Cinder block tank rack? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Cinder block tank rack?

I Have seen many tank rack designs and it makes a decision of rack building much harder. I don't have circular saw, which it seems a lot of these projects need. There was one supported by cinder blocks as the posts and plain old 2x4s as the horizontal support. There is no tools needed(except for a level and tape measurer) but I was wondering, will it but strong enough? I was planning to put a 30 gallon on the bottom and a 20 long on top. If it works ok, I will continue the same design with 10 gallons and 2 long. Thanks

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 01:41 PM
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2x4 on edge is fine for those tanks. If they are rimless or acrylic, then add a sheet of plywood.
Some lumber stores will cut to order.
Why not buy a saw? Or look into renting one?

I have some 45-50 gallon tanks on concrete block stands with a box made out of different types of wood, including some of 2 x 4. I am using both glue and screws to connect the boards. Usually I use the bottom shelf for storage, not another tank. I am sure it would work, though.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 04:12 PM
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Concrete blocks work very well for stands. They are often used in college situations where the stand has to be torn down and moved often. They fit in a car! When I had college area rentals, this was common.
But that also needs a bit of care. The blocks are sturdy enough but there is a "right" way to turn them. When using a block with holes, turn them so the holes face up/down rather than on the sides as they can crush pretty easy when used wrong. Poor folks working on cars sometimes find this?
For small tanks like 30 and under, just a couple stacks of blocks can do it but I like to add a layer of wood across the top for a couple reasons. One is that it tends to save the lower rim of the tank from the rough blocks. Second is that the horizontal wood across a couple stacks will tie the two together to keep them from tipping or moving. The tank is fine with just the corners supported but tied together with the horizontals is more sturdy. A couple 2X4 laid flat is plenty. A layer of 3/4 plywood is good as well depending on what works for you. A 2X4 cut to length at the big box stores can be cheap and handy.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 04:52 PM
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For pine 2X4's, a hand saw doesn't take an incredibly long time.

But a circular saw really isn't too expensive. $40 for the cheapo corded model at Lowes.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 08:16 PM
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Cinder block tank rack?

I've seen that video before, I was just still worried it would bow. I know the circular saw isn't that much, but would rather have an easily movable/ easy to take down stand. Thanks everyone

Will Ogburn
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 11:08 PM
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The secret to not having a bow is the tanks on top. The 2X4 can't bow up as it would have to lift the tank. It also has a hard time bowing down as the tank and cement blocks have it in a "sandwich" at each stack. And since there is no weight on the middle, it has little reason to bow down other than if there was a terrible defect in the board. It might try but to go down it will need to pull some extra out from under the tank/ cement block "sandwich". For the center to go down, the ends wave to go up or there would have to be more bending than logical. A bend at the center requires bends at each end as well and pulling to get the extra length. Just doesn't happen. If you set a small tank in the middle of two stacks, the wood will bow down but not if both tank ends are supported.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-15-2015, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks for that. so on top one, would I put some cinder blocks above it even if I have no intent of putting another tank above that one, just to keep the "sandwich"?

Will Ogburn
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-15-2015, 03:39 AM
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I would not unless there was some other reason. The weight of the concrete blocks is not nearly as heavy and would not work to hold things nearly as well. But then without tanks on top of the boards, what would one use them for? A place to hang lights, maybe? For something pretty light and easy to move, etc. like lights, I would just lay a 2X across if I did want to hang lights. The weight of the lights is not likely to bow any solid stuff and if it did I would not find it much trouble to change without having tanks and such to deal with. For a rack to hang things from, one easy way to make sure wood doesn't bow is to add a second piece at an angle to the first making an "L" like an angle iron. Flat stuff like steel bar will bend easy but add and angle and it is much stiffer. To really go for stiff making a "C" does more. Reason for "I" beams in buildings? Super duty strong.
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