Having a stand built, some ?'s

Milhouse

New member
So I'm having a stand built for my Oceanic 58g. I'm sure it'll be "overbuilt". I'm a little concerned about the weight, but what are you gonna do? OK, so on to the questions. First, do I need a piece of plywood across the top as a base? Should I not? Pros and cons to each? Second....how tall should I have the stand made? The tank is 21" tall. I was thinking 36" tall for the stand. Do you guys think that's too tall? I just need the room in the sump area for my skimmer. It's 21" tall and it needs to sit in no more than 6" of water. So with the room to take the cup off I'd need about 29" of room. So if the bottom frame of the stand is a 2x4, that would account for 4" plus the thickness of the plywood on top of it(so roughly 5" already lost). So that would leave me with about 31" of room if my math is right, lol....and of course if I'm picturing it correctly. Final question.....would one support connecting the frame at the top be enough? I guess it's the "cross bar" at the top of the frame. I've seen some use them, some say that they aren't neccessary. What do you guys think?
 

therealfatman

In Memoriam
There are really two common types of aquarium stands self made other than metal stands. These are those built in a cabinetry fashion and the stick frame, lumbers/stand that is hidden by a skin of plywood typically. The most efficiently built and best braced tanks are usually the cabinetry type but they require a little more aptitude or skill to build than the stick framed stands as cutting clean \panel edges is more difficult than cross cutting small boards.

The most essential element in a strong stand is its joints. This means use water proof glue on all joints, not water resistant glue or just screws. Take it as it is most self built stands utilize much more lumber than needed.

Few stands are made of too little materials but most are built with weak joints and inadequate bracing. Look at some commercial cabinets and you will find they use little lumber, but a lot of glue large joints as they are usually built of panels witl glue at all contacting seams and joints.
 

Milhouse

New member
I actually have a friend building the stand. I was going by the 2x4 frame with a plywood skin. He's good with woodworking, but has never build a fishtank stand. I'm nervous about having him do it because of that fact, but he seems pretty confident that he can make it really stable. So what kind of glue would you use to make the stand? I'm basically gathering as much info as I can to pass on to him. Any other advice?
 

scaryperson27

New member
How much experience do you have in woodcraft? I'm sure he would be able to help you with some kind of sketch of it.

If you can be sure to make the top of the stand under the rim of the tank square and perfect, then you will not need a piece of ply to sit under the stand. putting the ply in does make the whole job of designing it a whole lot easier.

3/4" plywood would definitely be strong enough. You are only at around 500 lbs for the tank. You need to make sure that the weight is distributed through the vertical beams, or sides of the tank stand. Make sure you avoid a center door brace if you can. instead you can distribute the weight through a beam going throughout the length horizontally that the length of the tank will rest on. You can use a tall 5-6" piece of 3/4" ply for this too. You are also going to need one on the bottom for extra support.

What tools do you have access to? Are you paying someone to build it for you?

Lets see some pictures of some tank stands you are interested in as far as a design goes.
 

hebygb

New member
While I am sure the friend building your stand knows what he is doing, I would have him at least look at the Garf site. As stated above there are a few routes you can go. I tend to overbuild my stands, and that affords me peace of mind.

Deducing from your height listed in your OP, I believe your tank is 30 x 18 x 21. I have had that size before and it gets tight down in the sump area. Allowing the skin to be removed (front and sides) or very large front access is helpful. Initially it may seem like all the space in the world, but down the road you may want to add reactors etc... Not to mention you may need to remove the sump.

Thats a nice column of water.
 

