New Stand

TitusvileSurfer

New member
I am designing a stand for a 30x12x12 20 gallon, and was wondering how high everyone else's tanks are. My current draft puts the stand at 3' although that could easily change...till this weekend at least.

I am planing on 2x4's (1 1/2 x 3 1/2) made from Treated #2 Prime from Lowe's. Then coating with a water resistant stain. Can I water poof this, or should I even be using it at all?

The top will be 1 x 12 "Popular board" or 3 1/4 x 11 1/4 "Natural Oak" with a 1/4" coating of self leveling bar top epoxy.

On the sides, I plan to use a stained plywood, and use magnets to hold the front panel providing total access inside. I will post my design from "google sketchup" when complete.
 

TitusvileSurfer

New member
Phase 1

Phase 1

Since my last post, I have compiled this rough draft design. The amber on top is the 1/4" self leveling epoxy

stand measures 2'6" x 1'7" x 3' 1 1/4" from bottom to top of the coating

20gallontank2d.jpg


Please tear this design apart with red ink!!
 

TitusvileSurfer

New member
I think I want to widen the stand slightly, 1" perhaps to allow 1/2" clearance on each side. The tank is glass and the frame would probably add 1/4" total. I provided extra room in the back to allow for plumbing, although the 2 boards on top will probably be switched, so the tank rests square on one, and I will drill the other.

The back diagonal brace should make it much sturdier, although I don't know if it will be enough. I thought of running and additional 2x4 down each leg inside, nailed to the 2 existing.

20gallontank2db.jpg

20gallontank2dc.jpg
 
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Rhodophyta

New member
I would change the back diagonal brace for a plywood one. A plywood half inch or 3/4" sheet covering the back will give more support and I would also add them on the sides. A hole in the center of the panel would give access for wires and stuff without significantly affecting the strength of the panel. In a tall tank this back panel also gives flexibility in locating a long lag screw through the panel into a wall stud behind the tank.

I would replace the leveling compound with a sheet of styrofoam. It has more give to accomodate slight imperfections in the tank bottom. Glass edges concealed by plastic frames are seamed,(= scored with a glass cutter and snapped) not ground flat, so they may have a little wave or other imperfection.

The magnetized front panel is fun, but in the long run, not as convenient as a hinged door or double door.
 

afelder

New member
If you to have the stand to be deeper than the tank you will need to either secure the set up to the wall or weight the back to prevent the tank from tipping over. Other than that the only things that I can speak with experience on is that skinning the stand with 3/4" plywood will add a lot of support to the stand.
 

Roamer

New member
The whole self leveling epoxy for a 20 gallon tank stand is way over kill. If you want to take the time, effort and spend the money, then go for it. But the foam sheet will work perfectly well and be MUCH fast to do and MUCH cheaper.

I would also go with Rhodaphyta's suggestion on the plywood. Frankly, you could build this stand out of nothing but 1/2" thick hardwood plywood and it would be strong enough to support several loaded 20 gallon tanks. People on this (and other) forums tend to REALLY over build their stands. It makes them feel better, but it isn't really any better when it comes to keeping the tank in place. They both work, but one is faster to build, costs less, and leaves you with a LOT more room under the stand...
 

RichConley

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10466149#post10466149 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by afelder
If you to have the stand to be deeper than the tank you will need to either secure the set up to the wall or weight the back to prevent the tank from tipping over. Other than that the only things that I can speak with experience on is that skinning the stand with 3/4" plywood will add a lot of support to the stand.


No you wont.


The weight isnt hanging off the stand, its still over the legs.


This is way overkill, and a waste of wood right now. A 1x2 at each corner sheeted in 1/4" plywood would more than hold this tank. Its a 20g.
 

Rhodophyta

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10466171#post10466171 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Roamer
The whole self leveling epoxy for a 20 gallon tank stand is way over kill. If you want to take the time, effort and spend the money, then go for it. But the foam sheet will work perfectly well and be MUCH fast to do and MUCH cheaper.

I would also go with Rhodaphyta's suggestion on the plywood. Frankly, you could build this stand out of nothing but 1/2" thick hardwood plywood and it would be strong enough to support several loaded 20 gallon tanks. People on this (and other) forums tend to REALLY over build their stands. It makes them feel better, but it isn't really any better when it comes to keeping the tank in place. They both work, but one is faster to build, costs less, and leaves you with a LOT more room under the stand...
Overbuilt but sometimes under-engineered!

You can build a very strong stand 100% plywood - no pine, no screws, no glue!
 

Roamer

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10468802#post10468802 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Rhodophyta
Overbuilt but sometimes under-engineered!

You can build a very strong stand 100% plywood - no pine, no screws, no glue!

I'm with you. I'm currently designing a stand for my new 150 gallon tank. It is going to be pretty much 3/4" oak plywood with some 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" oak vertical supports dadoed in at the corners and for the center supports.

The main reason I am using the solid oak vertical supports is so that I don't have to use solid sheets for the front and back and so I don't have to do a 45 degree bevel on all the plywood. Those type of joints are ALWAYS a pain in the butt to get true and clean.

The bottom will be glued and biscuit jointed to the sides with the sides sitting on the bottom (rough edges covered by the oak trim it will have). That will make it real easy for me to totally water proof the inside of the stand so I don't have any issues with leaks or with moisture degrading the plywood over time from all the humidity above the sump.

I'm currently planning on doing the top with a sheet of plywood that is simply screwed down (again, edges covered by trim). This will allow me to set the sump inside the stand from the top before I set the tank on it. That way, I don't have to worry about making the center support removable.

Going this route leaves me a LOT of clear room inside the stand for the sump and other equipment.

