Reinforcing and Acrylic Thickness

AP_Dave

Feeder Fish
Jan 15, 2018
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I Googled everywhere and browsed through these forums but I can't really find an answer to my question. Sorry in advance if this has been discussed before.

How does reinforcing acrylic tanks effect the thickness requirements? My specific dimensions are 96"L x 48"W x 10"H, water level will be at 8". All the guides and calculators say I need between 1/4" and 1/2" acrylic, but what if I were to do something like run 1" wide acrylic strips along the top, bottom and middle?

As long as it doesn't look too much like a Frankenstein tank, I'm not worried about the aesthetics of it. My primary concerns are durability and price. To put it in perspective, I can build a plywood and 2x4 tank of this size lined with 6 mil plastic liner and reinforced with steel brackets for around $170.

EDIT: I'm also not opposed to reinforcing it with something stronger, even if it's not clear.
 
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markstrimaran

Redtail Catfish
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Nov 21, 2015
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Acrylic is the most expensive material, most bracing is an angle at the top, It mostly keeps it from bowing, as it will bend alot before it breaks.
 

AP_Dave

Feeder Fish
Jan 15, 2018
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Acrylic is the most expensive material, most bracing is an angle at the top, It mostly keeps it from bowing, as it will bend alot before it breaks.
So if I braced it that way, what's the lowest thickness you would go on a tank of my size?
 

markstrimaran

Redtail Catfish
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Nov 21, 2015
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I dont know on a 4x8 ft tank. I think it can be done with 1/4" . Its going to be a big noodle. To span the center cross brace, at 48" your going to need some thing real solid.
 

wednesday13

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Mar 2, 2008
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building the entire thing with 1/4" will be more than fine. for extra durability u can use 3/8" material. the proper way to brace an acrylic tank is with a full top sheet and holes cut out for entry. ur looking at somewhere around $500 in material alone even in 1/4" acrylic. in my area it ranges from $130-200 a sheet for 1/4" depending on qty.

For around the same price u can run no top braces at all and use 1/2"-3/4" material at a 10" height
 
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