Hoping it will hold after all the money/time...plz help!


New member
Hey guys, I am now ready to fill my tank up and after setting up my stand and plumbing, equipment, and tank I am starting to wonder if the stand is sufficient for the weight, I have estimated that the weight will be around 650lb for the 65G cylinder with rock and sand ect.

The stand was built by a friend of mine who has cabinet building experience, I gave him details on how I want it, with 2 doors, one on hinges, the other on magnets. I had him use Red Oak and it looks sturdy but im not sure....i really hope it is since material was at least $200 just for the wood and i stained it my self.

heres some pics:


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New member
I wouldnt put 300lbs on it let alone 650+
The supports are all wrong and it does not have enough bracing to allow for racking forces.


How do I change this?
I agree, there's nothing supporting the weight of the tank. The weight should be supported around the edges, or because this is a round tank, you need beams running across the top, under the top piece. Those need to be connected to beams that run straight to the floor, but not in a way that they're relying on the shear strength of the screws, which isn't much. The beams should be 2x4's, not the 1x1 or 2x2 that are currently used.


Hoping was your first clue. Trust your gut. From someone who has built many stands. I would always be worried with this set up. And in this hobby, you will have plenty to worry about. Your Stand should not be one of those worries.

Nice sump work though! + 1 on the 2x4.


New member
I dont want to some rude. But... $200 for material used to build your stand seem about double of what it would cost me here on the west coast.
IMO you should find a different cabinet man.


New member
I appreciate all the responses! I had a strong feeling that this stand won't hold anything .... What do you guys think about adding extra support to the existing stand? Is it possible? I would hate to completely make a new one I spent hours and hours organizing everything below.

If it is possible to add a brace like mentioned It would not be too much trouble. The guy who built this for me is actually experienced in building stands and cabinets but nothing for the weight of an aquarium, although I did tell him that is the use of it. Also, because I needed to have the big doors apparently there wasn't room for bigger studs.

Please advise me what needs to be done and I will have him correct it for me, hopefully all this can be done from the room the stand Is currently in.

Thanks again guys!


New member
the two sides with the doors, should have also been constructed using plywood, with holes cut out of them to accommodate the doors...then trimmed with your red oak...short of cutting two sheets of ply to fit inside the stand to support the two open sides i dont know how you could fix this...

what are the dimensions of the stand? a round tank on a square stand is kinda tricky as very little of the tank will actually have support of the sides of the stand...my tank is also round on a square stand, however it is only 50-60 pounds full so i have no concerns using the 3/4" piece of plywood on the top for it...

your tank however, that is a butt load of weight...i likely would have built it using a plywood joist system on top of the stand, only thing is it would drastically reduce useable space in the stand, unless the stand was fairly tall...you could still sandwich a bunch of joists onto the top of the stand and put another sheet of ply over it, then trim the front/sides with crown mouldings etc...but you are still lacking some much needed racking support....which ever door you can live with being smaller, and if you can afford the space inside the stand for a sheet of 3/4" ply then i would do the support on one side and run the joists over it...

as it i built now i would not trust that front corner to a...(gaseous expression of an excited onlooker)..yeah i said it...lol

black hills tj

New member
For what its worth, my 75 gallon tank with substrate, water, etc weighs in around 800 lbs. I used a a 4x4 vertically at each corner, made a frame of 2x6s, and used 2x4s for bracing, etc. I'll see if I can dig around for pictures in the morning.


New member
The stand is 36" high and 30" wide, 30" deep. If I were to sacrifice some room on the door that is located on the right (side of stand, not front), what would need to be done? I hoping to learn this from here and try and interpret it to my friend who built this that way he can fix it.

black hills tj

New member
As much as I hate to say it, you may be better off using what you have for something else. In my opinion, you will need to build an entire "skeleton" inside of what you have. Not impossible, but it will be a bit of work. What you currently have is what I used for the skin of my 75.


New member
Alright, I will do what ever it takes, my situation is that the stand fits perfect where i need it and at the same time, it was put in the room when there was no doors or frames on the entrance of the room and the stand fit....barely so getting it out now would be a big PITA....

