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FAQs about Stands, Supports for Aquariums: Commercial

Related Articles: Aquarium Stands, Marine Tanks, Canopies, Covers & Lighting Fixtures,

Related FAQs: Aquarium Stands 1, Aquarium Stands 2, What to Use, About Floors Underneath, DIY, Finishing/Coating, Leveling, Modification, Repair, & Tanks, Tanks 2, Tanks 3Tanks 4, Aquarium Repair 1, Acrylic Aquarium RepairUsed Aquarium Gear

Modifying a commercial aquarium stand.     8/29/15
Hi guys,
<Tim>
This is my go to site for tank info. I have a laundry list of questions, here. Hope it’s not too much. Here goes.
I have a 37 Column kit from Marineland/Perfecto. The stand is called the “Newport”. It’s this one http://postimg.org/gallery/15f8vkkk2/0a627091/.
<Okay; see it>
I am thinking of modifying it for additional support, and I’m not sure how to proceed.
<Let's see>
The bottom is very thin plywood, probably 1/8”. I was thinking of reinforcing it on the inside with 1/2” plywood on the bottom. I would simply glue this to the existing bottom.
<Could do; and I'd put some flat head short screws in every six inches or so. Oh. I should mention that the tank (via the frame) IS really only (meant to be) supported on the four outside edges... the ply in the middle helps even out the weight against these four edges>
The walls are 1/2” plywood. I would reinforce those with another sheet of the same for each wall, cutting a hole for the door only.
<And the walls likewise are part of strengthening the other wood pieces inside>
I don’t need anywhere for wires to exit the back. My filters are internal. I would take the reinforcing plywood all the way to the new plywood bottom. The walls would hold the floor in place. The walls would be glued, and screwed to the current walls, with 3/4” screws. I would use steel L brackets to secure the new reinforcing plywood walls to each other in the corners.
<Good>
The top two supports are 3/4” plywood. I would place a piece in the middle supported by the current lip. which will be wider with the addition of the internal wall pieces. This will continue the support all the way across the top.
<Sounds good>
Alternatively:
I am concerned about messing with how the stand meets the ground. Should I eliminate the floor. and bring the inside wall pieces up a 1/4”, and let the current “feet” support the weight?
<I'd leave the floor in place. All pieces work together to hold the stand rigid in three dimensions. Necessary>
Will this still increase the ability of my stand to carry the weight to the floor? Will the screws rip out of the old walls, due to the new walls not going to the bottom?
<Again; If anything, I'd just add the mentioned sheets of ply>
Or is my initial plan the wisest?
<Yes>
Third option:
Looking at the photos, should i just leave well enough alone? This is a commercial stand. Maybe it will be fine? Should you even modify a commercial stand?
<Mmm; well; it will function... but does look flimsy to me. In shaky ground California, I'd be beefing it up>
Thanks for everything.
Tim
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Questionable Aquarium Stand     11/15/14
Greetings WetWebMedia Crew, I'm considering buying a 55g (long) acrylic SeaClear complete with stand, filtration and lighting. My concern is with the stand. It looks professionally built but on the deck(surface aquarium
sits on) there is only a 1in X 6in wood support on each end. So the aquarium is only supported by these two supports about a 1/8in above the deck surface. Could there be any way this is what the manufacturer intended?
<Yes; but... and I share your concern. Would NOT go with this stand w/o "beefing up" the under-support... Better still, finding, or building something more substantial>
I'm guessing the aquarium is being improperly supported and stand could be missing some parts. Could this of damaged the integrity off this tank?
<Oh yes; though acrylic tanks are (relative to glass) tough... too much, variable stress can result in failure>
The tank is currently full of water, no sagging downward but I did notice a little bowing forward.
<This is the nature of these production units period... Esp. 55's... typically nominally 48" by 13" by 20" or so dimensionally... made commercially with at times 1/4 (or better 3/8") material... and not always the better quality acrylic. Though SeaClear IS a good make/manufacturer IMO/E... having had LONG experience with the company, their old owners>
Owner said its been like that for years.
<Again; yes>
Aside from that tank is very clean with good looking seals and affordably priced(under $200), would you recommend buying? Thanks Brandon
<Yes; but the comments re the stand.... And what is archived on WWM re: MUST be strong, planar and level... and the floor underneath... capable of bearing the weight evenly. Bob Fenner>

