Sturdy partical board stand 20 Gallon Tank 

  • Thread starter

Manduley

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Experience
Just started
I'm setting up a 20 gallon long on a tight tight budget. I am making my own sponge filters, using lava rock rather than expensive ceramic rings, and medium grain BlackDiamond sand. In short this has taken months and the whole time I have been searching high and low for a suitable stand. They're expensive.

Yesterday I bought a stand for 60 bucks, of which my mom paid half to help me out. The stand is around 9 inches to long, and 5 inches too deep. It's also partical board, the add on Amazon said it was made of wood, but turned out to be partical board. After reading forums about partical board, I am scared sh**less to put my tank together on top of it. I love aquascaping and my fish.

What can I do??? Getting another stand isn't an option. Buying materials for a 2x4 stand is out also. Can I make this work??? I always drop water during maintenance. What can I seal the laminate with??? How do I brace it more??? Can I use metal brackets instead of 2x4"s??? The stand weighs 115lbs. and seems very sturdy. Thanks for any help.
 

Morpheus1967

Well Known Member
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
1,155
Points
173
Experience
5 to 10 years
Since you got it on Amazon, do you have a link to the stand? Or can you post a photo of it?
 

A201

Well Known Member
Messages
3,391
Reaction score
2,741
Points
298
Experience
More than 10 years
My 120 gal. Is supported by a partical board stand. It's held up fine for 5 years.
Keep it as dry as possible. Wipe off after maintenence. It's likely your stand has been coated with a water resistant stain or paint.
I thought my stand was too flimsy until the tank was totally installed. The immense weight anchored the stand in place to where it doesn't move.
 

Magicpenny75

Well Known Member
Messages
1,269
Reaction score
1,928
Points
208
Experience
More than 10 years
A picture or a link would help a lot. Is it a "stand" or just a table that would fit the tank?
A lot of people don't realize that there are multiple grades of particleboard. It is a term used for everything from MDF (medium density fiberboard) to the OSB they sheath houses with. Most commercial grade cabinets are made of MDF with plastic laminate over it. Plastic laminate is waterproof on the surface, It's the corners and edges where the water seeps in and makes it swell and then you're in trouble. Just because a stand is made of particleboard doesn't mean it is weak. My 75 is on a particleboard stand. The laminate on the outside of it acts like sheathing and gives the board a lot of strength. i.e. it keeps it straight because the laminate stabilizes both sides of the board by pushing and pulling in opposite directions. I'm not just spouting stuff - I used to work for a commercial scientific cabinet contractor, and I learned a lot about how stuff is made and what it can bear. It's more than you think. Labs put 500 lb fume hoods on plastic laminate cabinets.
As far as its capacity to bear the weight of your tank, I wouldn't stress about it too much. Your tank weighs 200 lbs. In the grand scheme of things, that really isn't very much.
 

saltwater60

Well Known Member
Messages
1,911
Reaction score
1,012
Points
173
I wouldn’t use it unless it’s specifically made for aquariums. Lots of cheap ones out there that will not hold the weight.
 

JettsPapa

Well Known Member
Messages
1,881
Reaction score
1,875
Points
173
Experience
Just started
Since it sounds like you need to make the best of a bad situation, you might paint it with several coats of a good enamel paint.
 

Scottnbrittany85

Valued Member
Messages
102
Reaction score
29
Points
63
Experience
Just started
I'm a professional painter, two good coats of an exterior oil base paint and it will do just fine. If your still concerned after that you can add more but it will be fine
 

saltwater60

Well Known Member
Messages
1,911
Reaction score
1,012
Points
173
Guys what is the weight rating on the thing? Is it made for aquarium use or is it made to hold a few nick knacks. Paint will not strengthen it.
I think it’s a risk to use it especially on a 20 gallon long if there are no center supports. The wood grain on particular board is very short and not very forgiving.
 

Scottnbrittany85

Valued Member
Messages
102
Reaction score
29
Points
63
Experience
Just started
saltwater60 said:
Guys what is the weight rating on the thing? Is it made for aquarium use or is it made to hold a few nick knacks. Paint will not strengthen it.
I think it’s a risk to use it especially on a 20 gallon long if there are no center supports. The wood grain on particular board is very short and not very forgiving.
That's a good point I assumed it was braced and not the actual support

Scottnbrittany85 said:
That's a good point I assumed it was braced and not the actual support
Pictures?
 
  • Thread starter

Manduley

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Experience
Just started
It doesn't wobble at all. However, I am bracing it with 8, 6" L brackets and 12, 2" L brackets, and a 1" sheet of strong plywood in the back. I'm also going to paint it with a water proofing oil based paint, then seal all the corners and connection points.

What sucks is I am disabled and have to wait till the middle of November to purchase this hardware. I was planning on cycling the tank by now. That's life. I probably won't have fish till late December or January.

If anyone has ideas on how I plan to brace the cabinet let me know please. Thanks everyone.

