Are you looking for 1 stand for all three tanks, or three stands, one
for each tank?
If it's 1 stand, or you looking for 3 tall or 3 wide?
Important questions, don't you think? <g>
Anyway, when I built the stand for my 55 gallon tank, I went to a
couple of pet stores with my tape measure, a pad and a pencil and took
measurements from the various wooden stands that they carried. When
the clerk came over and asked if he could help, I simply said "I'm
building a stand for the fish tank and supplies I'm going to buy from
you when it's done." He was happy to let me continue taking the
The stand I chose turned out to be nothing more than a weekend project
and it's been holding various tanks for well over 20 years.
It looks sort of like this, but I made it shorter so the kids could
see the fish when they were young (the kids, not the fish) and I
stained it to match my decor. The 2 large rectangles are doors with
spring loaded hinges.
DAGS and you'll find lots of sites like...
You want a table with a lower shelf. Can you bolt it to the wall? If so,
you have the stability needed. A simple 90 degree angle bracket to the base
and wall will do this.
If you want 30G water total on one table with 3 tanks, you will need a
center pole at front and back or the wood will bend, based on standard sizes
1 inch thick plywood for the top, cut 14-24 inches 'deep' depending on your
wants for display area before the tanks. (cut to 24 inches if you have the
space and set to 36-40inch tall and you do not need to bolt to the wall). A
standard 8ft long will work for this or you can tighten for most tanks to
6 posts of 2x4 (can get away with 1x2 for center support set but creates
problem with cross-pieces). May want to split this every 2 feet if you
want 8ft long top so need 2 sets of center posts.
Now the harder part. I personally would use 90 degree metal angle brackets
to secure the lower shelf and legs to each other and prevent 'wobble' but I
bet you want to cut a top stabilizing set that fits between each 'leg' at
the top and perhaps sister the legs at the bottom for the bottom shelf. You
need to be sure the kids can't pull it over.
To secure it, look at your standard coffee table. See how it has a wood
part cut to fit between the legs? It's not there just for looks. You will
pretty much build the top then then legs then flip it on the backside (legs
up) and measure carefully and cut to fit pieces that fit between along the
legs and nail or angle bracket them in. Flip it back to standing position
and nail a shorter bit of wood to the legs that starts from bottom up to how
high you want the second shelf underneath to be, then cut the plywood so it
leaves room for the legs and just rests on them.
I hope this helps.
An enclosed cabinet would look better (IMO) and probably be more
stable if built correctly.
The beauty of the one I built is that I didn't have to rip a single
piece of wood. I didn't have a table saw at the time, so I planned it
all around standard 1 by sizes.
The two sides are 1 x 12's, the top and bottom are 1 x 4's, mitered to
form a rectangle, the front and rear face frames are 1 x 2's and the
panels and doors are 1 x 6's. The only sawdust I made was from simple
crosscuts and routing of bullnoses.
With the top and bottom rectangles doweled together at the miters and
then glued and screwed to the 1 x 12s and the face frames, and the
face frames glued and screwed to the 1 x 12's, there's no way for this
unit to rack or wobble.
Like I said, it's similar to this, but shorter, and really not much
more than a weekend project.
The hard part is not allowing a child to climb onto it. Do not put a
shelf underneath, but a cabinet is okay. Make the stand as low as
practically possible to lower the center of gravity and let all know
that touching the tank and/or stand is an infraction. It should be
easy and cheap enough to build one from 2x4's.
It's easier than you think; "no" worked the charm this last year quite
nicely. It was the single child that kept coming into the classroom from
another area and pounding on the tank that was my Achilles Heel.
Why? I can store food, equipment, and other items away without having them
That's what I've implemented and continuing to count on.
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