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Is my table strong enough?


SC Fish
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I have 2 Alex drawers holding up a 180cm long tabletop.  

I have never really thought of this being an issue but my mother has made it apparent to me when I was talking about getting another 20 gallon.

Currently I have 1 20 gallon (filled around 17 to 18 usually) and 1 10 gallon. But I want the 10 to be another 20. 

The tank models are super fish scaper 90 and 45, I couldn't find their weight anywhere. 

I couldn't find the Alex drawer weight cap either. 

 

What do you think? Can I replace the 10 with a 20 safely?

(Currently the desk has been like this for 9 to 10 months)

16853127235805617269996984185655.jpg

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On 5/28/2023 at 3:25 PM, SC Fish said:

I couldn't find the Alex drawer weight cap either. 

Material

Main parts/ Front:
Particleboard, Acrylic paint, Paper foil, Plastic edging
 
From another forum:
Quote

While the knockdown fasteners that Ikea use here are not noted for being a super-strong way to put things together they aren't weak either, and the bolts or cams would have to literally tear out from the chipboard/particleboard for this to fail.

In terms of resistance to racking (any leaning side to side or back to front) back-and-forth motion is a non-issue. Side-to-side motion is a potential for concern however, but the top links the two units quite securely; so IMO both would really have to fail in order for this to collapse sideways.

I just don't see that happening under a static load.

But you must plan for unexpected dynamic loads, which could include just someone hitting the edge of the desk with their hip as they walk past.

Note: if you decide to go ahead, do ensure that all fasteners are tight before you fill the tank with water. Don't over-tighten, but make sure nothing is loose before putting this under load.


For Graeme's Ikea Kallax:
 

Quote

This furniture can take a max load of 55 lbs. on the top.

Material

Particleboard, Fiberboard, Acrylic paint, Honeycomb structure paper filling (100% recycled), Plastic edging, Plastic edging, Plastic edging

 

Ikea's specs say ~40-50 lbs
https://www.ikea.com/jp/en/customer-service/knowledge/articles/593e127e-b984-4489-b1d7-8b2g806gdcd7.html

10G - 110 lbs
20G - 225 lbs

I wouldn't have the tanks there, especially near a PC.  That is just generally how I would approach things.

Edited by nabokovfan87
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On 5/29/2023 at 12:29 AM, nabokovfan87 said:

Material

Main parts/ Front:
Particleboard, Acrylic paint, Paper foil, Plastic edging
 
From another forum:


For Graeme's Ikea Kallax:
 

 

Ikea's specs say ~40-50 lbs
https://www.ikea.com/jp/en/customer-service/knowledge/articles/593e127e-b984-4489-b1d7-8b2g806gdcd7.html

10G - 110 lbs
20G - 225 lbs

I wouldn't have the tanks there, especially near a PC.  That is just generally how I would approach things.

Uhh, interesting aha, I mean before this arrangement I had the 10 on a Alex drawer for almost 2 years and it was fine?

Is there a way I could strengthen them?

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On 5/28/2023 at 4:39 PM, SC Fish said:

Uhh, interesting aha, I mean before this arrangement I had the 10 on a Alex drawer for almost 2 years and it was fine?

Is there a way I could strengthen them?

It's particle board, the main thing being to keep it dry.

The forces mentioned are basically:
A.  Weight of the water crushing the material, lateral (tangential) stress on the attachment hardware and shear strength of those hardware pieces.  The cheap ones are cast aluminum, the strong ones are cast steel.  Either way, being cast material gives it a lower strength profile.  The outside is harder and more dense, while the inside of the metal is softer.  If the outside cracks or deflects, then it's very easy for the hardware to shear off.

B.  Torsion across the desk from movement.  Every time you touch the desk to play games, it moves.  Those vibrations lead to stress on the fish, but it also leads to damage over time.  Think of it like chipping away at a rock or steel rod with sandpaper.  You seemingly don't do damage, but after years you might be down to nothing and that causes the failure.  Cross braces would help with that type of a load, but given that you're going into particle board it's not going to be strong. 

I would take a look at Corvus Oscen's channel and his stands.  He does them really well and they definitely are built strong.  He also did all the ones in the Co-Op and the warehouse with videos on all of those.

