Repurposed tempered glass shelving

Kansamander

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At our local thrift store, there were three panels of 5"x 30" thick tempered glass shelves for $4. So, those were siliconed to make the bottom and side panels of a long, shallow aquarium. I cut the end panels from thick acrylic, and epoxied the outer joint, and siliconed the inner joints, and made a base with L shaped wooden trim from Lowes.


A quadruple folded fiberglass mesh screen was hot glued to prevent tadpoles and salamander larvae from entering a small portion of one side, and a filter and aerator runs there. The folded screen coupled with the length of the aquarium makes a little to no flow , using a traditional filter setup.


It had been empty for over a month, and a couple of days ago we had a big rain which flooded out our small ponds. Netting the pools in the field yielded about a billion tadpoles (returned to pond, mostly) and a couple dozen A. texanum larvae (which I kept to test the setup). So far, it works like a charm, without leaks.


So, keep your eyes open for glass shelving panels on CL, Facebook Marketplace and thrift shops, if you want to get large sections of thick tempered glass for a very small price!
 

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tswaterdog

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I wanted to share my recent experience here with a cautionary note... I too grab glass up anytime I see it, storm windows from the thrift store, shelving, etc. But recently I went to cut a thick 4x4 piece of tempered glass that was apparently from a coffee table, which was a very big mistake, as it was treated not to break but to shatter (I'm not sure what the specific treatment is called, maybe just safety glass?) Anyways imagine my surprise and my wife's chagrin as I snapped the end and was immediately showered with a million tiny fragments all over my kitchen. Live and learn, or better yet, learn from the mistakes of others (like me) :)
 

FrogEyes

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Tempered glass cannot be cut. You are effectively breaking the seal on a pressurized container, and it will disintegrate. I don't know for sure if heat strengthened glass can be cut, as I have yet to try it - when it breaks, it's basically like annealed glass [large fragments]. Both are "tempered", but "FT" or "Tempered" or anything indicating British or Chinese standards in the etched logo will disintegrate. "HS" or "heat strengthened" will fragment but may not be cuttable. Honestly, glass is so cheap, I've come to find it more practical to just cut or have cut exactly the sizes I want than to repurpose scrap. Annealed [no logo] scrap could be cut, FT or HS could be used for stronger floors if the size is suitable. I work full time tempering 3/16 to 3/8 glass, part temp mostly working on zoo caging (including repurposed glass). The last custom glass I needed was 1) tempered shelves for the kids' Lego and Star Wars stuff, and 2) a replacement tempered window for one someone had built using repurposed glass which was a terrible color and which blew up.
 
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