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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I woke up to a big surprise this morning....

My refugium/sump has 4 chambers. The first is the input with mechanical media for filtering large particles, the second chamber is for the protien skimmer and heater. Chamber 3 is the refugium and the fourth chamber is the return. All my baffles are made of 1/4" Plexiglass and the tank itself is a glass 30 gallon breeder. I used silicone to bond the plexiglass to the glass. Anyway... The baffle between the refugium and the return is the only one that has any kid of pressure on it. Usually the return is half full and the refugium is completely full. When I woke up this morning the baffle had collapsed. :( I am just cycling my tank and have only had water in it for a week or so. This weekend I am going to have to tear it down and rebuild. I am thinking that I will clean off all the old silicone and clean all the surfaces with isopropal alcohol and reinstall. This time using MORE silicone. I am also going to add supports that run from the glass of the aquarium to the plexiglass. One on top and one on bottom to hold back the pressure. I have thought of getting glass baffles but I just don't have the money to get them and I don't have the time. I am right in the middle of cycling and need the sump up and running.

I want to try is this way instead of using a "hard" epoxy due to the fact that the plexiglass with flex and an epoxy might put too much pressure on the glass of the tank. THEN I would be in big trouble. I figure with the supports to handle the pressure it will be good.

I would appreciate any suggestions!!! I am going to tear into it today after work...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am completely skeptical!! LOL But the logic is there. And if it works, it would be AWESOME!!

The more I think about this the more I like it, but... The measurements would have to be EXACT to get the kind of fit required. I just don't have the equipment to do it. I use my Rotozip to cut the plexi and I get a pretty straight cut but I don't want to risk it. I can just see this turning into a week long fiasco for me. I just am not sold on the whole compression fit.

Does anyone have experience with this? I want something that is going to last...

I think, unless I get some ringing endorsements, I will go with my original idea of putting in some braces.

I have changed my plans slightly though. I am going to run a brace on each side on the bottom of the tank. Probably just a thin piece of plexi on each side to give it support below the sand line. I will do this for each of my baffles even though some of them aren't under any pressure. Then I am going to cut some square pieces with a 1/4" knotch taken out to straddle the top of the plexi on each side of the tank and epoxy these in place. Then silicone the whole thing. Should take me an hour or so and then let it cure 24 hours. I should be back up in a day.
 

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I have not used the method above but it did look promising to me. I just found a post on my local forum with someone that used the weather stripping and they lost a baffle. :clown:

Braces sound like they will work, on the bottom braces are they going to run the length of the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I decided to use a small piece of plexi with a indent, the thickness of the plexi taken out, at the top of each baffle(pic 1). These I glued in place with Goop. Along the bottom I ran a brace the length of the tank(pic 2), sandwiching all the baffles in. I siliconed these in place. I let the first coat of silicone dry over night and then added a second coat of silicone the next day. I am now in the process of letting the whole thing cure. I plan on a couple more days just to be sure it is all cured.

The last pic is an overall pic along with the adhesives that I used.

Where I had a perpindicular joint of 2 plexi pieces I drilled a hole through, or into, both pieces and filled the hole with epoxy(the yellow tubes). The perticual type of epoxy is extremely stong. It is Hysol 1c. Don't know if it is reef safe but just in case I covered all areas with silicone.

HOPE IT WORKS!!!
 

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the problem is it is extremely difficult to find an adhesive that will bond to acrylic. this is why if you are using a glass tank, people use glass baffles and when using an acrylic tank they use acrylic baffles. thing about this for a minute. do you think that if we were able to glue acrylic and glass together reliably all of our tanks would not be completely acrylic except for the viewable sides?

if you want to use acrylic baffles in a glass tank the best thing to do is use 1/4" acrylic and create monster beads using aquarium silly cone.

most glues seem to adhere to acrylic, but after a few weeks they just let go, even the silly cone. the only adhesives that work on acrylic are Weld-On adhesives.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I heard the Goop will bond plexi to glass pretty well. That is what I used for the top braces. Then I siliconed them in place. I don't have the $$ to buy new baffles but if this happens again I will have to break down and buy glass ones...

If I do have to get glass ones, then what, just use silicone to place them??
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow. That is a REALLY good price. I didn't even know Lowes/Home Depot carried that thick... If this fails I will go with glass for sure.

As of now everything is holding really well. Still solid. The silicone has turned a little pink in spots though. Anyone know why it would do that? I am just at the end of my cycle and just added a fish the other day. A small Neon Goby. The color doesn't seem to be affecting anything but it is worrisome...

Phos was 0 and Nitrate barely registered. I haven't treated with anything and have just fed a little flake. Temp is 77 and spec gravity is 1.024-5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I looked at my lowes yesterday and all they had was some 1/8" stuff... I didn't even check the price.

Good news though!! Everything is still holding. Fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It has been just over a month. I think the key is to let it set up for an extended time. The label said 24 hours before exposing it to water. IMO I would wait at least 3 days. Longer the better before putting water to it.
 
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