Thoughts on this muscle rack + looking for reccs - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2021, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on this muscle rack + looking for reccs

What do people think of this muscle rack for a tiered tank system?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/edsal-Muscl...nit/1000556555

With one 29 growout on the bottom, a 29 display in the middle, and a 20L breeding tank on top ? Are there any other options I should consider? I'd like to buy a prefabricated rack instead of making a cinderblock and 2x4 or wooden rack stand since I'm moving someplace with earthquakes....

So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-11-2021, 12:03 AM
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I have 2 racks like that in my garage and I can tell you I wouldn't use it as is. At a minimum you should look into waterproofing that particle board. Most people that use those replace the particle board with actual plywood. How thick would depend on how much actual weight you plan on putting on it. I'm not sure if 1/2" is enough or not, some of the more carpenterish/engineering types can chime in on that. I don't have anywhere near the weight they advertise and I can see the shelves bowing under the load. The racks seem to be fairly sturdy other than that. If you plan on stacking them like in the pic, make sure you get the clips/legs firmly attached.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-11-2021, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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I have 2 racks like that in my garage and I can tell you I wouldn't use it as is. At a minimum you should look into waterproofing that particle board. Most people that use those replace the particle board with actual plywood. How thick would depend on how much actual weight you plan on putting on it. I'm not sure if 1/2" is enough or not, some of the more carpenterish/engineering types can chime in on that. I don't have anywhere near the weight they advertise and I can see the shelves bowing under the load. The racks seem to be fairly sturdy other than that. If you plan on stacking them like in the pic, make sure you get the clips/legs firmly attached.
Definitely in regards to waterproofing the particle board. After going through two walmart "nice looking" stands, I refuse to deal with any more particle board without waterproofing it.

So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2021, 07:02 PM
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I'd replace the particle board with a nice grade of 1/2 inch plywood. Seal it with several (more than you think you need) coats of waterproof paint. Way easier and, honestly, cheaper than merely sealing the particle board.

That's what I've done for at least a decade.

Not sure I'd put a 29 any higher than the bottom shelf but all setups are different. I only use the lower shelf for 20gal longs (29 would be fine), next shelves for smaller tanks. Top few all have plants - terrestrial and aquatic - or other supplies.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2021, 08:36 PM
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I think I'd trust a well constructed wooden rack more than one of those tool-less / knock together racks on shacking ground but i've zero practical experience, maybe those with some can say if they are more quake resistant than their wobbly nature might suggest?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2021, 12:20 AM
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There's nothing wobbly about them.

But with any tall shelving, they would ideally be secured. I prefer to keep tanks on the lower half of the shelving unit and use the upper portions for other stuff or really small tanks that don't weigh much.

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Originally Posted by SardinePatheNews View Post
I think I'd trust a well constructed wooden rack more than one of those tool-less / knock together racks on shacking ground but i've zero practical experience, maybe those with some can say if they are more quake resistant than their wobbly nature might suggest?


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2021, 01:22 AM
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Mine are not wobbly at all. If assembled properly they are fairly sturdy. Like I said previously, the weak point is the shelf. If I was going to put aquariums on them, I would replace them with plywood.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-15-2021, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichthyogeek View Post
What do people think of this muscle rack for a tiered tank system?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/edsal-Muscl...nit/1000556555

With one 29 growout on the bottom, a 29 display in the middle, and a 20L breeding tank on top ? Are there any other options I should consider? I'd like to buy a prefabricated rack instead of making a cinderblock and 2x4 or wooden rack stand since I'm moving someplace with earthquakes....

Quote:
[*]This sturdy steel shelving unit supports up to 2500 lb (evenly distributed)[*]Each of the 5 particleboard shelves supports up to 800 lb of evenly distributed weight
29gal tank weighs 330lbs.
total weight of the 3 tanks is about 885 lbs.
I'd worry more about racking left and right.
And yep particle board sucks around water. (personal opinion)

Oh and supporting is not the same as deflecting..
https://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/
IF I understand this correctly the main problem creating sag with that kind of weight and distribution is the floating edge.
Gluing it to the metal will decrease any sag by quite a bit (My take.)

like most things, in practice it may not matter though if you think about putting a large weight in the center of a 18 x 36 panel it will seem to have a tendency to "cup"
but your tank edges are what takes the real weight


Quote:
I'm moving someplace with earthquakes.
Don' know what to say

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure"

Last edited by jeffkrol; 01-15-2021 at 05:55 AM. Reason: edit
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Today, 01:16 AM
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Thoughts on this muscle rack + looking for reccs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ichthyogeek View Post
What do people think of this muscle rack for a tiered tank system?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/edsal-Muscl...nit/1000556555

With one 29 growout on the bottom, a 29 display in the middle, and a 20L breeding tank on top ? Are there any other options I should consider? I'd like to buy a prefabricated rack instead of making a cinderblock and 2x4 or wooden rack stand since I'm moving someplace with earthquakes....

