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Old 09-08-2012, 06:27 AM   #1
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


Hello everyone,

Im new to this whole Forum thing so I will ask my question then introduce myself.

I have a 125 gallon fish aquarium i bought off craigslist. Turned out the stand is worse off then they guy saying it just needs finishing work. The tank is like 72.5" long X 18.25 deep X 23" Tall. The stand looks like it may have been home made and my online research brings up tons of 4x4 and 2x4 frames then plywood attached to it. But the guy I bought it from told me that it was up and running before. And by the looks of the top plywood, It looks like water had been on it. So my question is, Can I make a stand with just plywood and have the people at home depot cut it to my measurements? Or is the 2x4 frame the only way to go. And yes... I dont really trust the condition the current stand is. Ill post a link to some pictures I took tonight.

BTW I love the trade/craft but dont have the tools to walk in the deep end. So right now this green horn has a skill saw, hammer, power drill(no clutch), ca carpenters square, and a 6 foot leveler. So at this time I can only splash my hands in your pool. SO I seek your knowledge. THank you guys/gals.

In this picture the 20 lbs door is off and really, this is the back of the stand. The front has all sorts of thin board over the plywood. Dont know why. ANd the only center support is some sort of vertical 2x4 that was added to try and add a door to this thing.
http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/...D/IMAG0417.jpg

This is to show that its all plywood. The top plywood looks like its .75 or .50 inches thick.
http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/...D/IMAG0419.jpg

And this is showing the plywood with the sticker wood vinal stuck along the edge. I know im green but my mind is bigger then the tools and skis I have. My wife told me that if that comes in the house I will be sleeping in it. So Please help?
http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/...D/IMAG0420.jpg

A gallon of water is like 8lbs or 8.?? pounds. with the weight of the glass tank, 120lbs of gravel and some decor. Could plywood really work that well? And if so, I was thinking about screwing some vertical 1x4 boards along the center of the plywood just for more stability or/and some L-brackets and calking along all the edges. And with that single opening that the current stand has, I was going to add some vertical 2xr's in it so I can have a wider door opening and make it 2 large door openings. Is me head on the right track or should I build that 2x4 house frame I am finding all over the place? Thank you all for your help. I wanted to buy the lumber and start building like 3 days ago. So right now all I need is a green light from all you, or some ideas and I will be off and running and I can get that tank in the house verses out in the garage empty and taking up space.

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Old 09-08-2012, 06:29 AM   #2
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


WOW, I typed a lot. SOrry guys. wow...

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Old 09-08-2012, 06:52 AM   #3
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


WOW, looking at my own pictures, and the research I have done so far. It look like the person that built this, may have measured the woo for the length "right" but then he slapped the sides onto the ends of the long boards. Making it a .50 inches longer on each side. So if and when this tank was filled and running. THe ends were not supported by vertical boards. Just the top ply wood. LOL I just got yhy the stand is 74" long when the tank is 72.5" long. I love working with wood(when I can). Because the depth(front to back) is perfect. But wow, he/she should have but the sides between the long boards. hmmm.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:55 AM   #4
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


I might be able to help better if I could actually SEE the pictures. They're HUGE and my connection sucks.
Perhaps if you resized them and posted them HERE instead of linking off-site?

How to resize photos to post them here.

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Old 09-08-2012, 08:45 AM   #5
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


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I might be able to help better if I could actually SEE the pictures. They're HUGE and my connection sucks.
Perhaps if you resized them and posted them HERE instead of linking off-site?

How to resize photos to post them here.

DM

Sorry about that. Im about to head off to work right now. I will re post the pictures of this beat up stand as soon as I get off work. Dont know my smart phone as well as most people. I would love to start building a stand today. The tank is still in the garage collecting 5 days worth of dust. Now watch... Im going to finish a stand and the tank is going to have a leak. The guy says its perfect. But you know how some ppl are when they sale a tank and stand for $200. Im hoping I can build a new stand with just plywood. By the way, is there any type of "Rule of Thumb" with cutting plywood aginst the grain or across the grain? Should the grain go in any certain direction? Let me know if I can build a stand for this 125 gallon glass aquarium. And I will repost the pictures as soon as I get off work. THanks for the reply.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


Nice size tank. I would be a little suspect of that stand holding that tank. How sturdy does it feel? Does it shake/wobble whan pushed on? My brother-in-law has a tank that size on a stand that looks similar to that one but it was a store bought one. I saw it before he had water in the tank and I figured it would never hold. It has been filled for 10 years now. I built my own stands for my tanks as I do not like the low ones that the pet shops sell. I am tall so it is easy to work on my tanks when they are up higher.

