So some progress is about to be made in the next couple of days, I am hoping..
I did some reinforcement as I mentioned before, to my floor joists. My house was constructed in 2000, so not old at all... However, I like to sleep better at night and not worry about cracking a floor joist and flooding my floors. So its overkill but I added a couple of jacks underneath the tank in my crawl space. I previously had a 50 gallon with 20 gallon sump here, so the weight difference from then to now, will be negligible.
I used Akron brand floor jacks from Lowes... Both can support a total of around 28,000 lbs lol
They each cost around $45
4x4 header spanning across the two supporting joists- right in the middle of the aquarium. The aquarium runs parallel with my floor joists.
I would have done supports on both sides of the aquarium, but due to heat ducts and gas line placement... I couldn't line up those areas properly so I went right in the middle. The floor has notably less "bounce" in this area now, feels almost like a concrete foundation underneath. I attached the jack plate to the 4x4 header with 3/8" x 2" lag bolts.
They are sitting on solid concrete footer blocks, on top of a 3/4" section of plywood just to help disperse the pressure across my vapor barrier (You can see in the picture what I mean by the less than ideal heating duct placement)
I finished the stand after 2 coats of stain and 3 coats of water based polyurethane. Moved to position against the wall, and added my underlayment mat. The stand is perfectly level but I always (again) like to be cautious and add some firm padding underneath that could equal out a minor minor discrepancy. This padding is at Lowes in the carpet section. 4 square feet of it for $20 I believe.
Next thing completed this morning was to add my hanging wires for whatever lights I decide on.
I have never hung lights before from ceiling so this was interesting to figure out. I just made sure they were even distances from the wall, and appropriate width for lighting.
I am planning to go with a 36" light above the tank. I always like the appearance of having some darker edges on the aquarium with a low tech. I am planning for swords, crypt, buces, etc so getting a full 100% width spread isn't worrying me too much. I like to see the fish more relaxed with some darker areas in the tank.
I assumed I would be hanging the light from ceiling drywall, so I had purchased some good 1/4" toggle bolts to assemble with. But when I drilled in on both mounts, I hit ceiling joists. Unexpected, and required another trip to Lowes but I will feel good knowing I have eye hooks straight into the ceiling joists.
Hung with 1/16" braided SS cables, using ferrules. Again never have done this before and I yanked on them really hard, after crimping the ferrules. Makes me a little nervous but for how light weight the LED strips are, I can't understand how it would rip out...
So going forward its time to test fill the tank and then move it into place on the stand. Can't wait to see it all come together