Literally the weight of my steel case has warped a few "cheaper tables" that were steel tubed and rated for a lot more wieght than what you're currently using.  They sell butcher block and desk legs, what might be a better route to go when building a stand, but ultimately I think you're looking for a 2-3 shelf rack to get your stand and your aquariums in close proximity to the desk.  Slide the desk to the right, then put the shelves against the wall there.  Much safer, a bit further from the electronics, and less of a risk of shock or fire hazards due to splashing.

05Uqh.png.75457d8a3423df0034eda13f16f93947.png

This is the cross bracing that would help with the stress above under note B.

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On 5/29/2023 at 12:49 AM, nabokovfan87 said:

It's particle board, the main thing being to keep it dry.

The forces mentioned are basically:
A.  Weight of the water crushing the material, lateral (tangential) stress on the attachment hardware and shear strength of those hardware pieces.  The cheap ones are cast aluminum, the strong ones are cast steel.  Either way, being cast material gives it a lower strength profile.  The outside is harder and more dense, while the inside of the metal is softer.  If the outside cracks or deflects, then it's very easy for the hardware to shear off.

B.  Torsion across the desk from movement.  Every time you touch the desk to play games, it moves.  Those vibrations lead to stress on the fish, but it also leads to damage over time.  Think of it like chipping away at a rock or steel rod with sandpaper.  You seemingly don't do damage, but after years you might be down to nothing and that causes the failure.  Cross braces would help with that type of a load, but given that you're going into particle board it's not going to be strong. 

I would take a look at Corvus Oscen's channel and his stands.  He does them really well and they definitely are built strong.  He also did all the ones in the Co-Op and the warehouse with videos on all of those.

Literally the weight of my steel case has warped a few "cheaper tables" that were steel tubed and rated for a lot more wieght than what you're currently using.  They sell butcher block and desk legs, what might be a better route to go when building a stand, but ultimately I think you're looking for a 2-3 shelf rack to get your stand and your aquariums in close proximity to the desk.  Slide the desk to the right, then put the shelves against the wall there.  Much safer, a bit further from the electronics, and less of a risk of shock or fire hazards due to splashing.

05Uqh.png.75457d8a3423df0034eda13f16f93947.png

This is the cross bracing that would help with the stress above under note B.

the desk does not move when i play games, its very sturdy. 

Also what do you mean move it to the right? a shelf wont support the weight of a 20 gallon if the desk doesnt

i also hear that some people are able to stand and jump on these drawers and they where fine? (one post saying they weighed about 150lbs)

also keeping it dry, that means if i keep it dry its fine?

Edited by SC Fish
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On 5/29/2023 at 4:11 AM, SC Fish said:

i also hear that some people are able to stand and jump on these drawers and they where fine? (one post saying they weighed about 150lbs)

also keeping it dry, that means if i keep it dry its fine?

It simply means that if it gets wet it will deteriorate very, very quickly. It's a very absorbent material.

I'm sure there are some engineering tolerances there in that value. I can't speak to what that actual value is. Simply put, I would not be surprised to see a failure over time with that setup. How long? I have no clue.

On 5/29/2023 at 4:11 AM, SC Fish said:

Also what do you mean move it to the right? a shelf wont support the weight of a 20 gallon if the desk doesnt

I was referring to move the desk (relocate it) so you have room for a rack or dual stand on the wall.

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On 5/29/2023 at 7:38 PM, nabokovfan87 said:

 

I was referring to move the desk (relocate it) so you have room for a rack or dual stand on the wall.

yeah i wouldnt have space in my room to do this lol. unless i moved the desk in the room next to mine and kept my tanks in here - or vice versa

not ctually a bad idea

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On 5/29/2023 at 12:00 PM, SC Fish said:

yeah i wouldnt have space in my room to do this lol. unless i moved the desk in the room next to mine and kept my tanks in here - or vice versa

Best of luck with it. I just went through moving a bunch of tanks too. 🙂

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Over time water warps and weakens those crappy particle board materials.
It looks fine now, but over time it'll ruin the finish of the desktop and warping may occur from the moisture.

Yeah. That much water near your computer is an accident waiting to happen.  🙂

You're really better off with a well-built 2x4 wood stand. Paint it to make it water proof. Cheap and easy.

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