Water is 8.33 lbs/gal. That tank full will be about 1100 lbs.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


No problem cutting PLYWOOD up or down the grain, since it's layered back and forth vert./horiz. You should probably set the tank on a nice clear spot near a safe drain area and fill it to be sure it does not leak before putting it in your home, regardless of how strong the stand will be! That's a LOT of weight too, so be sure your floors can support it.

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


I know nothing about fish tanks but are you able to fix it if there is a leak?

Maybe it would be better to fill it up and look for leaks rather than building a stand for it first.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:56 PM   #9
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


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That's a LOT of weight too, so be sure your floors can support it.

DM
While I will agree it is a lot of weight, think of the other things people put in their homes without even thinking about how heavy they are. Ever wonder how much a fully loaded fridge weighs? And it is sitting on a smaller foot print. How about that 300 lb couch that 3 of your big buddies are sitting on on a sunday watching the game. I used to have a 220 gallon water bed on a 2 x 8, 16" center floor plus dressers and such. Never even cracked the plaster/lath ceiling below.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:29 PM   #10
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


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I used to have a 220 gallon water bed on a 2 x 8, 16" center floor plus dressers and such. Never even cracked the plaster/lath ceiling below.
I still remember the damage my neighbor had when their waterbed came crashing into their living room from upstairs... What a mess THAT was!

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:47 PM   #11
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


Well, Kribensis, I've been an aquarist as long as I been poundin nails. I have a 125 gal of similar dimensions at the present time. Pair of kribensis in there too, I like them lil fellers allways pokin around and actin perky. I'll see if I can help.( The other folks here will warn you that I can get awful wordy, irrelevant and irreverent at times, but they have a way of condensing and conciselizing my ramblings.) Your stand actually looks like some of the cra..crummy stuff they sell, some are made of partical board, partical board+H2O=disaster, mebbee sumbudy tried to fix the inherent problems. I liked the big pictures, wish others would post such big detailed ones, no not post, post small and link to off site big ones, my mechanical thinkin machine is slow too, and I gotta keep windin it up when the spring runs down.
Water does weigh about 8 lb a gal. so there's half a ton of water in there. plus decorations, minus weight of water they displace, plus weight of fish minus weight of...uh... standard is 8#/gal + 10-15% for safety. All that weight is carried by outer rim of aquarium, bottom is held up off table by rim, imagine a piece of gravel under glass bottom if it rested directly on hard surface, CRACK! half a ton ofwater gotta go somewhere. The rim is glass with a plastc trim/pad on it, so plywood on edge is plenty strong to support the weight, if its directly under tank sides and properly braced to keep from bowing out. Difficult to position directly under sides so a flat top, properly braced, transfers weight to edge of plywood. Ends and sides don't have to be directly under sides of tank. That's the basics of a stand The old angle iron stands that actually fit the aquarium dont have tops.. So that's basic engineering of a stand.
Looks like you have all the tools you need, a reversible, variable speed drill would be nice, but you can get by without it. Don't rely on HD to cut your plywood precisely or square, I've known those guys to be 1/8 or more off and you wanta be closer than that on this, for looks and strength. If you don't trust your skill saw skills ( let it pass) A local cabinet shop won't charge you much to make the cuts you need.. Or a friend with a table saw might do it for a six pack, given after the sawing. I know I would, where you located? I like Shiner Bock, aw shoot I like beer. Cutting plywood with skill saw, good side goes down. Grain can run either way, depending on how you want it to look, but all same way, all horizontal for a chest like look, all vertical for cabinet like, especially if you use two doors. Dont matter on back if there is a back

