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Discussion Starter #1
I have just started to build a stand for a 135 gallon used tank I was given for free. I am using the stand calculator I found on another post in this forum to get the sizes for the pieces of wood. Here is what I have so far.




I am going to stain it to match a couple of bookshelves and the three pieces will fit against the one wall in my living room. My wife thinks the big tank is a little over the top and I must admit that when it is standing in the middle of the living room it does look a little intimidating but I'm sure that when it is against the wall it will look good. After trying a few plants and some DIY CO2 on my 40 gallon tank I am looking forward to having room to set up an extensive planted tank with some room for a large number of fish.
 

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Looks like you have a pretty good stand you built there. Good craftmanship! I pretty much got my 75 gal and stand free and when I was setting it up I was really nervous about the weight of the tank. I reinforced the sides with 2X4's just to be safe.

Matt
 

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That is a nice looking stand, so far. Are you going to put doors on the front? You can add a lot of stability to the stand by covering the back with plywood, which can be 1/4" thick and still be very effective. In fact I think it is essential to do that unless you use some really good reinforcement of the joints in the back to make sure they can't loosen and let the stand be unstable when rocked along the length of the tank. That web of plywood is what gives a stand like that most of its resistance to collapsing under lengthwise rocking.
 

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Very Nice looking Stand. I agree with hoppy about adding a full plywood on the back for stability. You could also have full crossmembers that maybe you added behind the upper and lower frame in which case that will be enough.

Show us some pictures once stained
 

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Agree with the previous posters:

GREAT looking stand, but does need some type of diagonal supports.

Keep up the great work and update the thread:slywink:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will be putting doors on the front. I think that I will be ok without any cross bracing as the stand has had every joint glued with polyurethane glue which is incredibly strong. The stand is extremely stiff with no flex at all. Has anyone tried the aquarium cleaner made by the same people that make the Python? I have quite a bit of Calcium deposits and other crap inside the tank that I would like to remove, preferably the easy way.:) I have started to stain the stand but it is going to take a few coats to get the finish as dark as the shelves.
 

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I really think you should reconsider crossbracing, with that much weight on top it would not take much of an impact on one of the sides to send the whole thing crashing down, polyurethane glue or not.

Hoppy is right, all you need is a very thin piece of plywood or even luan to go over the back, it will add an exponential amount of lateral support and could prevent a very costly problem, a sheet of luan "door skin" 1/4" thick and big enough to cover the back is only like $7 at the home depot / lowes.

I don't think I can stress enough how important this is 1040 lbs of water plus the tank's weight is a little more than you should take chances with.
 

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I second Logan's Daddy's recommendation. Pretty please!! If the stand is going to be visible from both front and back it is a different situation. Then I would get some strong steel angles and screw them on the inside of all four corners of at least the back, if not both front and back. It is a snap to hold up that much weight, but can be really tricky to keep it from racking when a horizontal load is put on the tank/stand. Please!!
 

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Please listen to Hoppy and Logans daddy.....

You need a plywood back. everything else looks great but the back skin is where the strength is.

Brian
 

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i'm worried that you don't mention the use of screws in your construction, and just relying on glue. i hope you're using screws, because regardless of how strong of a bond the glue provides, i don't think it was designed to support the 1000+lbs.

i also agree that you should add a plywood back to give additional rigidity to prevent lateral movement. i think it would only take a slight shove during tank maintenance, and things would begin to crack and then collapse.
 

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Glue joints, when properly done, are stronger than the wood. That said, looking at your comstruction, in which a 1x4 appears to be the most significant piece of wood, I would add the 1/4" backing.

I did not add a panel on the back of my stand, but I used doubled 2x4's for the corners and a 2x4 frame on the bottom and top. Even then this thread makes me question whther I should get out my brad nailer and put a couple pieces of 1/4" on the back.



 

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For a few years I made a lot of cabinets for people, from kitchen cabinets to big entertainment centers to computer furniture. I started by using the "European" design, a box made of 3/4" plywood, open at the front. That is an extremely strong design, made so largely by the big 3/4" thick back panel, which primarily provides racking resistance, but also supports a lot of weight. I also did a lot of book case type cabinets, using 1/4" plywood or MDF as the back panel, and they always seemed as strong as those with the thicker back panel. Eventually, I switched to always using the 1/4" back panel. No cabinet design I ever tried that lacked that back panel was ever rigid enough to suit me, and that included a stand for a 125 gallon tank, which I added the back panel to after having it nearly finished.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have stained and set the tank in its future position, see pic.



I am taking your advice and I am going to fill in the centre opening at the back to provide a stable place for the CO2 tank mount and the relay panel for my control system. I will fill the door opening with 3/4" plywood and clad the back centre with 1/4" plywood all glued of course. I also have to make the doors. Here is a pic of my 40 gal tank I know it isn't aquascaped but I have had this tank running for 8 years.



The tank is lit with a 65W PC fixture and has a dual 2L DIY CO2 with an Aqua-medic 1000 diffuser. Filtering is by an Aquaclear 300 HOB unit.

Matt
 

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That is a beautiful stand! I really like the stain job you did. My wife hates dark furniture so I have always been limited to light colored stains, which I like too, but the deep color dark stains really stand out for me. I'm really interested in seeing what door design you use.
 
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