Will This Hold My Tanks?

ledlight
  • #1
Hi. I have this cabinet and I was wondering if it could hold 2 10 gallon tanks on each end with some space in the middle of them. It is pretty sturdy and I have a 5 gallon long sitting on it right now no problem. I even stood on the very middle with all my weight and it held very good. (Granted I only weigh 120lbs) it seems like it could hold twice that but I don't want to take any chances. Here are some pictures. Please tell me what you think (I tried to put enough pictures to show how it is built)
 

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Mick Frost
  • #2
Looks sturdier than the stock stand for a Petsmart 120gal.
 
ledlight
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Really? That's good then I just wanted to make extra sure and the main thing that concerned me was that the was no support in the middle of the platform it just runs from one end to the other if you get what I mean. It is plywood and NOT particle board though.
 
Mick Frost
  • #4
Putting a back on it would make it a lot stronger, but there's no reason it won't hold 2 10s as is.
Shelf boards are engineered for 2 stresses, Even load and Point load. You standing in the middle was point load, the tanks will be even load. For plywood, even load ratings are at least 3x point load.
 
ledlight
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Alright that makes sense. Thank you for the very helpful info, I really appreciate it.
 
AquaticJ
  • #6
I have a 5 and a 10 on a rickety desk that's on wheels, so you should 100% be good.
 
Ulu
  • #7
With these kinds of cabinets, the back is usually very thin plywood or Masonite, attached with staples that split out along the edge easily. You need to make sure it is well glued to the sides top and bottom of the cabinet all the way around. For additional strength you can glue some 1"x1" cleats on the 4 edges of the back, inside the cabinet where you cannot see them. They don't have to be the full length or any particular length at all, but if you make the cleats long enough to touch the underside of the top it will help the top connections by sharing load.

That back is the only thing that will dependably keep the cabinet from folding over sideways when you put a couple hundred pounds onto it and then a Tipsy friend accidentally bumps into it.

Or if you live in a place that has occasional earthquakes.
 
abc123userabc123
  • #8
Hi. I have this cabinet and I was wondering if it could hold 2 10 gallon tanks on each end with some space in the middle of them. It is pretty sturdy and I have a 5 gallon long sitting on it right now no problem. I even stood on the very middle with all my weight and it held very good. (Granted I only weigh 120lbs) it seems like it could hold twice that but I don't want to take any chances. Here are some pictures. Please tell me what you think (I tried to put enough pictures to show how it is built)
If you say its sturdy then I have nothing but to believe you. Although based on the pictures it doesn't look so sturdy to me
 
Ulu
  • #9
Ha!

I just looked at your photos more closely and realized that this cabinet does not have a back at all.

It would be wise to put a back on this cabinet, or to put some kind of x- bracing, but it is difficult because there's not much to make a good connection at the ends unless you add gussets too. A solid plywood back is much easier.

Oh just FYI, this piece in the corner with the screws is what you call a cleat.

Screenshot_20180510-070821.jpg
 
abc123userabc123
  • #10
Hmm you might wanna use a metal stand instead?
 
Mick Frost
  • #11
The stand I'm building for 2x 37gal longs is:
2 3/4" Plywood ends
4 1-1/2" angle iron, slotted into the ends
1/2" plywood back (just to keep it square)
1/2" plywood front with cutouts (bottom 16")
A square foot for load distribution made of 2x4, with a 1/2" plywood shelf
It's rated (by an engineer friend) for 1100 lbs constant load, 2000 lbs shock load.
Just for perspective.
 
Ulu
  • #12
Mick Frost

How are the steel angles connected to the plywood ends?

Also:
. . . just to keep it square . . .

Getting things square and keeping things Square is one of the most difficult parts of construction and engineering.
 
