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FAQs about Stands, Supports for Aquariums: DIY

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

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

PLENTY of room underneath for gear, manipulation. JasonC's set-up in FLA

Two birds with one stone. Stand/tank minor gap, cleaning old dry LR       9/16/16
Hi WWM Crew,
<Hey Eddie>
As always I am eternally grateful to you all for your patient assistance. Your website is a treasure trove of aquarium knowledge. Every time I visit I come away richer. I have been “dry” for almost four years now, but still considering myself a part of the saltwater hobby. I’m getting ready to get “wet” again, and I have a LOT of questions to ask so that I do it right this time. I’ve been studying WWM (and other sources) for several years, but often with greater learning comes only more finely honed questions. Today I have two sets of such questions. I guess this is a “two birds with one stone” type email.
<Let's see>
It’s been a while since I have asked a question, and I have been busy. I’ve been at work building a stand for my 75 gallon tank.
<I see this in your pic. REALLY like the fastener pattern>
I wanted to do this stand right because my last stand (for my old 55 gallon) was not made right and eventually resulted in the catastrophic failure of the bottom of the tank. I did a ton of research on how to do it, and this (picture) is what I came up with. I’m kind of proud of it. What you see is the finished frame for the stand. I have already treated it with spar urethane. I also have some quarter inch oak plywood and trim that I will use to “skin” it (and I’ll treat that with urethane as well). While I’m working on the skin though, I thought I would go ahead and use the frame of the stand for a water test on my tank. It’s a slightly used glass tank with an offset overflow (as you can see from where the cutout in the stand top is located).
<Good idea>
The stand frame is level, and when I sat the tank on it found that it is almost perfectly planar. On one side there was a tiny gap running several inches where I could slide a driver’s license fairly snugly.
<This is with the tank empty? I'd fill it; see if the gap diminishes/disappears>
At widest I would estimate it to be 1/32nd of an inch. The reason for this is something I found out after I built the stand, but something that I’ll pass on to any DIY-ers who read this FAQ. When boards (2x4’s, etc.) are planed, often the very end of the board is slightly thinner than the rest—from where it tilts slightly under its own weight coming out of the planer. It would be wise when working with wood to cut off the last inch or two off the end of the board to avoid this (like for the top side rails of an aquarium stand). This is the reason for that slight dip.
I was going to use Styrofoam anyway, which brings me to my first series of questions. I bought some ¼ inch Styrofoam sheets from Lowe’s that are 4 feet long. I was not thinking about the fact that my stand is 48 and ½ inches long—so the Styrofoam will not cover the entire bottom of the stand. Will the Styrofoam “spread out” under the weight to cover this gap?
<Mmm, not likely; no>
Or (because the tank has a floating bottom) should I cut the Styrofoam into strips—say 2 inches wide? I could have two 48 X 2 inch strips and two 18 ½ X 2 inch strips (trimmed to fit together at the corners).
<I would cut such a strip; to cover the entire 48.5" base>
I got several sheets of the Styrofoam, and I planned to use some for the test fill (which will last a week or two at least—it will be out of the way in the basement), and then replace it when I set up the tank. Is it even necessary to use it for the test fill?
<I would risk filling w/o w/ the small gap you're experiencing; but if you feel uncomfortable, insert the foam.>
I don’t want to do ANYTHING to weaken the tank (after what happened before).
The second series of questions has to do with my old live rock. I had about 50lbs of live rock in the old tank when it failed. I put it in five gallon buckets (dry) and it has been sitting in my basement for almost 4 years. The buckets have been open to whatever dust has settled on them (and whatever bugs or rodents might have crawled over them). I want to use this rock as base rock, and reseed it with some fresh live rock for the new tank.
<I would do this>
I read through the live rock FAQs again yesterday (2nd time through) and I’m not sure whether I need to soak these rocks in water with bleach or if it would be better just to rinse them.
<I'd at least blast them with a hose... No need to bleach likely>
I got the impression from the FAQs that bleaching is needed if the rocks had something on them you didn’t want (like BGA or crypt, etc.). This was not the case with mine. I was planning on bleaching them anyway—because they had been dead so long and sitting in the basement, but a friend told me it would be better to rinse them off and use them as they are—that anything dead in them will help the tank cycle.
<I agree w/ your friend>
Do I need to bleach them? Would it be better not to bleach them?
<No bleach>
Thank you so much for all your help,
<A pleasure to share. Do please send along a photo of the stand, set up as it progresses. Bob Fenner>

Stand; what to use; leveling f's      3/15/16
Hey Bob,
Separate topic, 50/50 split on research so far.
For a 180 gallon MarineLand tank, that has a rim it sits in, I built a 2x2 inch square aluminum stand for it. It is very level, no deflections or low spots.
Would you still use plywood in between stand and tank?
<Mmm... yes>
The manufacturer stand made of wood just has the trim border, not solid piece. Half the people I have asked said you just need to support the trim, which is the part of tank that touches.
<This is so>
Others have said plywood would help distribute weights.
What's your thoughts?
<Well; the ply, foam... something other than metal in the frame, will give a little bit... sometimes enough to save glass to glass mal-interaction and significantly reduce torsional problems.
Thanks, bob
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Large Tank Stand Construction      9/30/14
I am having a contractor build me a stand for a 250 gallon in - wall salt tank. He is framing / supporting the weight using 2x4
<Mmm; not what I would do... IF making/fashioning of wood, the uprights should be four by fours>

and plans on running 2 plywood pieces across the top. Since the tank is glass and has multiple areas that are plumbed through the bottom, is there any issue with this design?
<Uhh, no... cut our round holes for the through-puts in the bottom...>
Certainly he will cut out access areas in the plywood for plumbing, but I have read mixed reviews online about leveraging plywood under the tank.
The intended purpose was to assist with weight distribution, however I'm unsure if this will jeopardize the integrity of the glass or create concerns down the road with the plywood getting wet.
<With enough/sufficient support of the ply underneath... good screws connecting through it every eight-twelve inches... s/b fine>
Your feedback would be much appreciated.
<Do have a read through here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqstands.htm

and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Large Tank Stand Construction
Thank you for your prompt feedback.
I will tell the contractor that he should use 4x4 for the supports.
Should the plywood be treated or painted to protect against damage from the salt water?
<... yes; assuredly. Please read where you were referred to>
I also read on your site, many references of placing Styrofoam between the plywood and the tank. Is this recommended for glass tanks or is this only used when the tank requires leveling?
<Yes. BobF>
re: Large Tank Stand Construction
Thanks Bob. I spent a good amount of time this evening reading the many posts on the links you provided. I can't seem to find an explanation of the benefits to adding Styrofoam on top of the plywood to support the tank.
The only references I found spoke about existing Styrofoam that was damaged and another instance to slightly level a tank.
Could you explain why & if I should have my contractor install Styrofoam above the plywood, as my concern is that the foam would have some "give" and may cause leveling issues versus the glass being placed directly on the plywood. If I didn't mention it already it's a 250 gallon glass aquarium predrilled on both rear corners.
<Depending on the construction of the tank itself, and the surety of the level and planar qualities of the ply, you may well not find Styrofoam useful. B>

Perfecto 125 Silicone Question  2/17/14
Hello WetWeb!!  I recently purchased a new Perfecto reef ready 125 gallon aquarium.  I built the stand for it which is level and square.
<Looks neat, clean... is there going to be a mid/front support? Maybe it's not been installed yet; to allow fitting of the sump>
(Shimmed on a not so level floor).  The front span of the stand is unsupported,
<Mmm; I would over this six foot run...>

I used three 2x4's side by side which were tied to each other with screws and 5 lag screws.  The rear side is a single 2x4 supported every 20 inches.  I used a 3/4" sheet of hardwood plywood on top of the stand to help disperse the load to the frame.   When I test filled the tank there was a small gap, approximately 1/16" between the plywood and the tank. 
<Yes; I don't like this>
The stand measured the correct height at the center span and at the ends so I figured that the gap could be a combination of the tank plastic and my stand and it would be corrected as the tank and stand settled.
<Not likely>
  Well, when I filled the tank (perhaps a bit too quickly), the stand did not shift.  It appeared to hold its shape and all of the dimensions that I had measured previously.  I could not find 1/16" of change anywhere on the stand.  I continued filling the tank, and foolishly did not pay close enough attention to the gap (of all measurements to ignore).  The gap did not grow, but it didn't shrink.
Only after the tank was full did I notice some changes in the silicone.
Tiny bubbles formed in the silicone.  They ran horizontal and split like spider cracks, maybe 3/16" of an inch long and all of them stopped 1/8" or more from the outside of the seam.  It kind of reminded me of acrylic crazing.  Most of the bubbles were in these spider lines, but were also apparent as tiny individual bubbles. I thought this to be a peeling effect that silicone does when its in tension.  Reminded me of pulling out baffles from a sump.  In a panic, I immediately started draining the tank (forgetting to take any pictures).  The bubbles immediately went away as I drained the tank and left no evidence to be found.  While I did not remember to take pictures, I was able to find a picture online that almost exactly resembles what I saw on my tank.

  The bubbles started a few inches from the bottom and top of the tank on both of the front seams.  I could not see if they were present on the back side.  So my questions are, have you seen this happen on new tanks?

