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building your own aquarium stand, large tank
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: 2004.12.19(Sun)19:56    Post subject: building your own aquarium stand, large tank Reply with quote

Does anyone have any advice in the area of building your own aquarium stand?

The week after Christmas I will have delivered a custom made aquarium, same dimensions as a 20gallon aquarium, except with 10 feet length. This will be a total of 100 gallons.

I plan to use 2x4's to make the stand. I will form a rectangle, same dimensions as the aquarium, for the tank to sit on. A second rectangle of same dimensions will sit on the floor. I will have 6 support legs, one at each corner and 2 in the center. There will also be cross-bars on the rear of the stand for additional support.

Should the support legs be directly under the aquarium, with the top rectangle resting on top of the legs? Or should the support legs actually be attached to the rectangle with toggle bolts?

Any experience or suggestions is appreciated.

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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2004.12.22(Wed)17:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey Mark, long time no see.

100g tank will be fine on 2by4s but I am paranoid and have to admit I build using 2 by 6s.
Remember the grain of the wood in your joins and build the tank to rest on the short side of the 2by4. Stop me if you're handy with construction and know this stuff.

You can position the legs either way. The grain of the wood gives it strength in joins so the top rectangle sitting on the legs is of course a stronger join.

If you are adding doors and such to make a cabinet then definately go with the legs butting against the bottom of the top frame.
Anything you need, I have either done, have books on, or can ask about!

There's lots to peruse online as well. This is a useful overview of wood, grain, and join types. HTH
"Just don't look in my fish room honey... it's just better for all of us. "
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Joined: 20 Dec 2004
Location: UK

PostPosted: 2004.12.22(Wed)19:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a pretty heavy tank. The thing I would worry about is not that the wood can't take the downward compression but that the stand may move laterally, I.e. flop forward, backwards, left or right. I don't know your carpentry skills Very Happy but it sounds like the structure is made up from squares or rectangles so you could have problems if

this      -------       turns to this      --------
         l        l                      /        /
         l        l                     /        /
         l        l                    /        /
           -------                     --------

You may be OK if your joints are designed to take moments (turning forces) and not just tension/compression but if it were mine I'd be happier if it had some lateral bracing (the thing that stops many tall buildings being blown over by the wind). You could, for example, use cross bracing - a diagonal strut in each of the squares at the back and diagonal struts in the squares at each end. Easier would be to use a reasonably strong solid board covering the entire back (to stop it flopping sideways) and two boards covering each end (to stop it flopping forwards or backwards) so it looks more like an open-fronted cabinet. You could perhaps avoid this if the top of the stand is very securely fastened to a wall.

100G's of water weighs over a third of a metric tonne (830ish pounds I think) which is a lot of weight to support only on vertical posts.

Hope this helps.

EDIT: Come to think of it, as it's soooooo long I'd put some front to back bracing in the middle too, similar to what you might have at either end.
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2004.12.23(Thu)9:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

On my 75 I used 5 legs with 2 "boxes" around them. The first box is flush on top. The second one is 1.5 - 2" from the bottom. I used both boxes to build a platform on. With the 75 on top there was no to very little laterally movement.
"... instead of considering what to say when they write, people now just let thoughts drool out onto the screen,"
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Woodstock, GA

PostPosted: 2004.12.23(Thu)12:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

it would be possible, depending on where you want to put the tank, to screw the back of the stand into your wall studs... run a piece of 1by along the wall and make sure it's flush against the back of your stand, that might help w/ any "movement" of your tank due to weight...

@ 100 gallons, you're looking at a 900-1000lbs...

so the whole load-bearing wall, level floor and stand, etc... is a must...

my advice to you is to use the 2bys but to also insert 3/4" finish ply, I'd be better at showing you than explaining... I'll make an attempt at a pic below...

the first layout is a view from the front, the second from the top...

please note that the diagram is not a finished product, it's not to any sort of scale, it's just a basic idea of how I would build the frame of my stand...
not included in the view from the front is the 3/4 ply backing for the whole frame... after this is together, I'd use some lumber to wrap the frame and make it pretty, throw some doors on the front, etc...

I also didn't do a diagram for the base of the frame, basically a 2x4 base build like a house frame w/ studs a 12" on center instead of 16", the frame above rests on those, I'd also make sure the 2x4s are square, etc... table saw, jointer... Smile

yellow = 2x4, blue = 3/4" ply...

I'd put the 2bys in so that the 4" side is parallel w/ the 3/4 plywood...

also, I'd use a dado for your joints (at least for the plywood), if you've got a mortising (sp?) drill press then use that (note: I hate you if you do Smile ) for the 2bys... use a dado for the plywood...

also, predrill and screw the frame together after lining your joints w/ wood glue... make sure everything is square... Wink ...

good luck and keep in mind, this is just a suggestion for the basic frame, others may have better ideas... Smile
65g Future Anemone Home
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Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Location: Australia, VIC, Mildura

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)0:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 50G, which my dad made me my tank stand. My stand is made all out of origen wood. I know your tank is doubble weight but if you plan it proply it will hold a lot of weight.

Have you ever seen the ones in your LFS... Expensive, Not built well and not even coated with a clear so the wood boas when wet. They don't even have and middle support! (well in my LFS anyways).

I can post pictures if you like Smile

Cheers Ryan
10g - Community Planted
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Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Location: North Dallas

PostPosted: 2005.01.09(Sun)9:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished an 8 ft long stand. Created the plans in 3d first.
here are a few shots of the work as I built it.

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Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Location: North Dallas

PostPosted: 2005.01.09(Sun)9:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Location: Yokohama, Japan

PostPosted: 2005.01.09(Sun)12:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a really nice stand, what kind of wood did you use?

And on a totally off tangent, what program did you use to do the 3D modeling?
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Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Location: North Dallas

PostPosted: 2005.01.09(Sun)14:32    Post subject: Reply with quote


Made it out of pine and cedar.
Used a cheesy 3d program called Bryce.
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