# Aquarium stand again

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 degree?
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Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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Larry Blanchard woke up and had the following words of wisdom ....:

You can do anything you want. Stacking milk crates might be faster, cheaper and more stable. JAW
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Theres a little man in my head, saying things better left unsaid.

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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.
Chris
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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
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wrote:

remember that glass aquariums are edge supported. you don't need a middle on the top. actually, a lot of tanks are drilled in the bottom and having a middle makes it hard to get to the fittings.

use a sheet of 1/2" styrofoam instead of shims.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.stratus.com says...

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 :-).
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Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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On Mon, 8 Nov 2004 14:25:02 -0700, Charles Spitzer

Never thought of that, thanks. If I ever move it, I'll give it a shot.
Dave Hinz
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Dave Hinz wrote:

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The gravel and glass (assuming a glass aquarium) will raise the average density significantally.
R, Tom Q.
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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.
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Smert' spamionam

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Andy Dingley wrote:

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:
http://www.all-glass.com/services/index.html
R, Tom Q. Remove bogusinfo to reply
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snipped-for-privacy@codesmiths.com says...

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 :-).
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Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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wrote:

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.
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Eureka!

maybe
the
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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.
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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 stores).
If you'd like, I can post a picture on a.b.p.w.
-Justin
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says...

I think I can visualize what you're describing, but if it's not too much trouble, a picture always helps. Or you could email it to me.
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Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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I can email you the pictures I took of my stand. What's your address?
Larry Blanchard wrote:

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says...

Hmmmm. Well, I suspect yours ( snipped-for-privacy@justin.com) may not be for real, but I sent mine to you via that emial address.
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Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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Heh, you're correct. I didn't realize that snipped-for-privacy@justin.com was set up as my email address. My real address is: snipped-for-privacy@visi.com
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Hank Gillette

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