10 ft. Long Stand, Double Tank Advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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10 ft. Long Stand, Double Tank Advice

The Idea:

I want to butt my 135 (72"x18"x24") and 90 (48"x18"x24") gallon tanks together on one wall where they would share a stand and hood of the same finish and design. The tanks will have separate filtration but be aquascaped similarly to give the appearance of one tank.

The Problem:

At a little over 10 feet, I run into the problem of getting straight lumber (which is not always easy). I would like to have as few vertical braces as possible so was thinking of using 4x4s as the top horizontal braces.

My Questions:
  1. Should I just make two stand carcasses (frames) and then butt them up against one another or is one solid piece better?
  2. Would metal be a better option for the top horizontal braces or combination of wood and metal? If so, what would be best to use, iron, aluminum, ???
  3. Are 4x4s overkill for the horizontal braces for this or would bigger be better?

There are a lot of details to this that I am leaving out (finish, height, etc.) because I am really just looking for your ideas and opinions on how to build the inner structure. I have a lot of ideas of my own but always value your opinion out there. Thanks!

- Chris
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post #2 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 01:06 PM
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Okay, I'm going to be the first to raise this point. Besides the structural integrity of the stand; have you first considered the structural soundness of the floor and wall in the room where you are planning to place this?
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post #3 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 02:11 PM
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This sounds like a killer idea. Would love to see a Journal on this.

I second the "check the floor first" comment.


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post #4 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 02:15 PM
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You could have a metal frame jigged up just the way you want it. It may be more expensive where you live. However, I found that local welding schools are always a good place to get projects done for fairly inexpensive. Sheet metal fab shops are going to be your best bet. The sheet fab shops are more expensive but the work will be tailored to your needs.
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post #5 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 02:34 PM
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How much work do you want to do?

I am a woodworker, so I have made use of this site in the past. If you take the time to do your weight calculations this can be useful. I realize it is designed for shelving, but you can still use it to help determine what you'll need to support this beast.

It is called "The Sagulator."

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm
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post #6 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intermediate_noob View Post
Are 4x4s overkill for the horizontal braces for this or would bigger be better?
For a ten foot span with a total of 225 gallons of water on them? A pair of 4x4's is way, way underkill.

You're moving into the territory where just slapping things together with framing lumber, without doing the engineering calculations, is asking for trouble. 'would re-think this, and support the beams every couple of feet or so, or do the engineering work so you know exactly what's going to happen.
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post #7 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 02:47 PM
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A steel rack welded up would be Ideal I think, but then again they look very industrial not so nice looking.
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post #8 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 03:19 PM
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I would use at least two 2x6 nailed together for horizontal members. Vertical columns at the quarter spans. With cross bracing at ever corner. Then sheeted with 3/4" plywood. If I was doing it I would use two 2x8's nailed together. I will also third the checking of the floor for capacity. I would be more likely to say if it is not on a concrete slab then don't do it.

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post #9 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post
You could have a metal frame jigged up just the way you want it. It may be more expensive where you live. However, I found that local welding schools are always a good place to get projects done for fairly inexpensive.
I second this advice as I took welding in a vocational school myself and we took in all kinds of odd jobs for cheap.

You could always skin the steel skeleton with whatever type woodwork you desired by having some mounting holes predrilled into the steel frame.


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post #10 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 04:46 PM
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I second this advice as I took welding in a vocational school myself and we took in all kinds of odd jobs for cheap.

You could always skin the steel skeleton with whatever type woodwork you desired by having some mounting holes predrilled into the steel frame.

Thats a good idea with the skin work..
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post #11 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 04:53 PM
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Save money and increase horizontal clearance by building the stand out of 2x4s and 3/4" plywood as the outside finish. At first, 225g volume and a 10' span seems a lot, but try to break a 2x4 with the narrow side up. You only need to support the tanks at the corners. In your case, be sure to incorporate vertical supports at the sides and at 5'/4' where the two tanks meet.
I would use 6' long 2x4 and stager them on top and bottom, front and back.

