eMac’s 187g Lee-Mar tank rebuild

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#1
So I got a really good deal on a 187g lee-mar. But sometimes things look better then they appear. After cleaning the tank up a bit I started noticing so minor flaws in the silicone bead.






So after a lot of elbow grease and cleans the coraline algae off the 3 starphire side I noticed theat those pains where in fairly nice shape. No big scratches and less then a hand full of small scratches. So I’ve decided to break this beast down and rebuild it.
I started off by labeling each pain. I took a permanent marker and wrote its side and direction then covered the marker with clear packing tape.

Then I started cutting the Eurobrace out. Started with the back, then front, and last sides.

After getting EB off I then started on the overflow box. I’m not going to lie this was by fare the hardest thing to remove. I thought for sure if would have been the easiest too, due to there not being any glass inside the box and I’ve always heard the silicone and acrylic don’t form the greatest bond.
 
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#2
I regretted trying to take off silicone with guitar wire. Just getting 3-4 inches of movement was exciting lol.

What kind of silicone you plan to use?
 
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#3

After getting the overflow box out it was time to break down the sides. Again I started with the back wall, then the front, and sides last





Now on to cleaning and preparing. I placed an order for a 100count of straight edge blades, a new scraper, 3 rolls of masking tape, and four 10.1oz tubs of black aquarium silicone. I’ll go to the depot or harbor and see about getting 36” bar clamps and acetone, or a good glass cleaner.
 

CHASDB

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#6
Nice you are documenting this! I have done some glass panes on heavy equipment and getting a good bond is difficult in automotive applications even with stripping, adhesive removers and the specific named primer for the silicone adhesive.

I've seen tanks at Fujimoto assembled. They have a large bench start with the bottom and glue up only using tape to hold the panels while they cure. I haven't seen euro bracing done but was thinking if you clamped a wooden ledge the length of the tank, one front and one back you could apply the perimeter adhesive and just "calk" in the rest to purge out any bubbles where the eb meets.

I've seen a few tanks for sale and thought about rebuilding them and changing to an external overflow. It might be worth the added cost to get come 2" glass strips cut to do the lower reinforcement/ brace at the bottom of the tank like Crystal Dynamics and or the acrylic armor strips for the side's corners. It would for sure give you a larger adhesive bond surface.

If you want clamps I have a lot of wood working clamps but I'm a bit far in Fullerton.
 

Smite

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#7
Nice work. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. Props on taking the time to document this
 
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Thanks for the props and info guys. I’m not going to lie I’m a bit nervous. I did rebuild a 30g about a year ago and it’s still holding up. It’s what I use for my fish qt. I figured I was going to take it as a $300 learning lesson. I thought about selling the tank as a reptile tank if I cut out the overflow an patched the drain line. Maybe I could have made a $100 back. I then thought about just taking it to the dump and trashing it but the thought of doing that to such a beautiful tank was heart-aching. Then hearing my wife’s family talk shit to me about how I need to get my money back for a shit tank, I had the thought about rebuilding the tank. So after cleaning it up and seeing that the glass was in decent shape, it’s a go on rebuilding this beast.
 
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I've seen a few tanks for sale and thought about rebuilding them and changing to an external overflow. It might be worth the added cost to get come 2" glass strips cut to do the lower reinforcement/ brace at the bottom of the tank like Crystal Dynamics and or the acrylic armor strips for the side's corners. It would for sure give you a larger adhesive bond surface.

If you want clamps I have a lot of wood working clamps but I'm a bit far in Fullerton.
Thanks for the offer I may, but I seen harbor had 36” bar clamps for $10. I may not even use the clamps. I have seen that I need to leave about a 1/16” bead of silicone in the joint. So tape may be enough to hold the pains in place during the curing. I’m going to rebuild the tank on top of my pool table. Because it’s level and the slate is pretty flat. I’m just got to put a sheet over the table and wax paper under the edges of the tank. I just need to be very careful on not to drop the pains on the table so I don’t damage the felt or slate.
I am planning to go external overflow for sure. I’m even thinking about doing an IM EXT style of overflow. Like this


Sense I have drilled glass a few times I may attempt at cutting by getting a few Diamond tip saw blades for my grinder. I’m still contemplating this tho. I did buy a large external overflow during MD liquidation sale.


 

djrice69

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#10
What else are you using to clean up the silicone?
 
