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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I finally broke down, went out to Home Depot and bought all the wood I should need and some screws.

SUPPLIES:
  • 1 - 3/4" plywood ($27)
  • 1 - 1/2" plywood ($20)
  • 2 - 1/2" sheet of birch (2x$36 = $72)
  • 20 - Douglas Fir 2x4s. 8 feet long. (20x$2.44 = $49)
  • 3 - 1 5/8" wood screws(1 pound box) (3x$4 = $12)
  • 1 - 3" wood screws(5 pound box) ($17)
  • 12 - door hinges (2x$1 = $12)
  • TOTAL: ($209)

* Keep in mind that some of this stuff will be returned (probably some of the 2x4s).

Tools used thus far:
  • Hammer
  • Two drills, one with a phillips head bit and one with a drill bit.
  • Ratchet tie downs. I don't have large clamps, so these are a good/cheap alternative. Actually came in handy.
  • circular saw
  • Extension cord for each corded power tool (2 in my case)
  • A digital camera (really, don't forget this. You might forget to document steps as often)
  • A level
  • Square. I have one but can't find it. I had to use the corner of a sheet of plywood.
  • C-Clamps (5+"). These come in handy when you are trying to square things off. I used one so far.
  • Weights, I used some weights to hold pieces in place while I drill, trying to get things square, etc.

The first two images are the 2x4's and the sheets of plywood.

Here are 20 2x4s. I estimated 14 for the stand and so far the count is 10. I think I way over-estimated, but I'll be taking the left overs back anyways.


Here's the plywood:
one sheet of 3/4 plywood and 2 sheets of 1/2 high grade birch for the finish.


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http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.

[This message was edited by kherman on Tue July 08 2003 at 05:30 AM.]

[This message was edited by ekim on Thu October 09 2003 at 03:17 AM.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Time to start building. Since the basement floor that this is eventually going to go in is un-even, I first had to start try to make the top corners square. I started by doing the back piece in case I made any mistakes, I wouldn't repeat them in places where it might become harder to fix. I started with the end support pieces only.


I finsihed the back piece by patiently placing additional 2x4 supports between the end pieces. Total over-kill, but it's just how I build stuff.


The next step was to add the bottom pieces on. This was a pain in the butt, just trying to get everything squared away.


Now I framed the face piece. There is a temporary board nailed into the top to hold everything in place temporarily.


------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In between the front and back piece, I added a middle support. I actually think this was worth while. I just had to be VERY sure about making this piece so that the tops of all three support sections are perfectly level as to prevent bowing or a teeter-tawter(sp?) effect when the tank goes on. It was relatively easy to do actually, just by running 2x4s accross the top of the stand and using a scrap piece of 2x4 to mimic the top piece. Got out hte ol' tape measure and I got exact measurments. I jsut had to be VERY careful not to screw this step up.


Ah, the last photo. I added some bracing to prevent any back to forth motion that is not locked in. You can see this on the left and right side on the inside of the stand. Well, atleast it's visible on the right hand side. The left hand side does have a similar support. I also threw the top piece on. I can officially say that the top is 100% square!

The level on top is there to show that the stand will be level once placed in the basement it is going in. The good news is that after all this work, everything appears to be perfect!!! I guess the best advice is to plan, plan and plan some more until you can almost build the estand without needing your notes. I played with sketches for about one week.

I hope to have the stand construction done by this weekend (minus finish, hinges and door handles)

All that's left is to put some 2x4s up front in order to attach the door hinges to, but I'm still trying to decide how big the doors will be. I'll also be glueing some 1/4" or 3/8" plywood to the top of the stand to get the tank away from any screws that are attached to the top. I'll also be buying a sheet of 1/2 plywood to line the bottom of the stand with. Once the filter/pump and that stuff arrive, I might add permanant shelving to the left side.

I can sit on the stand (220 lbs) and shake around and it barely budges right now. The dead weight of a fish tank should be no problem.

More pics to come as things get done


Karl

------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Time line so far.

Went to Home Depot and bought stuff. That's about an hour round trip.

What you see right now took about 6 hours to build.

When I got done with the framing and was sitting on the stand I realized something. MAN, THIS IS GOING TO BE A BIG TANK. I'm gettting more excited every day.

------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.

[This message was edited by kherman on Tue June 10 2003 at 05:22 AM.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
James,

The current dimension are as follows:
64" wide
29" deep
41" tall

Once all is said and done, I expect it to be about 41.5" high. I wanted to keep the stand in the 40"-41" range. I messed up the math somewhere.

I should have some more pics up on Thrusday, I hope. I'll either start the canopy frame or just work more on the base. Today, I'll be getting more supplies.

Jay,
Thanks


......... Off to AH supply
Time to order some lighting!
 

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I assume that Kherman has looked at the ramifications of his design and is happy with them, but for the sake of others who are reading I thought I'd point out a couple details.