Questionable Stand Design     ‏            11/9/14
Hi guys,
I just bought a 38 gallon Deep Blue tank, and a plywood/wood stand. I noticed when a got it home that the tank did not stretch all the way to the ends on the left & right.
<This is okay>
A call to the LFS said that it is sufficiently supported in the front & back, and it does cross over the side supports, just not 100 %. Seems right, but I've included some a photo for you to look at. They show how far the talk covers the end supports. Think I’m OK?
<Likely so; though I too am not a fan of brads... and would use two-by rather than one if I were constructing this stand... Not only does it have to support about 400 pounds of weight, but it needs to resist sudden jarring, movement>
Also you can see from the same photo, that the tank sits on a 1/8” piece of plywood which covers 100% of the top of the stand. In another photo, you can see the wire brads with which the plywood was installed. At first, they were not quite all the way in. I took a hammer, and a screwdriver, and tapped them the rest of the way into the plywood. I was concerned that sticking above the surface, they could damage the plastic bottom of the tank if it rested on them. These brads seems like a place for water to enter the wood, especially since I tapped them down. A valid concern?
<Yes; I would coat over them>
Also, this plywood seems really thin. Will the tank end up crushing this super thin plywood, and resting on those metal brads, creating an uneven resting surface, or cracks in the plastic bottom? Another photo of brads is included.
<Not likely>
I was thinking about getting a 1/2” or better piece of plywood cut to size, painting it, and then gluing it on top of the thin piece for best weight distribution, and support. No water in it, yet, so it’s a good time to do something.
<Yes>
What do you think? Need more info, or photos? Necessary? Overthinking it? Good idea? Bad idea? Won’t have any significant impact? Take an Ambien, and forget about it?
<Heeee! I don't like the thinness of the materials used, nor the fasteners shown... another piece of thicker plywood is a good idea... coated and screwed into the existing about every six inches including any lateral supports>
Thanks,
Tim
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>



Re: Questionable Stand Design     ‏            11/10/14
Thanks for the advice. I also noticed that the plastic rim around the top of the tank was not installed level. On the left side and the back, I noticed a "wave" when looking at it.
<This is just an ornamental piece (I hope, trust)... you could remove and put back on straight>
Probably not huge, but if they did that sloppy, who knows what other corners were cut. I agree about the stand. 2x4 frame would be better.
I'm returning tank and stand.
<I am relieved to read this. Cheers, BobF>

125 Gallon All-Glass and Stand Question  9/10/07 Hello, <Ben> I recently came across your site and found that it contained many interesting answers to aquarium questions. However while I saw a few answers that brushed upon my subject I wanted to get a clearer answer. <Okay> I recently purchased a 125 gallon All Glass Aquarium with a black pine stand manufactured from the same company. The stand at first glance appears to be sturdy but knowing that a tremendous amount of weight will be applied to this stand, <More than a thousand pounds... with the gravel et al. considered, aquarium systems weigh in at about ten pounds per gallon> I had to look closer. The stand is resting on a concrete floor and all sides are level, however when I look inside the cabinets, I noticed some of the pine boards have vertical hair line cracks. <Mmmm... the boards as in the panels? But not the structural elements? The uprights?> Is this something I should be worried about? <Possibly if it is the functional elements involved> I have had 100 gallons in it for 48 hours and there has been no shift in level and the cracks have not grown in size. I guess I am looking for some reassurance that this tank will rest on the stand for a long time to come and not end up on the floor. Have you ever heard of these stands failing? <Extremely rare for commercial stands to fail> Regards, Benjamin Schmaus <A pic or two please. Bob Fenner>

