Muscle Rack Aquarium Stand

crystalmemphis

I recently bought one of the Muscle Rack stands to use for multiple aquariums. It's the 36'x18', each shelf which is suppose to hold 800 pounds per shelf... but the shelves are made of particle board. I choose the taller rack with 5 shelves but only plan to use 4 shelves, as this will give me more room between each self for tank maintenance.

I see many people recommend changing the particle board out for plywood due to moisture. My question is, if I coat the particle board with polyurethane to make them resistant to moisture would that still be strong enough for a 10 and 20 long? I also have shelf liner I am placing over the tops of the shelves that is waterproof. (I only have it under the 10 gallon at the moment) However, the bottom of the shelves would not be covered and exposed to moisture from the tank on the shelf below.

I also have an extra piece of particle board since I am not using all of the shelves, so I could double the shelf with the 20 long for extra strength. Would doubling that shelf with particle board, coating both sides of every piece of particle board with the polyurethane and then covering each shelf with the waterproof liner seem like a strong stable foundation? Or does everyone still suggest changing out the particle board for plywood?

I have attached a picture of the setup so far. Oh, the 29 gallon on the bottom shelf, I am not too worried about. I actually have 2x4's under the particle board that run along the edges of the tank and sits flush to the particle board. So technically it's sitting on 2x4's with just particle board over it. If that makes sense.



IMG_5326.jpg
 

The2dCour

I have this and I didn't change the particle board mainly because a 40g breeder fits *perfectly* After 5 months I see no problems with the board under it. Since you may be getting stray water on the board I'd say a good coat of something waterproof would suite you just fine.
 
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crystalmemphis

I have this and I didn't change the particle board mainly because a 40g breeder fits *perfectly* After 5 months I see no problems with the board under it. Since you may be getting stray water on the board I'd say a good coat of something waterproof would suite you just fine.


Oh good! I can always change them out later if I see a problem starting with the boards.

Plywood is just really expensive at the moment, from what I read it's due to Covid. I feel like if I replace them now, I would be spending as much if not more than if I had built a custom rack. That would kind of defeat the purpose of making this an easier and cheaper option. BUT... I would rather spend the money than have the shelves cave in.
 
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Lilthuglet

I used a similar rack. I varnished the particle board with polyeurathane varnish and as I only used 3 of 5 shelves at all, and only 2 for tanks, I doubled up the boards on 2 of the shelves for my 29g tanks and it has worked well so far.
 
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crystalmemphis

I used a similar rack. I varnished the particle board with polyeurathane varnish and as I only used 3 of 5 shelves at all, and only 2 for tanks, I doubled up the boards on 2 of the shelves for my 29g tanks and it has worked well so far.

Perfect! Sounds like mine will be similar to your setup. I am going to double up the shelf with the 20 long as I have support under the 29. Glad this is working well for you! Thanks for the feedback!
 
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