  Do you think that the tank is safe to use, assuming I correct the stand such that it supports the entire perimeter of the tank?
<... I would put in the mid/front support... I really don't like the bubbles; poor workmanship... but the tank is likely fine>
 Since I did not observe any shifting in the stand, I'm not really sure what I should do to fix it.  I'd like to maintain the unsupported font span if possible, so my plan was to replace the front and rear 2x4's with 2x6's for added assurance and give the stand an extra run through (square/level/planar). How would you recommend I modify the stand?
<See above>
Would you recommend using foam underneath the tank in addition to structural repair?
 Thank you so much!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Rimless tank and stand     1/15/14
<Mr. T>
I currently have a 30 gallon SPS dominant reef tank and decided to upgrade.  I purchased a new 95 gallon setup from one of the forums.
Once I got home, I realized that the center of the stand doesn't have any center bracing for the aquarium and I'm not sure if I should be concerned.
<I would be; am>

 I looked around the internet and came across several sites that state that almost all of the weight of a tank is distributed to the edges and the center doesn't need to be braced. 
<Not so>

Additionally, the plumbing for this tank, runs directly through the bottom of the tank so simply adding a top piece of plywood doesn't seem like an option.
<Yes; it is. Simple enough to use a hole saw, jig saw... but hole/s around for through puts>
Should I add a brace in the center or is it ok?
<I would do so AND a piece of plywood to support the entire bottom (sans through puts), AND a thin (1/4" or so) layer of cushioning... as gone over and over on WWM>

You've all been very helpful, thank you in advance for your help now and in the past.
<Glad to share! Bob Fenner>

Aquarium stand <DIY q.> and tank     6/7/13
Hello and good day. I used your site in the past when setting up my first reef tank with excellent results due to your great advice. I am now setting up my second one. I will be using a 40 gallon breeder, two 20 gallon long tanks. All Aqueon tanks. 40 for the display, first 20 for sump and second 20 for refugium. All tied together. I built my own stand for the display tank and made sure it was as level and planner and straight as it could be.
Here is a picture.
<Very nice indeed>
It is made with a 2x6 frame and cross supports. 3/4" furniture grade plywood on top with the skirt around the top to hide the tank plastic rim.
The issue I am writing about is this: when I placed my tank on the stand I noticed there are gaps around the rim where it sits on the stand. One back corner also has a gap. The gaps I see are here and there. They measure around 1/64 to 1/32". The one back corner measures close to 1/16". I'm trying to figure out what I need to do to correct this.
Using a square as a flat edge most gaps don't appear to bad. Checked the tank the same way and it appears straight. Have assume its all in the top of the stand. I wanted to know what you would suggest be the best fix.
<I would do nothing... I see you mention foam below>
 I was thinking polystyrene foam from Lowes or home depot, rubber mat, 2 part epoxy like you see on bar tops with coins and bottle caps sealed under the epoxy. What would be the easiest permeant fix and where can I get it?
<Likely there is nothing to be concerned re here. If you don't mind the looks, the bit of foam all around the frame, stand contact area>
 Thanks for your time and response.
Shawn from NEPA
<Bob Fenner from N. Kingston, R.I.>

Re: Aquarium stand and tank     6/7/13
Thanks for your fast reply. So nothing to worry about. Even the one back corner is ok not supported due to the 1/16"
gap under it that extends 3-4" away from that corner in each direction? I
<As prev. stated, highly likely not... this difference will settle...>
 was actually looking into cork board sheet as of this afternoon. No fear of tank cracking?
<Only a small bit... on par w/ tripping over ones laces; much less than the certainty of damage from a car accident. Bob Fenner>

Stand support for 125gallon glass aquarium with dual corner overflows 4/19/11
Hi I am writing to request guidance for a DIY stand for a 125gallon All Glass Aquarium with dual corner overflows. I researched WetWebMedia for some time and could not find anything to help with my situation. I obtained a half completed aquarium stand on Craigslist.
<? What happened to the other half? Had to ask>
The stand has 2X4s on end surrounding the perimeter of the tank to hide the trim. The aquarium will not sit on these boards but just on the inside of them. The bottom of the stand has the same 2x4 arrangement surrounding the outside edge of the stand. The inside of the perimeter has 1X6 boards attached to the top and bottom 2x4s vertically so the bottom frame of the glass aquarium will rest on these 1X6 boards.
<... I don't like this>
There are two 1X6s adjoined together at right angles in each corner as well as one at the back and front center of the stand. I did not think this would be strong enough so I added 2X6 boards by screws to these 1x6 boards and added a top cross piece to strengthen the stand for the aquarium to rest on.
I was also going to add a 3/4" piece of plywood on top of the stand along with a piece of Styrofoam as recommended by others.
My concern is that the bulkheads will be in the way of the attached 2x6s in the back corners and would have to cut out some of the top of the 2x6 to have access to the bulkheads later on. I wasn't able to provide pictures at the moment but will if needed for further clarification.
<Please do... All that matters is "how much" of the wood has to be cut (actually drilled as in circular) away to accommodate the plumbing to/from the through puts>
Will this cause enough issues to weaken the stand enough?
<Can't tell, or better, render an/my opinion w/o more detail as to the size, placement of the cut-away material>
What can I do to strengthen it more while still having access to the bulkheads for future use?
<Perhaps some bracketing... maybe giving up on the returns in the overflows, running these up over the back of the tank, outside>
If needed, I can take it all apart and do it completely different if needed. Thanks so much for the information and advice.
<Do send along a good drawing and/or image please. Bob Fenner>

Re Stand support for 125gallon glass aquarium with dual corner overflows 4/20/11
Hi Bob
Thanks for getting back to me as fast as you did.
Here are several photos of the stand including some drawings of the bulkhead in relation to the stand supports.
<I only see the one .pdf file/drawing, sans indication/s of where the through puts/cut outs might be. Please re-send the drawing showing them>
I attempted to get the bulkhead drawings as close to scale as possible to illustrate how much of the vertical 2x6 stand supports would need to be trimmed.
<These need to be greatly bolstered... at least doubled in all corners... and all fastened with screws, not nails... and these covered to prevent rusting>
The inner circle of the bulkheads are actually the outside perimeter of the bulkheads that extends through the stand.
<Maybe. Just to introduce the idea here, I would add many more two-by uprights to support the edges of the tank, particularly if you're going to go ahead and cut around the two back corners>
The outer circle of the bulkhead is the nut size for the bulkheads.
<Am very familiar... you may want to consider annealing/solventing or screwing something of smaller diameter (other than the nuts)... to reduce the cut-away areas>
The bulkhead drawing only shows the left back side as the right side is the mirror image of that and would require the same amount of 2x6 to be trimmed.
<Please re-send this>
The drawing with the top view shows the center supports as I plan to place them.
<I'd add several more two by uprights along the support edge, maybe a couple more laterals (front to back) to more fully support the ply and Styro top>
The photos did not have the 2x6 supports attached to the 1x6 boards including the center support as I am trimming the boards to the exact size and have not fitted them in with the stand yet.
Would I need extra room under the aquarium to work on the bulkheads for future maintenance or is just drilling enough for the bulkheads to clear the boards?
<The latter. I would have good help... careful measurement... with "dropping down" the pre-plumbed fittings here... onto and into the cut-outs of the stand>
I hope this helps and please let me know any suggestions including the possibility of starting over using possible 4x4s and 2x4s.
<I would have made the four corners of 4 bys, but securing two 2 bys (every foot or so) with screws will do here>
Thanks so much for you assistance
<Happy to assist you, BobF>

Re Stand support for 125gallon glass aquarium with dual corner overflows 4/21/11
Stephen, in finding/reviewing your "cut out" drawing (showing where you intend to make room for the bulkheads, nuts), I do think you'll be okay if you add the "many" suggested upright supports (about half the inside edge) and other laterals across from front to back. BobF

Re: Stand support for 125gallon glass aquarium with dual corner overflows 4/21/11
Hi Bob
Thanks for getting back to me again.
<Welcome... as you see, I did find your other drawing... beneath the first one! When I went to post today>
I was planning on using the aquarium as a South American freshwater cichlid tank for now with the possibility of saltwater in the future and wanted to use a wet dry filter for the freshwater system if it works better than a canister filter/ hang on the back filter combo. Are wet dry filters more efficient with less maintenance required than using both canister filters and hang on the back filters?
<More than good canister filters, like Eheims, less than hang-ons by and large>
For now I have an Eheim 2080 canister filter and was going to work it into the overflow by plumbing the canister filter inlet hose through the drain bulkhead.
<Mmm, I'd just use the stock over the top intake and return>
Would it work to have the canister filter's intake worked up inside the overflow through the drain line and rigged into a Durso standpipe with the canister's strainer at the beginning of the inlet of the Durso standpipe?
The inlet would be taking water from inside the overflow area. The return line and spray bar would return back to the aquarium and plumbed through the return bulkhead or I might just return it over the back of the aquarium.
<Too likely to have air intake issues...>
I also I wanted the option of putting in a wet dry or sump later if it works better for a freshwater system versus the canister filter.
<Just run this independent of the canister>
That brings me to the fish tank stand.
Should I add several more 2x6 uprights for reinforcement mostly in the back of the tank stand so I can have more room in the front for access to the canister filter and with installing a large wet dry system in the future with out having to take the tank of the stand and putting the wet dry in through the top?
<Yes... all the same "height" of course>
I thought of another possibility after looking at several DIY aquarium stands on the internet. Would it work better to install a top and bottom frame of 2x4s running horizontally along the perimeter of the stand so that the bottom of the tank's frame and edges are in full contact with the 2x4s underneath?
<Would be better, yes>
The 2x4 frame would also have several 2x4 cross pieces screwed in for added support. I would still place a 3/4" piece of plywood and Styrofoam on top of the 2x4 frame with the aquarium sitting on top of all that. I could also add several 2x6s vertically and directly underneath the 2x4 frame in the corners as well as a few in the back and front center parts of the stand.
The bottom of the stand would have the same 2x4 frame assembly screwed into the bottom of the 2x6s. I would then wrap the sides and back with 1/2" plywood and have trim and 2 doors for the front.
Let me know what you suggest about these options.
<Worth doing, though just adding the uprights... would also do>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Stand support for 125gallon glass aquarium with dual corner overflows 4/21/11
I have a few more questions before heading off and completing the tank stand as you recommended. Is it possible to use the Eheim in the normal set up as over the back of the tank but with the intake being placed in the overflow area or outside it? I want to reduce the stagnant dead spots in the overflow as much as possible.
<I really wouldn't be concerned re, and I would not place the intake here>
I would assume that you would recommend the wet dry filtration over canisters like the Eheim for biological/mechanical filtration. Sorry if I am asking the same question again but do wet dry filters offer more biological/mechanical filtration capacity and can handle larger fish loads than large canisters like Eheims?
<Yes, they do... and/but w/ concurrent higher driven nitrification... i.e., more nitrate production>
What brand of wet dry systems would you recommend for longevity & efficiency? I have looked at the Proline Aqueon brands as well as the Eshopps and am not certain which is best or other brands as well.
Thanks Bob and have a great day!!
<Mmm, I like "custom jobs"... like Marc Levenson's... for certain features.
But our take on these units can be accessed here:
and the linked files below. Bob Fenner