The stand is 40+ inches tall. I'm not sure what size tank is going on the stand. Any tank over 20" high will have it's top rim 5 feet off the ground. Unless you're seven feet tall you will probably need a ladder to do maintenance on the tank.

Normal glass aquariums with frames support their weight on the frame. The frame extends some distance below the bottom glass. Normally the bottom glass is not supported from below. In fact, any upward pressure on the bottom glass must be avoided because that would tend to break the bottom seals. A solid top like Kherman is using is good for bracing the stand, but it does not and should not support the bottom of the tank. Acrylic tanks and (I assume) frameless glass tanks would be different.


Roger Miller
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Roger,

Very valid points. You're corect. I decided on the 40" height due to it's location in the room. The tank is 20" tall, so the top edge of the tank is going to be about 5' high. A step stool will be required for maintenance.

quote:

Normal glass aquariums with frames support their weight on the frame. The frame extends some distance below the bottom glass. Normally the bottom glass is not supported from below. In fact, any upward pressure on the bottom glass must be avoided because that would tend to break the bottom seals. A solid top like Kherman is using is good for bracing the stand, but it does not and should not support the bottom of the tank. Acrylic tanks and (I assume) frameless glass tanks would be different.
I ordered a tank from glasscages.com. I am contacting them now to check on how to properly support their tanks. I'll be back with info.

UPDATE:
I just sent the follwoing e-mail to glasscages.com:
quote:

I ordered an aquarium(60x24x20 tall) and am working on the stand.

Currently, I have a piece of plywood on the top of the stand and was planning to just put the tank on top of the plywood. Are there any concerns I should have about properly supporting the aquarium? Specifically, should I support the entire floor of the aquarium or should I just support the outer edges?

Thank You,
Karl
------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.

[This message was edited by kherman on Tue June 10 2003 at 11:07 AM.]
 

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quote:

I like the hight, I don't like to have to bend down/over to look inside tanks!
Tall stands are nice. Short stands are nice. I built the stand for my 150 at 24". It is necessary to bend over or to be sitting down to see the top rear part of the tank, and that is annoying. On the other hand, I can look down through the water surface without any trouble, and I like that. I also like the fact that most of the tank maintenance can be done without standing on a stool.

Strength, stability and rigidity were the consideration that really tipped my decision to use a shorter stand.

Roger Miller
 

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quote:

Originally posted by Roger Miller:
Tall stands are nice. Short stands are nice. I built the stand for my 150 at 24". It is necessary to bend over or to be sitting down to see the top rear part of the tank, and that is annoying. On the other hand, I can look down through the water surface without any trouble, and I like that. I also like the fact that most of the tank maintenance can be done without standing on a stool.

Strength, stability and rigidity were the consideration that really tipped my decision to use a shorter stand.

Roger Miller
all good points
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ekim: "I like the hight, I don't like to have to bend down/over to look inside tanks!"

That's essentially why I did it that way. The couches are going to be atleast 10 feet away, so people sitting on them should still have a good view. When I got home, I looked at the stand and tried figuring out if it's to tall. I'm about 6' 1/2" and if the aquarium were 18" instead of 20", I might be able to get away without a stool to work on the tank. 36" tall instead of 41" would have been better in hindsight, but I don't mind.

Rex:"I wonder if 2x4s will be strong enough to support the weight?"
The way I did it, 2x4s are fine. There are a total of 10 studs, so each has to support about 120 pounds. The longests spans are about 2.5', which is not much of a concern as 2x4s should be more than adequate for carrying the loads. At one point, I had a 5 foot span framed and I put all my weight(220 pounds) in the center. No problems with that. From what I could tell, 400 pounds probably would be a non-issue with a 5 foot span.

Here's a top level diagram of the framing plan that I went with:

'+' = stud
'-' = span

1.5' 1.5' 1.5'
+--------+--------+--------+

+-------------+------------+

+-------------+------------+
2.5' 2.5'

lengths are ball park numbers

More pics tommorrow! 3 to be exact.

As a side note, I'm going to have lots of left over scrap, so I'm going to probably build a nice heavy duty stand. something with about a 5'x1' foot print.

------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.

[This message was edited by kherman on Tue June 10 2003 at 07:05 PM.]

[This message was edited by kherman on Tue June 10 2003 at 07:07 PM.]
 

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quote:

Originally posted by Rex Grigg:
I wonder if 2x4s will be strong enough to support the weight?
Clear, dry wood -- even softwood -- is remarkably strong when it is loaded correctly. Karl could probably use quite a bit less wood in his vertical supports and still have plenty of strength. The problem comes up with wood that isn't quite cured yet, with flawed wood and with constructions that allow any kind of shear or bending.

Before I bought my materials I got some wood-selecting advice from a couple old carpenters. They (and eventually I) thought that selecting good wood was the biggest part of the problem.

