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Old 04-01-2005, 10:43 AM   #1
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DIY Tank Stand - 72gl BF - need to understand it...

Howdy folks,

I finally convinced my better half to let me get the 72gl BF for $129 at a LFS in NJ. Nonetheless, I've put together some plans to build the stand, based largely in part from information Garf and Fish'n'tips as linked from here. Quick info - All-Glass, 48x18, 12 at sides, 18 at center.

Nonetheless, I'm trying to understand the top surface a little better. This is a glass aquarium, whereas the glass should not be given the ability to sag or bow, as this will almost immediately fracture the glass. How precise should the top surface be?

a. I can spend an extra $20-$40 or so and get a laminated plank sotospeak, or I can fully and evenly support it from below. I'd prefer not to do this, as a 48"x18" (plus some for the edges) laminated panel of anything other than pine is going to be a fortune.

b. I don't see any reason why I cannot use the poplar panels I'd like to, 1x3's on the sides/front and fill the center/core with MDF or plywood of matching height. How careful would the height match need to be? and if a glass aquarium is supported from the sides, do I really need to 'fill' the center in so long as I provide support all the way around it?

My concern and question, is how much tolerance is there. Garf's site strictly points out (via the DIY aquarium page) that glass must be supported from the sides rather than the bottom. So should I raise the outer edges of the stand from the center to ensure they are what actually holds the tank?
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:05 PM   #2
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Most stands that are built for glass aquariums are only made to support the perimeter of the tank, as long as you make your stand so that it evenly supports the entire frame on the bottom of the tank you will be okay. Some people also place their tanks on a piece of styrofoam just for added insurance. HTH, Skip
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Old 04-03-2005, 12:23 PM   #3
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Skip, Thats what I've gathered, it just seems odd that you wouldn't want to put at least -something- under the center of the tank.

That pretty much sums it up though, I'm not going to mess with anything in the center, if I do, it'll be a 1/4" lower than the perimeter and the outer edges will support the tanks weight.

Then again, styrofoam sounds like an interesting idea. I was already planning on insulating the underside with Reflectix(r) material, so as to minimize heat loss from the bottom of the tank.
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72G AGA Bowfront - DIY Oak Stand
- 300W Jager Heater
- Emperor 400 - 40lbs Eco-Complete
- 1 Rainbow Sharks, 2 Marbled Angelfish
- 1 Gold Nugget Pleco
- 5 Red Wag Platys, 2 Gouramies (1xBlue, 1xGold)
- Jebo 110W/220W PC illumination
- Lightly planted(experimenting)
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Old 04-03-2005, 01:35 PM   #4
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Glass tanks are supported at the bottom edges only, so there is no need to fill in the center at the top.

However, you might want to put in a brace or 2 to prevent your top frame from bowing out under load ... which might warp & creat stresses on the tank. If you look at the cheaper stands at the lfs, they all have solid mdf tops. That is not because the tank need support at the center, but this is a cheap way to prevent the whole stand from twisting.

The stand I made (48"x22') is open framed, but I put in 2 braces across the top frame for stability (ditto for the bottom frame - but that's also to support the sump).
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Old 04-03-2005, 02:29 PM   #5
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Thats what I've gathered, I just wanted to hear it from the experienced DIY'ers mouth I guess.

The tank itself has a brace on top to keep the top from bowing out, and my plan calls for 4 horrizontal braces (left to right) total to support the base and keep the frame square. Effectively I've taken the frame that Garf's site recommends, bowed out the front and added bracing throughout to ensure steady support across the bottom.

I think my end result will be using 1by's along the edges, and the center with 3/" plywood and maybe some styrofoam to hold it steady. So something is there to hold it all firm, but its not there to support the tank, at most it would be insulation.


What fascinated me about LFS tank stands, is that even for the 75-125 sizes, they aren't made of anything larger than 1by for studs. I understand it, it just suprises me. I guess they have to keep everything as cheap as possible to ensure the greatest profit margin.
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72G AGA Bowfront - DIY Oak Stand
- 300W Jager Heater
- Emperor 400 - 40lbs Eco-Complete
- 1 Rainbow Sharks, 2 Marbled Angelfish
- 1 Gold Nugget Pleco
- 5 Red Wag Platys, 2 Gouramies (1xBlue, 1xGold)
- Jebo 110W/220W PC illumination
- Lightly planted(experimenting)
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:52 PM   #6
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And there had been a few thread on this forum about lfs stands that got warped & one that collapsed .....

Personally, I overbuild everything to make sure it'll last. The structural framing of my stand is 1.25"x2.5" (actual dimension - not nominal) ... prob overkill, but I sleep better at night!
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9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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