looking for plans for 75 tall stand - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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looking for plans for 75 tall stand

I had someone give me a 75gal tall with no stand i have found plans for a 75gal but its for a regular 75 thats 48 inches long and my 75 tall is 36 inches will their plans work and i just center the tank with 6 inches on either end or can i shortin the length for 48 to 36 or look for different plans witch i have looked everywhere.

thank you for your advice
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone ?? please please
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 06:15 AM
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What are the dimensions on the tank? I wouldn't think it would be too hard to draw up plans of your own. Here's what I built for my 40 breeder a few years ago. It's obvious I'm not an overly skilled carpenter, but it's very sturdy. If anything I over engineered it.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 04:00 AM
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I would honestly recommend looking at various build threads. Read through 10 or 20, and design something yourself. If you are willing to put in some extra time and effort, you can build something pretty beautiful with very little experience.

Most people with any experience in building anything load bearing won't tell you that you can just chop a foot off the design your looking at unless they see the design themselves. We don't want to tell you something is safe to do, or will still be sturdy, when in actuality we have no idea. Post the plans, and you will get more responses.

If you don't care about pretty, you can always go the route of 2x4 madness. In other words, when in doubt, add another 2x4.

Also, the more specific the question, the more specific the answer. That's probably why you haven't gotten many responses to your question.

Best advice, read build threads. The entire threads. like other people's questions and comments as well as the OP.

As a matter of fact, yes, I always post, or reply, in novels. I'm adding it to my signature because it seems like I say it in every post!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 01:37 AM
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The stand should have a foot print just a little bigger than the tank's foot print, or matched to it. That way the weight of the filled tank sits on the vertical boards, and not between them, where it tends to bend the horizontal boards. But, people do sometimes put "small" foot print tanks on big foot print stands. It just isn't the best way to do it.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Construction of a Custom Stand
For a 75 Gallon Fish Aquarium
After talking about it for years, we finally decided to embark on a new hobby of fishkeeping.
Myself being the sort who is incapable of doing much on a small scale, I suggested we start with a 75 gallon aquarium.
We went around to a few fish stores checking prices on a tank and stand. I suffered a bit of sticker shock at the prices for a cabinet stand. They were asking $180.00 for a mediocre pine stand built from about $40 in lumber. Talk about your profit margin.
These are very popular stands, made by one of the top companies and found in every fish store, so they must be adequate for the job. Still I figure a 75 gallon setup will tip the scales at somewhere around 750 pounds so I wanted something I had confidence in. Besides, if I'm going to lay out $180 for a cabinet, I expect a better value for my money.
The answer was to build one myself. I looked around the net for some plans, just to save designing something from scratch, but the majority of what I found was just how to make the same thing I saw in the store. So in the end I wound up building what you will see here. I know it's not exactly a snake cage, but I figured I'd document the construction anyway. After all I know alot of herp keepers enjoy their fish quariums as well.
Also, this same stand will work for a standard 90 gallon tank as well. The only difference between a 75 and a 90 is the height. You can modify these plans to fit a 55 gallon easily too. The length of the 55 is the same, but it is 6" narrower.
I have not built a hood to go with this stand. At this time I have no idea when or if I will ever get one built. If I do it will be added to the site. So if you don't see a link to it on this page, there's no need to email me asking about it.

The tools I used for this stand are as follows:

Circular saw
Compound miter saw
You'll also need a tri-square, a wood chisel, and other miscellaneous hand tools.
Materials List

(1) 10' 4x4
(2) 10' 2x4
(2) 8' 1x4
(6) 8' 1x3
(3) 6' 1x2
(1) 4x8 sheet of 1/4" oak plywood
(1) 8' stick of corner molding
(1) 49"x 19" 1/2" plywood
2 1/2" wood screws
1" wood screws
3d finishing nails
4 hinges and 2 door pulls
Your choice of stain with matching putty and semigloss polyurethane
I hope this materials list is accurate. Some of the smaller pieces I had in scrap laying around, so I bought different amounts.
With the oak plywood, you will not use a full sheet by any means, and Lowe's does sell it in half and quarter sheets which can save you some money unless you have a need for the leftover.
Construction of the stand

