Mini fish room - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Mini fish room

No, I don’t mean a room for little fish!

See the attached picture (if I can make attachments work).


I’m designing an ‘aquarium tower’ to hold two 55g growout tanks and several 20 tall tanks for the breeding pairs. All construction will be 2x4 and 3/4 plywood. The strange colors should make it easier to see construction details. The light green 2x4s support the shelves.

For those who have stacked tanks:
How much room should I have between the top of one tank and the shelf above? I’m guessing 8 inches.

Does the structure look sound? It will be screwed and glued. I will attach it to the wall (earthquake country in CA) for some lateral support. With all the tanks shown it will weigh more that 2000 lbs.!!!

It would be nice if we could attach sketchup files (.skp).

Any comments welcome!

Thanks,
John
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 12:00 AM
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I am planning something similar except for 20g longs..and emersed.


Can't wait to see this come to life


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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 12:12 AM
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Your wifes hot but why the grim face?
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad320 View Post
Your wifes hot but why the grim face?
Just goes to show, there is one wacko in every crowd.
That is 'Nancy' from SketchUp. She is a bit two dimensional for my tastes.

My wife is a LOT hotter than that.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 12:41 AM
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I can't see how your corners join together but with that much weight you don't want screws holding the weight up. If I was making this "rack" I would do something like this



stacked on top of each other, well use the top frame as the bottom frame on the second row. That way all the weight is transferred through the "legs" to the floor instead of to screws in the corners.

You don't have to use the "screw board" (green board in picture) if you use a pocket screw jig. That would give you more room.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 01:32 AM
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I'd be concerned about the backs of the 55's resting in the middle of the plywood shelves. You don't want any flex there. Maybe put another 2X4 supporting the shelves in that area with a "light green" style support under it. May not ever have a problem, but the extra peace of mind is probably worth the $2 in extra wood.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks kwangtzu, I forgot to mention the shelf will have two 2x4s going front to back, like joists in a house, for support.

The two 55G are plexi so I don't worry about a small amount of flex. When I first got back into fish keeping, a trip to the LFS convinced me plexi was tuff stuff. All of their saltwater tanks were 8 to 12 inches LONGER that the supports. Yep, part of each tank was hanging in air. I wouldn't dare do that with a glass tank.

My big concerns are:
1. The possible flex in the long side, 48 inches, of each shelf. I went back and looked at Discus-Hans's racks and he has 5 20G tanks for every span. They are 20 talls so that would be a span of ~5 feet.
2. Will the house floor hold it all! Any home builders or structural engineers out there that want to chime in?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 03:09 AM
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What kind of floor do you have?

By my fast and crude calculations (which may not even be close) you should be somewhere around 15 lbs per square inch, a person would be around 10 - 12 lbs. per square inch, I don't think the weight (if spread out correctly) will be a problem. Make sure if you have a joist floor that the weight is spread over multiple joist instead of along one or two.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 03:24 AM
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Try to keep 10" of clearance in your design above the tanks.

Having both 6" and almost 8" on the first two I setup I'm still grumbling when I work in the tanks.
The last two I made with 10" of clearance and even with the lights in place I'm happy with it.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 03:35 AM
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You could always create a longer stand and spread the weight of the 55's side by side on the bottom shelf. 8.5 feet in total length and build up one level for your additional smaller tanks, providing you with a third shelf up top for additional storage and rack space in the future...

I mean... most of us started with a 10 gallon tank.
If I was smart I would have purchased a 125 gallon tank from the start.

-Gordon
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 04:01 AM
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And Seriously, I know I made the wise crack about the cheesy girl but wouldnt a dual metal frame work better and way cheaper? The wire kind?
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog View Post
What kind of floor do you have?

By my fast and crude calculations (which may not even be close) you should be somewhere around 15 lbs per square inch, a person would be around 10 - 12 lbs. per square inch, I don't think the weight (if spread out correctly) will be a problem. Make sure if you have a joist floor that the weight is spread over multiple joist instead of along one or two.

Wood floor, typical joist system 16 inches on center, over crawl space. Basements and slab floors are not common out here. The joists are supported at the foundation two feet away from the closest side. The rack should be over one joist and almost to the second. I've considered putting a 3/4 in. sheet of ply down to extend to the second joist. I don't know if this would help transfer some weight to the second joist.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Try to keep 10" of clearance in your design above the tanks.

Having both 6" and almost 8" on the first two I setup I'm still grumbling when I work in the tanks.
The last two I made with 10" of clearance and even with the lights in place I'm happy with it.

Thanks. It seemed 8" was a little tight.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonrichards View Post
You could always create a longer stand and spread the weight of the 55's side by side on the bottom shelf. 8.5 feet in total length and build up one level for your additional smaller tanks, providing you with a third shelf up top for additional storage and rack space in the future...

I mean... most of us started with a 10 gallon tank.
If I was smart I would have purchased a 125 gallon tank from the start.

-Gordon
That's an expansion that can't happen. No room. The rack will fit between two built-in bookshelves.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad320 View Post
And Seriously, I know I made the wise crack about the cheesy girl but wouldnt a dual metal frame work better and way cheaper? The wire kind?
Not sure what kind of wire frame would support 2000 lbs. I'm sure it would not be cheaper. The heavy duty shelves at HD are more than $100. The wood for this will be about $75. It's not all about the $$. You know we will spend anything for our little finny friends!

And about Nancy...
First she is hot and now she is cheesy? I looked up 'fickle' in the dictionary. Your picture was there!!
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