Here is a pick with the empty tank on top:
20191023_042508.jpg


I am moving stuff around and my room is messy. I have to do this hobby, which I love (I have 3 other aquascaped tanks), on a tight budget. My mom helps me sometimes. She's bought fish and gear. I even make my own sponge filters with 2 mechanical layers, 1 chemical layer, and lava rock for the bio-media. The lava rock works really well, as my tanks test nearly perfectly with a Master test kit. Bracing this cabinet is going to suck up my aquarium budget for November. I need a good strong air pump, is it safe to buy a used one???
 

qquake2k

Valued Member
Messages
450
Reaction score
223
Points
203
Experience
More than 10 years
It's hard to say without seeing it in person, but it looks pretty stout to me. The thick plywood back will certainly help. How thick are the sides? Where exactly did you put the "L" brackets? Are those real drawers? Your homemade filter sounds good, I'd like to see a photo of it.
 

Scottnbrittany85

Valued Member
Messages
102
Reaction score
29
Points
63
Experience
Just started
You could set the tank up in the floor and get it cycling or atleast put your filter into another tank and let it be starting a bacteria colony in the filter until you get your stand like you want it, also you don't nessasarly need an air pump dropping your water level about an inch from normal will add more surface agitation and handle the gas exchange to get oxygen in the water
 

Magicpenny75

Well Known Member
Messages
1,269
Reaction score
1,928
Points
208
Experience
More than 10 years
If you plywood the back of that, or do an L bracket at either corner, I can't imagine it needing any more than that. If the drawer boxes have a single piece that spans across the bottom, that should spread the load to the sides and the uprights on either side of the center shelves. Also I think I lot of us assumed you were doing a 20 long, but that standard 20 wouldn't need any center support. I'd go for it, personally. People tend to worry too much about the weight and underestimate the strength of things. Check out my build thread for the 30 long I just set up. I've had this bookshelf from Ikea for eight years, this is the third 30 gallon tank (well one was a 29...) I've put on it in that time. It has never even uttered a creak. I was worried the first time, and then my husband challenged me, and we both hopped up on it and sat down and wiggled around....nothing. Together we weigh about 350 lbs.
Think of how many threads are on here that say "my stand failed" vs. "my tank leaked".
Magicpenny's New 30 Long
 

Dave125g

Fishlore Legend
Messages
15,852
Reaction score
11,228
Points
748
Experience
More than 10 years
I'm not a fan of partical board but if your gonna use 1 I suggest water sealing it before using it. Partical board tends to deteriorate fast when it gets wet.
 
  • Thread starter

Manduley

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Experience
Just started
Thanks everybody. It is a 20 long. The braces I am using are 8 inches and 5mm thick. I haven't put on the plywood yet but I will soon. I am not gonna use traditional plywood, but a stronger layered version of it. I was planning on water proofing the whole thing an putting a sheet of acrylic that covers the top of the cabinet. I'm sealing all the joints and corners, screws, etc. with 100% black silicone. It should be ready next year to start cycling. It burns me out that I have to spend my November aquarium budget on shoring up my cabinet. I don't want my tank to collapse. I work hard on my tanks. Y'all are great for giving your time and attention to my issue.

qquake2k said:
It's hard to say without seeing it in person, but it looks pretty stout to me. The thick plywood back will certainly help. How thick are the sides? Where exactly did you put the "L" brackets? Are those real drawers? Your homemade filter sounds good, I'd like to see a photo of it.
20191024_033205.jpg

This is one of 5, I have ready to go. I have 3 running in tanks. First, there is a 4 inch clear pvc tube running down the middle all the way to the bottom. You have to notch the bottom so water will flow through it easier. I use a dremel. I added an elbow joint that I Plasti dipped black so I can direct the current and bubbles. An air control valve is a must. The first filtration layer is a sponge, and this one I cut too thin on one corner. Beneath the sponge is Polyfill. Under that is zeolite and activated carbon, and on the bottom is lava rock with a few left over ceramic rings. I bought all the glasses at the dollar tree. They work really well and all you need to power these filters is an air pump and air stones. So far I have only had to change out the polyfill. They are all I use in my Betta tank because of the low current. I use them as supplements to the other tanks HOB filters. They are alot of fun to make.
 

JayH

Well Known Member
Messages
612
Reaction score
360
Points
83
Experience
5 to 10 years
You say buying materials for a 2x4 stand is out, yet you're talking about buying stuff to make this stand work that will almost certainly cost way more than what the 2x4s would cost. At some point you need to start asking if you're throwing good money after bad trying to make this thing work. 2x4s for a sturdy stand to handle a 20L shouldn't cost more than $20. 2x4s are usually cheap, sometimes even cheaper when you can buy in shorter lengths, like 6' rather than 8'. There's less call for those so they're often dirt cheap and will work fine for a small stand. I'd be giving serious thought to find another use for this stand and building one from scratch.

When you say it's "particle board", are you sure it's particle board and not Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)? 115 pounds seems extremely heavy for standard particle board. If it is regular particle board, I wouldn't freak out. As long as it's not wet all the time it's not likely to come apart. MDF I would be very concerned about because it's basically sawdust and glue, but regular particle board has enough real wood in it that it will hold up. Not the preferred material, but not the worst either.

As long as you mop up after water changes I don't think you need to hermetically seal the entire stand. You're keeping a large container of water on it, not sailing the Atlantic in it.

You also don't need to go crazy with heavy duty plywood on the back. A 1/4" sheet of standard plywood will go a long way toward stiffening up the structure. Using 3/4" won't make it three times stronger.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom