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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a heavy duty Edsal industrial shelf, 36" W x 60" H x 18" D, (this one) with two adjustable shelves. Each shelf has 800 lb. capacity, and I when I got it, I swapped out the particle board for 3/4" plywood. Initially I had nano tanks on it, on the second and third up shelf (so basically not the bottom or top of the shelf), but I'm getting rid of my nano tanks for a 20 gallon long. My issue is how far up to put the tank. My desk and chair is next to this shelf, so I would like to be able to have a good view of the tank.

Currently I have it on the second from the bottom shelf, 23.5" high, but that feels too low.

I've read that 32-36" high is a good height to put an aquarium. This means I could lower the bottom adjustable shelf so that it's 32" high, then have the next adjustable shelf 23" above that (height of the tank, the light, and an additional 8" so I can get into the tank makes the total height needed 23").

Basically the space between shelves would then be:
Bottom shelf to next shelf up: 28"
Aquarium shelf to next shelf up: 23"

There's no room for the top adjustable shelf, I'd have to remove, or place it toward the bottom shelf. However, that would leave the tank on the second to top shelf, and I likely wouldn't have anything as big or empty to put on the shelves below it. I'm worried that the height distrubution will be dangerous. Any suggestions?

If I keep the tank 23.5" high on the middle shelf with a space of 23" for the height of that shelf, that leaves the top shelf with just 11" of space. Ugg.

Could always just ditch one adjustable shelf, place the remaining adjustable shelf remaining 24" from the ground, leaving 30" of space for the bottom shelf. The tank would still be technically on the top shelf, but I tried putting the tank on the bottom shelf and it was just way too low.

The reason I decided to keep using this shelf is because it's strong and already established, the cabinets I've looked at have had partical board and other inferior wood, and I don't feel like doing a DIY project with plywood.

Edit: So just to see how it would look, I put the second to top shelf 23" downward, and since it's a 20 gallon long and not a high, I think it looks evenly distributed and not as much of a risk as I thought it'd be. Now I can either divide the bottom space into two shelves or just leave it one big open shelf, but I will try and make sure there's something heavy on the bottom, just for some distribution.
 

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So I'm going through a similar situation, but I just don't have the stand yet. Have you considered sketching it out using something lke Sketchbook, or if you're more technologically inclined, using Google SketchUp?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I ended up putting it on the topmost adjustable shelf (so not on the very top of the shelf, just under that), with room above for equipment and space to get in. Seems pretty firm and stable so far. I haven't filled the tank up yet, though.
 
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