Questionable Tank Seam/Packing Material Left On The Stand -- 06/06/07 Hi, <<Howdy Steve>> I really enjoy the website. <<Thanks'¦me too!>> I've recently purchased a new 115-gal aquarium and after letting it sit for two weeks to make sure it was fully cured I test filled. <<I see>> No leaks were evident, but I do have a suspect seam. <<Uh-oh>> When empty all seams are clear and look acceptable. When filled however, one seam has a fairly large white area that extends approximately 8mm into the 12mm glass thickness for about 12" of the seam. <<Mmm'¦>> I'll attach a few pics to clarify. <<I see these... I'll ask Bob to interject if he feels differently, but it certainly looks to me like you may have an issue with the seal'¦especially considering this only shows when the tank is full of water>> Of course my main concern is that it could be a void in the silicone that may eventually lead to a failure at the seam. <<Agreed>> I contacted both the manufacturer and the store I purchased it from and they both said if it isn't leaking now its fine. <<Bunk'¦>> After expressing concern about the issue they finally agreed that the seam could be redone in the store, but acted like I was being unreasonable. <<Mmm, a shame>> I'm not sure I'm comfortable with an in-store quick fix that they don't believe is even necessary in the first place. <<I'm with you on this'¦perhaps you can send these pics to the manufacturer for their edification and press this issue with them>> I also had a question on the stand. <<Okay>> It's designed to only support the ends of the tank and is actually raised 1/8" on each end so that the aquarium doesn't touch the stand at all in the middle. <<This is not right'¦I suspect there is something amiss with the stand>> The entire aquarium is supported by 2" on either end. <<Ah yes, I see this in the photos. This looks to be a bit of 'hardboard' material'¦perhaps leftovers from the shipping/packing material. Do see if you can remove this>> I've heard about large aquariums being supported mainly in the corners, but never seen it taken to the extreme of having the free floating center section. <<This glass tank needs to be supported along its 'entire perimeter'>> I really appreciate your help and advice. I'm just afraid if I flood the house and ruin our floors my wife will be forever against having another large aquarium. <<Mmm'¦that sounds familiar'¦>> I do understand how she feels, but the fish need room to roam. <<Much agreed'¦and you do have some issues to reconcile re this tank and stand before you can proceed any further>> Thanks, Steve <<Hope I've been of help. EricR>>

Re: Questionable Tank Seam/Packing Material Left On The Stand -- 06/07/07 Thanks for the prompt reply Eric. <<You're welcome Steve>> Both the store and tank manufacturer were adamant that the wood strips on the ends are in fact part of the design. <<You spoke with the manufacturer yourself?>> Their explanation was that it prevents pressure points on the long side that can lead to failure on larger, taller tanks. <<Mmm, not if the stand is flat and planar...as it should be. I have never before seen nor heard of supporting a glass tank 'only by the ends'... So this manufacturer states this tank is meant to hold water; with no support from the stand other than the two-inch wide strip across each end, by the strength of the bottom glass panel and silicone seal alone?!>> The store further said that the tank is designed to be loaded on the corners. <<...! >> They've been making tanks for over 30 years, but it certainly seems odd. <<To me as well>> Do any other manufacturers make stands that only support the ends of the tank? <<None 'I' am aware of...Bob?>> I got a call back from the LFS today, and they spoke to the owner of the aquarium company. He reassured me that the white streak in the seam would not be a problem. <<It is not my intent to cast dispersions on your LFS, but were this my tank/stand, I would want to talk to the manufacturer myself>> My Oscars are rapidly out growing their current tank, and I need to find some resolution to these issues. Now I'm more concerned about the stand than the seam. <<I'm racking my brain but can't recall a similar situation in 'my' more than 30 years in the hobby, but I will ask that Bob add his comments/opinions here (do check the daily FAQs). His exposure in the hobby/trade is much broader than mine, perhaps he can either allay or confirm your (and my) fears re this setup. Regards, EricR>>