All that 2X4 bracing and legs and such is a bit of over kill, 4X4? Really? 3/4 plywood is plenty strong, Plywood is kinda difficult to fasten to plywood, doesn't like to hold screws in the edges, so it needs something to fasten to which fastens to the other plywood and it needs some bracing to keep it from bowing so you make a frame. Doors, shelves, drawers etc also need frames and support..2X4 gives you more surface to fasten to, but 1X is plenty strong. And by doubling them up in places can help you fasten frame together with simple lap joints if your not so experienced at joining corners and such, and you wind up with 2X4 for added peace of mind.. My stand is made entirely from 1X*'s and 12's standing on end. I did not build it, came with tank as did yours. I'll see can I take sum pics and post um
Just so long as you tell everybody I did not make it..
( Danger, they will be wall mural size with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one is)
well I could go on and on with all kindsa details about makin a aquarium stand, bracing and fastening and inside metal corner irons and door frames and hinges and hiding plywood edges and trim and mitering top molding and all kindsa other stuff they have up inside there, but my index finger is getting tired and I'm about to run out of ink here in my computater. So I'll wait to hear from you, if ya want anything. I'll try to get the pics up, remember I did not make it. One of these days I'll get around to makin one outa rift cut oak or pecan. Or I tell ya what, you make one outta pecan or rift cut oak, and if its not too rickety and/or wobbly, I'll swap ya this one for it.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:11 PM   #12
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


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While I will agree it is a lot of weight, think of the other things people put in their homes without even thinking about how heavy they are. Ever wonder how much a fully loaded fridge weighs? And it is sitting on a smaller foot print. How about that 300 lb couch that 3 of your big buddies are sitting on on a sunday watching the game. I used to have a 220 gallon water bed on a 2 x 8, 16" center floor plus dressers and such. Never even cracked the plaster/lath ceiling below.
Dated a divorced woman once whose husband decided to celebrate by bringing huge faux Greek God and Goddess painted concrete sculptures into the foyer of the gorgeous home they once shared together. She would not allow the hideous things during the marriage so he was going to show her! They all fell through the floor.

I wouldn't be casual about the weight of an aquarium and base the assumption you can put it where you want based on the fact you have a frig full of cornish hens weighing x pounds or couch potato football buddies sitting now and then (go Bears by the way!) on an overstuffed velvet Elvis couch. The water in aquariums is not exactly going to have high and low tides but water is not just a dead load substance. Forces, whether seen or not move it in all directions when the aquarium is sloshed around. And we are talking an everyday, all day starting dead load of 1100 pounds if the math is correct?

Not saying you should be paranoid about the weight if your floors are nicely framed. On the other hand, sistering in some extra support, especially if you are going to plunk the thing with much of the load between joists and not across them, might be worth a couple timbers down under?
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:21 PM   #13
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


DangerMouse , I like your profile picture. I think that cartoon mouse was a cartoon I once watched when I was alot younger.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:29 PM   #14
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Greenhorn help building aquarium stand.


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DangerMouse , I like your profile picture. I think that cartoon mouse was a cartoon I once watched when I was alot younger.
A cartoon? Seriously? You're kidding me, right?

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:32 PM   #15
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Nice size tank. I would be a little suspect of that stand holding that tank. How sturdy does it feel? Does it shake/wobble whan pushed on? My brother-in-law has a tank that size on a stand that looks similar to that one but it was a store bought one. I saw it before he had water in the tank and I figured it would never hold. It has been filled for 10 years now. I built my own stands for my tanks as I do not like the low ones that the pet shops sell. I am tall so it is easy to work on my tanks when they are up higher.

Water is 8.33 lbs/gal. That tank full will be about 1100 lbs.
No, THe the stand is pretty solid. In the garage I can shake the tank and the stand dont move. But like I stated before it looks like the guy measured and cut the long boards to the length of the aquarium, but then stuck the left and right boards to the end of the long board verses putting the side boards between the long boards as you would with "cross members. So, yes it is solid, but beat up, torn up, screws and nails sticking out, and on some parts Id have to use "wood putty to fill and cover screws threading showing through chipped wood.

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