question about aquarium stand supports for a 135 gal glass tank 3/23/11
<Hello there>
Thank you for offering such an awesome site for questions!
<Why "we're here">
I recently purchased a used 135 gal glass aquarium that I plan to set up as a salt water tank. I already have a 65 gal and wanted something bigger...
go figure they are addictive!
<Ah yes>
Anyway, I am trying to keep my cost down so I am building my own stand, I looked up some stand diagrams for the basics but I wanted to make sure the stand I am building will hold the considerable weight of the tank and water etc.
as you can see I am not finished yet. I had to take out the middle leg in the back because it will be in the way of the plumbing that comes out of the middle bottom of the tank. I have used 2x4 framing for the top frame, I have cross supports like the one on the bottom pic at each end and then two more about 18 inches from the ends, again I had one in the middle but had to remove it for plumbing. I know I need to distribute the weight in the middle of the tank with another support beam, do I need to put 2 more on either side of the middle or is it ok to just place one to the left or right of where the plumbing will come through?
<Mmm... I would do the putting two more on either side of the middle back AND add four more supports (2 by 4) one at each corner... Ideally, these should fit "outside" screwed against the existing 2 by 4s, and go up underneath the outer lip of the stand top. Is this clear? I would NOT use the stand as it is... I would do as I state at this point (otherwise would have used 4 by 4s at the corners). Further, I would cross brace the ends with 2 by 4s spanning diagonally the corners on either side>
I am also concerned with the way I have attached the legs.. they are screwed in with wood screws 3 at the side an done down from the top of the support beam.
<To try to be clear, you need the stand to be strongly braced "in three dimensions"... should it take a jolt, as in an earthquake or someone running into it in any direction>
I am also trying to figure out how I am going to reinforce the legs, in the plan I used it has a frame at the bottom to support the legs but that does not seem sufficient to me?
<Me neither... Again, the diagonal... screwed in place, you can counter sink the screws, fill in the heads before sealing all>
I still have to replace the middle leg I removed, I was thinking of using a sheet plywood paneling for the back from under the frame to the floor?
<Mmm, why? For strength? I would not do this... you'll want some air
circulation, indirect light and a way to get plumbing, electrical... about there>
I looked at my other tank stand and this is how it is done, it actually has no legs only plywood paneling. how do I brace the existing legs....
<With the added 2 by 4s at the corners I think you will be okay here>
I have the wood that I got for the bottom frame but I don't like the idea of it only being around the bottom portion of the legs..
seems like it should be braced more in the middle of the legs from one to the other. If I do this is just a simple cross support beam between legs sufficient?
<Likely so>
I was also thinking of just paneling the sides like the back section.. only it would be from leg to leg, would this be good enough instead of the cross support beam?
<Could work as well...>
I will eventually panel the front of the stand and see if I can make doors for it.. (see how I do with this part first).
I want to add a sheet of plywood for the floor, do the legs need to be on top of the plywood to distribute the weight across our wood flooring (there is concrete under the wood flooring) ?
<I would NOT place a pc. of ply here... too likely to get wet and rot... of no practical use... However, I would make sure the area of the 2 by 4 legs touching the floor are well-coated/sealed for the same reason. Just make sure first that where this stand and tank are to go is level and planar (by putting the stand on it, measuring with a long carpenter's level in all two dimensions on top)>
I am short on cash so I am trying to create this stand as cost effectively as possible but without compromising the integrity of the stand. Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
<Do please write back if any of this is not clear and complete. Bob Fenner>

Re: question about aquarium stand supports for a 135 gal glass tank 3/24/11
Ok, let me clarify what I think I understand you to mean :) I think you are saying to support each leg with another matching 2x4.
<Matching, almost... a bit shorter (like 3.5")... underneath the long front (and back) lateral, perpendicular to the existing ones in the corners... screwed to them>
Then for the ends you say to cross brace them, or did I understand you to say it was ok to simply panel the sides without the cross brace..
<You could do either... IF the paneling DO use MANY small nails or good sized (3") wood screws every six inches or so>
and if I need to cross brace it would it look like an X from corner to corner, or did you mean to cross brace from one end to the other end?
<One half of the "X" will do>
or did you mean to
put a brace diagonally from the top frame to the leg at each corner?
<This latter would also do>
Thanks again, I really appreciate the help
<I wish we were neighbours. I'd come on over and help directly. BobF>

stand design -- 3/14/10
I was wondering if you would have a look at a stand design I have come up with and answer a few questions/concerns I have please.
The stand will be used for a 65gal upgrade from my 55gal, and will house the 55gal as a refugium underneath. I plan all joints and laminations to be PL Premium joined with screws as fasteners. The only place lumber will be used on it's flat is the base, to disperse load. My design is to allow for total access from the front. (see attached - my scanner produces gifs... hope you will forgive me.)
<Certainly. Your drawings are clear enough>
My goal is to attach a sump design I found on http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-01/newbie/index.php once I re-seal my 55gal. My primary concern is deflection of the front 2x4's. Will the laminated 2x4's, having full bearing on the uprights, be enough to provide support over the span as indicated?
Also, will the uprights be enough to carry the compressive load?
<If they all compress... about the same, should be fine, but...>
Finally, I value any input/ideas towards my overflow use idea that you may offer.
Again I thank you for you assistance, and appreciate the dedication you have to the hobby.
Richard J.C.
<I would add a central vertical (in the front)... that you can secure with carriage bolts, nuts... or wood screws (brass or stainless)... so it can be removed if/when you want/need to move the lower tank/sump. IF the upper
tank were acrylic (not glass) this "extra" support would not be as necessary, but I would not generally suggest more than a 24" span w/o such support... definitely not 36" plus as in here. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: stand design, caffeine 3/14/10
Thank you, Bob, for the fast reply. One other (new) thought regarding unobstructed access. If sections of angle-iron, 1/4in thick with 2in flanges, were placed to span the length both front and back - would that suffice to carry the load?
<Would be better... but...>
or is the centre brace still required?
<IMO, yes... in particular in areas where the ground moves>
By the way, I learned a valuable lesson regarding my design send.... coffee first - then send.
My weight estimate was off for the main tank - estimate at 700 to 800 lb for a 65gal, not 1200 to 1400 lbs. I included the weight of the refugium. Sorry about that. (sipping coffee - rereading - now send).
Richard J.C.
<1, 3, 7 tri-methylxanthine... the world's most widely abused psycho-active drug... and my fave xanthophyll. Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Large Acrylic Aquarium Stand Question 3/2/2010
Hello All,
<Hi Lisa.>
Unfortunately, I am located in Okinawa, Japan (a small island off of the main island of Japan)
<Very nice Island, spend many months there when I was in the USAF>
so finding marine grade materials or teak is rare, expensive, or hard to find since there is a large language barrier.
This being said, is there anything that is acceptable to use at a standard hardware store?
I can get walnut, birch, plywood, etc, but am not sure if this is good enough.
<Plywood would actually be best, as it is less likely to warp that a solid piece of wood.>
It's a very thick, sturdy stand to hold 150 gallons in an acrylic tank so I don't want to skimp on what I should use. I have included a picture of what I have built so far with my husband being the sander man.
<The stand looks very sturdy. Get a nice piece of plywood and stain it, and you should be fine.>

Very nice!

