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alternative or DIY tank stands?


Sal
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I made one for my 20 Gallon tall with cinderblocks and wood. I stained it to match my office desk. I had left over paint used on my walls. I primed with white, and 2 coats of color (green/grey) and cut, sanded and stained the wood a walnut color. Cheap and easy. I have dogs.. that LOVE the fish.. so I needed something strong that could not be knocked over.. 

I also purchased the shelves that Cory recommended a while back. that hold 1000 pounds per shelf (Lowes on sale for 85$).. because one day I want 2 40 gallon breeders. I for just aquascape, and 1 fish and aquascape. BUT.. WHENEVER my tank cycles.... which at this point will be 2022.. LOL

Tank DYI 2.jpg

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On 2/12/2021 at 9:56 AM, Fish Folk said:

We've made a lot of DIY stands. No great carpentry craftsmanship here . . . just functional. We put a few tanks on furniture. But I think the largest we've tried it with is a 20 gal. One 10 gal on a dresser, a 5.5. on a bookshelf, one 20 gal on  a side-stand, and bunch on DIY racks. For security, we tend to prefer 4x4s. But 2x4s can work -- especially pressure treated wood. Here's some photos.

As someone who has worked as a carpenter, I'd recommend skipping the pressure treat and stick with untreated spf (spruce-pine-fir, your generic dimensional lumber). You should paint or finish the wood anyway, so the pressure treat isn't necessary. Some of the chemicals used in pressure treated wood aren't things you'd want around your fish (or other pets), especially 4x4s that are rated for ground contact. Also, pressure treat is notorious for being more twisted/bowed than untreated wood (which can be bad enough already), and as it drys it tends to shrink or warp even more.

Edited by ererer
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This is my do as I say not as I do post...

I agree with everything that has been said about weight distribution on floors and real wood solid construction vs particle board. ESPECIALLY for large tanks.

Buuut...well...I have tanks on Ikea furniture. One even has spindly legs. I did improve supports, and my floor is new construction steel and cement, so I am not worried about weight distribution.

Combined 32 gallons:

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Center supports (one in back too)

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20 gallon high:

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Back table top extension sistered on to both expand the flat surface and improve stability of connection/support. Fairly convinced this is overkill, but it makes me sleep at night.

PXL_20210217_022725224.jpg.90d801793780730a136394333e323168.jpg

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7 hours ago, MacTheMick said:

Remove the feet from the bottom of the cabinet and let it sit flat on the floor. I might even cut and fit a sheet of plywood to the bottom. 

Of course that assume your floor is flat and level. I own an older home, the floor sloped down over 1 inch over a 4 foot span where my tank is located. 

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Update so far:  No modifications made to the dresser yet, we did a quick stress test with 4 adult males (roughly 700lbs) standing/lightly jumping on it, there was no sagging or noticeable bowing anywhere.  Surface of the dresser while sitting on my garage floor appears to be level (but will obviously be checking the floor where we plan to put it as well.)

We definitely plan to add reinforcement, regardless of how sturdy it seems. 

We are chatting with a local fish store in NH to source out a tank or build something custom with the store owner (who does do custom builds) so we will make final modifications to the stand once we know what sort of filtration we will use.  I think we could easily remove the center drawers behind that door, and possibly even remove some of the drawer backs and create a false front...  we'll see.  We are looking at a tank 60-64" wide x 18 deep x 24 tall.  I think I calculated that to be roughly 120 gallons at the larger size? 

I am planning to sand/paint/distress the dresser this weekend...  Excited to see how that turns out.  I'll come back and share pics if you want to see!  🙂

 

 

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years back when I was working on setting up a 50g I had a small dresser I wanted to use as a stand and what I did was remove the dresser drawers and the spacers between the dresser drawers and made them access panel door facades so then I also completely removed the dresser drawer guides as there was no need for them and I built a frame with 2x4's inside to support the weight of the tank. sorry so long back I don't have any pictures

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I bought a piece of furniture from marketplace for my daughter's room. It took awhile to find a sturdy, solid wood piece of furniture. This was a good deal at only $100. I refinished it for another $100 and then we built a custom tank for it. It is mostly a dresser for her clothes and things and I get to keep a fish tank on it.

