I did a Google on aquarium stands, as I'm going to build one into an
entertainment center for the living room. All seemed to rely on massive
amounts of 2x4s.
Seems like the Soviet school of engineering to me :-).
My thought is a normal 4/4 hardwood frame for each side with a torsion
box for a top to prevent sag.
Instead of the torsion box I may just put some angle irons across,
mortised into the sides, and then a 3/4" hardwood plywood top.
Any comments? Is there a website that tells me how to calculate the
load rating of a frame and panel side? Without needing an engineering
Just keep in mind that a freshwater aquarium weighs about 10 pounds per
gallon. Oh wait, what is that in kilos per liter (there's a .de in the
references line)? ... about 4.5 kilos per 3.75 liters. Saltwater setups
weigh a little more per unit (gallon, liter, barrel, whatever). Just try
to keep an even amount of support along the whole length of the tank, as
any sagging in the middle will eventually lead to a wet floor when the
tank either; fractures from uneven stress because of the sag, or the seals
leak because of the warping of the glass.
Depending on how long the tank is, you may want to consider a way of
building in a center leg to prevent any bowing down the middle. The
weight is not the tough part of building an aquarium stand, the problem is
eliminating flex so the tank won't fracture or leak.
Um. Beg pardon, but by definition, a liter (or litre if you prefer) of
water weighs 1 kilogram. It's also a cube 10 cm per side. The specific
gravity of fresh water is, by definition, 1.000000
Right. Also, be prepared to shim between the aquarium bottom and the table
top. I found that playing cards work fairly well for this, no idea if they
will get ugly over the years of miscellaneous spills and drips. I'm also
not sure how the table top will look if/when I take the tank off.
Dave "Anyone want to buy a deck of cards that's missing a few?" Hinz
That I knew. I'm using one now (beadboard) under a 10 gallon that sits
on a countertop.
THe one for the living room will be either a 20 gallon or a 29 gallon,
but the 10 gallon may wind up being stacked on top.
I've even thought of using heavy duty drawer slides (like those for a
TV) so that I can slide the tanks out for working and won't have to
leave as much space above them. Have to look and see if I can find some
with a high enough rating.
What I really needed was another hobby :-).
On Mon, 08 Nov 2004 20:03:39 -0500, Tom Quackenbush
Only if you're a geology museum. Most aquarium keepers are trying hard
to optimise the fish volume, so any rock in there is a pretty small
fraction. Some of those "rocks" are even lighter than water, if
they're a flat moulded plastic reef backdrop.
I've never seen an aquarium get appreciably heavier with the rocks in
rather than out. However this does happen for vivaria and terraria for
keeping herps (snakes & lizards). They start off with lightweight
construction "because there's no water", then someone sticks a huge
great basking rock in there and wonders why the frame breaks.
IME, about 2 inches of gravel is pretty typical. YMMV.
In any case, my point was that a set up aquarium will weigh more
than only the water it contains. I thought that Chris' "10 pound per
gallon" rule of thumb sounded about right.
After looking at the All Glass chart, it seems that even 10 pounds
per gallon is a little light:
Remove bogusinfo to reply
I have live plants. They exist in 2" of gravel with 1" of sand. That's
about the minimum for rooted plants.
The gravel came in a 20 pound bag. I didn't weigh the sand, but would
guess another 10 pounds. In a 10 gallon aquarium that's 600 cubic
inches. I don't think they displace 3 gallons of water :-).
i probably have 200 lbs of rock/sand in my reef aquarium (55 gal) and maybe
that much in my fish aquarium (125 gal). if the rocks were lighter than the
water they'd displace and not hollow, they'd float.
On Mon, 8 Nov 2004 10:11:13 -0800, Larry Blanchard
It's pointless to discuss aquaria designs without a rough idea of the
size (particularly depth). They're heavy and they have to be done
right, but the approaches change as the size changes. For an
"entertainment centre" size, almost anything you make is adequate.
A "built in" is usually easy, because you can't see the structure
beneath. It's a little harder for cupboards. The most impressive I've
done was an open frame, based on Japanese temple carpentry.
How big is your aquarium going to be? About 7 years ago, my dad built a
stand for my 75 gal aquarium. It is 3/4 oak frame with cupboards below
the aquarium. There is no top, as the aquarium sits directly on the
frame. It's not quite like an entertainment center, but it does look
nice (much better quality than those cheap MDF stands for sale at pet
If you'd like, I can post a picture on a.b.p.w.
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