Long Dual Aquarium Stand

Discussion in 'DIY' started by gaberosenfield, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. gaberosenfield

    gaberosenfield Juvenile Chromis over an Acro in the Red Sea

    So I'm putting together a system with a 75 gallon display tank and a 50 gallon refugium/algae growing tank. I originally built a stand that put these two tanks back to back, but that was before I had a small garage to put these in. Now the gf says that putting a 49" x 35" piece of furniture in that small space will ruin the flow of our cool basement room (what we are calling the garage that won't be used for a car :p). Of course she is right, so I am building a new stand that puts the tanks side by side.

    The previous stand I built was MASSIVELY over-engineered, and I don't plan on repeating that. I want a stand that can hold 2000 lbs safely and stably (I figure 75 + 50 = 125 x ~10 lbs/gallon = 1250 lbs. The extra 750 lbs capacity is just to be safe). According to this handy calculator I found, a single pine 2 x 4 leg a little over 3 feet tall should hold over 3ooo lbs, so I think my design is more than strong enough. The new stand's frame will be built from 2 x 4s and will be 99" long by 20" wide by 37.5" tall. I made a model of the stand in SketchUp:

    The top and lower shelves will be covered by 0.5" plywood, as modeled here:

    And the entire thing will be covered on the outside by 6" wide x 0.5" thick plywood strips:
    The holes in the front will be covered by removable panels. The hole in the left side in the picture is for drain pipes from the DT into the sump. I am planning on just leaving the large holes in the back open to control temp and humidity in the stand.

    I would appreciate any feedback, warnings, advice, or criticisms on this stand design before I start building it this coming weekend. What do you all think?


    Attached Files:

  2. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    That's going to be cool. I like the concept of a DT and DR!

    The way you have it drawn the top rails of the 2x4 frame are only supported in shear by fasteners. This is not strong. Wood should always be in compression.

    You might want to increase the top rail to 2x6 for a little added engineering overkill. :)

    For shear strength (earthquake!), ply ends and back are useful. You can cut holes in the back for ventilation but it should start with a complete piece. Similar to a top on an acrylic tank.

    You should take a look at 'Rocketengineer's' thread on RC.
  3. gaberosenfield

    gaberosenfield Juvenile Chromis over an Acro in the Red Sea

    Thanks for the catch aqua-nut! I'm not sure why I put all that weight on screws in my original design.

    That was a great thread on how to build a simple stand for those of use without a workshop full of tools at our disposal.

    I took your advice and changed the upper rails to 2 x 6s in my design. I also made the holes in the plywood cutouts instead of multiple pieces of plywood per side. What is the simplest way to make cutouts like this? Keep in mind I am planning on building this using only tools I can borrow from the Berkeley Tool Library.

    Below are the updated models of my stand (ignore the weird coloring differences between boards/panesl, they are meaningless and I don't know why they appeared...):

    Any other advice or criticisms? My main goal with this whole build is to get everything right the first time around so the rest of the experience is smooth sailing (as smooth as reefing can be...) :) So please comment!

    Attached Files:

  4. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Kind of in reverse order you asked... :)

    The colors in Sketchup are 'interesting'. I used to know why it does that but have forgotten. :( It doesn't really matter for these quick looks.

    Much stronger stand. I don't know what tools come from BTL. I'd draw the area I want to remove. In the corners I'd cut as big a hole as my hole saw will cut. I think I have a 2" so this would make 1" radius corners. I'd connect the corner holes with either a jig saw or circular saw. A file or sandpaper will take care of most of the 'fuzzies'. Can you get power tools?

    The smaller you make the openings the stronger it will be. Of course you need to balance that with access, convenience, etc. Glue and screw (or power staple) all around and it will survive 'the big one'.

    The big issue building with construction lumber is finding straight stock. Go for KD (kiln dried) and as straight grained as possible. Cut and assemble as soon as possible. When wood is cut it releases tensions and can warp. You want the top rails to be coplanar so the tanks don't twist.
  5. gaberosenfield

    gaberosenfield Juvenile Chromis over an Acro in the Red Sea

    I can get hand held power tools, like a circular saw. I don't think they have larger tools like table saws, etc. I already own an electric drill. My only other experience cutting holes in plywood was cutting windows in chicken coop walls made of oriented strand board. That left crazy rough edges, but OSB is probably worse about that than real plywood.

    I'll glue and screw the the plywood to the frame. Good to know that lumber, once cut, will warp faster. I'll get it cut and try to put the frame together that day. I appreciate the advice! I'm really looking forward to setting this thing up! :D

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