DIY aquarium stand 10/31/08 Quick question, I recently built my own aquarium stand to normal measurements and allowing a 1/2 in space around for wiggle room. But here is the problem. When you lean on the front of the stand it leans a little forward, also I built it taller than the standard size ( I went with 40 inches). Now should I put a 50 lb bag of sand in the inside of the stand to counter the lean or will it correct its self when the tank is filled also the stand is on carpet not by choice but because it is in an apartment <By leaning forward, I assume you mean it is not sitting flat/flush on the floor? If so either the stand or the floor is indeed not planar. You will need to shim this out just like a leveling issue, ideally with a continuous piece of wood on the bottom of the stand, or between the stand and the floor. See: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqstdleveling.htm If it is wobbly just because it is sitting on the carpet, fill the tank partially and then check for wobble/level and proceed from there. Scott V.>

DIY stand 9/9/08 I am planning on constructing a DIY stand. Will be made completely of wood, most likely 2x8's and 2x4's (placed on end vs. flat)-with glue/screws. Would be for a 280 gallon glass only tank. Stand dimensions likely 72"Lx30"Wx42"H. I have a few questions regarding. Is there any advantage/disadvantage to attaching a plywood base to the bottom of the stand frame? I've seen many tank stands without a base, just 2x4's as the base. What would be your recommendation? What thickness of plywood? I'm planning on a base for the top of the stand, though being that it's a glass tank, it may not be needed. However, this is a large DIY glass only tank-all panels resting on bottom plate (tank). Given this information, would you recommend a plywood/foam base for the top of the stand? <I would always use a base on a stand just because it is more visually appealing. It is not necessary though. Also I would use 1/2 plywood for strength. There are many helpful websites on this topic and you can look at many different aquarium stands online. Good luck with your project, IanB><<... what about a referral here? RMF>> Thank you!

Stand and Floor Reinforcements for a 125g Tank -- 05/21/08 I looked through your archives and found one similar and yet fundamentally different question. <<Okay>> Here I include the page link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/diystands.htm. Use a find and look for poles in reference. <<?>> On to my question. I have been advised and wish to call upon any experience over at WetWebMedia on this subject as a second opinion. <<I'll be happy to proffer mine>> Sorry about Length. <<No worries>> I live in a home built for the Dept of Ag in 1928. This structure has no discernible level issues at the floor level. I have used my 2 foot level all over the area that will house my new 125 gal reef. <<Mmm'¦a longer level (or attachment of your level to a longer and straight 2x4) would likely reveal 'some' deflection'¦but it sounds like this is not a great concern here>> Currently a 75 gallon inhabits this area, and what a day it will be switching over. I am unable to find deflection in the floor. In fact I thought I saw deflection but... it's splitting hairs to some degree as we are talking about a bubble that appears centered. <<Some deflection is to be expected'¦even in 'new' construction'¦but as long as it is not to the extreme, it can be dealt with>> Am I worrying too much at this level? <<Does sound as if so'¦based on what you have found thus far>> Being 80 years old and no measurable deflection in the floor, I am hoping this is good. <<Yes'¦a bigger concern may be whether the original builder used a large enough floor joist, as I suspect what you have would not be suitable/would be too small by 'today's' building codes. But'¦this too can be dealt with if it is the case. At any rate, whether up to code or not, I would plan to add some additional support to the floor from under the house just for the peace of mind>> I am on an exterior wall. Outside this wall behind the tank is a small sunroom. It has no basement section below it and no second floor unlike the rest of the house. It is only 2/3 the length of that exterior wall. This still counts as load bearing, does it not? <<I would expect the wall to be a load-bearing wall, yes'¦but, that does not mean the floor adjacent to it can bear a larger load without additional support. A load-bearing wall is designed to take the load 'on top of' the wall'¦the 'support' for this wall does not extend to the flooring adjacent which relies on the size and spacing of the floor joists (along with their method of attachment) to determine its load-bearing capacity>> The unfortunate part is that I simply cannot place it perpendicular to the joists, which happen every 18 inches. I can bring it 18 from that exterior wall to insure it is over a joist. I was advised that it probably was not a huge deal, but that for comfort I could go into the basement and add a sheet of OSB right under the tank, against the ceiling and use 4 adjustable steel joists rated at 19000 @ at each corner of the OSB to reinforce the floor. <<Okay, let me see if I can get this straight'¦ By 'steel joists' I think you mean adjustable steel post-jacks rated at 19,000lbs each. These jacks/posts would work very well, but I WOULD NOT use/trust the OSB to support these/the floor. What 'I' recommend is this'¦ Since the tank will be positioned parallel to the floor joists'¦place the tank as centered as possible over two joists (running parallel). Note these joists and get two wooden 4x4 posts that are long enough to span these two joists AND reach one joist to EACH side (i.e. -- span four joists with each 4x4). Position the 4x4 timbers under joists (spanning the four joists as described) and about a foot in from where each end of the tank will be and position and support each 4x4 in the middle with a post-jack (one jack per 4x4 will suffice)>> I was told that this was completely overkill but effective. Can anyone concur? <<To reiterate, the OSB will not suffice'¦what 'I describe is not overkill'¦but is effective>> This basement is concrete but finished, the ceiling is finished with plaster and slats. <<Mmm'¦you may want to use a sheet of plywood between the 4x4 timbers and the ceiling then to spread the load more evenly'¦but even then, you will still likely have compression marks in the ceiling>> The 75 is here with 20g sump currently. Pictures are avail if needed. I have built my stand using this plan: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1169964&perpage=25&pagenumber=1. It is a lot to ask, but I would appreciate if you just look at the picture and first post. If not though, I do understand. <<Had a look'¦this appears to be a good and sturdy design>> I added two 2x4 vertical legs in the front and back. They occur at about 24 inches from either side and this tank is 72", but the stand to be 73". It's probably overkill given physics and the 2x6's but why skimp at this juncture only to experience tragedy. <<Indeed'¦a bit of over-engineering can be very comforting>> On the other hand perhaps I am missing something, how do you view this plan? <<I don't think you have missed anything re the stand'¦this design should serve quite well>> I will keep the sump on a whole other floor from this so no worries there. I appreciate your time and help. <<A pleasure to share>> If ever I can help please let me know I will gladly return what I am able to. Ian <<Ian'¦do get back to me if any of my explanation re the joists support is not clear/needs further explanation. Good luck with your project. EricR>>
Re: Stand and Floor Reinforcements for a 125g Tank -- 05/22/08 Eric, Thank you for your quick and informative reply! <<Quite welcome, Ian>> I have included our previous correspondence below. <<Thank you for this>> To acknowledge your questions. I just wanted to link to the mentioned archives in case you needed reference. <<Ah yes>> **By 'steel joists' I think you mean adjustable steel post-jacks rated at 19,000lbs each.** Indeed those adjustable joists are the ones in question. <<To be clear here'¦ 'Joists' are the 2x material spanning from wall to wall and supporting the floor above and (in this case) to which your lath and plaster basement ceiling is attached. The post-jacks are 'not' joists, but will be used to support the joists from below>> **Mmm'¦you may want to use a sheet of plywood between the 4x4 timbers and the ceiling then to spread the load more evenly'¦but even then, you will still likely have compression marks in the ceiling** I do not mind the compression marks and I checked with the home office and they'd rather the floor is supported. <<Very good>> The plaster is old hat and can easily be replaced by sheet rock. <<Unless you are a purist, yes'¦though if you've never done it before, you're definition of 'easily' might change [grin] >> So, I do not believe I can go out enough, given the rooms setup, to be situated so that I could span a joist on each side of the tank from underneath. At least not without problems with the rest of the rooms objects and inhabitants. Well, being finished it is hard to see what is where. Is it uniform to have a stud just after the load bearing wall? Say within a couple of inches? If so I could just barely do it, but if not... <<You stated in your earlier query that you could not place the tank perpendicular to the floor joists'¦this would mean you will be placing the tank 'parallel' to the joists, yes? So'¦what I am trying to convey is that you should position the 4x4 support timbers to span at least one joist to either side of the tank>> The one part I was unsure of from your description is that your suggesting the 4x4's should be placed from underneath approximately 1 foot in from each end of the tank right? <<Below the floor joists and against the basement ceiling, yes (supported by the jack posts)>> And that the joist should be directly under the tank, which should be in the center of the 4x4? <<I think you are confusing terminology here (refer to my earlier statement re joists and jack-posts). If you can run the tank centered over a parallel joist that would be good, but at the least, span and support a joist to either side of the tank from below with the 4x4. And'¦what should be centered on the 4x4 timber is the 'jack-post''¦ Are we clear here?>> What if I cannot as described above, achieve a definite center due to my inability to get the tank out that far from the wall? <<If the tank is not going to be placed perpendicular to the floor joists as you stated, I don't understand what this has to do with its distance from the wall? Tell me'¦how is this tank going to be placed in reference to the outside wall we discussed earlier'¦and'¦in which direction do the floor joists run in relation to this outside wall?>> I looked downstairs and the plaster is actually on a metal screen like material, which would have to be against the joists. I asked the maintenance guy about what size joists are in these homes. I would assume with the floor being so thick, around a foot, the plaster, and the original use of cast iron radiators that they must be at least 2x6's but my answer should be in soon. <<Current code probably requires a 2x10 joist these days (can vary by region/state/county)'¦but not to worry'¦if installed properly, the post-jacks and 4x4 timbers will supply plenty of support>> Ian <<As before, get back to me if any of this is not clear or we have any misunderstandings. I would also very much suggest you invest a couple hundred bucks to have a structural engineer take a look at what you want to do and to advise on the support system re. The peace of mind alone is well worth the investment'¦but having someone there to put their eyes on your project and to explain 'first-hand' what needs to be done can make all the difference. Cheers, Eric Russell>>