We begin by cutting and notching the 4x4s. You will notice the 4x4 I used is pressure treated. This is not required, but my local lumber yard only carries 4x4s as treated.
Cut the 4x4 into (4) 30" long pieces. These will be the load bearing corner posts.
You'll cut notches in the ends of each leg to accept the 2x4 top and bottom frame. It takes a little work to cut out the notches, but it's an important part. The notched legs allow the wood to support the weight of the aquarium rather than screws, which would be the case if you just fastened the frames to the legs.
A 2x4 measures 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" and this is the size notches that will be cut on two sides of each end. Set your blade on your circular saw to 1 1/2" depth for these cuts so you will not cut too deep and weaken the remaining wood.
I tried to take adequate pictures to show the method of cutting out the notches. The circular saw alone will not complete the cuts, you will have to finish them with a hand saw. You will also likely have to do a little additional trimming with a wood chisel to make the 2x4 frames fit flush into them. It's handy to use a piece of scrap 2x4 as a guide for this step.
When cutting the notches on the opposite end, make sure you cut them on the same side.

Next you'll make the top and bottom frames.
Cut the 2x4s into (4) 49" pieces and (4) 16" pieces. The overall frame size will be 49"x 19". This will allow 1/2" of wiggle room all the way around beyond the size of the aquarium.
Screw the frames together using 2 1/2" wood screws. Make sure they are square.
Below is a picture of one of the frames.

Now you'll attach the frames to the legs you worked so hard on. This frame will bear the majority of the weight, but we still need a few braces.
Cut (2) 16" 2x4 and (2) 23" 2x4. Space the 16" braces evenly in the bottom frame. This will distribute the weight of the aquarium over more of the floor space.
The other two pieces will be the center braces for the front and back. Measure the frame and make a mark at dead center on the front and back pieces. You will center the braces on these marks.The front brace will also act as a stop and gap fill for the doors.
I used metal "T" brackets to strengthen the center braces and then angled wood screws into the frame rails to secure them.

Next, you'll install the floor of the cabinet. You'll see that I used OSB board for the floor. I only did this because I had some scrap pieces around and didn't want to have to buy a sheet of plywood just to get this small piece. If you're buying the wood, go with plywood, it will hold up much better should you get it wet.
You'll need to cut notches out in the floor to accomodate the braces. Once you have it trimmed properly, secure it to the bottom frame rails with wood screws.

The frame is now finished. Everything you've built so far is designed to support the weight of the aquarium, and it will do a fine job. It's still not much to look at however, so we'll move on to the finish work by adding the trim and building the doors.

First, we'll use the 1x4 for the top and bottom trim. These pieces will cover the 2x4 frames
I cut the ends of the trim molding on a 45 angle for a better finished look. If you do not have a miter saw, you can use a butt joint here, just cut the front pieces long enough to overlap the ends.
Once the pieces are cut, attach them to the frames with finishing nails. the finishing nails will be countersunk and puttied over for a smooth look. Use just enough nails to secure the pieces. The molding is just for looks and doesn't not support any weight. The fewer nails you use, the fewer you'll have to putty later.

After you have attached the 1x4 trim, you'll cut the 1/4" oak plywood for the panneling. Cut a piece for each end and nail it on with finishing nails. For the front, you'll cut 3 narrow pieces to cover the corner posts and the center brace. A back is not necessary, and is often left off to allow for the routing of hoses acssociated with the filter. If you need a back on the cabinet, attach it now.

Next you'll cover the corner joints with the corner molding. Cut one piece for each corner and attach it with finishing nails. It's a good idea to predrill the holes in the corner molding with a very small bit to prevent splitting the wood.
Below is a picture of the oak plywood panel and the corner molding installed on one end.

