Aquarium Stands

Kody Grieve

Member
so I'm just in a state of limbo with wooden aquarium stands for large bodies of water.

after doing some research and seeing what's being built, I'm a little frustrated as I see literally no triangulation in the stands whatsoever. I have a 100 gallon and I put it on heavy duty metal shelving from the hardware store down the road. the weight of the tank is well within the weight limit of the shelving system but I have a wooden floor and boy does it wobble if someone walks to aggressively through the living room lol.

I was thinking about building a wooden stand but all of them rely on vertical supports which my engineering brain severely disagrees with. then I came to the realisation that perhaps the wood elastically/plastically deforms significantly enough that triangulation could cause uneven deformation, therefore causing the base of the supported tank to have an uneven weight distribution (which could cause tank cracking).

can anyone with an engineering brain please come and tell me how it is here in the land of wooden aquarium stands? I'm getting cranky.
 

Mick Frost

Member
Kody Grieve said:
so I'm just in a state of limbo with wooden aquarium stands for large bodies of water.

after doing some research and seeing what's being built, I'm a little frustrated as I see literally no triangulation in the stands whatsoever. I have a 100 gallon and I put it on heavy duty metal shelving from the hardware store down the road. the weight of the tank is well within the weight limit of the shelving system but I have a wooden floor and boy does it wobble if someone walks to aggressively through the living room lol.

I was thinking about building a wooden stand but all of them rely on vertical supports which my engineering brain severely disagrees with. then I came to the realisation that perhaps the wood elastically/plastically deforms significantly enough that triangulation could cause uneven deformation, therefore causing the base of the supported tank to have an uneven weight distribution (which could cause tank cracking).

can anyone with an engineering brain please come and tell me how it is here in the land of wooden aquarium stands? I'm getting cranky.
Elasticity counts, yes.
The biggest thing is that glass (the metal framed ones with a brand name and not bought at WalMart) are already engineered to bear their load strait down. Theres a point (around 29g) where I no longer trust this engineering, but its still there.
From there, we know (those of us with experience) that fasteners are the weakest link in anything supporting a load. Hence the emphasis on vertical support.
Triangular supports are architecturally superior, but are unreliable with wood that has stresses in more than one direction, especially in a humid environment.
So we use dimensional lumber vertically for height, dimensional lumber horizontally for weight distribution, and Plywood for sheathing which provides a better alternative to diagonal bracing.
Plus we tend to overbuild everything (55g stand capable of seating 10 people).
 
  • Thread Starter

Kody Grieve

Member
Mick Frost said:
Elasticity counts, yes.
The biggest thing is that glass (the metal framed ones with a brand name and not bought at WalMart) are already engineered to bear their load strait down. Theres a point (around 29g) where I no longer trust this engineering, but its still there.
From there, we know (those of us with experience) that fasteners are the weakest link in anything supporting a load. Hence the emphasis on vertical support.
Triangular supports are architecturally superior, but are unreliable with wood that has stresses in more than one direction, especially in a humid environment.
So we use dimensional lumber vertically for height, dimensional lumber horizontally for weight distribution, and Plywood for sheathing which provides a better alternative to diagonal bracing.
Plus we tend to overbuild everything (55g stand capable of seating 10 people).
thankyou so much, this makes perfect sense, I didn't even think of humidity affecting the dimensions of the structure. I relate to the last part about over building. I once built a canoe out of ply just for fun and the bloody thing almost sank when I tried to float it.

I did think about the plywood having a suitable bracing effect however, I didnt know how strong joints would be, especially if it was only 3 ply and the holes were near an edge. stress raisers give me nightmares especially when its holding up hundreds of litres of water and a lot of expensive fish.

thanks for this clarification
 

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