I quit worrying about building the stand super stiff after calculating the moment of inertia for my tank (27" tall, 3/8" glass front and back) and for four 2x6 places vertically (5.5" tall by 6" wide fir). The tank was 100 TIMES stiffer than the four 2x6s. Which means it just won't transfer any significant loads to the stand, other than at each end. And that has a solid piece of plywood sitting there carrying that load straight down to the floor!

These overbuilt two by stock stands just are not required to carry the loads. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not next decade.
 

latazyo

New member
I am completely stunned

usually the DIY forum would recommend 4x6s or else steel I-Beams for this stand


good advice guys!

its all personal preference, but 37.25" is getting pretty tall, especially when its that skinning...being that top heavy could cause some tipping

you never know when you'll be doing maintenance and pull your arm out and catch it on the edge of your tank and tip that ***** over
 

TitusvileSurfer

New member
So basically, I was going to skin the stand with 1/2 inch plywood over the 2x4's, but your saying to scrap the 2x4's all together and just use a little thicker plywood...done deal? Well I guess that would be a little cheaper. Not nearly as fun but I suppose it would work. I might just put it on the end of my dresser and pipe to a sump beside it.

One thing that may justify the pine would be my sump. I was planning on putting the sump mid-level to get more flow out of a smaller pump and using the foot of space below for medicine/food/whatever storage. So an additional panel carrying a sump would be positioned off the ground supported by the side beams, probably making the whole thing too tipsy anyway.

I work for NASA so I guess I just get ocd on the drawing boards. If this was say...a 150 gallon tank, and the same basic build but just bigger, is it a solid design? I have no idea or experience, thank you all for your input! :)
 
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Roamer

New member
TitusvileSurfer,

I would definitely recommend going to your LHS and look at the factory built stands that they sell for larger tanks. Look at HOW they are built, not at the cheap materials they use... They just don't use a fraction of the wood that folks here seem to think is required to make a "strong" stand. And you KNOW they have put some thought into it given how eager everyone in the USA is to sue people!

I have come up with a short list of important items when I am designing a stand (for my 150):

1) The ends and any vertical center supports (if used) need to be either solid wood or plywood to carry the weight straight down to the base of the stand or floor
2) The stand must be built to resist racking either side to side or front to back. Diagonal bracing will work for open stands built of 2x4 OR you can use plywood sheeting to carry these shear loads. If the stand is built of plywood, then you need to make sure the openings in the front and back are not so large that they weaken the plywood . Basically, I want at least 6" of solid plywood at each corner to prevent racking.
3) It has to be flat and square. There is no point in building a strong stand that is out of square and is torquing your expensive tank.
4) The sump area requires at least 3" high "walls" at the least and it must be sealed and water proof to catch any leaks, splashes, or drips from the sump or plumbing. Hopefully all the plumbing will forever be perfect, but...
5) Acrylic tanks require stands that can resist bending more than glass tanks do. Glass tanks are so stiff due to the tall front and back glass panels that they will not transfer much load to the center of the stand. Acrylic tanks are much more flexible and they WILL transfer a much larger load to the center of the stand than a glass tank can.
6) You don't even need "surface" for a glass tank to sit on. All the loads are being transfered to the edges of the tank via the trim, so the bottom does not contact the top of the stand at all.
7) Acrylic tanks DO need a solid surface to sit on. The bottom panels of these tanks will bow significantly if they are not fully supported at all points. More bracing front to rear is generally required and you need a solid, flat surface (plywood for example) with a foam stress point reduction sheet for the tank to rest on.
8) If the stand weights more than the tank does, you probably overbuilt the stand!
 

RichConley

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10470662#post10470662 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by TitusvileSurfer

One thing that may justify the pine would be my sump. I was planning on putting the sump mid-level to get more flow out of a smaller pump and using the foot of space below for medicine/food/whatever storage. So an additional panel carrying a sump would be positioned off the ground supported by the side beams, probably making the whole thing too tipsy anyway.

Dont do it.


If you put a chamber under your sump, it'll just act as a resonator.
 

TitusvileSurfer

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10473929#post10473929 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Roamer
TitusvileSurfer,

I would definitely recommend going to your LHS and look at the factory built stands that they sell for larger tanks. Look at HOW they are built, not at the cheap materials they use... They just don't use a fraction of the wood that folks here seem to think is required to make a "strong" stand. And you KNOW they have put some thought into it given how eager everyone in the USA is to sue people!

I have come up with a short list of important items when I am designing a stand (for my 150):


When you say the pump should have at least 3" high walls, are you referring to the stand itself with a waterproof inside?
 

smcnally

New member
I also laugh at the posts where people recommend beefing up an already beefy stand. It just shows that they don't know anything about weight distribution and how certain structures hold things up.

Here's 70 gallons on 2 real thin plastic saw horses. Believe it or not, those saw horses are rated at 1100 pounds each.

dsc04638.jpg


dsc04637.jpg


And here's my new stand that is all plywood (except for the facing)...no frame work in this stand, and it will not only hold 70 gallons on top, but it will also serve as a 40 gallon sump.

dsc04641.jpg
 

Roamer

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10474404#post10474404 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by TitusvileSurfer
When you say the pump should have at least 3" high walls, are you referring to the stand itself with a waterproof inside?

Basically, what I am referring too is that I think the bottom of the stand should have walls that are a minimum of 3" above the bottom of the stand. And this area should be completely water proof. This is to provide that "last line of defense" against any leaks in your plumbing. Just something to TRY and keep all the water in my system IN my system and not in the carpet...
 

TitusvileSurfer

New member
So how do you put these plywood only stands together with no screws or glue? I'm assuming tiny nails? The plywood at the local hardware store is also horribly bowed, several inches in many pieces. This is alright if you are just nailing it to a support beam, but if it IS the support beam...I don't know I just don't see it working. I guess I'm off to scout better wood. Any recommendations?
 
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