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DIY triple-deck stand?

2327 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  rlong
Hello. I'm in the midst of planning how I'm going to build a stand to house several smaller tanks I have.

**Ideally, I'd like the bottom level (floor level, or maybe a couple inches up) to hold the canister filter and any other equipment. This level would have a door, to conceal the equipment.

**The next level up would be open, at least in the front and probably house two nano tanks (a 2.5g and a 5g or two 2.5g's).

**The top level would have either my 25g (24" long), or I would replace it with a couple 10g's.

It needs to be sturdy, since even though they're smaller tanks, the total weight (including wood, filters, equipment, etc.) could easily get up to 500 lbs or maybe a tad more.

It needs to look reasonably nice and has to be compact. My wife said it can't be any longer than 36" as it wouldn't allow the adjacent desk drawers to open (small room). I'm thinking that the actual dimensions of the stand be somewhere around 30-36"(L) x 14-16"(W) x 40-48"(H).

For a stand like this, would 4x4's be the best bet for the frame and then 1/2" plywood for the base/bottom, or should I do more to reinforce, like metal bars or something? I saw the thread that Milalic/Pedro did on his rack system -- very nice btw! But, he has more tanks on his setup and they're all 10g I believe.

I ordered a book on carpentry from Amazon and I have all the basic tools, like level, miter box, hand saw, skill saw, power drill... though I'm more of a handyman in training.
Any ideas or suggestions to make it more stable, etc?

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I don't see why You would need anything more than 2x4's.

I use this rack now for some aquatic snakes:

The rack is rated for 350Lbs per shelf--spread evenly.

Each tub holds ~12gals and the sump holds ~35gals= ~71gals x 8lbs/gal=~568lbs of water.

Plus the gravel in the sump over the UGF, and all the rocks in each tub. There's well over 600lbs there.

The rack sits on 2 2x4's that run perpendicular to the floor joists (important!), and the sump is further supported underneath it--as can be seen in the pix.

The rack is 48" x 18" which is too big for you needs, but they come in smaller sizes and I offer this just to give you some perspective.

The rack itself can be covered with luan, paneling, etc., or a large skirt. Many things can be done to "pretty" it up and make it more presentable.

Anyway, vertical 2x4 legs with either 2x4 or 2x2 support joists plus some small metal L-brackets should be all You need. If using the 2x2's--just add extra.

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Those industrial type racks are just great for everything, and they definitely hold some major weight as you're showing in your good

Other than the racks, like Naja suggests, a basic 2x4 frame finished off in your own taste should be more than adequate.
Just get all your tank measurements and sketch it out till you come up with something you like.

Where in Sac are you? I'm in the Sac area myself.

Cool page btw Naja...gotta love the free desktop pic, I might just have to load it up on the laptop here to freak the g/f out later when she hops on
2X4's will more than support the weight you will have. I doubt your total will be 500lbs.
25 gal maybe 25lbs rock. at the most 200lbs for water and hardscape
2 x 2.5 gal 6 to 8 lbs substrate and at the most 40lbs water and hardscape.
so at the most i would think 300 lbs. If you built a strong 2x4 frame you could skin it with nice 1/4 plywood and stain or paint. Definitely strong enough.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Naja, that's a neat rack, although I'm interested in honing my skills on woodworking, plus it looks like I'd need to drill some holes into the wall which I don't want to do.

jinx, I'm technically in Rancho Cordova, but it's closer to the Rosemont border (East Sac).

My calculations for the weight were:
2.5g x 8 lb/g = 20 lb
5g x 8 lb/g = 40 lb (if I use a 5g...if it's another 2.5g, then 1/2 this).
25g x 8 lb/g = 200 lb
total ~ 260 lb in water alone. (give or take a little, due to displacement from other things)

then you need to add in weight from the canister filter and other filters, lighting, substrate, wood & rocks (though not much), food, meds, etc...and the stand itself....not to mention the glass and weight of the tanks themselves (add maybe 5-10 lbs...)

I was being generous with 500 lbs+. It may only be 400-425 total.

I'm going to try and sketch something up and hopefully the book came today so I can pick up some wood this weekend and at least make the frame.
I'm going to stain or dye the wood, most likely, so I'll settle for birch or pine depending on which is cheaper and looks better.
I'll go 2x4 if you think that would be ok. I was going for overkill, since I would hate to have it collapse and destroy everything, including the carpet and floor.

**I assume I'd be able to just make the basic box (or box on top of box) frame. Then, use plywood for the skin on the sides, back(maybe) and front (except cut-out spot for door).
Then, I may get some moldings to go along the edges, for looks.
I'm debating on whether I was to sell the 25g I have and get a 60P ADA tank for the top shelf. That would look sharp if it all turns out how I'm picturing it.
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a tool i suggest you invest in is a kreg jig to make pocket holes
thanks. I'm not even quite sure what a pocket hole is. lol.
a tool i suggest you invest in is a kreg jig to make pocket holes
I've been wanting to grab one of these myself, but of course I forget about it until I'm in the middle of another project where I wish I had

I'm on up 80 in the Auburn area myself ringram.
a tool i suggest you invest in is a kreg jig to make pocket holes
+1 for the Kreg jig. Harbor Freight Tools sells a generic version for a lot cheaper but I have never tried it.
Thanks for the ideas guys!
rlong, I like your general idea there and will probably do something similar! I just kind of scares me how there's only support on the end of the tanks. I would probably just put a whole shelf and use some kind of support to keep it from bowing.
The bottom I would probably enclose except maybe the front, as it would be to store the filter(s) and all the other "crap".
Thanks! I'll probably head to Home Depot this weekend to at least get the 2x4's to get the frame started.
Hi ringram,
I think I used a 2x8 for the sides, using this as the main structural members give the stans good stringth. The rails are in slots for strength. As for making full shelves, I see youy needs are diferant than, the 15 gallon tanks that this rack was designed for.

I'm sure you will find many diferant opinions on how to support tanks. Here's mine. For a 15 gallon tank that is 2 feet wide, supporting at the four corners is all that is needed.
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