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Old 06-27-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
BakedStuffedHuman
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Cinder Block Stand Help


I'm looking to build a basic stand for my new 40g breeder that is going into the basement.

I don't have a lot of tools and don't care about looks.

So I figured I would just buy 9 cinder blocks for the stand.

Three would to on one side, Three in the middle. Three on the last side.

My question though is the top part.

I was going to lay 2x4's across the top to support the aquarium.

Do I need to take it a step further and place plywood over the 2x4's?

Can the 2x4's support the tank if they are without spaces in between without damaging the tank?
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:30 PM   #2
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You could just use half inch or 3/4 ply instead of 2x4s. Be much better safety for tank. Supporting ALL of the rims of a tank is important, as it is what carries all the weight. Not supporting parts can cause/allow them to drop. When glass droops--baaaad.
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:41 PM   #3
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I would glue two 3/4 plywood panels together and use that for the top. Since the tank is 18 inches by 36 inches, and the concrete blocks are only 16 inches long, the rim will be outside the columns formed by the blocks along the front and back. But a plywood sandwitch should be able to hold it well enough. And, with three columns there will be no deflection in the middle. If this works out, be sure to add a photo of it to the sticky that has all of the stand photos.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
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I would actually use three blocks under each corner.

The 2x4's wouldn't have any space between them. It would be like an outside deck.

Would I still need the plywood if all sides were more or less equally supported?
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:31 PM   #5
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I personally would not use just the 2x4s like a deck on top of the cinder blocks. Reason being is that if even one 2x4 is larger, warped a bit, etc the tank will not be supported evenly. I would still get a sheet of plywood(I think Home Depot, etc will cut it for you) and place that over the 2x4s. Or if you'd rather not, get a sheet of rigid foam insulation to place between the tank and 2x4s so any uneveness is leveled out.

I currently have 1/2" ply on top of my stand and its supported by 2x6s around the edge and 2 2x4s in the middle. No deflection of any kind, the stuff is strong.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:10 AM   #6
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If you wanted to go 3 high, I would go with 12 blocks instead. Stack them 3 high and face the longer side along the face of the tank. That way, you only get ~4 on the front and back and ~2 on the sides that won't be supported. That with a 3/4 plywood top should be more than enough. If you have a hd or lowes nearby, check the scrap bins, they have half sheets for only a couple bucks and they will cut it for you. Since the blocks only cost a couple bucks, you can have a solid stand for under $40. Get a table cloth and staple it to the plywood and it will look half way decent.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:12 AM   #7
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I'd skip the bricks in the middle, you don't want a teeter totter going on. Also styrofoam is your friend...
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:20 AM   #8
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Another vote for plywood. I did this very thing for my 24x18" tank. Sandwiched the plywood like what hoppy suggested.
No need for 2x4s. They would only make things more difficult

BTW, a couple of years ago there used to be a user named bakedstuffedham.
The name always made me laugh a bit
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:27 AM   #9
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^^^ That looks proper!
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:34 AM   #10
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x3 on the plywood sandwich.

I just finished building a stand for a 30g Oceanic cube using a sturdy nightstand type table I had laying around.

It was smaller than the actual footprint of the tank so I glued and screwed two pieces of 3/4" plywood together for both the top and the base of the nightstand.
I brad nailed some 1 1/2" trim around the exposed plywood edges to clean it up and the things rock solid.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:36 AM   #11
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Thanks.
I rather like the look of untreated ply with cinder blocks. This stand reminds me of a pagoda of sorts. I added the middle shelf (not much shelf space though) the help stabilize the stand since it is 4 blocks high.
Cost me about $20 total. I glued and screwed the two pieces of 3/4" plywood to give it extra strength, and put a double thick layer of cardboard under the tank. Easy.

EDIT: Ninjad on the glued and screwed part. What a coincidence haha
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:09 PM   #12
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here's our 75 on painted black cinder blocks in foreground. 55 on plain blocks in the background. i love the minimalist look the painted cinder blocks give. blends perfectly with the rim of the tank. it's rock solid too. you could easily add another layer if you wanted more height. before we "built" this i looked at some other cinder block stands online. many people put some pieces of wood between the tank and top of the blocks. at this height it really isn't necessary though. The majority of the load is placed directly onto the tops of the blocks.

for anything wider, you'd prolly want an additional "column" in the middle though. and for stands 3 or 4 layers high, and intermediate "shelf" is a good idea to prevent any horizontal left/right shifting of the "columns"

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Old 06-30-2010, 12:21 PM   #13
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oh because of the odd depth of the 75g (18") there's actually 4 blocks on each end of the tank. each layer consists of an 8x8x16 and an 8x8x6 (giving you ~8x8x22). We decided to flush the tank with the front edges so there's a couple inched of extra space in the back. but this works out b/c we have a HOB filter so the tank needs to be spaced slightly from the wall/door/curtains anyways.

Here's what it looks like from the right end:
________
|ooooooo|
|ooooooo| Tank
|ooooooo| 18"
|_______|_
|_____ |__| 16" + 6"
|__| _____| 6" + 16"

all 8 blocks for the 75 prolly cost less than $15 at home depot. plus a couple bucks for paint and primer.

p.s. DO NOT turn your block so the opening face horizontally. this severely compromises the structural integrity of the blocks. the opening should always be vertical

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Old 06-30-2010, 12:22 PM   #14
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oh and painting is kind've a pita b/c of all the pitting. if you're up close you can still see some of the natural grey/white brick color in the pits. we'll touch that up eventually one day.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:57 AM   #15
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http://virtuallyamy.wordpress.com/20...quarium-stand/

here's one of the sites i looked at to get some ideas when building mine
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