Building a 72L Aquarium stand - Completed - New pics (9/22)
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:04 PM   #1
malaybiswas
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Building a 72L Aquarium stand - Completed - New pics (9/22)


Hello guys,

I am starting a 72L 100G tank soon (hopefully) and the thread is here. This thread is to document my DIY stand building for the same tank. Frankly, as much as I would love to build it, my initial thoughts were to buy one that is professionally made for a tank of that size and weight. However I did not find anything that I liked from a price point as well as exact dimensions. Instead I found all these wonderful DIY stands hobbyists have made and the possibilities of customizing it to my needs are immense. So I decided to follow DIY instead.

My tank is just ordered and it would take about 6 weeks to arrive so my stand building project has a deadline of 6 weeks to complete.

I am taking one step at a time. So while I have some ideas of what I would want visually, I am not making any decisions on the finished product yet. I'll think in details after I complete each stage of the project. What I know for sure is that I am not doing a industrial style open stand like hydrophyte did. Why is that important? Well, I liked hydrophytes design a lot and was considering similar model. However the look and feel won't marry well with my decor at home. I want my stand to blend with my furniture and decor and really make the tank stand out. With exposed joints that might not be possible for me. So while I do consider using the using joist connectors like hydrophyte did, I do not plan to expose them. One thing I planned to take from hydro's design is using 4X4 but purely from structural strength perspective.

Coming back to "1 step at a time" I at least need have the milestone steps determined at the beginning. Here's the list

1. Gather ideas and inspirations. Background study
2. Put the frame first
a. Design the frame
b. Buy the lumber (cut to dimensions), stain/sealant, sand paper
c. Prep the lumber (sanding, staining, sealing)
d. Buy connector, nail/screws
e. Frame construction
3. Finishing...as mentioned before, I'll think about this later.
4. Placement and leveling
5. Light fixture

I'll make this a TOC with links to specific pages of the journal as I progress.

Budget: $200-$250 (except tools)
Running total: $285 (little over budget)
Lumber: $90
Sanding paper: $5
Sealant/Stain: $25
Hardware - nails/screws: $40
Hardware - door hinges & aluminium channels: $10
Doors, end panels : $115
Am I missing something? Feedbacks please.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:14 PM   #2
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Looks and sounds like you have a plan. What kind of plywood are you going to use (Birch, Oak)?
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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Looks and sounds like you have a plan. What kind of plywood are you going to use (Birch, Oak)?
I have not really thought about that yet, since I am not sure what finishing I want to have. What would you suggest?
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:19 PM   #4
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Definately Birch. It has a nicer grain compared to Oak.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:25 PM   #5
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Definately Birch. It has a nicer grain compared to Oak.
Ok, thanks for the suggestion spunjin. If I go plywood I am considering 3/4" thickness. How do the choices fare considering shrinkage/expansion or warping with weather changes?
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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Couldn't tell you all that but you will definitely need 3/4" ply. You are going to use the 4X4s just for support in the corners and along the back, correct?
I am planning a birch plywood stand as well so if you find out about the shrinkage/expansion and warping please be sure to post your findings. I am interested in following your thread.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:45 PM   #7
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Yes, 4X4s only for the frame. If I enclose it in plywood, I will probably use to cover it with laminate (I have 1 8' X 4' roll left over from my earlier project), so the graining is of a lesser significance to me than the shrinkage considerations.

Will keep posted on what I find out. How far are you though on your project?
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:03 PM   #8
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I am through the thinking about it stage and now I am in the getting permission from the wife stage. I have been pre-approved...for now.
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:06 PM   #9
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I am through the thinking about it stage and now I am in the getting permission from the wife stage. I have been pre-approved...for now.
cool...that is a very important stage. Infact that was my first stage even before I started thinking details and posting
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:25 PM   #10
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Default Gather ideas and inspirations. Background study

Few of the specific sources I am using for inspiration, design ideas
1. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...iy-stands.html to look at different styles, frames and finishes various DIYers used

2. http://www.fishandtips.com/index.php for validating dimensions and getting idea of hardware needed. Pretty useful.

3. http://www.garf.org/stand.html for more frame design considerations

The fishandtips design is more conservative than garf and suggests more structural and joint strength.

Of course there are many many more but these are a few that can provide or lead to all around aspects. Besides a few more that is my initial set of inspirations
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...tml#post848957

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...ial-style.html
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:35 PM   #11
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This is going to be a kick- butt stand! Subscribing
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:36 PM   #12
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Here is what I wanted to do. But my question is this. Does the grain have to run vertical? If it does, ply wood is sold in 4'x8' boards. My tank is also 72" long so vertical grain would have to be two boards next to each other. What is the rule on this?
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:37 PM   #13
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I suggest birch plywood too. Oak plywood has a very porous grain, which could be a problem when you laminate, while birch is always very smooth and usually very flat. Any plywood is pretty immune to shrinkage/swelling, because of the crossed grain plies. Birch is just about the standard material for professional cabinets too. If you are just skinning over the structural frame with plywood, you don't need 3/4 inch thickness. I think 1/4 inch is too thin, so a good compromise might be 1/2 inch, saving some on weight and cost.

Plywood can run in any direction, as far as strength is concerned. I think vertical grain looks best, but if you laminate it, it doesn't matter.

If I were to do this I definitely would not use a wood hood like that. I had one on a 120 gallon, 60 inch long tank, and it was a huge problem to remove and reinstall when doing major maintenance. Plus, I never had good lighting when pruning, cleaning, etc. And, a rimless tank looks really great completely open on top, with a suspended light above.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:19 PM   #14
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This is going to be a kick- butt stand! Subscribing
Thank you CL.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spunjin View Post
Here is what I wanted to do. But my question is this. Does the grain have to run vertical? If it does, ply wood is sold in 4'x8' boards. My tank is also 72" long so vertical grain would have to be two boards next to each other. What is the rule on this?
Attachment 22314
All I can think of run along the 8' length. The picture you have probably has 2 4' wide pieces cut and glued side by side (good finish). I agree with Hoppy, that if I go rimless, then a canopy kills the look and also is a pain to clean, prune etc. I like open top with hang-over light fixtures (reminds me of my missed step # 5, light fixture)
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