dekstr's rack - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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dekstr's rack

Monday noon, after finishing an exam, I head to downtown Toronto to this discount metal work / miscellaneous accessories store to get myself a nice, discounted metal rack.

After assembly, here's how it looks so far. It's 48" x 12" x 72".



Distance from bottom to second bottom shelf: 24"
Second bottom to third bottom: 20"
Third to top: 20"

Planning to have tanks in this format:
|-----------|
|[10g] [10g]|
|-----------|
|[10g] [10g]|
|-----------|
|**[20g]** |
|-----------|

Anybody with suggestions on what plants, fish, inverts I should keep? Biotopes? Set-up?

Last edited by dekstr; 03-06-2008 at 03:06 AM.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 12:50 PM
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Thats cool, cant wait to see more pics.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 01:18 PM
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I would seriously consider reinforcing those shelves as they kink and crease very easily and without much warning. I've had similar that I've used for paint and other garage type storage.

One of the problems with them is once theyre weighted down, anytime something hits the shelf edges with some force it causes them kink and bow. (Fold a piece of paper at a 90 then hit the center with your finger to get an idea)
They also rack out of square fairly easily, so some back bracing may be another consideration. (Or just square up the unit and bolt it to the wall studs behind it)

I'm not knocking the shelf system completely, Just suggesting some mods that may save some troubles down the road. Once the shelves crease or kink theres little that can be done to get them pretty again other than hammering them as flat as you can, which still leaves the original area prone to doing the same again.


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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 01:24 PM
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I have 3x20L tanks on a 36"x12"x72" rack. No reinforcement of the shelves. The rack is attached to two walls in a corner in four places. No bowing on the shelves. I don't plan on hitting them with anything.
I'd suggest against a 20T is all. It bowed pretty badly.
With only ~250lbs. on each shelf, you should be fine.

As far as plants/stock goes, that is all you. :P
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 01:29 PM
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Correct me if I am wrong here, but I am looking at that bottom tank in the photo and that shelf looks bowed already.


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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
Correct me if I am wrong here, but I am looking at that bottom tank in the photo and that shelf looks bowed already.
thats the first thing i saw too

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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macclellan View Post
I have 3x20L tanks on a 36"x12"x72" rack. No reinforcement of the shelves. The rack is attached to two walls in a corner in four places. No bowing on the shelves. I don't plan on hitting them with anything.
I'd suggest against a 20T is all. It bowed pretty badly.
With only ~250lbs. on each shelf, you should be fine.

As far as plants/stock goes, that is all you. :P
Your mileage may very I suppose, but I'm already seeing that bottom shelf bowed with what appears to be an empty tank.


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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 01:46 PM
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Look at Macclellan's rack. (nice rack baby!)

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...nice-rack.html

Very strong!


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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
Look at Macclellan's rack. (nice rack baby!)

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ph...nice-rack.html

Very strong!
No doubt...Thats a nice rack...
It's also way stronger and designed completely different than dekstrs. Him giving advice based on his own rack is apples and oranges.


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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunerd View Post
thats the first thing i saw too
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinx© View Post
Your mileage may very I suppose, but I'm already seeing that bottom shelf bowed with what appears to be an empty tank.


Thanks for the comments!


The bowing is due to the camera bowing distortion. If you look behind, everything else is bowed outwards.

The basement is not completely level, it's actually tilted towards a drain in the middle. The rack is actually slightly twisted, but it should be fixed after I tighten the bolts and level the rack.

I'm thinking of reinforcing the shelves with extra bracing. Right now, only the bottom two shelves are reinforced. When I talked to the store employees at the place (Rotblotts') about putting aquariums on the rack, they said it could handle the weight and recommended adding 8 bracers (2 alternating on each shelf). I think I'll add more bracers later on.

Not sure if I should nail it against the wall--I don't know if the wooden wall posts are reinforced or not, it just might be used for holding up drywall on the other side.

Also, I might not use the 20g high. I'm giving it away to my friend, so I might drop the upper shelves to about 20" spacing and get all 10-15g or less.

Edit: Oh yeah, I got this idea off a couple of other PT members' racks. I saw MacMellan's thread hoping for some cleavage but didn't end up disappointed.

As well, some quick calculations, if I put two 10gs on each shelf, it's be about 170 pounds of water weight. Being conservative, if each rack were 200 pounds, and I have 3 shelves each with 2x 10gs, it'd be 600 pounds of weight. I think the rack could safely support that. Now I need to calculate the rack load capacity without literally testing it.
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 03:03 PM
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Sorry guys, misunderstanding. My fault.
His pic didn't show the first time... I just saw a schematic and assumed it was the same kind of metal rack.

Yeah, there is no way I'd trust that dekstr rack (no offense).

Attaching to wall isn't for load bearing, it is for stabalizing/keeping the rack straight so that it supports itself well.
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 03:16 PM
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Not a problem macclellan, I half wondered if maybe his pic didnt load for you.

A simple 2x4 or really even a 1x4 frame built inside the bottomside of each shelf would beef it up alot dekstr. It would be fairly cheap and could then be bolted/screwed to the uprights at each corner.

The wall studs should be fine to anchor the unit to.
As macclellan pointed out it's not for the weight, its just to keep the rack itself from leaning to the left/right or possibly falling forward.

All these things would be cheap and well worth the peace of mind IMO.


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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-12-2007, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm alright will do.

Gonna get the 1x4s for each shelf and screwing it to the wall.
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-15-2007, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

Beefed up the rack with combinations of 4x8"s. Had to go back to Home Depot to get the pieces cut right. Took a long time to do all upgrading, but it's finally done! I ended up not drilling the rack against the wall because the wall was uneven and what do you know--not 100% level! I just adjusted the bottom legs until it was relatively "true" level.

Bought two more 10gs for cheap because they're used. Tons of calcium build-up on the glass because the previous owner was a big cichlid fan (but he's switching to marine now since he got bored of cichlids, so the tanks had to go--he had at least 50 something tanks of different sizes!






One out of four tanks started. Haven't decided what to do with them. The third shelf, I haven't decided what tanks to have.
So far, thinking of one 1x goldfish tank (1 goldfish), 1x shrimp tank (CRS/RCS), and 1x nano-fish tank.


Lighting system from my old 20g set-up. 3x 18" 15w fluorescent tubes = 45w = 4.5wpg!!!
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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-15-2007, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinx© View Post
Your mileage may very I suppose, but I'm already seeing that bottom shelf bowed with what appears to be an empty tank.
If you look at the top of the pic, the 2x4s on his ceiling are also contorted by the lens distortion.

Not that I condone or disagree with the building materials, just an observation.

Edit: I just read where dekstr already mentioned that. Let me just step aside here while you guys converse...


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