Aquarium stand is cracking
I recently built an aquarium stand and the posts are cracking... my wife and I are pretty concerned.
The stand was built 10 days ago using six 4x4 as support. The dimensions are approximately 49" high x 50" wide x 14"deep. The wood used is untreated pine bought from a lumber yard. The stand was built first and stained afterwards.
The stand is also anchored to the wall behind using metal braces to ensure greater lateral stability.
The tank that rests on it is a 55-gallon tank with quite a few rocks, gravel, and large driftwood. I don't know the exact weight, but it is quite heavy.
A few days after it was completed, we noticed a few cracks in the wood. On a few occasions, I actually heard the wood crack. Last night we both heard it and it is VERY disconcerting to say the least.
I read-up on vertical load bearing capacity of 48-inch 4x4s and that seemed to indicate that the stand was safe. I also read up on a phenomenon called "checking" which is wood cracking as it dries, but I am really worried and would like some advice.
Should I reinforce it with vertical steel beams? Should I use thru bolts? Please help me. If this thing breaks and causes damage to the house, I might find myself out of it...