|This is part of my sump system.|
With regard to the retainer itself, here's why the sandwich:
Glass can be reliably and firmly attached to glass using silicone. However, plexiglass cannot.
On the other hand, you can't cut small details (like filter holders) into glass panes, or at least, we can't around here. The glass will break if you get too fancy with small cuts.
So in order to create the filter holder itself, I chose plexiglass, which can be cut in quite a detailed and specific manner.
Since it can't be glued, though, I added two panes of glass as a retainer for the three plexiglass sheets towards the bottom of the aquarium. These are siliconed only on the outside, so the plexiglass fits tightly against the walls of the aquarium.
There's an additional small detail that relates to this as well. At the top, the plexiglass may tend to not fit tightly to itself, as it is a tiny bit flexible and there will be a minor outward pressure exerted by the filter cartridges.
Riveting or a nut/bolt arrangement would do it mechanically, but I really don't want metallics in the sump (or the tank.) Salt water has a strong tendency to eat that stuff, and then various nasty ions are in the water, etc.
So what I did, which I admit freely is mildly hackish though 100% functional is drill through the three pieces twice for each "prong" of the fork configuration and then simply use small zip ties to tightly pull the three sheets of plexiglass against one another. These are non-toxic, chemically stable, do not outgas, and are easily replaced should they become old or brittle.
The cool thing about a sump is that it is never going to be pretty with all that equipment in it, so you hide it anyway. No one will see those zip ties. 😊
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