Tank set up, stand construction 05/19/08 Good Evening, whomever answers this query! <Hello to you Fish Nut... BobF out in the land of the Pharoahs currently> I have recently purchased a used 75 gallon (standard size) tank ($60, couldn't pass it up...) to upgrade my existing 55 gallon that currently holds 5 Discus, all about 2.5- 3.5 inches in length, and a few Hatchet fish. I will be purchasing more fish, however I'm still researching/deciding as to what I'm looking for exactly. <Mmm, I'd leave most all the room here for your growing Discus> Anyhoo, I took the tank home, and did some measurements on my existing stand, and it appears the width (well.. from front to back) of the tank is too wide. I'm short by about 1/2 inch or so, probably a bit less. If I were too purchase a thick sheet of wood that will 'extend' the top of the surface of my stand, do you think this will work out/be safe? <Yes... Plywood (marine grade is best) of one inch or 2.5 cm. thereabouts is about right. I'd seal it with urethane, polyurethane...> I'm leaning toward 'yes' but with about 750+ pounds of water, rocks, etc weight resting on it, I want to be completely sure. Also, is it worth the effort and risk to upgrade? To me, It's not worth spending another $200 or so for a quality stand that is made for a 75 gallon tank, but it's worth a few dollars the wood will cost. Thanks for the help! Eric <Do you have concerns that the current stand will not support the additional weight of the new tank et al. gear to be used? I might well test this out in the street or garage with an overage of weight first. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stand size diff., weight 05/20/08 Bob, <Eric> Thanks for the quick answers. I appreciate the help. I'm confident the current stand will support the weight of the tank, it's just a matter of the width being too 'wide' is all. I'll have to look into the marine grade plywood that I can coat with polyurethane. Do you think the 75 gallon will allow adding additional fish? <Compared with the 55? Oh yes... wouldn't we all like 55-75/55 difference in our pay? Time on the planet?> I recently read (well; re-read) the article on Discus in WWM. Very helpful. Thanks again. Eric <Welcome/Welkomen BobF, in Deutschlund>

Questions About DIY Tank Stand -- 11/30/07 Dear WWM Crew, <<Hello Brian>> Please allow me to start off by thanking you for saving me much grief in my saltwater endeavors. I find this hobby to be at once delightfully confounding, and sublimely rewarding, and having a resource such as WWM as close as my fingertips helps immeasurably. <<We are all pleased to be of service>> Now, on to my query. I have recently decided to build what, in my opinion, could be considered a furniture quality aquarium stand for my 37 gallon acrylic flat-back hexagon reef tank. <<Neat! Am a bit of a woodworker myself>> I have tried to err on the side of caution, and build with the idea that this will be a functional piece of furniture, as well as a safe, level, and planar stand for my reef and its inhabitants. <<As it should be>> As stated earlier, I currently have a 37 gallon acrylic which is 13 inches wide, 36 inches long, and 18 inches deep. I have designed this stand with the intention of being able to upgrade to either a 55 gallon glass tank, or a custom made acrylic tank in the future. <<Ah, an eye for the future'¦smart move>> My current design is for a stand 6 feet in length, 18 and one half inches wide and 30 inches tall. I have built the frame out of standard 2x4 lumber from the local Lowes. For the top and bottom frames, I constructed 2x4 rectangles of the desired dimensions, the 2x4s placed "on edge", rather than flat, with the ends butt jointed. <<Mmm'¦do use a good waterproof glue at the joints along with your mechanical fasteners (a 'Polyurethane' would be best), and maybe consider adding some galvanized 'hurricane' braces at the inside corners like those used for deck/house construction, if possible. You may fine you will need to 'inlay' the braces to allow for smooth fitting of the external skin panels'¦depending on the type used and your design. Also'¦I would 'double-up' the 2x4s on the long dimensions, especially in anticipation of a larger tank. Simply 'sister' a second 2x4 to the first with glue and screws'¦will actually be stronger/deflect less than if you had used 4-by lumber>> A horizontal cross member, at 15 and one half inch length of 2x4, has been placed every one foot, along the entire length of the frames. <<Excellent'¦this acrylic tank will need 'full' support over the entire bottom of the tank>> For the vertical supports at each corner, I used 30 inch lengths of 4x4 lumber, notching out the very top of each vertical post, to accept the top and bottom frames flush at each corner. <<Very good>> I also placed a vertical support centered at 36 inches horizontally in both the front and back of the stand. <<Ah'¦okay, good>> As an added layer of security, I have diagonally braced each of the corner posts, using a piece of 2x4 cut on a 45 degree angle attached to both the post and the top and bottom frames. <<I see'¦ Can't hurt, though attachment to both the top and bottom frames would likely have been sufficient. I have built a few tank stands myself, including the one my current 375g reef sits upon'¦a bit of over-engineering is not a bad thing>> The surface for tank stand is a 1 inch thick piece of oak plywood 72 and one half inches long, by 18 and one half inches wide, secured to the rest of the frame using a combination of wood screws, and glue. <<Holy-cow, mate'¦you're gonna need a few friends to move this tank stand>> I plan on placing the finished cabinet on a 3/4 inch piece of solid oak plywood which will be one half inch larger than the base of the cabinet, for even distribution of weight. All joints and surfaces were made square and planar using a handheld power planer. (A must have for even an amateur woodworker!) <<Hee-hee! I don't know about 'a must''¦but definitely a neat/handy gadget!>> I am quite certain that this stand is engineered well enough to support the weight of the 37 gallon for many, many years to come. <<Okay>> My concern is for future upgrade possibilities. Do you feel that this stand, as described, will be able to support the possible weight of say, a 55 gallon, with a very liberal weight estimate of 700 pounds, or even a 75 gallon? <<Double-up the frame members on the long dimensions as earlier suggested and I think you'll be fine/have better piece of mind>> I apologize for the length of my query. <<No worries>> I have tried, to the best of my abilities to be as clear and concise and possible. <<This is greatly appreciated>> I eagerly await your response/feedback. <<On its way'¦>> With best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season, Brian <<And to you in kind. Eric Russell>>

Question Concerning DIY Tank Stand 11/29/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Hello, Scott V. with you.> Please allow me to start off by thanking you for saving me much grief in my saltwater endeavors. I find this hobby to be at once delightfully confounding, and sublimely rewarding, and having a resource such as WWM as close as my fingertips helps immeasurably. <Much appreciated Brian, this is one uniquely amazing hobby.> Now, on to my query. I have recently decided to build what, in my opinion, could be considered a furniture quality aquarium stand for my 37 gallon acrylic flat-back hexagon reef tank. I have tried to err on the side of caution, and build with the idea that this will be a functional piece of furniture, as well as a safe, level, and planar stand for my reef and it's inhabitants. <Sounds nice.> As stated earlier, I currently have a 37 gallon acrylic which is 13 inches wide, 36 inches long, and 18 inches deep. I have designed this stand with the intention of being able to upgrade to either a 55 gallon glass tank, or a custom made acrylic tank in the future. My current design is for a stand 6 feet in length, 18 and one half inches wide, and 30 inches tall. I have built the frame out of standard 2x4 lumber from the local Lowes. For the top and bottom frames, I constructed 2x4 rectangles of the desired dimensions, the 2x4s placed "on edge", rather than flat, with the ends butt jointed. A horizontal cross member, a 15 and one half inch length of 2x4, has been placed every one foot, along the entire length of the frames. For the vertical supports at each corner, I used 30 inch lengths of 4x4 lumber, notching out the very top of each vertical post, to accept the top and bottom frames flush at each corner. I also place a vertical support centered at 36 inches horizontally in both the front and back of the stand. As an added layer of security, I have diagonally braced each of the corner posts, using a piece of 2x4 cut on a 45 degree angle attached to both the post and the top and bottom frames. I plan on placing the finished cabinet on a 3/4 inch piece of solid oak plywood which will be one half inch larger than the base of the cabinet, for even distribution of weight. All joints and surfaces were made square and planar using a handheld power planer. (A must have for even an amateur woodworker!) <Must admit I have yet to get one!> I am quite certain that this stand is engineered well enough to support the weight of the 37 gallon for many, many years to come. My concern is for future upgrade possibilities. Do you feel that this stand, as described, will be able to support the possible weight of say, a 55 gallon, with a very liberal weight estimate of 700 pounds, or even a 75 gallon? <No doubt it could hold an even larger tank. It sounds like you have a very sound design. Most commercially available stands are under built compared to your design. Just be sure that you also have plywood on the top of the stand. An acrylic aquarium must be supported over the entire bottom, not just the perimeter as with glass tanks.> I apologize for the length of my query. I have tried, to the best of my abilities to be as clear and concise and possible. I eagerly await your response/feedback. With best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season, Brian <Thank you, again much appreciated. You have a solid design that will likely outlast the tank itself. Have fun building, and watch those fingers (I should have bought that planer). Scott V.>

75 gal. fish tank... Stand, canopy const. Qs I am in the process of starting up a 75 gal tank. and am going to build the stand and canopy myself. <A good project> I found a site where a guy built his and gave the step by step, but am wondering if four 4x4's for the legs will strong enough to support it. <Oh yes... most commercial stands for this sized system are of 2 bys...> also if i should only use one 2x4 on each side of the front and back of stand for middle support. <Can be done> also I need to find a good lighting fixture for the canopy. a website i was going to purchase one from said to make sure there is enough air flow for the light so it does not overheat but how do i know if there is enough air flow for the light, or do i install it and wait for it to explode if it does get to hot. and i also need to know what type to buy as well because i want to do a reef tank, so if you could give me some recommendations i would appreciate it thank you. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm The second tray down... Bob Fenner>

