The plastic center brace of many a small to medium sized aquarium has been the bane of my and many a reefers’ existence since plastic frames were introduced to build modern mass-produced aquarium. Over nearly two decades the plastic center brace has cramped our reefing style by being in the way, shading corals, gathering salt creep, preventing complicated two-handed rock placing maneuvers and just overall sucking.
Over the years I and many other reefers have taken it upon ourselves to remove and replace the dreaded plastic center brace with a myriad of other options, but I’m particulalry happy with my newest solution, the Aquarium Brace Protector from Fluid Designers. For obvious legal reasons FLuid Designers can’t market the ABP as a tank brace replacement, but I sure can flaunt the results of totally voiding the warranty on my own personal aquarium.
The tank that I modified for myself using the Fluid Designers Aquarium Brace Protector is a standard four foot long 90 gallon aquarium with a single, broad plastic brace. As you can see from the image the wide opaque brace was absorbing way more than its fair share of photons from my LED lights which are meant to land on my precious corals, which made it all that much easier to cut that thing out with vengeance in my saw blade.
The best part of removing the center brace was replacing it with the ABP which really manages to be classier and stronger than what was there before, while at the same time blocking very little light from reaching the pinnacle of my reef crest. Now that the peak corals are no longer being shaded by that stupid center plastic brace, they are looking sooooo much better with all kinds of extra light coming from above and the sides.
It goes without saying that you should never ever try this at home but if you did, the Fluid Designers Aquarium Brace Protector is a good way to go. Fluid makes the ABP in a range of sizes up to 24 inches long but they are currently only made on special request. [Fluid Designers]