Safe max height of a 20L stand - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Safe max height of a 20L stand

I've been given the OK to set up a tank in my office. I would like to build my stand so that it is at least as tall as my desk which is 32". I'm also considering making it a little taller so that it is at eye level (36-40"). Since it will be so top heavy at what point would it be too tall and pose a fall hazard? If all else fails I know I could weigh down the base but I was wondering what others are using for a height.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 01:37 AM
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Is the tank going to be against the wall, or freestanding out in the open? It is important because if it is against the wall it can't topple unless someone pulls it over, but in the open it can be bumped to topple it.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 03:14 AM
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Depends on the office but for my use, I would want it strapped to something. The desk or the wall? The offices I have been in have a habit of having some pretty careless cleaning crews ---and fellow workers?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 02:47 PM
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20L is a pretty small tank. It shouldn't be hard to build a stand that won't tip.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 02:51 PM
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Obviously you need to worry about the tippiness but I find the limiting factor on height for me is how hard it is to reach easily into the tank.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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It will be against a wall so I am less concerned about it being pushed over. I have considering anchoring it to the wall but all I have to work with is drywall (and maybe a metal stud if I can find it). Just anchoring it in the drywall won't provide all that much protection if all of the weight is above the anchor point. I don't know if anchoring it to the desk will fly with management. Just sitting here, I think I would want to make the stand 36" high.

To resist tipping, I have considered making the stand larger than the tank so it is a little more stable. Maybe a 36" by 18" by 36" high stand. Any other thoughts or suggestions for design considerations.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 03:38 AM
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A 20 gallon tank will weigh 150-200 pounds. To tip it forward, the only direction it can tip if it is against the wall, you would have to pull out on the tank hard enough to lift that weight. The taller the stand, the less pull it would take, but even a 4 foot high stand would seem to require a malicious intent to pull it down. The tank is so long it is very unlikely anyone could tip it to one side, even if they wanted to.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroMan View Post
Just anchoring it in the drywall won't provide all that much protection if all of the weight is above the anchor point.
First, if it's against the wall and has something on each side (does it) I think you are overly worrying.

But people anchor stuff to drywall all the time. While yes, someone trying can break it loose, between the natural inertia of the tank and the strength of a drywall anchor I think you're talking a fully malicious act, not an accident, to tip it.

A couple of L-brackets sticking out an inch or so, a hole in the back (if there is a back) to reach to put a screw in, and some anchors and you're done. Something like this:



To pull those out you have to be really destructive.

Other alternative is to build a stand that's a bit like a pyramid, a bit wider at the bottom. This could be inconspicuous with some L brackets coming out from the very bottom to provide a wider base (go look at how server racks have permanent or slide out braces to keep them from tipping forward), or could be shaped that way gracefully. Maybe something just 30% wider at the bottom than the top makes for a great increase in stability.

But if it was me, I just don't think I would worry that much. Find out when the cleaning crew cleans, and have the lights on during to give it a bit more attention.

By the way, I'd worry more about the cleaning crew unplugging it and forgetting to plug it back in than knocking it over. Most places I've been they were notorious for that. Could be a problem on the weekend. Plug it into an inconvenient outlet!

PS. Our make a bookshelf, with it as just one part of the bookshelf, so you have some a wider and deeper base, then it also fits with the decor?

Linwood

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-11-2014, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
A 20 gallon tank will weigh 150-200 pounds.
Aw shoot, and here I was thinking 20L meant 20 litres coming from seeing all these "60P" and similar threads which are litres, but now I realize 20L could just as easily be a 20 gallon long. 20 litres is only like 44 pounds


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-12-2014, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Some good ideas. I have some extra 2x4s and I might make up a rough stand and see how stable it is.

Yes it is a 20 long.
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