# Thickness of normal and tempered glass for aquarium

#### member 661494

Summary
Calculations of glass thickness for aquarium 140cm (length), 55cm (width) and 80cm (height).
Scenarios for normal glass and tempered glass.
Summary: Calculations of glass thickness for aquarium 140cm (length), 55cm (width) and 80cm (height).
Scenarios for normal glass and tempered glass.

Hi everyone !

I want to ask you for help to calculate how thick (minimum version and save version) should be a glass for aquarium with sizes: 140cm (length), 55cm (width) and 80cm (height).

I know there are different calculators there in Internet but I have seen many differences between this calculations so I decided to check it with calculations made through physics but I don't know exactly how to calculate it... :/

I know that possibly to do it I should know rapture/breaking value of glass material and how it changes in different degree of aquarium height and length. Gravity will make difference for height not the same as for length of glass surface.

For example at the highest point in the middle of front and back aquarium surface the strength of breaking will be possibly the highest from one hand but from the other at the bottom of it there will be still much of pressure.
I am interested to use 12mm glass for this aquarium but there are too many different calculations already made but without data how it was calculated. So one advice to use even 11mm thickness but others say 16mm.

I want to have also calculations made for scenario with tempered glass. Possibly tempered glass can be much thicker but how much ?

Thank you for help in advance

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#### berkeman

Mentor
Welcome to the PF.

We will need to keep an eye on this thread, since it may involve some danger issues (that's a moderately large personal aquarium).

Is there a reason you want to build your own instead of just purchasing a standard one? How are you handling the other aspects of the construction? What is the frame made of, and how do you plan to seal the seams between the pieces of glass? What will you use for a support structure? What will you use for the bottom surface of the aquarium?

I'd be inclined just to use the thickest value that you get when using the on-line calculators. That would give you the best chance of not having a safety problem. Can you give us some links to the top 5 or so calculators that you've tried so far?

#### anorlunda

Mentor
Gold Member
Summary: Calculations of glass thickness for aquarium 140cm (length), 55cm (width) and 80cm (height).
Scenarios for normal glass and tempered glass.

I know there are different calculators there in Internet but I have seen many differences between this calculations so I decided to check it with calculations made through physics but I don't know exactly how to calculate it... :/
Can you give links to some disagreeing calculators?

#### member 661494

Here they are (caltulators and common charts):

1. http://theaquatools.com/building-your-aquarium/
It have values which I don't know what means especially when you play with values on borders of appropriateness - for example height and safety value. I know it can be understood that more thickness gives more safety but I just want to know which thickness would be simply enough (nobody will throw stones on it) without a panic that it should be as hard as a steel.

2. https://www.easycalculation.com/measurement/aquarium-glass-thickness-calculator.php
Somehow similar to the previous one.

3.http://www.kwi.pl/klejenieakwa.html
This chart have surprisingly low thickness. I made already one aquarium 90x50x45 6mm thick (which is actually 5.5 hahaha) according to this and other chart and it works prefect but anyway it seems risky from other charts point of view.

4. https://www.akwa-mania.mud.pl/archiwum/a116/a116,8.html
This shows thick rules (5 mm difference between previous one for aquarium 140x55x80). 5mm difference seems to be very much.

That's all common instructions I have found which consider sizes I want to have.

I want to have thin glass because thick one changes vision effect but it should be enough safe anyway but without a panic.

I have already seen one which was very similar in sizes (at least height was 80cm) and I want to have the same as well. (I can not go there and recheck sizes and materials or ask somebody for it how it was made). No worries about other parts of construction and additional helpers like upper joints. Please consider only glass walls. I know it is possible because I have already seen it and it works for years without problems.

I am wondering about laminated glass or tempered glass as well because first one gives maybe more safety but the second one gives also a possibility to use thin surface.

Actually I think also about laminated tempered glass as well because it will give a possibility to have it as thin as possible with much safety at the same time.

I especially ask for calculations having all important vectors (mainly pressure) working in different scenarios having in mind the type of glass and it's thickness.

(thank you for welcoming)

Last edited by a moderator:

#### anorlunda

Mentor
Gold Member
It have values which I don't know what means especially when you play with values on borders of appropriateness - for example height and safety value.
If you have trouble with those, then it may be much worse if you try it with physics and chemistry.

It sounds like you want to make your own aquarium, or to modify an existing one to use thinner glass. I assume that the size of the aquarium is not so big that it would be dangerous if it fails catastrophically.

A key parameter in the calculators is the distance between supports. For example a steel frame

compared with this

The second frame could use thinner glass.

Frames and supports can be interior or exterior. They can even be made of transparent glass.

But if the parameters of the calculators confuse you, I do not think you are ready to design your own. More study and experimentation would be needed first.

#### member 661494

Why should I have troubles with physics ? Did I write anywhere that I want to calculate it by myself ? I wrote clearly enough that I don't know how to calculate it. But if somebody who have even problems with understanding of written text gives advises even regarding frames and supports about which I also wrote I don't want to have and they are not needed maybe I will be far much more advanced to build a spaceship...
("modify an existing one to use thinner glass") OMG I predict my escape from here quicker than I have came...

#### berkeman

Mentor
Why should I have troubles with physics ? Did I wrote anywhere that I want to calculate it by myself ?
Well, you kind of implied that in your posts, so that may be where the confusion comes from.
I want to ask you for help to calculate
Summary: Calculations of glass thickness for aquarium 140cm (length), 55cm (width) and 80cm (height).
Scenarios for normal glass and tempered glass.

so I decided to check it with calculations made through physics but I don't know exactly how to calculate it...
I don't think you answered my question about why you want to build it yourself instead of just buying a standard one. And I don't think you answered my questions about what kind of a frame and stand you are planning on using. Answers to those questions would be very helpful. Thank you.

Is there a reason you want to build your own instead of just purchasing a standard one? How are you handling the other aspects of the construction? What is the frame made of, and how do you plan to seal the seams between the pieces of glass? What will you use for a support structure? What will you use for the bottom surface of the aquarium?

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"Thickness of normal and tempered glass for aquarium"

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