Stand, design, const. 6/5/07 Dear WWM Crew <Joey> Hello again guys and gals love the site and find myself spending more and more time on it everyday keep up the excellent work. Quick update I wrote you once earlier with an Oscar problem my dear buddy Lorikai had a chunk missing from his mouth and has been healing quite nicely without much intervention other than weekly partial water changes as you suggested you guys rock. I did however notice what possibly caused the injury is that sometimes when feeding the Oscar feels the need to violently gulp his food and I think the water level was to high and a piece of food could of been up against the plastic edge and caused his laceration. problem solved I now keep the water level a good half inch below this edge now. <Good move> The reason I am writing today is I am moving forward with my aquarium and would like some advice. I have recently acquired a 90 gallon for my Oscar and Pacu. Which in the future I plan to turn into a SW tank once I have acquired and even larger tank for my boys. That being said now I need a place to put the bloody thing. I have scoured some LFS and online stores to find nothing really to my liking in a stand. They all seem to be either overpriced, poor quality, or just plain ugly and sometimes all of the above. So I am now going down the DIY path because I know I can make something way better. I have found this site just recently and thought it was pretty amazing http://www.fishandtips.com/index.php and here is also a link to the stand I am planning to build http://www.fishandtips.com/step1/step1.php?Step1=&Step2=&Step3=&add1=& ;Key=&Length=48&Width=18&Height=25&StandHeight=30&add1=checked& amp;Step1=checked&Step2=checked&Step3=checked <Very nice plans> Sorry its such a long link. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this build from what I can see it looks pretty solid and have thought about putting 2 more 4"x4"x11" poles in one on the top and one on the bottom although not sure if entirely necessary or not. <I would add these... for greater stability, strength against lateral movement> I am also glad I looked over some info on your site because this site recommended pressure treated lumber to avoid rotting and I knew pressure treated wood was poisonous but the thought never crossed my mind about seeping into my system. <I would coat this... Varathane, Urethane...> So I will be using an untreated wood hopefully some nice kiln dried oak. I am thinking about using a faux marble wallpaper <Oh!> I have found online and coating that with a high gloss polyurethane. Is this feasible and if so do I need to do anything else as far as water proofing the untreated wood or would the polyurethane cover it I am unsure of this. Thanks in advance and once again you guys rule. Yours Truly, > Joey <The biggest change I would make to these plans would be to use countersinking and carriage bolts, nuts and washers in the place of the specified wood screws. Bob Fenner>

Using Treated Wood For Aquarium Structures - 02/04/07 Dearest Bob and Friends, <<Greetings>> Wishing good health to all; I have been on a very strict diet for 3 weeks.. Argh!) <<I hate diets...>> I have finished building a very strong stand for a new 90-gal I will be setting up. <<Cool!>> I am quite sure that I made a mistake in my wood selection. <<Oh?>> I used 5x5 treated wood. Afterwards I found out that treated wood has a poison biocide stain (green) on it. <<Mmm, indeed...is why it is called "treated." The use of arsenic (chromated copper arsenate) was banned for residential use in 2004, the treated wood available to homeowners (hobbyists) today contains either alkaline copper quat or copper azole. While much less toxic to us than the arsenic based treatment, you'll notice the common ingredient is copper...sometimes as high as 96%. Obviously you don't want this leaching in to your tank>> This is a problem right? <<It can be yes...and is why I chose to not use treated lumber when building my in-wall reef display>> Can I simply varnish over? <<I don't recommend this...it just won't last in this environment, and the wood is still likely too "wet" anyway. Your best option is to use a penetrating oil stain to seal the wood that can easily be renewed as needed>> Another problem is that the wood I used was not 100% dry when I got it. <<Ah, yes...treated and kiln-dried wood is sometimes available, but more often than not the wood at the home centers (Lowe's/HD) is not "dried" and is only hours/days old after the treatment process>> Now it seems to have finished drying since it was built and now the areas where the tank sits on the stand is no longer planar. <<Not unusual...treated wood is usually meant for "rough" construction and is not the best "cuts"...couple that with the extremely high moisture content and bowing/twisting is inevitable. Another reason for using untreated and kiln-dried wood>> Off by 1/8 inch at some places. I tried to level off using a hand sander and files but I think I made it worse. <<You're best option here is to start over with better wood I think>> The wood has also cracked in some areas but I doubt that is of any worry. <<Mmm, I don't agree...there will be an awful lot of weight on this stand>> I honestly think my stand could hold a train car. (5x5 wood, secured using 7 inch 3/8 wood screws, and wood glue, structure is all boxed in) <<Ah...but is all "moot" if it is not level and planar>> At this point I'm thinking that I could simply place a 1/4 inch thick rubber strip under the perimeter (this is a perimeter trim tank) of the tank to compensate for my non-planar mess! <<Mmm, I don't think this is a good solution here>> I think I remember reading your advice against this but I think at this point I'm ready to accept a non-ideal solution. <<Are you ready to accept having the tank burst?>> I think the odds of me bringing this planar using hand tools is slim. <<Likely, yes>> It is not as easy and is actually quite easy to make worse. <<Indeed...and reason enough to chalk this up as a "learning experience" and just start over>> Thank you very much for your time. <<Happy to share. EricR>> Tristan

Tank stand construction questions 9/20/05 Bob, <Greg> First, your website is great! I have gotten tons of great info over the past few years. thanks. <Welcome> I have 2 (unrelated) stand construction questions. 1.) I recently moved my 120g reef Oceanic reef tank. In the rush of moving/setting it back up the tank stand did not get perfectly level. <Mmmm, "perfectly?"... oh, I see below> There are several places where a sheet or two of paper would fit between the tank and the stand, after 8 weeks it still hasn't settled in. To fix this right, it seems I would have to take the tank down and fix level the stand - is this worth doing? Is there any other recommended fix? <Mmm, you might get by here by "cheating" a bit with placing some freshwater under the low spots... having the hopefully wood stand swell some> 2.) I need to construct a stand for a 225g acrylic reef tank, 60 X 24 X 36 (my guess is 3000lbs?). <A bit less likely... a few hundred pounds shy> I have a 48in, 55g tank I would like to use as the sump. To make access easy underneath, would 2X6 be sufficient to support the 60in span for this tank? <Mmm, no... I would go with four by... carriage bolt together...> If not all 60in, what would be the max. spanning distance you would recommend for a 2X6 for this tank? thanks. Greg <Would be nice to be able to "angle in" the four foot long 55... and can likely be done with a bit of planning, making a six legged stand... with the one center front middle upright staggered off to one side a bit... I would make these four-bys as well... Bob Fenner>

Stand Construction Question 8/19/05 Hi All, I've been in this tremendous hobby for over 5 yrs now and am more than hooked you could say. I have 2 55g tanks and some smaller 10g tanks also. I have gotten the go ahead for a 300 g tank in the lounge room and am putting it in the corner of the room. It will be a pentagon shape. <Congrats!> I think it will be 4'x4'x18"x18" and 3'10" across the front and 26" high, with a sump underneath of what size I'm not sure yet. It depends on the room I have as much as possible. <Sounds great!> My question is: are there any particular plans for a stand this size? I have shored up the floor after asking an engineer and am confident of building it myself either out of wood or steel. Which do you think is easiest and best? <Glad to hear that you have shored up the floor. Wood and steel are both great materials for building a stand, but each has some advantages and disadvantages. Most folks don't consider welding the steel to be a Do It Yourself project and it can rust. It is also harder to add an attractive facade to. Wood is easier to work with, will never rust and is easy to modify, but it can warp and/or rot. Given the unusual shape of your tank and the unusual angles, it may not be much harder to go with steel. If you do choose steel, I recommend having it powder coated, or if this service is not available in your area, painted with a high quality epoxy paint. As for plans, you won't find them specifically for this unusual tank, but you may find some general tips with a Google search.> I am getting the tank builder to make the tank in my lounge room and then it will be just a case of lifting it up onto the stand, with a lot of help from some friends I hope. Do I need to have a center piece underneath to hold the middle up because if so, I will lose room for my sump? <Probably not. Most tanks are designed to be supported only around the perimeter to avoid pressure points on the bottom pane. Your tank builder should be able to advise you on this and should use think enough glass to be self supporting.> Thanks very much for your wonderful and helpful site I read it everyday. Yours Scotty Tasmania Australia <Glad you have benefited! Best Regards. AdamC.>

Place Foam under Acrylic tank? DIY Stand Question - 10/23/05 Hiya Ladies and Gents! Before I get to my question, I must say again how right you are and I shouldn't have even bought a 13 gallon marine aquarium. Living in a smaller Japanese house, I wasn't sure how it would fit, but now it is the focal point of the house! While I've had great success with it thus far, it would have been surprisingly cheaper to 'go large' but I couldn't understand the reasoning back then. Now I see clearly. I've learned a lot about marine aquariums in a short time. 3-5 hours of nightly 'net' reading and a front row seat in front of the tank. Yes, it's possible to be successful. No, I wouldn't suggest it to a beginner. Ok, to the first question. I upgraded to a 66 gallon acrylic tank today. Going to make my own stand (a few years and lots of tools in the hobby to help me out). The LFS told me NOT to use a foam mat under an acrylic tank as it will eventually begin to chemically react and may 'glue' it self to it after a few years. Is this true? Or is there another form of 'forgiving material' to use? Next question is (if I can't use foam), what kind of finish am I able to use for the stand top? A lacquer? Polyurethane finish? Bare wood (hmmm unprotected wood and water = bad idea me thinks) Will these eventually have chemical reactions to the acrylic? Thank you again for the priceless resource! <Thank you for the kind words. Dana, I've always used Styrofoam sheeting to place under my tank. Works well and does not stick to the acrylic. As for finish, polyurethane is your best bet with no negative effects. James (Salty Dog)>

