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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've never built anything in my life, but when I do something, I like to research and do it big and right. So I'm asking for a little advice. I'm wanting to build a stand that will house a 20 long on top, followed by 2 10 gallons turned with the sides facing the front instead of the normal longways, and 2 more 10 gallons the same way underneath that. Roughly that will be 600 plus lbs of weight. I know I could go by some shelves, but this is not an option, as this is going in a den and has to look good.

Will 2 x 4's be strong enough for something like this?

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*edit

Final results (more pics on page 3)



Also decided to only do 2 shelfs, counting the top.

Ended up using 2x4's on everything except the bottom. The bottom is made from 2x8's. The plywood is 3/4".

It's not flawless, but I'm very satisfied for my first diy project.
 

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Well keep in mind that 4-story houses are also built with 2X4s, so yes, you can definitely build this out of 2X4.

I'm 100% confident that a single 2X4, 48" long, stood on it's nose, could hold 100% of the weight of all your tanks combined, if only there were a way to balance it :smile:. The vertical strength of a vertical 2X4 is quite staggering.


It all depends on how you construct it--- you simply need to make sure you've built it such that it cannot rack side to side/front to back. There are a lot of very good DIY 2X4 stand plans online that you only need to modify such that it's the length/width that you need.



I do recommend you get a 3/4" plywood top cut for it, after you build the stand, if you are putting tanks of various widths on there. Just inset the plywood top into the middle of the stand's top 2X4 frame, and brace it underneath with 2X4's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I was going to use 3/4' plywood for all the shelving and the frame underneath each shelf would have 2x4's going across, sort of like rail road ties. That's the best way I can describe it without drawing it out.

One concern I just thought about. If the width or depth of the shelves will need to be wider than the 20 gallon long to accommodate the 10 gallons sitting side ways. So that means that the 20 gallon long on top will not be sitting directly on the edge of the framing supports. Will have have an impact?

Hopefully I explained that well enough. Basically the 20 gallon long will be sitting on the edges length wise, but there will be some wood exposed in front and behind, so it will not be supported directly by the framing of the stand.
 

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One concern I just thought about. If the width or depth of the shelves will need to be wider than the 20 gallon long to accommodate the 10 gallons sitting side ways. So that means that the 20 gallon long on top will not be sitting directly on the edge of the framing supports. Will have have an impact?

Hopefully I explained that well enough. Basically the 20 gallon long will be sitting on the edges length wise, but there will be some wood exposed in front and behind, so it will not be supported directly by the framing of the stand.
for the 20 shelf, if you have 2x4 pieces going front to back, that rest on the 2x4 rails that go left to right then it shouldnt have an impact
 

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Just make sure that your tank edges are supported by more than just 3/4" plywood. It's strong, but not that strong, and it will bow and lead to uneven support of the tank, which causes pressure points and weakening of the joints of the tank. Even in a house, the plywood on the floor bends and gives as you walk on it.

Here is how a member on another forum constructed his stand, specifically the joints for the shelves on a multi-level tank stand.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a similar stand I built with a 20L on top and two shelves with three 10 gallons on them. When I get off work, I could snap a few pics if you want something to compare to.
That would be great!

Just make sure that your tank edges are supported by more than just 3/4" plywood. It's strong, but not that strong, and it will bow and lead to uneven support of the tank, which causes pressure points and weakening of the joints of the tank. Even in a house, the plywood on the floor bends and gives as you walk on it.

Here is how a member on another forum constructed his stand, specifically the joints for the shelves on a multi-level tank stand.

Thanks for the pic!
 

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If a fat guy stood on one foot on his tiptoes in there, would the tile crack? :) As long as the stand's foot isn't a single tiny spot (the result of a sloppy cut, basically) then it ought to be spreading out the weight over about 21 square inches. If the weight is evenly distributed you're looking at about 30 pounds per square inch, which shouldn't be a problem if the tiles were laid properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If a fat guy stood on one foot on his tiptoes in there, would the tile crack? :) As long as the stand's foot isn't a single tiny spot (the result of a sloppy cut, basically) then it ought to be spreading out the weight over about 21 square inches. If the weight is evenly distributed you're looking at about 30 pounds per square inch, which shouldn't be a problem if the tiles were laid properly.
lol Thanks for the info. I just want to be sure I don't screw anything up. As you can see, I'm not much of a handyman and don't know anything about it. This is my first venture into making something on my own.
 

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If the tile was installed properly and it's ordinary tile, it should be able to withstand 150 pounds of deadweight on each leg of the stand without any trouble.
 

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lol Thanks for the info. I just want to be sure I don't screw anything up. As you can see, I'm not much of a handyman and don't know anything about it. This is my first venture into making something on my own.
Venturing into the unknown is half the fun.

Make sure you read and understand some basic safety things about the tools you use and don't forget to wear safety goggles or safety glasses.

Research anything new you want to try very well first and try to understand some of the pitfalls that you may encounter.

Most of it's a hobby enjoy your self, explore and have fun... but being injured isn't fun.

Best wishes,
Wes
 

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Here is a link to building a rack for aquariums that gives a lot of detail & shows how to notch the legs for the shelf supports. It's a video and it's helpful to watch it a couple times.

I used Ted's design for making a 3 shelf rack for two 40G breeders and it is very stable.
 

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The first pic is the best pic I could find of mine before I painted it, the second is of the finished product. It's black now, so when I tried to take some new shots, the framing was hard to make out. Under the plywood shelves are 2x4's that attach the front to the back, spaced so that they are where the ends of the 20L sit. As for what other posts had mentioned about using 3/4" ply, I think it's kinda overkill cause it's the 2x4's that support the weight, not the plywood itself. I only used 1/4" thick ply cause I already had it, but that's just my two cents. Good luck with the build!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here is a link to building a rack for aquariums that gives a lot of detail & shows how to notch the legs for the shelf supports. It's a video and it's helpful to watch it a couple times.

I used Ted's design for making a 3 shelf rack for two 40G breeders and it is very stable.
Thanks for the link. I'll check it out!

The first pic is the best pic I could find of mine before I painted it, the second is of the finished product. It's black now, so when I tried to take some new shots, the framing was hard to make out. Under the plywood shelves are 2x4's that attach the front to the back, spaced so that they are where the ends of the 20L sit. As for what other posts had mentioned about using 3/4" ply, I think it's kinda overkill cause it's the 2x4's that support the weight, not the plywood itself. I only used 1/4" thick ply cause I already had it, but that's just my two cents. Good luck with the build!
Hey appreciate the pics. That is almost exactly how I want to build mine, with the exception of a really small drawer on the bottom for storage. Thanks alot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Under the plywood shelves are 2x4's that attach the front to the back, spaced so that they are where the ends of the 20L sit. As for what other posts had mentioned about using 3/4" ply, I think it's kinda overkill cause it's the 2x4's that support the weight, not the plywood itself. I only used 1/4" thick ply cause I already had it, but that's just my two cents. Good luck with the build!
Hey Misfit how did you attach the plywood? I don't see any screws. Is it glued down, just resting on there, or are the screws on the underside?
 
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