Beefing up a stand - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Beefing up a stand

So I partook in the Black Friday madness and bought Petsmart's 125g tank and stand. While the tank is actually made by Aqueon (at least I think that's who makes tanks for Top Fin), the stand is just plain ol' Top Fin.



I have seen multiple places (including the 125 discus journal thread over in the Tank Journals section) where people are very skeptical that this stand can actually safely hold a 1,500+ lb fish tank on it.

The tank is not set up yet, so I've got time to fix the stand issue. I am not handy at all, so building a stand is out. I live in an area bereft of good fish stores, and Craigslist has not been helpful, either. I also don't particularly want to have to rent a cargo van (again) to go pick up a new stand.

That said, I'd be happy to pick up some 2x4s and beef this stand up with some guidance. I saw a couple comments in the 125 discus thread about doing that, and so now I put the question to you: what wood should I buy, and where (and how) should I attach it to make this stand safer?

Thanks in advance! <3
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 11:09 PM
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Well, here is one way.
If you try to simply stick some 2 x 4 in there, I am not sure if it will work. You want the full weight of the tank to be supported as evenly as possible.
The stand you bought might be taken apart and used as a surface or covering for a stronger stand.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 11:34 PM
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If you're going to go through the trouble to beef this thing up, then you might as well go all out. I started to type out a simple solution and was like but then you could do this and this and this...and next thing you know my suggestion looked like Diana's. You could check out the DYI King's channel on how he built a stand for his plywood tank. It looks really nice and it's beyond sturdy. You could use all of those particle board parts to cover the stand and create shelves. Nice drawing there Diana.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 11:44 PM
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Is that stand made of particle board?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 12:03 AM
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My finish skills are lacking and I cannot cut a straight line but I put together a rock solid square and level stand using the design from Reef Central by having the lumber yard cut the wood for me. With square cuts and the vertical leg pieces the same length it was practically a kit. The inner 2x4 in the leg is genius. I skinned it with 1/4" birch ply, used extra ply to brace the back for lateral stability and it would look great if only I could build doors.

DIY Stands Template and Calculator - Reef Central Online Community


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 12:12 AM
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Kathyy, doors are easy to build... it is hanging them that takes skill. I don't do doors! All my stands are open.

I like your avatar- are they Tollers?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
My finish skills are lacking and I cannot cut a straight line but I put together a rock solid square and level stand using the design from Reef Central by having the lumber yard cut the wood for me. With square cuts and the vertical leg pieces the same length it was practically a kit. The inner 2x4 in the leg is genius. I skinned it with 1/4" birch ply, used extra ply to brace the back for lateral stability and it would look great if only I could build doors.

DIY Stands Template and Calculator - Reef Central Online Community

If the stand isn't a really weird size in regards to the doors, have you looked at premade cabinet doors? You can get them separately without the cabinet part. I'm in Oregon so this doesn't help specifically, but there's a discount lumber place near here that I like that sells them for fairly cheap from what I recall depending on the wood used and size. Can't imagine they're the only ones that do that. And I know I've seen plenty of them at places like the Habitat for Humanity ReStores where they're donated or salvaged. If you keep the measurements you need on hand you might be able to find something that'll work. And no building required.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 12:58 AM
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+1 to the reef central rocket engineer plans.
125g is a lot of weight and water.
Besides that wood used in those stands and water don't go to well together IMO.
Here's one of mine that holds a total of 155g.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Kathyy, doors are easy to build... it is hanging them that takes skill. I don't do doors! All my stands are open.

I like your avatar- are they Tollers?
I guess, the doors looked fine until I tried to put them on then it was a mess. Stand was door free for several months until I got brave enough to fight with them again. The stand itself took 2 days start to finish. I'll have to go back, maybe RE thought up a fool proof skinning method too!

Not Tollers, love the breed though, they are 11 and 15 pound pound puppies. The 11 pound one I understand why he was dumped, he's a recovering stinker [currently grumbling in a crate because he's mad dinner theater is over and no more carrot peels for staying out of the kitchen] but the larger one is just the dearest thing ever. The backpacks are for cute, the dogs can only pack a couple pounds.


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 12:17 PM
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thats a nice stand design and prob more like what the Mrs would like. Maybe Ill give away the one Im finishing and build that instead.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 12:53 PM
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Big Budda, can you take some pictures inside that stand? What is the structural support that is actually holding the weight of the tank? The cabinetry looks nice. I like how the wood grain shows up.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 01:55 PM
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If the bottom horizontal panel on the stand sits directly on the floor (its hard to tell from the picture, it almost looks like it might have spacers or legs of some kind elevating it a bit) I think the easiest way would be just double up the thickness of the vertical panels. There is a lip beyond the end panels where the top and bottom horizontal panels extend a bit. I would cut identically sized panels out of 3/4 inch plywood with exterior glue (for water resistance) and glue/screw them right to the end panels between the lips on the top and bottom panels. You can do the same thing with the verticals between the ends. Can't tell if there is a shelf behind the door, if not you can add full length panels inside that space. If there is a shelf you would have to add a panel below the shelf and another above directly over the bottom panel with the shelf between. Again, it's a little hard to tell from the picture but it would be best if these panels were the wide enough so that both the front and back of the aquarium frame were supported. You could also double up the top horizontal panel if you wanted to beef that up. If there is a space between the floor and the bottom panel you should have a support between them directly under any of the vertical panels.

Last edited by jr125; 02-22-2016 at 01:56 PM. Reason: correction
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Big Budda, can you take some pictures inside that stand? What is the structural support that is actually holding the weight of the tank? The cabinetry looks nice. I like how the wood grain shows up.
I will try to dig up some build pics Diana. But don't worry it's solid lol.
It's basically "rocket engineer from reef central" frame plans. But more like 2 stands combined together. The top frame is 2X6 as well, I have support legs under where the 2 tanks meet, so there is zero chance of sag. The middle door houses 2 drawers.

This is the only pic I have uploaded, but I will try and find some more if you need.



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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 12:35 AM
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Thanks for adding that picture.

The places where the horizontal parts at the top are supported from directly underneath are the strong points. Try to make more of this sort of connection. See about in the middle, where the drawer runner is.

The places where the verticals come up along side the horizontals are only supporting the weight on screws. This is good for the stability. But they are not the best for weight bearing. See the corners nearest the photographer, one with electrical.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 01:41 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks for adding that picture.

The places where the horizontal parts at the top are supported from directly underneath are the strong points. Try to make more of this sort of connection. See about in the middle, where the drawer runner is.

The places where the verticals come up along side the horizontals are only supporting the weight on screws. This is good for the stability. But they are not the best for weight bearing. See the corners nearest the photographer, one with electrical.
Not sure if you've seen the plans before, but here they are.



The pieces of 2X4 you are referencing are the green ones. They bear no load. They are only there to hold the load bearing purple 2X4's behind them in place, which sit directly under the top red frame. The green boards can actually be removed once built if it's all glued. Mine don't even go down to the floor. The entire load is transferred directly from the top frame, through the purple ones then through the bottom frame and to the floor. The screws bear no loads.

Kind of hard to see from the photo, but the Center crosspieces have 4 "purple boards" under them as well as 2 "purple boards" under the front frame and 2 under the back frame at the crosspiece area. I could put my truck on this stand lol.

I see way too many stands with screws supporting the load as you mention. This is a great design to follow IMO. I have built several stands on this principle, this one being the largest so far.

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