I realized that I didn't have a pic of the dresser with the tank on it so I just took one and her room is a mess, but oh well. She talks to her fish and "plays" with them.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jason A. said:

years back when I was working on setting up a 50g I had a small dresser I wanted to use as a stand and what I did was remove the dresser drawers and the spacers between the dresser drawers and made them access panel door facades so then I also completely removed the dresser drawer guides as there was no need for them and I built a frame with 2x4's inside to support the weight of the tank. sorry so long back I don't have any pictures

This sounds very similar to what we may end up doing (adding some 2x4's on the interior with door facades).  This may also help make space for filtering below the tank if we end up going that route.  

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Had this built to my design because my wife wanted something that fits in with our mission/arts & crafts style living room furniture. Doors can open 170 degrees, or be removed with two clicks each. The inside base boards can be removed to adjust eight leveling feet that can hold up to 2,500 lbs. each supporting the tank which rests on a frame out of square tube steel covered with water resistant powdered coating. The stand is white oak with non-yellowing boat grade polyurethane coating and open in the back to allow access for hoses and wires. The doors have mission style slate inserts.

The original stand that came with this Marineland 75 gallon was black, made of pressed board and diagonally uneven as well as higher in the back than front by half an inch, added to our uneven living room floor it would've been a recipe for disaster, so we abandoned cheap and splurged.

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1 hour ago, Jungle Fan said:

Had this built to my design because my wife wanted something that fits in with our mission/arts & crafts style living room furniture. Doors can open 170 degrees, or be removed with two clicks each. The inside base boards can be removed to adjust eight leveling feet that can hold up to 2,500 lbs. each supporting the tank which rests on a frame out of square tube steel covered with water resistant powdered coating. The stand is white oak with non-yellowing boat grade polyurethane coating and open in the back to allow access for hoses and wires. The doors have mission style slate inserts.

The original stand that came with this Marineland 75 gallon was black, made of pressed board and diagonally uneven as well as higher in the back than front by half an inch, added to our uneven living room floor it would've been a recipe for disaster, so we abandoned cheap and splurged.

20201224_131123a-Edit1.jpg

20201226_143155.jpg

Gorgeous, and definitely worth the splurge!

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An addition that I made later were some USB rechargeable magnetic motion detector lights that I just stuck on the steel frame, so the lights come on every time I open the doors, and turn off about 30 seconds after I close them. I can remove them for charging just by taking them off and re-install them after they're charged. No more holding a flashlight with one hand while working one-handed with the other. Makes working on anything under the tank a lot easier in the evenings.

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My dad is a wood working hobbyist and made the stand attached. It is way over engineered. A single 2x4 can handle a 1000lb load, there's four 4x4s there holding up a top made of planed 2x4s. I could probably balance my car on top of this thing. Instead I put a 20gallon tank on top of it. The cabinet underneath is sort of built in between the legs and the lateral stabilizers. Which are held together with pocket screws.

The eagle eyed might have noticed the wire sticking out of the door. It's for a light I hacked together to turn on when the doors open. I eventually cut a hole in the back for a power strip and all wires for the HOB and light and other things. It's been holding up well for close to 7 years. Couple chemical stains on the top.

The top is probably the hardest part. I would probably order a solid surface counter top, something impermeable and easier to clean if it got wet, if I was going to do something different. I think a pocket screw jig is all most people would need for the rest. Beyond a saw and a sander.

(edit)Yes it's on carpet...It's not anymore. That photo is from when it was new. 

wood stand.jpg

Edited by Ryan F
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12 hours ago, Ryan F said:

My dad is a wood working hobbyist and made the stand attached. It is way over engineered. A single 2x4 can handle a 1000lb load, there's four 4x4s there holding up a top made of planed 2x4s. I could probably balance my car on top of this thing. Instead I put a 20gallon tank on top of it. The cabinet underneath is sort of built in between the legs and the lateral stabilizers. Which are held together with pocket screws.

