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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm looking at upgrading from a 10 gallon planted tank to a 30 gallon, but have some slight doubts about the ability of my desk to hold a 30 gallon and thought I might ask your opinion. I know it will fit space wise, but the weight is the real sticking point. My desk is rated to 500lbs and a 30 gallon fully filled with water only is about 240lbs. I'd position the tank along the back against a corner of the desk for maximum load bearing and viewing area. I worry mostly about the prolonged weight towards the middle of the desk. The desk has only a small amount of other stuff like a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

What do you guys think?

This is the desk I have, its an older model with a better composite wood top:
Work Bench, Work Benches in Stock - ULINE
 

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Sounds ok, but the real worry is if it breaks are you prepared to handle 30 gallons of water on your floor vs 10 gallons?
 

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Well, figure a 30 gallon tank at 300 lbs.
That table looks sturdy, but I also would be concerned that the 300 lbs is at least partially over the unsupported middle section of the table.
Is there any way you could add another support in that area? A cross piece under the table right at the front of the tank would add some strength. A leg would be great (but would probably get in the way when you want to sit at the table).

How strong is the wood? What kind of wood? How thick?
I have a lot of the hardware store garage storage sort of stands. I have replaced the particle board with 1/2" plywood. This holds a 29 gallon tank just fine. The span between the legs is 36". the 29 gallon tank is only 30". In the other direction, the tank is a foot deep, and the shelf is 18".
Looks to me like that table is longer and wider, which means the support under the wood is farther away.
 

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I would say your fine if you have a maple or metal top... about the others, esp fiber board, they lose their strength if they get wet. Also I'd be sure to check to make sure the bolts are tight, I've used those tables before for other purposes and they would loosen up after being dragged around for a while
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The computer and other sensitive equipment is actually adjacent to the desk on an entertainment center off of the floor. It's just a flat screen, keyboard, mouse, sometimes food (on plates!) and always a ton of note cards for studying on the desk. Good point about 3x the water on the ground though, it definitely weighs heavily into the decision making process.

However, my concerns mirror what Diana said, that unsupported middle section. The tabletop is ~2.5" composite of what appear to be woodchips, listed on the site as simply "composite". Looking into your idea about supporting the middle section, it looks like ULINE sells replacement legs. One replacement leg installed along the back of the table would give more strength to the middle section perhaps.

Thank you all for your insights though!
 

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"With a better composite top"...no.
Use something which is made for an aquarium. Which 30g BTW ?
I ask because I wouldn't replace a 10g/w a 30T tank. 24.3" x 12.5" x 24.8"
Unless you really like that particular shape. How tall it is makes it tricky to light
for plants.
The 30L which is 36.3" x 12.7" x 16.8" would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The top I currently have is indeed thicker and sturdier than that sold on the site currently, my office just bought extra tables from ULINE and was frustrated to find that the composite tops do not match in color, thickness or sturdiness as these older tabletops (LYON brand, I can't find much on them).

However, I suppose I wasn't very clear on which tank I wanted, I thought rough weight and volume were the most important determinants. I am most likely going to try for a 29 Gallon, it is the same footprint as the 20L I had on the desk previously (I had to exchange for a 10 gallon when I moved into dorms, but I'm free soon!) just a littler taller for more swim space and to allow stem plants to grow out a bit. I haven't decided completely though. This tank would be ideal as it would still fit my Satellite+ LED fixture that looks like a ridiculous hat ontop of the 10 gallon!
 

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I would make a stand personally. You can trim 2x4's down and make it pretty bare bones. It doesn't need a top or sides or anything and would match that desk quite well when painted gray/black with some rustoleum paint. A 2x4 should cost you a couple dollars. Just get some that are straight (eye ball it) and have the home improvement store cut them for you. They usually do a couple cuts for free, but my local one charges like $0.50 a cut after 2 free cuts per piece. And the check out people usually don't care and give it to me for free. Then all you need is a drill to assemble the stand. Paint the lumber after predrilling holes but before assembly for maximum protection. Total cost, $20. It will last a lifetime and hold twice as much weight as that desk is rated for.

I do not trust anything not designed for the purpose of holding a tank. The top is supported around the edges and in the center via a brace. Your tank would not fall directly on those braces, unless you measured and lucked out. That would worry me. The weight would be on the topper material, not the metal frame. That's a recipe for sagging and eventual failure.
 

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if you can add a single 2x4 length to support the desktop you will have zero issues.
 
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