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Old 02-04-2004, 12:29 AM   #1
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Building a large DIY tank

I am currently in the process of finishing the basement of my house that will, once finished, have a 14' L x 2' W x 2' H reef tank. The tank will be mounted into a wall, with a "behind the scenes" work room that will hold my refugium, lighting, and plumbing.

I already have plans for the construction of the tank and stand, but would like to share these with you to get your input. Any suggestions, thoughts, or ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Please note that all lumber that will be used for the creation of the stand will be treated to help prevent rot. Furthermore, I plan on using a wood sealent to treat the floor joists that will be above the tank. I will also be using greenboard, or moisture resistant drywall on the wall that the tank is placed.

The tank will be raised off of the floor aproximately 3'. To do this I plan on using 4x4's spaced every 4 foot to support the weight. Mounted to these 4x4's will be 2x10's to create a surface to place the tank on.

The tank itself will be a plywood on the sides, bottom, and back. There will be two 6 foot viewing areas, or "windows" made of 3/4" safety acrylic (is this an overkill?) spaced evenly across the face of the wall. I am planning to fiberglass the plywood itself to provide a stronger finish. The capacity of the tank, with the refuge included, should be in the neighborhood of 700 gallons.

Now comes the 3 main items that are worrying me.

1.)Because of the length of the tank (14') There will need to be 2 different sheets of plywood. How can I adequatly support the seams? I was planning on adding 2x10's as a cross brace, but I want to make sure this will hold. Also, should I stagger the seams for more strength? What thickness of plywood should I use? I am guessing 1/2".

2.) Is the fiberglass non-toxic?

3.) Does my current plans with the 4x4's as a stand seem adequate to support the weight of this monstrosity?

I also have plans in place for plumbing, but I will not go into detail here, as the length of this post has already exceeded what my intial plans are.

Thanks for your help in this matter, and all advice is welcome,

-Chucklez
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Old 02-04-2004, 09:18 AM   #2
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Please note that all lumber that will be used for the creation of the stand will be treated to help prevent rot.
Since it is on a wood floor, I suppose it doesn't matter (although I thought all basements wopuld have a concrete floor), I would use concrete bricks for the stand, that is a 419g tank your planning

Can't offer much other help, DIY project like this would put me in th hospital or have my wfe collecting my life ins.
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:07 AM   #3
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4x4's every 4' sounds like a decent plan as does the 1/2" ply for the top. As far as bracing, what I did for the top of the stand I'm building was used the core lumber to create the actual support for the tank, then used the ply simply to surface it so the tank would be resting on a singular flat plane. I think you could do the same easily. For the seams, (I imagine your design gives you 1 or 2 seams) I would be sure that those seams are at a point where a solid board that is part of the frame runs underneath, this will cover any sagging issues you may be concerned about.

Toss up some plan sketches, there are lots of folks here eager to learn from and help out on these projects! (and we really like pictures! )
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Old 02-04-2004, 02:30 PM   #4
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I would probably do 2x4s every 2 feet instead of 4x4s every 4 feet. My guess is that you want to support the tank more frequently than every four feet, but that's just a guess.

Check under DIY for more stand info, also there are great plans at www.garf.org for a do it yourself stand. I'm just putting the finishing touches on a stand for my 125 gallon that I used their plans for and it's very nice!
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Old 02-09-2004, 07:57 PM   #5
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Actually, no. The tank will be in the basement, and placed on a solid concrete slab floor. Sorry if I gave the wrong idea. My plans call for creating the stand sort of like a skeleton, then building the tank inside it. This way, the plywood will be supported by the 4x4 frames.

Other people I have spoken with and asked opinions of, have suggested to use concrete or cinder block. I do not like this idea to much tho.

I have included some basic artwork of the plans. They are not up to date, as the pictures still show when I planned to make the tank 22' long. The third window (last on right) will now be cut out. Also, a treated 2x4 will be placed on the floor, and the 4x4's will be on top of that. Imagine it as a wall in your home. The bottom plate 2x4 will help to spread the load around.

BTW... Pink = Plywood
Blue = 2x10
Yellow = 4x4
Green = 2x4
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:02 PM   #6
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Actually, no. The tank will be in the basement, and placed on a solid concrete slab floor. Sorry if I gave the wrong idea. My plans call for creating the stand sort of like a skeleton, then building the tank inside it. This way, the plywood will be supported by the 4x4 frames.

Other people I have spoken with and asked opinions of, have suggested to use concrete or cinder block. I do not like this idea to much tho.
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