The eagle eyed might have noticed the wire sticking out of the door. It's for a light I hacked together to turn on when the doors open. I eventually cut a hole in the back for a power strip and all wires for the HOB and light and other things. It's been holding up well for close to 7 years. Couple chemical stains on the top.

The top is probably the hardest part. I would probably order a solid surface counter top, something impermeable and easier to clean if it got wet, if I was going to do something different. I think a pocket screw jig is all most people would need for the rest. Beyond a saw and a sander.

(edit)Yes it's on carpet...It's not anymore. That photo is from when it was new. 

wood stand.jpg

Beautiful work, Kudo's to your Dad!

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3 hours ago, Sal said:

Ok everyone, here's an update...  I spent yesterday sanding and painting, and we added some internal 2x4 reinforcements...  I still need to fill the old hardware holes, and decide on new hardware, and decide if I want to leave it as is, or distress it a bit...

What do you think? (Don't mind my messy garage)

Since you asked, here are my thoughts (and they're guaranteed to be worth what you paid).  I think it looks great as-is.  As far as the distressed look, I know it's fashionable now, and has been for a while, which makes me wonder how long it will be.  Because of that I'd hold off on distressing it.  If you look at it a year or so and still think you want it to look distressed you can do so then.

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I find that if it takes me three days to build and finish a DIY stand, then I consider that a satisfying part of our hobby.  I’ve put about 12 hours into this one for a 40 breeder, and it’s been fun.  The knotty pine was $60.  It’s nice knowing that it will be worth a lot more once it’s finished.   Next is filling and sanding, then staining and varnishing.  

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5 hours ago, JettsPapa said:

Since you asked, here are my thoughts (and they're guaranteed to be worth what you paid).  I think it looks great as-is.  As far as the distressed look, I know it's fashionable now, and has been for a while, which makes me wonder how long it will be.  Because of that I'd hold off on distressing it.  If you look at it a year or so and still think you want it to look distressed you can do so then.

I think you are right.  Keeping it as is for now, only going to add a coat of clear wax over the paint to make it a bit more water resistant!

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3 hours ago, Steve Pituch said:

I find that if it takes me three days to build and finish a DIY stand, then I consider that a satisfying part of our hobby.  I’ve put about 12 hours into this one for a 40 breeder, and it’s been fun.  The knotty pine was $60.  It’s nice knowing that it will be worth a lot more once it’s finished.   Next is filling and sanding, then staining and varnishing.  

9EC78028-BC4F-4F20-AB5E-4E680DE8AC0D.jpeg

Looks amazing!!

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A week ago this was just an idea I was having, and now it's coming together very quickly. 😂

I peeked onto fb marketplace last night, and low and behold, a guy about 3 hours away was selling a 60x18x24 used tank in good condition, and well, a road trip and a few coffee's later..... It's now mine.

The tank needs a good scrub, there are a couple stickers I need to remove and there is something glued to the outside back (as you can see)that I will need to figure out how to unglue, but otherwise it's in great shape.  Some of the sealing on the corners looks a bit warn, so we may re-seal it (gonna need to learn how to do that - I am hoping I can find some advice about that here.)

The stand still has a bit more work to be done.  The wood filler is drying now, so I still need to sand and paint that before adding the rest of the new hardware, and we need to make sure everything is level and reattach the center door. I also want to do a clear wax coat over the paint for some water protection.  We are trying to decide if we should attempt to build a canopy to match.  

Now to start planning it out. Filter, lights, substrate, plants!!  I'm so overwhelmed with ideas!!  I think a big aquarium coop order is in my future... Also planning to hang a shelf above so I can add to my plant collection, and turn this into a true mini-solarium.  

projects are fun!

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