When I built mine I worried more about the horizontal members of the base than about the vertical frame members. I knew that the stand would be on an uneven surface. When the tank was leveled the base would be off the floor along part of its length. If the horizontal members weren't strong enough to hold the tank weight without bending to meet the floor then the whole stand would deform. Any deformation increases the stress on the tank seams. To keep the whole thing rigid I used 2x6's for the base and top of my stand.

So far, so good.

Roger Miller
 

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quote:

Originally posted by kherman:
The couches are going to be atleast 10 feet away, so people sitting on them should still have a good view.
Someone sitting on a couch is going to be looking up into the tank. That's pretty common, but if the tank is high enough then the bright light at the top of the tank might be a distracting part of the view.

The bottom of your tank is going to be only 8 inches lower than the *top* of my 150 gallon tank and only about 4 1/2 inches lower than the top of my 55. Some people would say that my tanks are too low.

The height of the tank is a matter of taste, but the height means that your stand will need very good support for the vertical frame members to make sure that they don't bend under stress. Bending is less of a problem with a shorter stand.

Roger Miller
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
UPDATE, three new pics for your vieing pleasure.

The first is a pic of hte stand with the front panels put on. I bought some trim that will cover up the ugly edges and the line down the middle. I'll be using hte cutouts from the holes to make the doors wih, thus matching the grain pattern exactly with the stand.


The next image is taking from the same stage of construction, except from the side. It will give you a better idea of how the studs are set up.


I finished putting the sides on. This thing is extremely rigid right now.


------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.

[This message was edited by kherman on Wed June 11 2003 at 03:44 AM.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got my reply from glasscages.com:

"The plywood top of the stand should be perimeter supported and at least
one cross support in the middle. This will support the plywood which
will in turn support the tank. We put a layer of styrofoam on top of the
plywood and set the tank on the styrofoam."


quote:

Originally posted by kherman:
Roger,

Very valid points. You're corect. I decided on the 40" height due to it's location in the room. The tank is 20" tall, so the top edge of the tank is going to be about 5' high. A step stool will be required for maintenance.

quote:

Normal glass aquariums with frames support their weight on the frame. The frame extends some distance below the bottom glass. Normally the bottom glass is not supported from below. In fact, any upward pressure on the bottom glass must be avoided because that would tend to break the bottom seals. A solid top like Kherman is using is good for bracing the stand, but it does not and should not support the bottom of the tank. Acrylic tanks and (I assume) frameless glass tanks would be different.
I ordered a tank from glasscages.com. I am contacting them now to check on how to properly support their tanks. I'll be back with info.

_UPDATE:_
I just sent the follwoing e-mail to glasscages.com:
quote:

I ordered an aquarium(60x24x20 tall) and am working on the stand.

Currently, I have a piece of plywood on the top of the stand and was planning to just put the tank on top of the plywood. Are there any concerns I should have about properly supporting the aquarium? Specifically, should I support the entire floor of the aquarium or should I just support the outer edges?

Thank You,
Karl
------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.

[This message was edited by kherman on Tue June 10 2003 at 11:07 AM.]
------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Roger,

I agree with you 100% on the structural issues.

Your correct about looking up into the tank. The lights might actually be an issue. I figure when sitting normally, the eye of the viewer should be about level with the bottom of the tank(maybe several inches lower). The lights might be an issue. Time will tell.

At this point, I wish I made the stand about 35" tall. Then maintenance would be easier and viewing would also be easier from couches.

Kicking myself
,
Karl

------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A quick note to all.

I think it's worth while to point out that when building a stand/canopy for the basement, one should consider ceiling height carefully. I did the math before hand and fealt that the 40" tall stand would be fine. I still think it will work, but with a 24" deep(not high) tank, making a hinged lid that opens as one unit may not be possible.

Some quick math.

My stand is about 41" high.
My tank is 20" high.
So, if I pad each with 1", that's a total of 63"(42+21) to the top of the tank

Now for ceiling height. Based on memmory, I figure the worst case for ceiling height that I have is 6'9" (hoping for a full 7'), which is 81". That leaves me with 18"(maybe 21") to make the entire canopy and make the tank accessable.

I'm actually considering a drawer style canopy now. The sides of the canopy would pull out and the front section might just be detachable. I have another solution in mind, but it's hard to describe. Maybe something like the following:

'+' = hinge
'o' = row of lights

+-----------+
\ o o o \
\ o \
-------+-----------+
TANKTANKTANKTANKTANK

If I figure out some plans today, I expect to start cutting wood tommorrow.

Having said this, I expect my solution for the canopy to be very interesting at the least. Hopefully, I'll have some images up by Monday. At the worst, expect images by Wedneday.

------------------------------
http://www.geocities.com/kfh227- go there and see my future fish section to see what I have planned for my next 100+ gallon tank.
Note: I havn't maintained the site lately.
 
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