Ok, I'm going to start a journal on two 29g tanks I bought at the Petco sale. I'm using my late father's metal stand for sentimental reasons. It was pointed out to me that the clearance on the bottom tank will be tight, and boy, it is! I have 4-1/2" of clearance between the top and the metal above it. I'm going to make it work, though. I'll be using a versa top (and I may make my own to give it a try) and a single or double T5NO. I guess a single, since I want low tech, low light tanks. Crypts, anubias, trident java fern, rocks & driftwood. These tanks will house small shoaling fish, up to two different schools per tank.
First, I wanted to raise the metal stand - the bottom tank was too low to really see. I bought a 2"x8"x8' at Lowes and built a basic base using brackets inside. I topped it with 3/4" plywood. No shear, no movement, and square.
Then I used Hardiebacker board on top of the ply and did a mosaic to match the tile floor I'm laying under the tanks. To be sure it was level I used a puck tile level during each step.
One pic shows the outdoor retaining blocks I made years ago for my garden. They were the inspiration to mosaic the base - I don't have a tile cutter, and it's fun to smash tile with a hammer! lol
These tanks are going in a spot that is between my kitchen & living room - against an exterior wall - so I choose tile I'd like to use in my kitchen and extended it under the tanks. I'm going to do the same for two 55s that I'm putting up later as a dividing wall between my living room and kitchen. I'm a slob when it comes to water changes, so I wanted tile under the tanks. As much mosaics as I've done, this is my first time laying tile. I put 1/2" ply over my existing subfloor (I want to strengthen my subfloor throughout my mobile home). Used 1/4" Hardieboard with the polymer thinset recommened, and ceramic tile. I was going to go with porcelain, but $$ was a consideration. Even my girlie 14.4v B&D cordless screwed the Hardiebacker screws in pronto - it's very easy to do!
So, now I'm waiting to grout.