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Discussion Starter #1
What do people think of this muscle rack for a tiered tank system?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/edsal-Musc...r-Steel-Freestanding-Shelving-Unit/1000556555

With one 29 growout on the bottom, a 29 display in the middle, and a 20L breeding tank on top ? Are there any other options I should consider? I'd like to buy a prefabricated rack instead of making a cinderblock and 2x4 or wooden rack stand since I'm moving someplace with earthquakes....
 

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I have 2 racks like that in my garage and I can tell you I wouldn't use it as is. At a minimum you should look into waterproofing that particle board. Most people that use those replace the particle board with actual plywood. How thick would depend on how much actual weight you plan on putting on it. I'm not sure if 1/2" is enough or not, some of the more carpenterish/engineering types can chime in on that. I don't have anywhere near the weight they advertise and I can see the shelves bowing under the load. The racks seem to be fairly sturdy other than that. If you plan on stacking them like in the pic, make sure you get the clips/legs firmly attached.
 

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I have 2 racks like that in my garage and I can tell you I wouldn't use it as is. At a minimum you should look into waterproofing that particle board. Most people that use those replace the particle board with actual plywood. How thick would depend on how much actual weight you plan on putting on it. I'm not sure if 1/2" is enough or not, some of the more carpenterish/engineering types can chime in on that. I don't have anywhere near the weight they advertise and I can see the shelves bowing under the load. The racks seem to be fairly sturdy other than that. If you plan on stacking them like in the pic, make sure you get the clips/legs firmly attached.
Definitely in regards to waterproofing the particle board. After going through two walmart "nice looking" stands, I refuse to deal with any more particle board without waterproofing it.
 

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I'd replace the particle board with a nice grade of 1/2 inch plywood. Seal it with several (more than you think you need) coats of waterproof paint. Way easier and, honestly, cheaper than merely sealing the particle board.

That's what I've done for at least a decade.

Not sure I'd put a 29 any higher than the bottom shelf but all setups are different. I only use the lower shelf for 20gal longs (29 would be fine), next shelves for smaller tanks. Top few all have plants - terrestrial and aquatic - or other supplies.
 

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I think I'd trust a well constructed wooden rack more than one of those tool-less / knock together racks on shacking ground but i've zero practical experience, maybe those with some can say if they are more quake resistant than their wobbly nature might suggest?
 

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There's nothing wobbly about them.

But with any tall shelving, they would ideally be secured. I prefer to keep tanks on the lower half of the shelving unit and use the upper portions for other stuff or really small tanks that don't weigh much.

I think I'd trust a well constructed wooden rack more than one of those tool-less / knock together racks on shacking ground but i've zero practical experience, maybe those with some can say if they are more quake resistant than their wobbly nature might suggest?
 

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Mine are not wobbly at all. If assembled properly they are fairly sturdy. Like I said previously, the weak point is the shelf. If I was going to put aquariums on them, I would replace them with plywood.
 

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What do people think of this muscle rack for a tiered tank system?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/edsal-Musc...r-Steel-Freestanding-Shelving-Unit/1000556555

With one 29 growout on the bottom, a 29 display in the middle, and a 20L breeding tank on top ? Are there any other options I should consider? I'd like to buy a prefabricated rack instead of making a cinderblock and 2x4 or wooden rack stand since I'm moving someplace with earthquakes....

[*]This sturdy steel shelving unit supports up to 2500 lb (evenly distributed)
[*]Each of the 5 particleboard shelves supports up to 800 lb of evenly distributed weight
29gal tank weighs 330lbs.
total weight of the 3 tanks is about 885 lbs.
I'd worry more about racking left and right.
And yep particle board sucks around water. (personal opinion)

Oh and supporting is not the same as deflecting..
https://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/
IF I understand this correctly the main problem creating sag with that kind of weight and distribution is the floating edge.
Gluing it to the metal will decrease any sag by quite a bit (My take.)

like most things, in practice it may not matter though if you think about putting a large weight in the center of a 18 x 36 panel it will seem to have a tendency to "cup"
but your tank edges are what takes the real weight


I'm moving someplace with earthquakes.
Don' know what to say
 

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What do people think of this muscle rack for a tiered tank system?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/edsal-Musc...r-Steel-Freestanding-Shelving-Unit/1000556555

With one 29 growout on the bottom, a 29 display in the middle, and a 20L breeding tank on top ? Are there any other options I should consider? I'd like to buy a prefabricated rack instead of making a cinderblock and 2x4 or wooden rack stand since I'm moving someplace with earthquakes....

I used to have these in my garage. I personally would never trust one with nearly 1,000lbs of tanks on them.

If you insist on having all 3 on the same rack, I’d build out of framing lumber...4x4s, 2x4s and 3/4” plywood. Really shouldn’t be much more expensive than the rack, and can be done with a circular saw, drill and screws.

I’m really not sure what benefits the rack would give you in an earthquake area. If anything, I’d guess it’s even another reason to build oversized and sturdy. Could even incorporate a tuned mass damper! lol....But I’d probably try it. And it would fail because I’m an amateur. But I’d still think it was awesome.


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Discussion Starter #10
I think I'd trust a well constructed wooden rack more than one of those tool-less / knock together racks on shacking ground but i've zero practical experience, maybe those with some can say if they are more quake resistant than their wobbly nature might suggest?
I used to have these in my garage. I personally would never trust one with nearly 1,000lbs of tanks on them.

If you insist on having all 3 on the same rack, I’d build out of framing lumber...4x4s, 2x4s and 3/4” plywood. Really shouldn’t be much more expensive than the rack, and can be done with a circular saw, drill and screws.

I’m really not sure what benefits the rack would give you in an earthquake area. If anything, I’d guess it’s even another reason to build oversized and sturdy. Could even incorporate a tuned mass damper! lol....But I’d probably try it. And it would fail because I’m an amateur. But I’d still think it was awesome.


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I mean, sure, but there's no guides that properly explain how in the world you build a rack. Like, my construction skills amount to 0. I know how to weld PVC together using glue and cement and that's it. Like, before I construct anything, I need to know the math behind it. With a prefab rack, I know they've at least done some amount of math probably.

Mostly I'm going with prefab racks because I want to be able to easily assemble and disassemble them, in addition to the fact that they're easier to figure out how to anchor to the walls in case of earthquake. I don't know how to do that with wooden racks.
 

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I mean, sure, but there's no guides that properly explain how in the world you build a rack. Like, my construction skills amount to 0. I know how to weld PVC together using glue and cement and that's it. Like, before I construct anything, I need to know the math behind it. With a prefab rack, I know they've at least done some amount of math probably.

Mostly I'm going with prefab racks because I want to be able to easily assemble and disassemble them, in addition to the fact that they're easier to figure out how to anchor to the walls in case of earthquake. I don't know how to do that with wooden racks.

You can keep it very simple with framing lumber and it’ll be very strong. I wouldn’t be able to tell you the actual math behind it, but I’m certain it’s a magnitude of order stronger than that metal shelf, and when you’re talking about a dynamic load (like in an earthquake) or it’s strength to resist wracking (applying pressure from top corner towards the opposite bottom corner) it’s probably two magnitudes of order stronger, since those are gonna be your major weak points on a metal shelf like you linked.

Does this help?


I think You could build 3 of these and basically stack them on to each other and use a few screws to hold them all together.


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Discussion Starter #12
You can keep it very simple with framing lumber and it’ll be very strong. I wouldn’t be able to tell you the actual math behind it, but I’m certain it’s a magnitude of order stronger than that metal shelf, and when you’re talking about a dynamic load (like in an earthquake) or it’s strength to resist wracking (applying pressure from top corner towards the opposite bottom corner) it’s probably two magnitudes of order stronger, since those are gonna be your major weak points on a metal shelf like you linked.

Does this help?

https://youtu.be/4vNn8zilc48

I think You could build 3 of these and basically stack them on to each other and use a few screws to hold them all together.


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Not really no. I think I'll just stick with the prefab stands. The Youtube video was like every other video on building a stand and focused more on dimensions and aesthetics rather than on how much weight it would hold and why.
 

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Not really no. I think I'll just stick with the prefab stands. The Youtube video was like every other video on building a stand and focused more on dimensions and aesthetics rather than on how much weight it would hold and why.

I really just put the video in there so you could reference how to build a simple box from framing lumber, not so much an explanation as to its load bearing capacity.

But Like I mentioned above, it’s load bearing capacity is unmatched by the metal stand. It’s not even gonna be close. I have shelves I’ve built similarly to the video and they are rock solid, holding literal tons of weight in my garage. I got rid of those metal style units that you linked because I could shake them with one hand, to the point where I’m sure I could have caused them to fail with little effort.

If you’re searching for a “why” in terms of how much weight something can hold.... the weight bearing of the metal shelf is just a number printed on the box isn’t it? I’d guess that those numbers are determined by testing the shelf in the best possible scenario, with a carefully placed, evenly balanced and completely static load, and no forces applied while the shelf was loaded up.

If it means anything, from what I can remember.... a 2x4 wall can support like 20,000-30,000 lbs. Your average 2x4 has a vertical load bearing capacity of 1000lbs. Your average 4x4 is something like 5000lbs. And I think those numbers are for full 8ft pieces, so for shorter pieces those numbers will be higher. That diy video I linked Uses 2x4 legs... each leg is 2 vertical 2x4s.... for a total of 8 vertical 2x4s. Now.... this is far from how you determine the load bearing capacity of a structure, however as you can see, you’ve got like 8000lbs of capacity just from those kinds of legs. You also have to take into consideration how the legs are attached to each other, but with proper methods, you’re not really opening yourself up to any big time weak points that will take that number down dangerously low.


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I mean, sure, but there's no guides that properly explain how in the world you build a rack. Like, my construction skills amount to 0. I know how to weld PVC together using glue and cement and that's it. Like, before I construct anything, I need to know the math behind it. With a prefab rack, I know they've at least done some amount of math probably.

Mostly I'm going with prefab racks because I want to be able to easily assemble and disassemble them, in addition to the fact that they're easier to figure out how to anchor to the walls in case of earthquake. I don't know how to do that with wooden racks.
Then get real one...
https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DXST4...ocphy=1028224&hvtargid=pla-680770889425&psc=1

I shiver every time I see this one..
https://www.aquariacentral.com/foru...-setting-up-a-triple-tank-shelf.125628/page-5

This just pretty..


wood:
Not my idea..w/ the screws but he has a fair justification..unless the screws rust

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh I like that first option. Does the brand matter? Or can I go with any one that matches that type of rack?

And the one that makes you shudder makes me shudder too...
 

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Oh I like that first option. Does the brand matter? Or can I go with any one that matches that type of rack?

And the one that makes you shudder makes me shudder too...
300# less per shelf but seems like a close clone.
https://www.amazon.com/3-Shelf-Weld...t=&hvlocphy=1028224&hvtargid=pla-913086974554


Doesn't hav the bult in wall cleet though.. afaict.
I tried to find someone using the wire rack type (besides the scary bakery type racks).

I'd probably still use some plywood covering on the shelves though..
Anyways best:



Maybe I over-design..
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/would-these-shelves-support-a-50g-low-boy-tank.422482/

Maybe not..

This looks strong and a bit cheaper..
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-B...pip_alternatives-_-203828250-_-310651476-_-N&

shelfs are welded wire BUT have an extra rod every foot (?) meaning it's not flat.
I'd need to think about that though first thought is to groove some plywood to match.

more stuff..
https://odinaquatics.com/tag/aquarium-rack
 
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