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carnut
12-07-2014, 11:56 PM
Has anyone ever tried cutting a tank in half. I have one I like the length and width but not the height. Would like to cut it in half to get the height I want.

Thanks

daplatapus
12-08-2014, 02:38 PM
I cut the side of my tank off for an external overflow. I'd say it's certainly not for the faint of heart, that's for sure.
You're probably far, far better off just purchasing the size tank you want.

mike31154
12-08-2014, 04:08 PM
Thickness of the glass will determine whether it's feasible or not I reckon. Also need to confirm that the sides you wish to cut are not tempered. I've been contemplating giving this a go as well. I wouldn't risk it with a larger display tank, but my current 77 gal Hagen display will probably become a sump or 'fuge when I finally upgrade to a larger set up. Something shorter than 24" is what I'd prefer & the 77 gallon will be a good candidate since I know it's not tempered & it's getting a few scratches on it after many years duty as a display. I have a small wet tile saw & think that if I take it slow & have a few spare blades on hand, should be able to pull it off. Will be awkward & heavy, but worth a try. If it breaks no biggy. If it works, I have a great sump. The new display will probably be a custom build though.

Masonjames
12-08-2014, 11:00 PM
Thickness of the glass will determine whether it's feasible or not I reckon. Also need to confirm that the sides you wish to cut are not tempered. I've been contemplating giving this a go as well. I wouldn't risk it with a larger display tank, but my current 77 gal Hagen display will probably become a sump or 'fuge when I finally upgrade to a larger set up. Something shorter than 24" is what I'd prefer & the 77 gallon will be a good candidate since I know it's not tempered & it's getting a few scratches on it after many years duty as a display. I have a small wet tile saw & think that if I take it slow & have a few spare blades on hand, should be able to pull it off. Will be awkward & heavy, but worth a try. If it breaks no biggy. If it works, I have a great sump. The new display will probably be a custom build though.

Score it first if your going to attempt to cut it in this manner. Risky venture! Good luck : )

SeaHorse_Fanatic
12-09-2014, 12:16 AM
Really sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. JMO. Good luck.

Anthony

mike31154
12-09-2014, 03:07 AM
Score it first if your going to attempt to cut it in this manner. Risky venture! Good luck : )

The way things are going at the moment, it will be quite a while until I'm ready for the planned upgrade, so won't be any cutting in the near future. I like to keep tabs on threads like this to see what folks' experiences with cutting tanks/glass are. The old 77 will have to do as a display until I finish all the renos on my even older house.....

I assume scoring the glass will minimize the chance of the thing shattering as I push it along into the blade? What do I score it with, a glass cutter? I've never been any good at that!

SeaHorse_Fanatic
12-09-2014, 04:06 AM
When professional glass cutters do it, they score and snap a flat piece of glass. They would probably never even attempt to cut an aquarium that is still intact.

mike31154
12-09-2014, 04:29 AM
Well, I'm not a professional (glass cutter that is) & am not dealing with a flat piece of glass. Neither is the OP. Maybe in a year or so, I'll give it a go & report back. In the meantime it would be great if someone that's actually tried this would chime in.

Masonjames
12-09-2014, 05:10 AM
Well, I'm not a professional (glass cutter that is) & am not dealing with a flat piece of glass. Neither is the OP. Maybe in a year or so, I'll give it a go & report back. In the meantime it would be great if someone that's actually tried this would chime in.


I have cut down three tanks for use in sump, ato and frag tank. I did however use a simple glass cutter, snap into tank pane by pane after cutting silicone out to cut height.

Cutting with a wet saw will most certainly cut glass. However by hand on a four foot long pane you will probably get 75-90% of the way through then it will most likely break. Why I suggested scoring it prior. An initial score may keep a break controlled. It may not. But for a sump to reuse a tank you already have, sure give it a shot if you want. I can't promise you won't break it, and a good chance you will but it's your tank, have fun with it if you want. Even a grinder with a dry diamond blade can cut a tank in half. Just play safe. I'm sure I don't need to tell you glass is sharp.

Masonjames
12-09-2014, 05:13 AM
Just don't try it on a tank you don't want to loose. OP!

SeaHorse_Fanatic
12-09-2014, 06:08 AM
Also make sure the bottom pane is NOT tempered (if any panes are, its usually the bottom). A tempered pane will shatter into thousands of shards (have seen this happen - cool but PITA to clean up without cutting yourself). My friends and I have cut panes of glass for baffles several times. Not too bad if you can score well and then snap. When a friend of a friend tried it with a tank, it didn't go too well. I will see if I can track him down and get a pic from that fiasco. The break curved as it broke and he ended up trashing the whole thing. BTW, he contacted a few local glass shops and none of them would touch the project, which is why he ordered a diamond glass cutter from eBay (or might have been Amazon) and tried it himself. I wasn't there but visited later to pick up a frag, just before he tossed the tank into the garbage. The only guy I know who successfully shortened his tank took the trouble to cut apart the tank first and then scored and snapped each piece. It worked but was again a total PITA project. Don't know if he ever researched trying to cut a tank that was still siliconed together.

Good luck.

Anthony

carnut
12-09-2014, 10:41 AM
might have to try on one of the old small tanks lying around. May try the score and tile saw method. Getting a custom tank built to grow frags is really cost prohibitive.

I think I might cut the silicone down to the score line then try and snap the glass. Each piece could be snapped individually.

mike31154
12-09-2014, 03:48 PM
Thanks for the detailed info folks! Now we have a better idea of some techniques that may work & some that probably won't. Whether it's worthwhile or not will be up to the individual willing to take the chance. As I mentioned, I wouldn't try it on a display tank that I want to keep as a display, but certainly an option for a cheap sump. Once I retire the 77, it really won't be any good as a display any longer. I could always leave it at 24 inch height, but sometimes I like a little challenge.

The blade height on the tile saw is adjustable, so may even be able to use it to initially score the glass. The technique of first cutting the silicone down to the desired height is definitely a good one. Take out one piece at at time.