Is it possible for a detailed explanation of what I need to tell this guy to do? He can get the required pieces measure and cut at the shop and he will assemble it on to the stand in the room it sits in currently.

I was wondering if something like this would work:


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New member
I'm not 100% sure if I'm seeing your first pictures perfectly. Does the bottom peice of Plywood sit on the ground? If so the fix would be easier.

Oak is much stronger than pine as most people use to build stands. So I would work pieces of oak along the inside edge of the top piece of plywood. A minimum of 1" X 3" with the 3" side hanging down from the top. Angle cut the corners of these peices for a nice tight fit. Then run a 2 X 2 along all four of the corners so it is holding up the oak board. There should be a straight solid wood column on each of the corners with no screws or other connectors depended on to carry any weight. Any nails or screws should be there only for stabilization.


New member
You will be happier in the long run if you cut your losses now.
Take the time and money to build a proper stand to house your equipment and properly hold the weight of your tank.
By trying to jury-rig your stand as it is you will never be happy with the result. You may not even be able to house all of the equipment you want.
It is a much better idea to deal with it now, than in 6 months when the tank is full of water and teaming with life.
Another 2-3 weeks is a spit in the bucket in this hobby. And $200 buck is a chunk of change... but... realistically it is a fraction of the cost of a nice SW system.


Premier World Traveler
First, nice sump and fuge, great quality of build. I'm a big fan of LifeReef equipment. I used to have that same setup on my old 120.

Second, if you were building for a cube where the corners were supported on that stand, you might be kind of OK. You do need some corner braces or the like to prevent the stand, with weight on it, from racking and collapsing.

Additionally some braces under the top would be required for a round tank. Over time that much weight supported only by a horizontal sheet of plywood will cause the plywood to sag leading to possible failure at some point. Vertically the plywood will carry far more load than a tank a few times the size of yours... but that's not what you're doing.

I think a fix for what you have is probably fairly easy by adding a few 1x oak "joists" under the plywood top (maybe 3 doubled up), and supports at each end for those. On the closed end the support could be just a straight 1 1/2" wide board, and the other end maybe a notched 1x4 glued, and screwed behind the top of the door opening, you'll lose some door height, but it looks like you have plenty. Make sure to glue the joists to the bottom of the plywood top with waterproof wood glue, and at least 1 1/2" #6 SS wood screws, drill and countersink the appropriate pilot holes first.

Now I know you shouldn't rely on screws for shear strength, that's building 101. However, this far along in this build I would assume the calculated risk that in addition to a great quality waterproof wood glue used on lots of surface area, and SS screws that aren't going to corrode in a few years when exposed to moisture causing a failure. Without some further pics this may not even be an issue, you may be able to get some supports under the "joist" supports to carry the load to the floor, that would be best. Under any circumstances glue, and screw everything at a minimum.

The 1x4 support may add enough lateral stability to the side it's on but I'd still like to see some corner blocks on both sides to be safe.

Overall, I don't think these are major modifications, but I do think they will allow you to proceed with your plans, and provide some peace of mind. They'll have a dramatic impact on the suitability of the stand.


New member
Thanks again guys, glad Im getting help form all of you!

To answer one question, the bottom piece of plywood does not sit flat on the ground, under the bottom there is 4 pieces of cut oak plywood that are joined together to make a rim that the stand sits on. Hope that makes sense.

I have been thinking maybe doing it all over again would be a better choice but honestly I am hoping theres a better way around this, like i said getting the stand out would require me to break it in the room or remove my door and frame.

@hllywd- I can take more detailed pictures of the stand later today and post back and hopefully you can tell me if for sure adding support like you mentioned would work. Also yes, there is plenty of room in the stand that is not used, especially height wise.

Heres a few more pics I found on my phone from before i brought it home:


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New member
If you do decide to mod your stand to work for you , it is a MUST that you remove the shallow plywood platform that the cabinet sits on.

BTW. awesome tank!


New member
Before I do decide on anything I will need to make sure what im doing will work, and I have to come up with some sort of drawing to show this guy what needs to be done. I talked to him about if briefly last night and he said that he thinks with the thick oak plywood he used and the fact the the tank has a rim on the bottom that the weight would be distributed evenly and wouldn't be an issue.