Mick Frost
  • #13
Mick Frost

How are the steel angles connected to the plywood ends?
L-shaped slots in the plywood, retaining pins
 
ledlight
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Hey guys sorry for the late response, for some reason it just now notified me. So I put one tank on one emd and sat on the other side where the other tank would be. It held and didnt show any sign signs of weakness so I went ahead and put the other tank on. I read that the screw can hold about 75 lbs and there are 6 so that is 450 lbs of weight. The tanks have been on there for 24 hours now. I'm starting to think it probably wasn't the best idea to put them on there without reinforcing. Should I take take them off? I feel like my calculations on the screw weight is wrong. It does however, seem to be holding just fine. Am I just paranoid? There are only 2 of those cleats 1 on each end.

Here are the tanks on it if that makes any difference.
 

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Mick Frost
  • #15
I just realized those are upper kitchen cabinets.
If you're worried about it, get 4 chunks of 2x4 cut to fit between the shelves and place them in a strait line down from the inner side edges of the 2 tanks, more towards the wall than center.
 
ledlight
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Will it be ok for at least a while if I don't do that? Or should I do it asap?

I did wedge a board that could fit between the 2 shelves just to be safe
 
Ulu
  • #17
I used upper kitchen cabinets when I built my stand for the 30 and the 55. They work great but I put a real thick top on them and they have a solid 1/2" back. Even then I added some oak 1x2s as reinforcements.

Those screws will take a huge amount of weight in sheer but the problem is that the wood cannot take nearly as much as the screws.


20180505_124633.jpg
 
ledlight
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
So what you are saying is the wood would be the weakest point of them shelf. Is this usually something that happens over time or is it an immediate problem? How soon should I add extra bracing?
 
Mick Frost
  • #19
So what you are saying is the wood would be the weakest point of them shelf. Is this usually something that happens over time or is it an immediate problem? How soon should I add extra bracing?
Way back when, I had a 10gal that resided on a TV table. The folding kind from the 60s with the aluminum tube legs.
Definitely reinforce it before you upgrade tanks, or before you lose too much sleep worrying about it.
Unfortunately, none of us can see what's going on. I don't see any deflection of the wood from the picture, but that's because it's a picture.
If you take a straitedge and lay it across both ends, the distance in the middle should be no greater than 3/8" of what it is where the end screws in (assuming its 48" long).
 
ledlight
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Ok I will definitely check that when I get home later. I don't think there was any deflection but id rather be safe than sorry. The wood seems really sturdy and doesn't seem to have much give so I think that's a good sign.
 
Ulu
  • #21
I do not think you're going to break it by merely adding the weight to the top.

The real danger here is that the thing can fold over sideways because it doesn't have a back on it or any X bracing. It won't do that just randomly, but if you have a minor earthquake or somebody bumps into the tank heavily, things can go sideways.

In the case of this stand, everything depends on the rigidity of the front frame which carries the doors.

It will be rigid up to a point but with a lot of weight on this stand it will be easy to damage as well.
 
ledlight
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Ok that makes sense. What would be the best way to quickly and easily brace it to prevent that? I don't have any experience with bracing or stand building.
 
ledlight
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Also I did lay a straight edge across it and there was no gap whatsoever in the very middle or the straight edge. So that is a good sign for the wood strength.

(Sorry for 2 posts in a row)
 
Ulu
  • #24
I would put a plywood back on it made of at least 1/4" plywood. Sand the old wood and the new wood a little bit where they fit together so it's really clean. Then glue it all the way around.

If you do this with the stand laying on its face you can pile books on the plywood which will help the glue be solid and strong. If it doesn't squeeze out and get thin you won't have a strong joint because wood glue doesn't really Bridge gaps.

If you want to put some small screws or Nails around the perimeter every 3 inch on Center that would be appropriate. But if you do a good job with the glue it's totally unnecessary.

You could also just make four wood Corner braces and put them in the back of the cabinet if you don't want to mess with plywood.

If you can't get reasonable plywood then tempered Masonite will substitute.

Either one will need a coat of paint to be waterproof at all.
 
ledlight
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Ok thanks for the help. I will do one of these things that you have suggested for bracing.
 

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