Stand for 125G acrylic tank - 03/11/2006 Hi Crew, <Tom> I've been reading up on DIY stands and seeing mention of 2x4 and 2x6 framing & cross bracing required. The cabinet stands I'm seeing in a couple of LFS's appear to be made of 3/4" plywood sides, with a 3/4" plywood top to support the tank. <Some of them, yes> I've seen this type of construction on stands up to 24" deep (front to back) and 48-72" long, with no other bracing...is this adequate for a tank that could weigh nearly a ton? <Mmm, well... as a person posting "things" on an open forum (the Net)... no. Much safer to encourage folks to use more sturdy timbers, screw and/or bolt/nut together... using ply and such for fascias> I'm planning to build a stand and would like to avoid losing cabinet space to center bracing & divider walls inside the cabinet, if I can. If one sheet is not enough, would two sheets of 3/4" plywood, or 1.5" total, be strong enough to support a 125G tank with only perimeter support? Thanks, Tom <Not IMO Tom... Have you visited OzReef.org? Much good DIY info. there re aquarium matters... As you state, this is a lot of weight... and in areas where the ground shakes, or that such constructs might suffer lateral force otherwise... I'd go with bracing the stand in all dimensions... strongly. Bob Fenner>

Aquarium Stand 3/3/06 Hi Bob A friend who owns a welding shop is planning on building an aquarium stand for my 125 gallon six foot tank. <Nice> He is using 2 inch square tubing for the frame. The question he asked and I could not answer was: is it better to build it with metal tubing all around the base of the aquarium's foot print which touches the floor or build it with four or six legs? <Mmm, better the latter... particularly in settings where the flooring is not level, planar or worse... differentially so... as in on wood supported by wood framing...> I thought it might distribute the weight more not being on four or six legs but have it resting on two inch tubing all around the base of the tank. I thought it might be easier to level on four legs though. <Mmm, not really... better (if necessary) to employ large shims under the longer, continuous supports... and to measure with the tank filled and empty...> Any help would be greatly appreciated as all the DIY instructions I have found are for wooden stands. Thank you in advance. Leta <Do see the excellent DIY site which is Ozreef.org for much valuable input here. Bob Fenner>

Stand Construction Question - 1/30/2006 Good morning Crew! Hope your weekend is going well. <All over... but wait! I don't have a day job... every day's like a weekend day!> I am in the process of building a new stand for my 200 GAL Oceanic glass tank. The tank is 7' X 2' x 2' and was bought as a used setup including the stand (but is looks like it has been rode hard and put up wet! :-) ) <Can be dangerous...> Anyway, on to the question. Since it is a glass aquarium, I understand that it is mostly perimeter braced (i.e. normally just sitting on 2X4's around the edges and the bottom glass bowing slightly is not a major concern. <Yes> However, since it has 4 holes drilled in the bottom (which I will be plugging up and drilling the back panel for my overflows and returns) should I: A. Build the "standard" stand with only perimeter support like this: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/navajo001/frame.jpg B. Build a stand with extra cross bracing for the tank to rest on like this: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/navajo001/framewithxbrace.jpg C. Build a stand with the extra cross bracing (option B) and add 3/4" plywood on the top for the tank to rest on. <C. is your best choice... or B., with a good/thicker piece of "Styrofoam" under the edge and floating bottom> Your assistance (once again) will be much appreciated. As always, your efforts in this hobby are OUTSTANDING and the level of concern/knowledge are truly appreciated. Keep up the good work and know that countless lives (and probably marriages) have been saved/enriched by your efforts. Tom (The Tool Man) <As you know Tom... more support is better. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Large Tank Stand Construction...No Particleboard Please! - 03/30/06 Hi, I searched your archived questions, but can't seem to find one about this specifically... <<Ok>> I am planning on constructing a support base for a rather large Fish Tank (approx 350-500 gal) and have seen photos where they have apparently built the stand out of cabinets, but can't exactly tell whether or not they are false cabinets with metal bracing inside or not. My question is: if I construct the base from cabinets which are 5/8" particleboard frames, which are installed on those black plastic European-style leveling legs (each has a weight capacity of 650 lbs), and have a Granite countertop installed on top of these cabinets, do you think that the total weight would be able to be supported by these cabinets? <<Mmm, no...I don't recommend particleboard as a "weight bearing" structural support. Aside from its low shear strength (as compared to dimensioned lumber/structural beams), any amount of moisture will greatly compromise it. As for the "leveling legs", they may be able to support the weight but the particle board won't be able to support them.>> I am assuming that at 8.5lbs/gal that I'm looking at most at 4,250 lbs + about 800 lbs for the granite, but should I also be considering plants/fish/coral/rocks/lid/pump etc. that might add even more weight, or are those pretty unsubstantial in the whole scheme of things? <<Not "unsubstantial" but will displace some water so.... But don't forget to figure the weight of the tank itself.>> So around 5,000 lbs is the weight, and there would be 12 legs supporting this area, so that is 7,800 lbs capacity. <<I highly recommend you NOT pursue this idea as outlined.>> I would just like a 2nd opinion, because I'm not too clear on the shear strength of the particleboard! I know you're not engineers either, but maybe this is setting off alarm bells, or am I just being overcautious? <<Is good to be overcautious here...alarm bells ARE sounding...no, not an engineer, but wood working/remodeling is my avocation. I have removed/replaced load-bearing walls in my home, as well as designed and built the stand for my own 375 gallon display (500 gallon system total). I recommend you construct/frame your stand from "structural" materials such as dimensioned lumber and then face it with cabinet material/doors for the "look", if you desire. If nothing else, consult a structural engineer about your idea/design...will be the best $100 you could spend right now.>> Please let me know what you think Thanks, Patrick Ryan Toronto, Ontario <<Regards, EricR...Columbia, SC>>
Large Tank Stand Construction...No Particleboard Please! II - 03/30/06
Wow, great info, thanks Eric, good to know! Thanks for your help/advice! Patrick Ryan <<My pleasure Ryan, hope it proves useful. Regards, EricR>>

A little freaked out ... drilled glass tank worries/worrier 7/26/06 Hello Crew, well to the point.... I'm literally days away from setting up my new 180, beautiful stand/canopy done, LifeReef sump/skimmer, 6 *80W T5 with 2 * 250 MH HQI retro, etc etc etc. I got great stuff and took my time buying and planning, reading and asked lots of questions (a few here).. Well I'm just about ready to go and I was on Reef Central tonight only to see a picture of a 180 show like mine that cracked on the bottom that was drilled!!! It has freaked me out a bit. My tank was built by a local guy with 1/2 inch glass, I got All-Glass to send me their braces for the top and bottom and siliconed in custom built acrylic overflows. The bottom pane has 8 holes in it. 2 in each overflow and 4 in the corners for Oceans Motions device. The tank I saw on RC cracked because his holes were in the middle from the weight of the rock. So I would like some reassurance or some pointers 1) Is this not safe? <Should be fine> 2) I plan on a 4" DSB with 200 lbs of live rock so you have idea of weight. 3) Can I support it better to be more strong along with the All-Glass brace? Maybe Styrofoam or something. <A good idea to assure the tank itself is on a support that is complete, strong, level and planar... Have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqstands.htm and the linked files above?> I can provide pics if needed, the stand is solid and custom designed buy a contractor experienced in aquatic design and is lipped so the bottom of the tank slides nice about 1" inside. Hopefully I am OK here and you calm me, but better safe then sorry. Thanks Jeff <Likely all will work out here. Bob Fenner>

Stand Dear Rob, Thanks for your help! Here is another question: Can I do a stand in stainless steel that has been galvanized? <Mmm, yes... if you can arrange for none of the galvanization to rust, drop into the systems water... A good idea to coat over this coating... perhaps with an epoxy paint.> What is galvanizing? <A process for... use your search engine: "galvanizing"> My LFS uses them for his stands, seems to be working fine without any hint of rust. <Eventually... all ferrous materials oxidize/rust... it "never sleeps" as the saying goes> I am thinking of this route as wooden stand is rather too expensive. I heard that metal stands are good for really big tanks, mine will have a weight of 800kg/m2 <Mmm, please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tksstds.htm Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, John

Stand building 6/2/03 Sir, I would like to know the load capacity of 2 10" wood I-beams they span 15 foot. I plan on placing a 72"x24" fish tank with everything it will weigh about 2500lbs.Thanks for any info you can give me. Glenn <alas, I have no idea here my friend. But to find it, I'm sure there are places on the web that list such data. Experiment with some keyword phrases on Google.com I also recall seeing small handbooks at the local DIY stores and lumber yards that have such measures and data in them. If nothing else, this is a popular commercial aquarium size. Take a peek at the stands for sale in local aquarium shops and online- they are built frightfully modest yet still work. Build yours stronger and rest assured. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Glenn's stand-building question Hi guys, I recently built a stand for a standard 90 gal tank with the help of a contractor friend, and learned some things that might be useful to Glenn or other would-be stand builders out there. According to this contractor, an 8-foot-long 2x4 will support something like 7000 pounds in compression (shorten that to a 3' length of 2x4 and that number climbs dramatically). A normal framing nail will support up to 150 pounds of shear (force perpendicular to the nail). So these materials truly are overkill for this type of application. This contractor had wanted to build a box out of 1x2's with 3/4" plywood on all sides. The plywood would be screwed and glued, and would be the actual structure of the piece, responsible for bearing the weight. He thought this would support much much more than my 90 gal. I'm sure this would have worked great and been really easy to build, but I don't like the look of normal plywood, or the price of the finished stuff, so I used tongue-and-groove paneling (1x6) as the weight-bearing members, all held together by an interior frame of 1x3's. 1 1/4 and 1 3/4" screws hold everything together. There is one feature of my stand that I just love, and that is a sliding "drawer" for my 30 gal sump to sit on. The drawer sits on a set of heavy duty drawer slides rated for 150 pounds, and lets me slide the sump out for service instead of trying to squeeze myself into the stand to work on it. Just my 2 cents. Thanks. Nick <Thank you for this. Will post for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Aquarium Stands Hello again, Just wondering what your recommendation was as to the best solid wood (i.e., poplar, oak, etc.) stand and canopy product line for aquariums. <Poplar is good for painting. Oak and Maple take stain well.> The All Glass Modern Series is nice, but you cannot mount a retrofit lighting kit in their hood, so they aren't going to cut it. What's your suggestion? <I would look at DIY sites such as http://www.ozreef.org/ Also, Oceanic makes a nice line of stand and canopies. You may get some good ideas from looking at their models.> Thanks, Ben <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

