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Old 08-09-2006, 11:11 PM   #1
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stand weight capacity

I was looking at stands because i think im finally going to get my 75 gal. was wondering if weight capacity needs to be a concern when buying a tank stand. I mean i know it is a concern, but dont they take that into account for the size of the stand?
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Old 08-10-2006, 01:02 AM   #2
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They usually do. If you buy a quality stand that is made for a 75 gal you should be ok. Many even DIY with wood.

A bigger concern is to make sure that the stand and tank are leveled properly so that the weight is evenly distributed, and no pressure points are created on the glass.
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:35 AM   #3
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Leveling always concerned me because the stand will no longer rest flat against the floor. If I put a 3/8" shim under one end so that the stand is level; won't the weight of the loaded tank cause the wooden stand to bow in the center?

My stand needs to be leveled for my 46gal tank but I was wondering which was worse, leveling or just leaving it off a little.
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:41 AM   #4
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I was wondering which was worse, leveling or just leaving it off a little.
It depends. If it is a tad off on both sides you may be ok, however if it is off on one side, and level on the other you have a twist which is a serious problem. IMO, I would still try to level and be cautious.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:36 PM   #5
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A properly constructed stand will support many times the weight of a tank full of water. Typical construction grade lumber has tremendous compressive strength and fairly high tensile and bending strength. Most aquariums have a plastic rim around the bottom and top. The weight of the water is distrubuted evenly across the bottom glass, the weight is then spread by force vectors to the plastic rim which exerts a downward force on the stand. The highest downward forces will always be at the 4 corners because of the convergence of the x-ordinate, y-abscissa and z-plane forces. There will also be spurious forces along the length of glass at the bottom but the natural moment of inertia of the wood support will easily overcome those forces. Additionally I would use gussets in the corners and use corrosion resistant fasteners like stainless steel or brass screws.

I conccur with what the others have said about leveling. Proceed with the utmost caution if using shims to level.

If I have time this weekend I'll work up a typical finite element analysis and post a graphical representation. If you could give me the tank dimensions and style of stand I can calculate down to a few ounces what the stand will hold before the wood fails from shear stress.

Don't be too impressed folks, this is what I do for a living and sometimes for fun. 8)
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:15 PM   #6
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ok Tex, I don't care if it is what you do for a living (btw, industrial engineer by chance?), it is still very impressive!
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MSU Fan
ok Tex, I don't care if it is what you do for a living (btw, industrial engineer by chance?), it is still very impressive!
Not quite but close. Manufacturing/mechanical with heavy emphasis in electrical. We design, build and sell heavy industrial machinery. Some of our machines are 300 feet tall and can weigh 50 or 60 tons. I don't remember half the crap I learned at the university but I have software to help me out?
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