Seeking Advice for New Tank Rack... Help!

  • #1
I have been breeding ram cichlids this year, and I've decided to ditch the random tanks that have been taking over my family room and kitchen counter, and organize uniform-sized tanks on a Home Depot-purchased metal shelving rack.

I'm not sure how many tanks I can fit on each shelf, as I won't get the rack till this weekend. There are 3 shelves and the dimensions are 65" wide, 24" deep, and 54" high. Up to 2,500 lbs per shelf.
It's this one>Husky Black 3-Tier Heavy Duty Industrial Welded Steel Garage Shelving Unit (65 in. W x 54 in. H x 24 in. D)-HBR652454W3 - The Home Depot

My plans are dependent about how much actual length of shelf I can muster, as I need around 61".

First off I will add 1/2-3/4" plywood, painted black on top, white underneath, to sit on the wire shelves.

I'd like to put 2 20g longs on the bottom for growing fish out.

The middle shelf would be 6 x 10g tanks. I could squeeze them in with the short side facing forward, or I could bring the whole rack 2-3 feet out from the wall, and create 2 rows of 3, 10g tanks, accessible from both sides.

The top row will house a piston-driven air pump, 2 Ziss brine shrimp hatcheries, and probably a couple more 10g tanks.

I am not sure where to run the PVC closed loop system for the air pump on the rack, as each tank will be filtered via sponge filter.

Also, I've got an outlet on the wall where the rack will be located by. I've got to power individual heaters, the air pump, and a couple of LED light fixtures per row. Where should the power strips be mounted?

Do you think the 2nd row of 10g tanks would be better short side facing forward, or making a double row? How much room should I minimally give myself between the wall and the rack?

Everything is fluid, and nothing is set in stone. I pick up this rack on Friday, and I've just bought 2 20g longs from Petco. Other than that, I will need to buy everything still.

Anyone want to take a stab and give me their advice, or perhaps photos of their fish tank racks? I'd love the help! :)


  • rack.jpg
    6.5 KB · Views: 26
  • kitchen counter Dec 2021.JPG
    kitchen counter Dec 2021.JPG
    216.7 KB · Views: 32
  • 4 tanks.jpg
    4 tanks.jpg
    199.2 KB · Views: 26
  • pair on 12-26-21.JPG
    pair on 12-26-21.JPG
    392.6 KB · Views: 34

  • #2
coralbandit is quite accomplished at raising large quantities of rams. Maybe he would be willing to help you in this.

  • #3
Been well over 20 years in the hobby but started using racks only last month, and makes me wonder why I waited so long! Also love the fact that the tanks can be placed much higher than usual aquarium furniture; so if you still have a choice, it might be worth to purchase a somewhat higher rack.

One of the racks holds 3 shallow tanks; one per shelf. The other a "normal" tank and another bigger shallow one below it. The extra shelf on this rack is where I store the power for both racks; and which has (plenty of) room for an air pump that I might use for the night.

Each tank has its own light unit that I attached to the shelf above it (I only use open, rimless tanks).
Each tank has its own filter, hob or canister (placed on the shelf next to the tank; they're small canisters).

I don't use heaters. And I don't keep cichlids.

Pictures coming up soon in another thread.
  • #4
This is my rack of 15 @ 5g tanks all shotgun [short side out ] .

I have a rack of 9 @ 10g across from the 5s also shotgun .
Just place a visual divider 1/2 way up between the tanks so pairs can have some privacy .
Leave space for chords and plugs behind shelf.
Gang air valves for each level is how I go .
Power strips for each level also hopefully safe from spilling water . :confused:
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
OK... it begins.

Ended up buying that one I referenced. Rack is put together and sitting in the garage for now.
I picked up a few tanks at Petco, but need to buy a few more still.

It will house 2 20-gallon longs on the bottom;
6 10-gallons on the middle*;
and I'm not sure what all's going on the top shelf yet. Probably the air pump, quarantine tank, nursery tank(s), and the brine shrimp hatcheries.

*I think I will make 2 rows of 3 tanks. The rack will be accessible from either side, and only against the wall on one of the short sides. The other option is to run the tanks shotgun style.

Now, off to buy plywood, paint, and PVC pipe for the next step...


  • step 1.JPG
    step 1.JPG
    217.2 KB · Views: 18

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Question


Top Bottom