sizes can break glass panes. Hopefully 3/4in is strong enough.
 

David R

Blue Tier VIP
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Apr 26, 2005
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Yep, Big-G is right, it's still relative to the depth of water above the lowest part of the glass panel. The big thing with any tank is providing a completely rigid support for the glass panel. As the article I posted explains, glass can flex a tiny amount and then it breaks. With a ply tank I'd certainly err on the side of overkill just to be sure.
 

Aquadog

Dovii
MFK Member
Jun 28, 2009
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I picked up panels of 1/2" non-temp glass that was used in a standard 8' long 240g tank. I had the bottom panel that is also 1/2", cut in the middle so I can achieve a 96" x 48" x 24" (480g) size tank. After doing research on the safety facor chart I was between the 3.8 and 4.0 range with bracing via different sites.

A friend has me concerned that the glass is too thin and needs to be 3/4".

Thoughts on continuing with the 1/2" build?

The bottom is going to be either PVC or plywood.
 
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