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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an ADA 30-C right now which sits on my desk. I live in a college dorm and do not have a lot of space (or $) for a real aquarium stand. In addition, I have to move 2x every 9 months for the next 5 years until I finish my doctoral degree in occupational therapy. If I had a stand, it would have to be made of materials that could be easily broken down and moved without compromising their structural integrity. I was thinking of possibly DIY'ing a stand from the 1/2" black "Iron" (steel) pipe commonly used for residential gas lines. with a wooden top secured by brackets to the pipe. Does anyone know if this piping material has the strength required to bear the weight of my tank (approx. 70-80 lbs.)? I would brace the stand about halfway up to the top using T fittings and construct the top and bottom portions of the stand using T fittings, 90 degree fittings and 12" sections of pipe, each leg of the stand would consist of 2 18" sections of pipe with a T in the middle for bracing with 12" sections of pipe. If anyone knows if this is a sound design let me know.
 

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It sounds like your stand would be plenty sturdy (and heavy) andwould break down very easily. I think the problem you will run in to is the price. Those steel pipes cost a lot more than you might think. I would honestly try building it out of PVC pipe first. You might be thinking that I'm out of my mind, but PVC is pretty strong stuff. I knew a Guy who built a bicycle out of it. You are in a dorm in college, ask an engineering student what they think. Just test the stand before placing your tank on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The price of the pipe isn't really a problem because I used to be an HVAC service tech, so I have lots of pipe fittings laying around, I just need a few pieces for the legs.
 

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With enough elbows & T-fitting you could build a very strong tankstand if you don't go longer than 30". Use pipe straps to attach a wooden top.

For that top, if you use two PCs of 1/2" plywood sealed in clear Poly you would keep a very industrial look to the stand.
 

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I think it would be more than strong enough. Keep in mind that the wood top will sit on the fittings which will be larger than the pipe and raise the top a few millemeters. So it will need to be strong enough not to deflect and you won't want to strap it too tightly or you might bend it.

Also, you might need pipe wrenches to tighten the pipes. I doubt you'll get them the appropriate number of threads by hand. I can't say for sure though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thought about the height differences in the fittings and pipe and will use some sort of shim, possibly appliance leveling pads between the wood and the pipe. as for the securing of the wood top to the frame, I was thinking of using EMT clamps and wood screws rather than pipe strap, so I don't think warping the top will be an issue. I have a variety of pipe wrenches available since I used to be an HVAC service tech and I plan to use a magnetic level on the pipe once assembled to fine tune any variance in height. I also had a thought to use some unions on the legs to make disassembling the stand easier. Luckily, I already have most of the parts needed to build this other than 4 18" sections of pipe, otherwise this stand would not be worth building from a cost perspective, but really my main focus is to be able to take the stand apart and move it several times a year without compromising the structural integrity of the stand.
 

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The ability to level it will be a nice feature. A quick turn of a wrench and your set.

Personally I wouldn't bother attaching the top to the frame. What I would do, and this would be a slight pain, but would look cool, is use two pieces of wood for the top. Either router out a bit of material or cut out a sections in one piece so that the fitting have a hole to sit in. That way the wood sits directly on the piping. Once you glue the two pieces together the top will sit flush and wont be able to slide off. It'll look clean an couldn't be easier to remove.
 
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