I used to have these in my garage. I personally would never trust one with nearly 1,000lbs of tanks on them.

If you insist on having all 3 on the same rack, Iíd build out of framing lumber...4x4s, 2x4s and 3/4Ē plywood. Really shouldnít be much more expensive than the rack, and can be done with a circular saw, drill and screws.

Iím really not sure what benefits the rack would give you in an earthquake area. If anything, Iíd guess itís even another reason to build oversized and sturdy. Could even incorporate a tuned mass damper! lol....But Iíd probably try it. And it would fail because Iím an amateur. But Iíd still think it was awesome.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Today, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SardinePatheNews View Post
I think I'd trust a well constructed wooden rack more than one of those tool-less / knock together racks on shacking ground but i've zero practical experience, maybe those with some can say if they are more quake resistant than their wobbly nature might suggest?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaz419 View Post
I used to have these in my garage. I personally would never trust one with nearly 1,000lbs of tanks on them.

If you insist on having all 3 on the same rack, Iíd build out of framing lumber...4x4s, 2x4s and 3/4Ē plywood. Really shouldnít be much more expensive than the rack, and can be done with a circular saw, drill and screws.

Iím really not sure what benefits the rack would give you in an earthquake area. If anything, Iíd guess itís even another reason to build oversized and sturdy. Could even incorporate a tuned mass damper! lol....But Iíd probably try it. And it would fail because Iím an amateur. But Iíd still think it was awesome.


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I mean, sure, but there's no guides that properly explain how in the world you build a rack. Like, my construction skills amount to 0. I know how to weld PVC together using glue and cement and that's it. Like, before I construct anything, I need to know the math behind it. With a prefab rack, I know they've at least done some amount of math probably.

Mostly I'm going with prefab racks because I want to be able to easily assemble and disassemble them, in addition to the fact that they're easier to figure out how to anchor to the walls in case of earthquake. I don't know how to do that with wooden racks.

So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Today, 12:46 PM
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Thoughts on this muscle rack + looking for reccs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ichthyogeek View Post
I mean, sure, but there's no guides that properly explain how in the world you build a rack. Like, my construction skills amount to 0. I know how to weld PVC together using glue and cement and that's it. Like, before I construct anything, I need to know the math behind it. With a prefab rack, I know they've at least done some amount of math probably.

Mostly I'm going with prefab racks because I want to be able to easily assemble and disassemble them, in addition to the fact that they're easier to figure out how to anchor to the walls in case of earthquake. I don't know how to do that with wooden racks.

You can keep it very simple with framing lumber and itíll be very strong. I wouldnít be able to tell you the actual math behind it, but Iím certain itís a magnitude of order stronger than that metal shelf, and when youíre talking about a dynamic load (like in an earthquake) or itís strength to resist wracking (applying pressure from top corner towards the opposite bottom corner) itís probably two magnitudes of order stronger, since those are gonna be your major weak points on a metal shelf like you linked.

Does this help?


I think You could build 3 of these and basically stack them on to each other and use a few screws to hold them all together.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Today, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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You can keep it very simple with framing lumber and itíll be very strong. I wouldnít be able to tell you the actual math behind it, but Iím certain itís a magnitude of order stronger than that metal shelf, and when youíre talking about a dynamic load (like in an earthquake) or itís strength to resist wracking (applying pressure from top corner towards the opposite bottom corner) itís probably two magnitudes of order stronger, since those are gonna be your major weak points on a metal shelf like you linked.

Does this help?

https://youtu.be/4vNn8zilc48

I think You could build 3 of these and basically stack them on to each other and use a few screws to hold them all together.


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Not really no. I think I'll just stick with the prefab stands. The Youtube video was like every other video on building a stand and focused more on dimensions and aesthetics rather than on how much weight it would hold and why.

So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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