Questions on building an aquarium stand

Joshaeus

Hi everyone! I found a simple schematic for a wooden aquarium stand; DIY Stands Template and Calculator - Reef Central Online Community

It's easy for me to understand most of it, but I have a few questions nonetheless for those more skilled with construction than I am;
1 - Would I need to attach plywood to the wooden beams for further support? (I was looking into building the stand for a 20 long)
2 - Should I use nails or screws for attaching the 2 by 4's to each other?
3 - Any personal experiences with building a wooden aquarium stand like this?
4 - Are there any easy (non DIY) stand ideas that would work for a tank the size of a 20 long? I'm just worried about how I am going to obtain the materials (or more accurately, how I am going to get the materials cut to the right size) during the era of COVID-19 (prior to it I could have had a staff member cut the 2 by 4's to size)

Thanks for your thoughts
 

ChrissFishes01

I've actually been looking at this the past couple days myself! But modifying it for a 10 gallon, with a 5 gallon underneath.

1. In the comment section of that thread, it's stated that while adding the plywood would add some structural integrity, it's not required. Plus, I think that a 20 long is going to be more than fine on this stand - I'd only be concerned with adding extra support if I was doing this on a 180 or above.

2. I'd probably use some rust-resistant decking screws from a hardware store. They're cheap, and have a pretty high shearing strength. More than enough for a nano. I'd say more important than the screw is that you use some wood glue as well - the combination of both is golden, if not overkill for a 20.

3. A few, actually - not this exact plan, though. It was following the King of DIY's guide, and it's pretty similar. I had no issues, really - it's pretty straightforward as long as you take your time

4. I actually still use a couple cinderblock stands - Basically, two stacks of cinderblocks stacked the length of the tank apart (however high you want them), with a piece of wood bridging the gap between the two. I've got my 55 sitting on one right now, and to be honest with you, they aren't pretty, but I've been using that same stand in different places for going on 3 years.
 

Joshaeus

I've actually been looking at this the past couple days myself! But modifying it for a 10 gallon, with a 5 gallon underneath.

1. In the comment section of that thread, it's stated that while adding the plywood would add some structural integrity, it's not required. Plus, I think that a 20 long is going to be more than fine on this stand - I'd only be concerned with adding extra support if I was doing this on a 180 or above.

2. I'd probably use some rust-resistant decking screws from a hardware store. They're cheap, and have a pretty high shearing strength. More than enough for a nano. I'd say more important than the screw is that you use some wood glue as well - the combination of both is golden, if not overkill for a 20.

3. A few, actually - not this exact plan, though. It was following the King of DIY's guide, and it's pretty similar. I had no issues, really - it's pretty straightforward as long as you take your time

4. I actually still use a couple cinderblock stands - Basically, two stacks of cinderblocks stacked the length of the tank apart (however high you want them), with a piece of wood bridging the gap between the two. I've got my 55 sitting on one right now, and to be honest with you, they aren't pretty, but I've been using that same stand in different places for going on 3 years.
Cool! I was wondering about a cinderblock route...it would be too unsightly indoors, but maybe I could use that for a water garden (to make water changes easier) next year? And how do you find wooden boards that wide?
 

ChrissFishes01

Cool! I was wondering about a cinderblock route...it would be too unsightly indoors, but maybe I could use that for a water garden (to make water changes easier) next year? And how do you find wooden boards that wide?
I assume that'd be fine for outdoor use, assuming the lumber was deck-grade.

I just use two boards. On the 55, I use 2 2x6's so that it covers the entire bottom of the tank nearly perfectly - it's a 12" deep tank. I've used 2x4's in the past though, as on a rimmed tank the edges and corners of the tank are all the matter support-wise. A gap underneath the tank is fine as long as the 2x4's are level and true.

I've considered getting a cheap panel of plywood or something similar to make the cinderblocks less ugly.
 

Joshaeus

Here's another question...could I purchase one of those wire rack shelving units, and then fit the shelf with a thick piece of plywood to evenly distribute the weight?
 

NoahLikesFish

You can make a stand without power tools, all you need is plywood panels and cinder blocks, just google cinder blocks shelf for ideas
 

JollyOtter

If you have some basic tools and skills you can make one. I have mine (mostly) planned out to build next weekend.

1. I feel the plywood is optional. I am going to put a piece on the bottom so I have a nice flat surface to keep things under the stand.

2. 2.5" Deck screws

3. This will be my first aquarium stand but the building is very similar to 3 or 4 work benches I have build.

4. If you can fit the 2x4's in a car or truck all you need is a tape measure, square and a circular saw to cut them at home. I noticed my Home Depot sells some shorter lengths of 2x4's (2' & 4') but you do pay more per foot.
 

Joshaeus

You can make a stand without power tools, all you need is plywood panels and cinder blocks, just google cinder blocks shelf for ideas
Thanks! When I mentioned the idea to mom after HarrisonAquatics mentioned it, she was scared about the weight of the cinder blocks being a threat to the floor. Is that a valid concern?
 

JollyOtter

Possibly but I would not think so. It looks like cinder blocks weigh about 38-40 pounds each and are 8" high. It just depends how high you are going, but that should help you estimate the weight.
 

Joshaeus

Possibly but I would not think so. It looks like cinder blocks weigh about 38-40 pounds each and are 8" high. It just depends how high you are going, but that should help you estimate the weight.
I was looking into some 16 by 8 by 6 inch blocks, which are 25 pounds each. If I used four of these to lift the tank 16 inches off the ground (a short 'stand' for sure, but better than nothing) that would be 100 pounds plus the weight of the 20 gallon (perhaps 200 pounds? Might be a little less...the tank was going to have little to no substrate).
 

Joshaeus

Well...my stand problem has been solved My mom very kindly purchased me a stand for a 20 high online. That is amply large enough for my purposes
 

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