Go to a pet store and check out their stands, you'll notice they are made out of 1x1" and plywood, with plywood used to support the weight.
I have seen 500g stands made of acrylic only, instead of plywood like mentioned above.
I had a 225g setup made by Tennecor and the stand was made out of 3/4" MDF boards, no hoirizontal beams. It was a solid built box with open back and a vertical support in the center.

Just my opinion.
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post #12 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-26-2008, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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A couple of things. First and foremost, THANK YOU for your help. I greatly appreciate it, more than you know. I will respond to individual posts, but wanted to throw out a few things.

The tanks are in the room now, just on opposite walls along with another 55, a 20, and 15 all of which are a concrete slab.

I am not going to span the full 10' without bracing. In fact I am taking this as really two stands stuck together. I would just really like to be able to only have one horizontal brace on the 6' and none on the four (except the corner of the tank). So I will SketchUp something together tonight to show what I mean.

I will post later tonight or in the morning with everything. Thanks!
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post #13 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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OK, not my best, but you get the idea of what I was looking to do. Here is the tanks butted up against one another.




Here is another with some more info on the pieces.


Is this overkill? Should I make this all one stand like this?



With the design above, I am REALLY concerned about finding straight wood. What do you all think?

Sorry that the text is so small, I can export it larger but did not want to cause issues or anything. Thanks again for all the help.

BTW, the gap between the two tanks would be covered with a thin piece of molding. Depending on what I decide, I will throw the "skin" on them with the hood as well.
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post #14 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 01:39 AM
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Nice illustrations.

Here's a great link for DIY Stand Specs that I had forgot I had saved in favorites earlier. It may help give you some more info.

One advantage I can think of by doing the 2 stands butted against each other is that should you ever move, change your mind, sell the tanks etc., you could always use them seperately.


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post #15 of 167 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post
You could have a metal frame jigged up just the way you want it. It may be more expensive where you live. However, I found that local welding schools are always a good place to get projects done for fairly inexpensive. Sheet metal fab shops are going to be your best bet. The sheet fab shops are more expensive but the work will be tailored to your needs.
Awesome idea, but I just get scared about a "project" that makes my tanks fall to the floor in pieces. I will check at the local welding school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoGeek View Post
I am a woodworker, so I have made use of this site in the past. If you take the time to do your weight calculations this can be useful. I realize it is designed for shelving, but you can still use it to help determine what you'll need to support this beast.

It is called "The Sagulator."

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm
Awesome link, I will definitely keep this one around. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by User Name View Post
Save money and increase horizontal clearance by building the stand out of 2x4s and 3/4" plywood as the outside finish. At first, 225g volume and a 10' span seems a lot, but try to break a 2x4 with the narrow side up. You only need to support the tanks at the corners. In your case, be sure to incorporate vertical supports at the sides and at 5'/4' where the two tanks meet.
I would use 6' long 2x4 and stager them on top and bottom, front and back.

Go to a pet store and check out their stands, you'll notice they are made out of 1x1" and plywood, with plywood used to support the weight.
I have seen 500g stands made of acrylic only, instead of plywood like mentioned above.
I had a 225g setup made by Tennecor and the stand was made out of 3/4" MDF boards, no hoirizontal beams. It was a solid built box with open back and a vertical support in the center.

Just my opinion.
My 135 stand scares me. It is 2x4s on top of what look like 1x6s. Do not know how the thing supports the weight. But I agree, that if those can hold, I think I will do ok. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jinx© View Post
Nice illustrations.

Here's a great link for DIY Stand Specs that I had forgot I had saved in favorites earlier. It may help give you some more info.

One advantage I can think of by doing the 2 stands butted against each other is that should you ever move, change your mind, sell the tanks etc., you could always use them seperately.
Love the fish and tips site, totally awesome stands and even gives you skinning ideas. Thanks for your help and the idea about the "modular" approach. I think I may have made up my mind....well maybe.

Thanks all, I am going to do some more SketchUp to see what type of skin would look best and post something tomorrow maybe. I think butting the stands up and then placing some molding could hide the seam. Hmm...the wheels are turning, don't mind the smoke!
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