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Stand Design Question


Reefer503
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Hey everyone, I've been collecting all the items needed to get my new tank going. All that is left is to have my stand built. I have a 90 gallon (48x18x24) tank and the stand is being built by my neighbor that is a custom furniture and cabinet maker. Although he has been doing the craft for 30 years, he hasn't ever built an aquarium specific stand.

 

We have flushed out some great designs with some really nice features and the build is about to begin. The big question is, is it ok for the stand to only have 4 legs or 4 corners with hidden center legs? Almost all tank stands I have seen have a platform base, which seems like it would disperse the weight better, but there seems to be a benefit of having 4 legs so that we can install beefy height adjustable feet on them so I can make the stand level prior to filling it. I have a house built in 1940 with hardwood floors if that matters. I am also installing 4 - 4x4 beams with 2x6 supports across my floor beams under where the tank will sit to be safe.

 

Thanks for any advice, I just want to see what people think before I build it and have heard there are some great stand builders within the members.

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not an expert, but I'd bet you'll dent your floor under the feet. I'd put the leveling feet above a platform so you have posts sitting on 1" plywood (or something) and the feet can level your stand/tank, but the floor will get a more generalized pressure...you're talking about 900 pounds for your whole set up (using the 10lbs/gallon rule), if you have 4-3in diameter leveling feet, that's 31 psi. if you had the whole 48x18, that's barely 1 psi (it's not perfect dispersal, but it'd help)

 

that's what I would do.

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I have never had issue just using 4 legs. I have used 4x4 legs on many tanks. Many over 150 gallon. Platforms make for a mess. If they get wet underneath its a recipe for mold and dryrot. Dont even bother with adjustable legs. In my opinon its a wasted expense. Just shim it. Once the tank is set you cant/wont adjust them again.

 

Reinforce under the house is never a bad idea, especially for longevity.

 

I also like no platform so i can build by sump onto a roller cart for easy in and out.

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thanks guys, when I was speaking to my neighbor before, we had come to the conclusion that having 4 legs is better because of the ability to get underneath it if needed (ie. water spill) and that it allows the area to 'breath' so you are less prone to get mold or rotting wood.

I think that 4x4's for legs is a good idea, we are skinning it in cherry and staining it to match my existing furniture.

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IME 4x4's are extreme overkill. Take a look at the stands the aquarium makers sell. They basically use 1x2's. Personally tho, I would go a little beefier than that. 2x4's will be plenty sturdy enough. All the force is downward. There is no shear (side to side) force unless you lean on it or push it. You just need to make sure you brace it for the shear (side to side or front to back) force. Tie the 2x4's together, top and bottom, all four sides, with 2x4 stringers and you'll be fine.

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4x4 are cheap. I have seen 2x4 bend, twist, warp, and break. Way more quality and bang for the buck with 4x4.

 

I want to sleep at night. I also fear earthquakes. There might be no shear force just sitting there but i plan for the unexpected.

 

Oh and keith, you are too an expert!

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When I set up my 125 I was worried about the weight because my house was built in 1920. I was told to go under the house to see which way the support beams ran. I then orientated the tank so that it crossed over as many beams as possible. I also made sure to set it up against a outside wall. I ended up covering a window :( but I am confident it is secure.

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