Calling ENGINEERS: Tank weight + concrete help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Calling ENGINEERS: Tank weight + concrete help

Ok, the good news, so many of you read the "tank in the garage" post and I am happy to say that I can have a tank in the basement, a 40g breeder to be exact:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ge...um-garage.html

The bad news is to control my habit of going overboard, my S.O. has put me on a budget, leaving little room for the cost of a stand.

So, I need a sturdy, durable stand on the cheap and decided on the following.

On each corner of the tank, I will have 4 8x8x8 concrete half blocks stacked properly and glued together using masonry glue.

I will then use 1/2 inch plywood on top, again glued down.

Then a tablecloth or fabric to hide everything.

Shimmed and leveled, obviously.

That means MORE MONEY FOR PLANTS!

However, I wanted to ask the engineers if this setup is a good idea. I'm guessing it will be, but posting on here is free and worth it for the piece of mind.

Also, it will be in a poured concrete basement along a wall. Is there any danger of it cracking the concrete or doing any damage? It's new construction about 1 year old.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 11:57 PM
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i think the biggest worry would be the concrete basement setteling. which it will do for a few years after the house is built.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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So, does that mean I just have to keep leveling it or would it do permanent damage?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 12:13 AM
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Little to worry about with the floor, just watch your tank. I would use TWO 1/2 inch plywood boards glued together and screwed, for the top, not one.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 12:26 AM
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With a 40g you're looking at around 347 pounds of water in the tank. That's really not that much. Concrete blocks can handle a whole lot more than that...and the floor is no worry either.

Here's a little peice of mind....

Quote:
Actual tests of compression strength of hollow concrete blocks are difficult to make, because it is almost impossible to apply the load uniformly over the whole surface, and also because a block 16 inches long and 8 inches wide will bear a load of 150,000 to 200,000 pounds, or more than the capacity of any but the largest testing machines. Three one-quarter blocks, 8 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 9 inches high, with hollow space equal to one-third of the surface, tested at the Case School of Science, showed strengths of 1,805, 2,000, and 1,530 pounds per square inch, respectively, when 10 weeks old.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 01:03 AM
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Yeah, the concrete should be the least of your worries. Just make sure the tank is properly supported. My concern would be with the durability of 1/2" plywood after it gets wet a few times. I don't have much woodworking experience so maybe someone else can give you better advice here, but I would probably try to seal it with something.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 01:29 AM
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you can lay some 1x4 or 2x4 planks across the concrete blocks if you want something sturdier.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 01:30 AM
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I would build a 2" x 4" frame underneath the plywood. 1/2" plywood by itself will not hold much weight.. with a frame underneath, it'll be more than adequate when stacked on concrete blocks. Just make sure to build the frame so the tank edges rest on the frame and not on the plywood and it'll last longer than any commercial stand ever would. In other words, the plywood/2" x 4" frame shouldn't be much bigger than the tank dimensions. Having 2" x 4" 's over concrete blocks is overkill for a 40g, but after you put it together, you'll never have to worry about it...and it'll give you center support that the plywood alone will not.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 02:23 AM
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I would do what Lycosa said and build a simple 2x4 frame underneath. Maybe run a 2x4 front to back across the middle too.

A simple way I used to seal up my plywood was some dual sealer/gloss stuff. I only had time for one coat but water will bead on top and just evaporate rather than soak in.

I wouldn't worry about your concrete floor either, it'll be fine.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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What about MDF instead of plywood? When I went to Home Depot, it seemed much stronger.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 02:42 AM
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Can't go wrong with two layers of 3/4 inch ply glued and screwed together. You can even get them cut at the hardware store if they are equipped to do so (like Lowes). Should cost less than $20 for the wood.

-Chris

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 02:57 AM
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MDF will fall apart if it gets wet. Two pieces of inch plywood will be good, two inch pieces will be better. You can buy sheets of plywood.
Were in Ma. Are you from, if you are close by me I may have some you can have?
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