- Sound Proofing the Stand - Hello people, <Hello, JasonC here...> I must give kudos for all your hard work answering the multitudes of questions you must receive daily. I am planning a 120 gal reef tank with an approx. 40 gal sump. I am planning to keep the tank in my bedroom, because this is where I spend most of my time (college student), and because there's no room anywhere else in the house. I've read your responses to others with the same idea, and the collective "you" seems to feel that the noise could cause sleeping problems. <No one asked me... I've had numerous tanks in my bedroom and have never had a problem sleeping with the sound created by the mechanics of the tank. I've had much larger problems with sounds that came from the tank itself... like the first time I heard the clicking shrimp living there. Was like tiny gun shots in the night...> With this in mind, I am considering using soundproof Styrofoam panels on the insides of the stand, where the sump, pumps and skimmer will be located. I'm going to assume that this will need to be replaced periodically due to degradation via salt buildup, will this decomposition cause problems for my tank (i.e. is Styrofoam toxic)? <I think the Styrofoam will degrade a long, long time after the stand itself does... the stuff is pretty durable and resistant to salt water. Petrochemicals would be a different story.> Secondly, I plan to paint the outside of the stand and the hood (also DIY) black, to focus viewer attention on the display tank. I will of course search for a low-toxicity paint for this purpose, how do you feel about my painting the insides of the hood white, to reflect light and heat. <Sure, why not.> What if chips fall into the tank somehow? <Don't buy paint that will chip.> Lastly, I plan to light the inside of the sump, to allow for a small refugium and the propagation of algae to balance pH (lighting at times inverse to display tank). Do you have any suggestions for this? <Uhh... suggestions about what? Should you do it? What types of lights to use? Will you be able to sleep with those lights on? I'm not sure which answer you are looking for.> The lighting inside the sump would be NO or VHO. <I would use normal fluorescent.> Thanks in advance! Quinn Kuiken <Cheers, J -- >

Building a Sturdy Tank Stand Hello! >Hi! I really do appreciate the open forum, and responsive answers that you provide! I have read several articles related to my question, but just wanted some more specific advice. >I'll do my best, but I'm not a contractor, nor do I have contracting experience. I just bought a new 125Gal Acrylic tank from Tenecor, and plan on putting it in my living room (main floor w/ basement below). >Fun-fun! Based on the 10lbs/per gal rule, plus the weight of the aquarium/stand/live rock - I would guess that it is all going to weigh in the neighborhood of 1300-1400 lbs. >Yep. More specifically, salt water will weigh more on the order of 8.5lbs/gal, but it's far better to err on the side of caution. As I mentioned, there is a basement below, but the tank would be up against the outside (load bearing) wall. The tank is 5ft long, and would sit perpendicular to the floor joists, and span 4 floor joists. Do you believe that I have enough support? >I'm a California girl...what's a basement? J/K! Again, I would prefer to err on the side of caution. Would it impede your use of the basement to go ahead and place supports under the joists? If not, then I say do it. Should I put some support poles from the basement floor to support the joists directly below the aquarium? >Again, yes, I would just to be safe. I'd also go with 4x4's, not 2x's. I'd use those construction joiners, those funky metal plate thingies...(sheesh! Listen to me...PETE!! Someone, stop me from looking so silly... oops, too late!) Thanks again! Tim McLaren >You're very welcome! Marina

Tank Stand Construction Hello Bob and Crew, Sorry to keep bothering you guys. What can I say; if you weren't so good than I wouldn't keep bothering you. I am currently in the planning stages of constructing a taller tank stand. I haven't been completely satisfied with the schematics currently available, so I have created my own. This stand will have to support 1800 lbs (I added 300 lbs in there for wiggle room). It will be 61 inches long (tank is 60), 25 inches deep (tank is 24) and 34 inches tall. I will be using 4 x 4s and a couple 2 x 4's. I have attached the design (created in MS Paint). Specifically, I would like to know 1). if it is a solid design, 2). What changes should be made, 3). Whether the 28 inch access opening is too much for the top (2) 2 x 4s to handle (or if I could go up to 30 inches for an access opening), 4). I believe I built a lot of safety into this stand so would like to know if I can get away with pine construction or should use Poplar. <Your design didn't come with your post, but let me just comment on these questions and make a suggestion for your design. I suggest framing the walls just like house framing, w/2X4 studs, top and bottom plates, California corners. (see any home improvement book). The only change would be to place the top plate 2X4's "on edge" to support spans (or use 2X6's for your opening span). I wouldn't put an aquarium on top of a 2X4 spanning 28". I would use 2X6's (on edge, *not flat*), built like a floor spanning the entire stand, and then 3/4" ply platform. With good framing the sheeting/cover serves to stiffen the structure and can be most any wood of your choice.> Please keep in mind this will be an acrylic aquarium and the entire top of the stand's frame will be covered in either 3/4" or 1" pressure treated plywood (suggestions on which I should use?). Thank you in advance for looking over these plans. You guys rock...no, hold on...YOU GUYS ROCK! Thanks, Mike <Make sure there is support across the frame to support the plywood full length and width. (Part of placing top plate on edge, as cross supports can be easily accommodated) Do NOT use pressure treated plywood, just paint regular ply with latex and use a 1" Styrofoam sheet on top of that to handle surface irregularities. I suggest ply for the sides as well for stiffness/strength. Hope this helps! Craig>

Tank stand Hi <Hello there> I was wondering if you could help me. I'm looking to make a stand to hold 2 tanks, 1 tank is 48long x 12deep x 18high inches while the other is 30x12x15 inches. I would like the larger tank to be on top. I was looking at building the stand out of wood probably 2x4 but I then heard some one talking about shelves. I think the water volume from the big tank would be too bigger pressure on a shelf, but thought I would ask for your opinion any way. <Mmm, could be built of wood, maybe with six or eight feet/uprights, instead of four at the corners... that is, two or four more supports under the lower shelf for the smaller tank> The area the stand would go is in an alcove so it could have support on 3 sides from the wall (brackets?), <Sturdy ones> I'm not plumbing the 2 tanks together. I've looked on loads of websites but can't find any diagrams or anything referring to a stand for 2 tanks. <Maybe take a look over the premier DIY aquarium site: ozreef.org Bob Fenner>

Will the Real (Good) Tank Stand Please Stand Up? Cheers Fellas, <John> I want to build a tank for a 370 Gallon acrylic aquarium. It will be a basic stand no veneer oak just 6"x6" beams, the aquarium is going into the wall. Would 6x6" beams be adequate enough to hold the weight of a 370G saltwater fish only aquarium. Thanks John <Definitely so... a few further comments... drilling, carriage bolts, washers, nuts would be the fastener route I would go... and I'd attach a good thickness (3/4" or better) of plywood on top of the uprights... and if 6 bys, space them every three feet... Bob Fenner>

Tank Cabinet Was looking for some help. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for some DIY plans on building a cabinet for my tank. It is a 75 gallon, 48x18x20. I am looking to build a cabinet that would allow me to store a 20" tall sump, with enough room for me to access my Euro-reef cs61 skimmer. I searched your FAQs and have already checked OZREEF. Any other places for plans? <None right off hand... You can check FAMA's collections of "For What It's Worth"... go to a library, use a computer there to do a computer search for info... or have friends look over your drawn plans for making it... two by's likely... drilled and carriage bolted to allow you to disassemble... Easy to do. Bob Fenner>

DIY Wood Stand Question Dear Crew, Good day. My question today is about DIY wood stands. I plan to replace my 50G metal stand. Dimension is 36 L x 18W. Can I get by without a vertical support in the middle? I intend to use 2 x 4 wood planks. < Sure as long as the wide part is vertical and not horizontal. You probably could get by with the 2x4 running flat and not on the edge, but over the long run wood warps and some of the lumber lately is not the greatest around. I would tend to over build it, especially here in California where my tanks occasionally have to ride out an earthquake.-Chuck> Thanks and regards.

Jason. C new (tall) stand... Hmm... didn't send any images with this email as the first two attempts with included images bunked. Let's try one - is a picture of the new tank and stand - was going to get your opinion... perhaps I will send to WWM mail - can post on the dailies for all... J --
<Nice stand... tall but well-braced. Bob F>

Had this feeling you might say that... <Ahh, I AM becoming that predictable... I like it when I am known to my friends> was thinking about putting a small cabinet in one of those open sides - would that and diagonal braces on the far wall help - was also going to put a nice outer cover around it... but not right away... perhaps if I just cover that one far side and brace that? <On all four fronts... okay! Bob F> Thanks,
J --
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