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Old 03-03-2004, 05:51 PM   #1
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Building a Stand - closed or open back?

I am in the process of building a stand for my 75g glass SW setup, and I need advice on it

I originally was intending to leave the back open. Now I'm thinking there may be benefits to closing it off. I plan to have a 20g Refuge in the stand underneath the tank on a reverse photo period to help stabilize PH & crtitter growth. The tank is going in my living room.

Here's my Pro/Con list:

Open
P - Less work to build & finish the back wall
P - More room to "sneak" extra space if I ever needed it.
P - Don't have to worry about it getting too damp under there and molding

C - Noise of equipment will be louder with open back
C - Light from Fuge will light up the room at night (may get annoying)
C - Unsightly because of trafic that goes by and could see equipment, etc.

Closed
P - Less ambient Equiptment noise
P - No excess light from fuge at night (for when I want to watch movies @ night, makeout parties etc.)
P - Cleaner Looking

C - Takes a bit more to finish back side wall (cost & time)
C - Have to put in several access holes for wires/pipes/etc.
C - Possible mold issues from dampness
C - Finite limit to the space enclosed for any equiptment

What are people's experiences with both open/closed and which do you prefer? I'd like suggestions/input. Any other suggestions on features to add would be appreciated.

TIA!
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Old 03-03-2004, 05:56 PM   #2
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All my tanks have an open back, don't think I'd build one that was totally closed for the reasons you listed especially heat/dampness
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Old 03-03-2004, 06:08 PM   #3
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i have a tank with an open and one with a closed. if i could i would rip off the back wall of the closed. when it gets hot out here it is a lot harder to cool off, the noise is the same compared to my open back, and it was a pain trying to drill holes in the right places cuzz my plumbing changed a couple of times. it also gives off a loud humming noise from the plumbing vibrating against the wood. i dont think the light is a big deal at night. i sleep with my closed back tank, but it has moon lights and light seeps through the cabinet doors, but it doesnt bother me at all. the open back just has some light on the wall behind it, which isnt really that bad.
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Old 03-03-2004, 06:32 PM   #4
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When I built ours I built it so there were windows on 3 sides so you can't see the thickness of the glass this allowed me to make the sides 6 inches longer then needed leaving 6" behind for whatever and it fits square to the wall so it looks like its built to the wall and it works great with canopy cracked or doors open on front everthing gets air.
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Old 03-03-2004, 11:41 PM   #5
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I would make it closed with a decent size hole. That way you don't lose any strength in the construction and you have plenty of room for piping and cords. in my 55 stand I cut a 12" x 12" hole in the back of the side where I'm bulding in a sump. I'll post pics this weekend in another thread.

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Old 03-04-2004, 09:44 AM   #6
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I vote open. This provides maximum flexability in routing plumbing and electrical wiring.
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:49 AM   #7
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I have built several custom stand and canopys and I usually close the back off and route a opening for wires and pluming. When building one yourself, you dont want to give up the structural support that the extra piece of plywood will give you. Granted...I was working w/ tanks over 100gallons...you may not be, which will mean its not quite as vital.
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:02 AM   #8
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I would at least have a piece of plywood on each side at the rear. As previously mentioned, this will stiffen the stand. Maybe a 12" piece on each side with a 24" opening in the middle. You can punch a hole it the plywood anywhere you want with a holesaw for wiring/plumbing without sacrificing any strength. This will mean your rear tank support will only have to span 24" unsupported. JMHO.
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:14 PM   #9
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I'm not particularly worried about the structural benefit that the plywood will give since my construction is heavy-duty.

The base is 2x10 with 4x4 posts and 4x4 top horizontal lagged with 6" lag screws on top & bottom. Screwed on top the 4x4 horizontals I have a 2x6 table that the tank sits on.

I've definitely overbuilt it in my opinion, but I do that with most everything I put together. I'd rather do it right the first time. I was nearly sickened by what the tank stand that came with it was made out of -> 1x2 boards with 1/4" plywood outside (and an open back).


I attached a quick drawing, and I'll try and post pics tomorrow.
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