Have a new 75 gallon tank to replace a 40 gallon Long on a metal stand in the family room. To clarity sizes, the 40 gallon Long is 48 inches long x 12.5 inches wide x 16 inches tall and the 75 gallon is 48 inches long x 18 inches wide x 21 inches tall. The wife insist that any stand has to contain both tanks, as she doesn't want the 40Long taking up space in another room. I want something that looks classy, aka "furniture-like".
So design parameters are firming up; plan is to construct something like the typical metal stand, only looking like a wood table. Problems with the design, no place for filters underneath, bottom tank will be difficult to work on, not as nice a view as top tank. Can't think anything to change problems 2 and 3, but problem 1 could be simply constructing a cabinet to sit next to the tank stand to hide two canister filters and store whatever stuff accumulates for tank maintenance. Also, I hadn't join the CO2 world, these will be low-tech.
The idea will be to built the support "bones" with framing lumber, then cover with something a little better looking. To support the 75 on top, I decide to double up with 2x4 instead of a single 2x6 for the unsupport span in the front. The 40Long will require only single 2x4 frame to support it's weight.
What I put together as the bones:
There a mistake already, but nothing major. I am planning a solid 3/4" plywood back, and the 75 back frame was going to be supported by a single 2x4 and the plywood. Forgot and did front and back top rail both as doubled up 2x4. To fasten everything together I used 3.5 inch stainless steel deck screws. The square drive head and a drill make driving these long screw easier. The top rails were glued together with Titebond II, clamped, and then 3.5 screws driven in. The screws tips will come out the other side in the rails. I just filed the sharp tips flush with the wood and didn't worry.
Because of the single rails for the bottom shelf and double rails for the top shelf, I fill out the space with 2x2, as you see in the side view. The bottom rails are sitting flush on a second 2x4 so I get a little more elevation off the ground, while having the rail supported over its entire length. With the plywood shelf, the bottom tank will be 5.75 inches off the ground.
The cross pieces inside the vertical 2x4 legs are not touching the legs. They are spaced to be under the end of the 48 inch long tanks, and with the need to have legs out enough to allow a second 48 inch tank between them the top is about 55 inch long.
The three pieces making up each legs (two 2x4 and the 2x2 filling space between) are fastened together with the 3.5 inch deck screws.