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I've been absent on the forum with only intermittent involvement of late.  There are a number of reasons for why Ive had less time to be on here, but really only one relevant to the topic of this forum.  I have been turning a bit of bad luck into an opportunity.  When I set up my aquariums under my basement stairs, I did so because I have had to move my tanks around my house repeatedly because of necessary maintenance or repairs to my "fixer-upper" house.  So, I specifically picked a spot where there was only one utility anywhere near the tanks.  A plan for a permanent home if you will.  The only thing in the area was the main soil pipe under the foundation headed out to the road.  Safe.  Or so I thought...  Turns out, this spring I learned, much to my horror, that the soil pipe had corroded and would need to be replaced.  This would mean using a jackhammer to excise the section of the foundation directly under where my aquarium are.  Figures.

I was lamenting this one evening to my wife in our basement, where we spend most of our evenings, when she suggested that the display tanks (aquariums and vivariums) would be welcome to move into the finished part of the basement.  I was elated, but realized too, that we were wasting this space essentially.  It's 1/3 of our house's footprint, and is just one big room.  It acts to hold exercise equipment, the rack for coats/mudroom from the tuck-under garage, and the only TV in the house.  It has always felt like a jumbled purpose room.  So, in a bold stroke we decided to put in a wall to divide the room, making the back half a den.  I would get a spot to put my display worthy tanks (breeding setups will need to remains back under the stairs later), and she'll get a newer TV out of the deal (ours is the one we bought when my TV/VCR combo from under grad broke and her desktop monitor at work is larger), and a big comfy corner couch.  As a bonus, this will mean we will get to spend our evenings together; her watching whatever terrible drama she wants, and me cleaning algae.  Wedded bliss!  But we've had to build it.

Just to give you a perspective, here is the before photo looking from the back of the room to the front:


Full disclosure, we hired someone to build the wall.  But here it is in process:



But we are painting this ourselves.  The idea is that for both a gallery-like display of tanks, and for a room to watch movies in, dark wall are best.  But they started out very, very light as we primed them.  Yikes!  I now remember why I have a disdain for white walls.


A very dark, windowless room, though, can be quite uninviting to enter when you first open the door.  So we have plans (even if the dog is not sure about them!):


A slash of color to help make the room seem more welcoming:


We finally got to the darker paint stage last night.  I wanted a dark gun metal grey, and piked out on from the line up at "big box store".  Unfortunately, it looks more brown on the wall to me.  What do you think?


After the paint is done, I am going to have to build stands for the tanks.  So, let me get some input from you all.  If you had to stack 2 75 gallon aquariums as a double rack, what would be the shelf height you would pick for each, and why?  I'll be curious to hear what folks think.

In the meantime, thanks for looking!  And hopefully I'll be able to be back on here more often once this nears completion.  The whole process had made me wonder what has become of @Brandy's basement build. 

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On 8/7/2023 at 2:23 PM, OnlyGenusCaps said:

Full disclosure, we hired someone to build the wall.  But here it is in process:

I wish your wall builder could come help with the current "fixer upper" we're in. 😂

What a hassle sometimes. This week the pool broke.

I am excited to see your progress and I look forward to seeing how your words change as you have that final tank in place. I wonder between the two of you, who will enjoy the nature surroundings more.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, slow but steady.  I've got a few other irons in the fire, so I shoot to cycle between them all as time allows.  I recently built, what I think anyhow, is a decent stand for over and under 75 gallons.  Once I had the height figured out, it was pretty easy.  I thought I would share the joints I used here, just in case someone else wants to build an easy but overbuilt stand. 

So this is the joint over all.  I used 2x6 boards out of an abundance of caution.  What I like about this system is that I have mostly separated holding the structure together from the weight bearing aspect of the stand.


Not the cleanest holes, or saw lines.  I'm no carpenter!  The internal frame that will hold the tank is held together by 2 1/2" deck screws.  Get the star drive.  Makes a big difference!  Once those were together, I attached the uprights with more deck screws, which you can see better below.  On the left side of the upright.  With just 2 deck screws per corner that would be bearing the full weight of the tank (these would be the only pieces between the tank frame and the supporting uprights at this stage), I wouldn't trust this stand to hold a 75 gallon tank.  But you can see there is more.


Those two bolts were then added.  Well the one on the right is actually some sort of screw, but a big one!  It is 4" long and passes through the first two boards into the long part of the frame.  These two chunky pieces of metal are now there to hold the majority of the weight of the tank as they are now the largest pieces that will transfer the mass of the full aquarium to the uprights.  They are each about 3/8" thick stainless.  I'm thinking that will suffice.  I inset them (poorly I know!  again, not a carpenter) because I have very little wiggle room for extra width.  But the nut on the inside is allowed to protrude as you can see here:


I specifically chose to have the short side be the one that runs the full distance and long side to be affixed inside of that.  This replicates the short side support that Cory has in his shop to hold up the tanks, but provides extra support along the long face of a 4' tank.  At least that was my rational.  Anyhow, I hope this perhaps overly detailed discussion about aquarium stand joints helps someone.  Someday.  Somewhere.

Thanks for looking!

Edited by OnlyGenusCaps
because I am dumb
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