Need Your Wisdom/Experience -- 06/07/07 Hi Bob, I've made two replies to a query with the title "Aquarium Seam" in the 'sent' folder that I would appreciate if you could review and add your thoughts. The Chap who wrote in has a tank that has what appears to be a void in a seam that only "shows" when water is added to the tank. <Yikes... this very often is evidence of a poorly made seam, and a small air gap... that gets much larger with vacuum...> But the real puzzler (for me) is the tank's stand. The stand "only" supports the 115-gallon glass tank for about two-inches at "each end." Supposedly, the manufacturer and store owner through which the tank was purchased, are adamant this is how the setup was designed to be used. Is this feasible/practical in the long term? <Mmmm, is... IF the stand is otherwise (very) strong, planar and level... HOWEVER if it is not so in any of these three ways AND/OR some challenge (a big bump, earthquake, floor settling...) occur, can be HUGE trouble. In actuality on the rim/edge of most tanks "touch" the stand... and this touching area is all that needs to be Strong, Planar, Level... BUT there being "more" to the stand provides the stability and strength to this  setting-edge area...> I'm much interested in your take on this. Many thanks, Eric <Will do. BobF>
Re: Need Your Wisdom/Experience -- 06/07/07 Hi Bob, I've made two replies to a query with the title "Aquarium Seam" in the 'sent' folder that I would appreciate if you could review and add your thoughts. The Chap who wrote in has a tank that has what appears to be a void in a seam that only "shows" when water is added to the tank. <Yikes... this very often is evidence of a poorly made seam, and a small air gap... that gets much larger with vacuum...> But the real puzzler (for me) is the tank's stand. The stand "only" supports the 115-gallon glass tank for about two-inches at "each end." Supposedly, the manufacturer and store owner through which the tank was purchased, are adamant this is how the setup was designed to be used. Is this feasible/practical in the long term? <Mmmm, is... IF the stand is otherwise (very) strong, planar and level... HOWEVER if it is not so in any of these three ways AND/OR some challenge (a big bump, earthquake, floor settling...) occur, can be HUGE trouble. In actuality on the rim/edge of most tanks "touch" the stand... <<This I understand...but I have always thought the tank "needed" to be supported around/along the "entire perimeter." Eric>> >Yikes! I see this statement now... A BIG NO to this proposal... Had mis-read that the entire edge was to be supported. I would NOT fill a container thus supported (only on both ends). BobF< and this touching area is all that needs to be Strong, Planar, Level... BUT there being "more" to the stand provides the stability and strength to this setting-edge area...> I'm much interested in your take on this. Many thanks, Eric
<Will do. BobF>
And now having placed the images... This IS a stand that supports all edges... and for the stand-only sakes will likely be fine. HOWEVER, I would NOT fill or keep this tank with the apparent seam problem... Too likely to "pop". BobF
Re: Aquarium Seam, Stand - 6/7/07 Thanks so much for your input Bob. The stand certainly appears to be a conventional "full perimeter" style, but there are two thin strips of wood(1/8" x 3" x 19") at each end that actually elevate the tank 1/8" above the stand itself and provide the sole support for the tank. I made yet another call to the manufacturer today, and once again they confirmed that it was in fact the way they intended the tank and stand to be configured. Another interesting note is that the back of the tank has no center support along the entire 50" length, further suggesting that it was in fact designed to support the tank in this manor. The store specifically told me not to add a center support! I'll attach a pic of the end strips to clarify. <I see this... and do NOT like what I see... There is certainly (daily...) items I am unfamiliar with... but this has me stymied... I REALLY am concerned re this design... And am requesting that you get contact info. re the actual manufacturer of this stand, contact them and/or pass on to me for my contacting them... and GET express warrantee re this stand... On an entirely separate issue: I personally would NOT fill this tank period... until I had the FULL assurance of someone with structural engineering's okay... and would NOT keep this particular tank nor fill it for fear of catastrophic seam failure. The images previously sent show a VERY DANGEROUS gapping in the Silastic. Bob Fenner>

All Glass Tank, Perfecto Stand? 3/20/07 Hey All.   <Hi, Eric. GrahamT with you this morning.> Just a quick question.   <Ok.> I have a 75 gallon Perfecto tank and pine stand.  I would like to get a drilled tank, but use the same stand.  Would it be possible to get a drilled All Glass 90 gallon with the same footprint to fit on the Perfecto stand?   <Don't see why not.> My LFS says maybe, maybe not, only adding to my confusion.  They claim that there may be small enough differences in design, even though both tanks are 48 x 18, that may cause different branded stands not to fit. <You are not likely to have problems, unless your current tank and stand combination has the tank sitting inside a lip. You *might* find that the AG tank has thicker glass, and won't fit as a result. Otherwise, I would think you'd be fine. This is really all that I can think of, and assuming your stand requires the tank to sit on top, then you would be fine anyway.> Like always, You Rock. <Aww, shucks.> Thanks, Eric <Welcome. -GrahamT>

Aquarium Support 11/8/04 I am currently working through my 2nd Year on Advanced Certificate in anagement of Zoo Animals and am currently having difficulty finding information regarding one of the Tasks that I need to complete.  After visiting your website, I was wondering if you had any information that would be relevant to my Task. The Task requires me to describe support structures that would be adequate to support the following sizes of aquarium :- a) 2m x 0.45 x 0.45m b) 1.5m x 0.3m x 0.3m c) 2.6m x 0.85m x 1m. They require me to provide 400 words and I am having difficulty finding any information regarding this. Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and if you could possibly give me any information towards this task, I would be extremely grateful. Karen Carter <there is/was a book called the "Living Aquarium" published at one point in time by Crescent books/pub. Its available on Amazon.com and other booksellers. In this book are excellent specs on building and supporting many different types of aquaria. I would seek this inexpensive and delightful reference. Anthony>

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