Rhodophyta

New member
I like this design. The legs are very solid with the plywood inserted into the grooves.
art_diy_stand2_01.jpg


Detail of assembly using speed square.

art_diy_stand2_02.jpg


The stand partly assembled, before the plywood shelf inserts, and before either adding bracing (for a open stand) or the shell.
art_diy_stand2_03.jpg


Closeup of corner with plywood shelves installed.

art_diy_stand2_04a.jpg
 

Milhouse

New member
The tank is 36x18x21. I'm just really concerned with the weight of the stand and the ability of the stand to hold the tank. I look at other tanks I have and the stands don't look like much, lol. I'm using the diy stand template from this site. I'm not actually building it, a friend is. If I don't need to use a brace across the top or plywood across the top that should save some weight. I need to do some braces across the bottom though since there will be a sump down there and the outer part of the stand won't be supporting it(since it won't be the same size as the top tank). So is 36" tall too tall? Am I overanalyzing this and worrying over nothing? It won't be a huge tank, so I can't imagine that I can't get a decent stand to hold it.
 

Rhodophyta

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14829648#post14829648 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by hebygb
While I am sure the friend building your stand knows what he is doing, I would have him at least look at the Garf site. As stated above there are a few routes you can go. I tend to overbuild my stands, and that affords me peace of mind.

Deducing from your height listed in your OP, I believe your tank is 30 x 18 x 21. I have had that size before and it gets tight down in the sump area. Allowing the skin to be removed (front and sides) or very large front access is helpful. Initially it may seem like all the space in the world, but down the road you may want to add reactors etc... Not to mention you may need to remove the sump.

Thats a nice column of water.
The last you you want anyone building a stand to do is look at the GARF site. I think what happened is that while creating that stand program, someone accidentally flipped the design so that if you follow the directions, your tank is really going to be sitting on what should be the front of the stand, which is unsupported for the weight in that direction.
 

Rhodophyta

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14830395#post14830395 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by RumLad
Have your friend build one of these stands: (focus on the stand build ;) )

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1228574

Plenty of room underneath, looks great and is sturdy as a rock.
A good choice for a 58 gallon tank! If you've ever seen the annual tropical fish show in Akron OH, their stands are 100% plywood and hold five or six hundred aquariums during the show.
 

runningstix

New member
I built my 58 stand with 3/4 plywood. 2x4s take up a lot of room from the inside and arent really necessary for that small of a tank.

Click on my red house to see my stand! Plenty of room underneath for everything.

Didnt see you were local (in state at least) your more than welcome to come check mine out if you would like.
 

hebygb

New member
Rhoda

My point for having the builder look at the GARF site was to illustrate where the demads of a stand for an aquarium are as opposed to building a china cabinet or an end table.

Also one should consider that not every hobbyist has the tools, confidence, and knowedge to use dados, rabbets etc. The idea of these threads (especially DIY) is to assess a fellow hobbyists abilities, and understanding before sending them to the store to purchase Norm Abrahams tool shed.

I also said in my post to be mindful of the space concerns in such a stand dictated by the size aquarium the OP has. Nobody before me even addressed that aspect. As I also said... I tend to over build my stands.
 

runningstix

New member
I did mine with the use of no fancy tools. I used a table saw(can do without), mitre saw, a drill with the kreg pocket hole jig, and a cheap router. Started with no knowledge and no confidence. If I can do it anyone can.
 

Rhodophyta

New member
I did the stand in the pictures with no fancy tools, no router. Just a circular saw and a cordless drill for power tools. the plywood stands for the fish show are simply plywood rectangles with slots sawed in them so they fit together. No screws, glue, or anything.
 

hebygb

New member
OK Runningstix... guess I made too many assumptions given your occupation.

Milhouse - The height of your stand should be wonderful for viewing as well as allowing enough space to work with your skimmer. As for the crossbar. It is unneccessary as your tank will be sitting on the outer rim. This is also true especially if you use a plywood top, but again that is uneccessary unless needed for structural integrity of the stand.

good reefing
 

macronut

New member
36" tall stand is idea for viewing when your standing or seated. I had a stand once that was this tall and really liked it.
 

LooseHip

Foaming Conehead
I would skip the 2x4's as well, unnecessary especially if space is a concern. I built a stand with the foot print and height you are after (it is for a 40 breeder). My craftsmanship doesn't even come close to the guys on this site, but I thought it turned out pretty good. I wanted something clean and simple.

couple pics...
IMG_0173.jpg


IMG_0148.jpg
 
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