Next, we'll make the doors. My doors were 22 3/4" high. This measurement should work for you, but measure the space just to be sure, and leave a slight gap to make sure the door doesn't drag.
You'll need (8) 22 3/4" 1x3 for each door, a total of (16). In the pictures further down the page, you can see that I have used a router to round the edges of the 1x3 pieces. This provides a much better look to the finished doors. I suggest you go ahead and round the corners of the 8' boards before you cut them.
To round the edges, I used a round over bit set to a shallow depth. Use a scrap piece of wood to check the setting before cutting on the door pieces.
Make sure you cut the pieces straight or the doors will look funny. The miter saw comes in handy for this.

After you cut out the 1x3 slats, lay them side by side on a flat surface, making sure the ends are all even.
Cut (4) 1x2s 18" long and attach them to the door pieces, using a screw in each piece. Now cut a cross brace to lay diagonally between them to keep the pieces from shifting. If you have the tools and the inclination, you can join the pieces together with a biscit cutter. I don't have one of these, so I used the cross braces instead.

Hanging the doors is the most difficult part. It can be hard to get them level and closing evenly if you're not familiar with making doors.
For hinges, I used self closing flush mount hinges in antique brass. I recessed the hinges into the corner posts 1/4" so that the edge of the door would completely cover the door opening.
Center the hinges four inches from the top and bottom frame rails. That's four inches to the center of the hinge. Trace around the hinge with a felt tip marker so you can see the mark well.
You can use a wood chisel to cut the hinge recess, but it's much easier and more precise to use a router. I used a rabbiting bit set to 1/4" depth to make the recesses. Once the notches are cut, attach the hinges.

Now you just need to hang the doors, making sure they are level, close properly, and do not rub either the top or bottom trim pieces. Take your time on this step, and make sure the doors are placed where you want them before attaching them to the hinges.
You may also want to cut a 1x2 to fit under the top frame on each side between the center brace and the corner post. This will fill any gap between the door and the top frame.

With the doors on, your aquarium stand is finished. Stain it the color of your choice, and attach the door pulls and you have a nice furniture quality stand that will support 10 times the weight of a store bought one for less than half the cost.

Here is a picture of the finished stand in use. The aquarium is not finished, it is in the process of completeing the initial cycling of the water. I may build a matching canopy for this tank. If I do decide to do that, I will add that to this page.
The retail price for a 48" aquarium strip light is around $82 here, and I will not pay that much money for a plastic flourescent strip light. If I can locate one reasonably priced, I may just go with it, if not I will design a canopy and use my own light fixture in it.
The only addition not pictured here is a strip outlet. I attached a 6 plug strip outlet to the center rear brace. All the associated aquarium equipment will plug in there and only one cord will go to the wall. When using a strip outlet in this fashion, you must mount it as high as possible on the leg to allow for a drip loop on all the cords running to it. You don't want water traveling down the cord and into the outlet.

Clay Davenport
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Frank98284 View Post
Sounds like the same footprint as a 40B. Due to petco's $1/gallon sale, this is a pretty popular tank, and there are a lot of DIY 40B stands. I'm fairly certain almost all of them are overbuilt, and could handle several 40B worth of weight, so sticking a 75gallon on there shouldn't be a problem.

Especially if it's one of the plans using 2x4's those things are usually overbuilt.

I recently built a 40B stand, but I don't really have any reproducible plans (a lot of scribblings on graph paper, and a handful of drunken sketchings on the back of bar tabs. :/)

But in general, you want a sound frame- stick some 2x4's on the narrow edge, and use these to make a rectangle to support the black frame of the tank. I tend to make mine ~1/2" bigger then the tank, just to avoid issues.

Have 1or two 2x3's or 2x4's as a vertical support on each corner, directly underneath the horizontal supports. if you are only using one, have it straddle the seams/but joints of the horizontal pieces above, if you are using two make sure each horizontal is supported by a vertical.

Most importantly, make sure wood is sitting directly on top of wood - screws should just keep it from falling apart, and shouldn't be relied on for structural support.

Once you have a supporting frame, you can do all sorts of things for aesthetics, but that frame will be doing all the work, and is the part that needs to be made well (or at least adequately)

anyways, here's my overbuilt, undocumented stand (40B, but it has a ~6" shelf (not fully supported) at the back for equipment):
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