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So my plan is scrape off as much of the silicone as I can see, If its like the 30 gallon then I can get it pretty much bare glass. Then I’ll take the torch and slightly run it over the edges where the seams will be. The torch will show if there’s still silicone on the glass. I’ll continue scraping off the silicone till I’m not seeing any more silicone. Then I’m take a magic eraser with acetone or rubbing alcohol to further clean off the oils. After I get the pains clean and ready I’ll then use all the members of my family to hold the tank together while I take a marker and make the glass where the pains meet. Then I’ll use those lines as my guides to apply the masking tape. Then after the tape is applied I’ll clean off the marker with microfiber towel and rubber alcohol again. Then I’ll assemble the tank. I’m planning on at first just putting the tank together then letting it cure for 10 days. Then after the 10 day I’ll then do the Eurobrace. Then I’ll let the tank cure for another 14 to 18 days. After the the 28 days of curing I plan on doing a month long water test.
 

CHASDB

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Thanks for the offer I may, but I seen harbor had 36” bar clamps for $10. I may not even use the clamps. I have seen that I need to leave about a 1/16” bead of silicone in the joint. So tape may be enough to hold the pains in place during the curing. I’m going to rebuild the tank on top of my pool table. Because it’s level and the slate is pretty flat. I’m just got to put a sheet over the table and wax paper under the edges of the tank. I just need to be very careful on not to drop the pains on the table so I don’t damage the felt or slate.
I am planning to go external overflow for sure. I’m even thinking about doing an IM EXT style of overflow. Like this


Sense I have drilled glass a few times I may attempt at cutting by getting a few Diamond tip saw blades for my grinder. I’m still contemplating this tho. I did buy a large external overflow during MD liquidation sale
Man you and I think alike. I really like those since the rear pane is near flat with the small acrylic grate. Those Chinese IM tanks are close to the price of CD custom tanks but I'm not 100% in love with CD tanks with the internal weir / external overflow for the price. I do accept the cost of US labor vs China and the attention to detail/ craftsmanship. I'm about to give in and order a custom Aqua Japan tank 60x30x22 and have already ordered the Modular Marine overflow. Caviar taste but a bologna budget, LOL
 
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#14
This is exciting!

I will definitely be pm’ing you in the future. I have a similar project in the works soon.
 

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I’d pass on the MD overflow. Save it for something smaller. I have that on my current tank and I'm not a huge fan of it to be honest.
I really like the glasses in overflows. Only way I’d consider another external honestly.
 
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So me and the miss went harbor and got the blades and scraper, as I couldn’t wait for Amazon to deliver.
Found these 3” corner clamps that should work nicely to hold the tank together while the silicone cures.
 
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#17
Wow man! Kudos to you! Years ago, Mike and I tried to dismantle my Visio 150g when my bottom panel cracked. We couldn’t do it. Mike had an idea and we put a torch to the seems. Didn’t work . The glass started popping and breaking haha.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
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Wow man! Kudos to you! Years ago, Mike and I tried to dismantle my Visio 150g when my bottom panel cracked. We couldn’t do it. Mike had an idea and we put a torch to the seems. Didn’t work . The glass started popping and breaking haha.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Thanks for the heads up. Maybe the torch is out of the question then. I may try it on one of the Eurobrace small pieces tho to see if it helps identify any of the silicone pieces I missed.
 
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I’d pass on the MD overflow. Save it for something smaller. I have that on my current tank and I'm not a huge fan of it to be honest.
I really like the glasses in overflows. Only way I’d consider another external honestly.
Does it not allow as much water flow through it as you like?
 
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Man you and I think alike. I really like those since the rear pane is near flat with the small acrylic grate. Those Chinese IM tanks are close to the price of CD custom tanks but I'm not 100% in love with CD tanks with the internal weir / external overflow for the price. I do accept the cost of US labor vs China and the attention to detail/ craftsmanship. I'm about to give in and order a custom Aqua Japan tank 60x30x22 and have already ordered the Modular Marine overflow. Caviar taste but a bologna budget, LOL
Man nice dimensions. So after noticing the silicone flaws yesterday I went on OfferUp and there’s a local guy with a 300g brand new that 3k I wanted to pull the trigger so back. But here’s the dims 60”l by 30” wide by 36” tall. I’m was like man that deep af. I know I’d have to swim in that to reach the bottom. I’m still thinking about it if this doesn’t work out. I know why not go longer. Well that 5 foot fits nice in my living room. So I don’t want to go longer then 60”.
 

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