How high off the ground would you say a tank needs to be to easily gravel vac/siphon the bottom? And other stand questions.

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AbbeysDad

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(I haven't read all of the responses)

It's a trick question. I have undisturbed sand substrates and use a submersible pump for water changes...so a tank could be on the floor and it wouldn't matter!

As to stand design, 2x4's are fine, just ensure that there are vertical supports under the horizontal rails that will support the tank(s). It's too easy to mistakenly use screws to support loads making them unsafe - aquariums full of water are very heavy!
 
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OliveFish05

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The problem with a plain 2x4 stand here is that using screws has hold down power, meaning it pulls two pieces of material together.
If you want to continue with the 2x4 design, I would recommend covering the outside with plywood, as plywood would tremendously reduce the frame’s ability to twist, saving strain on your fasteners.
Is there an option besides the 2x4 design? Or is this referring to the design with the 2x6 used on the top and bottom frames?


If plywood is too expensive, nails would be better suited to reduce torsional stress on the frame.
The price of plywood is certainly still way up there! You just hit the nails in with a hammer, correct? Would there be any benefit using screws to hold things tight, and nails for the added security alongside them? It sounds like it would be certainly much easier to screw pieces together, then nail them.


You also wanted the bottom aquarium to be 12-15” off the floor. Which means you would have to have another box in between the top and bottom one. This tank also has a smaller foot print which means your framing is carrying the weight on different spots. And this tank I would not trust to support the weight with screws. You would need hanger on the cross members of the third box you would need to build.
I was not sure if it would be better to extend the length of the yellow pieces on the photo to make legs, with green and pink pieces there of course for it to be secure/supported Or to do that and have a third box/shelf on the bottom.


You also wanted the bottom aquarium to be 12-15” off the floor. Which means you would have to have another box in between the top and bottom one. This tank also has a smaller foot print which means your framing is carrying the weight on different spots. And this tank I would not trust to support the weight with screws. You would need hanger on the cross members of the third box you would need to build.
hanger? I was planning on using some plywood or boards to make a solid surface for the tank to rest on, and position the center cross things in the blue frame to be directly under the trim of the 20 gallon.
Now having carefully read a couple times your original post, you want the top tank to sit 40” high, I’m assuming that’s the bottom of tank. Add 18 1/2” and now we’re at nearly 5’ off the floor. You can sit the tank directly on the frame, but I never build a stand with anything less than 3/4” plywood for a top. It will help with weight distribution and maintaining square.

That does sound very tall.

12” tall tank on the bottom would leave you 5”ish of clearance to the top of the tank for space to perform maintenance on the bottom tank. Assuming you wanted this tank 12” off the floor.
That is odd... I had calculated it out to giving me more like 10?


Cheaper option would be to build the stand as currently designed, have it 4” off the floor and invest in a pump or power head to siphon the bottom tank. This would be a very tall and slim stand to support that weight and potential movement.
Would it potentially be better to instead purchase something like this? I was thinking not because of how low it would put the bottom tank. But if I were just getting a pump for water changes anyway, this may be more manageable for me than building my own? I would of course get thick plywood or boards to create solid surfaces for the tanks to rest on.
541BD571-B852-4684-A762-9F6A158FF622.jpeg
 

itiwhetu

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The legs need to go all the way to the floor, they are what bears the load. Everything else is for support and are not load bearing. It is the same principle as building a bridge.
 
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OliveFish05

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Ok so I’m thinking that I will drop the height thing. I can put the 20 gallon on the bottom shelf, which would put it 4 or 5 inches off the ground (depending on wether I used 2x4 or 2x6). If I want a 24 inch space for the tank and work space above it, plus the dimensions of the wood, that would put my stand about 35 inches tall.
 

Naterjm

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Is there an option besides the 2x4 design? Or is this referring to the design with the 2x6 used on the top and bottom frames?



The price of plywood is certainly still way up there! You just hit the nails in with a hammer, correct? Would there be any benefit using screws to hold things tight, and nails for the added security alongside them? It sounds like it would be certainly much easier to screw pieces together, then nail them.



I was not sure if it would be better to extend the length of the yellow pieces on the photo to make legs, with green and pink pieces there of course for it to be secure/supported Or to do that and have a third box/shelf on the bottom.



hanger? I was planning on using some plywood or boards to make a solid surface for the tank to rest on, and position the center cross things in the blue frame to be directly under the trim of the 20 gallon.


That does sound very tall.


That is odd... I had calculated it out to giving me more like 10?



Would it potentially be better to instead purchase something like this? I was thinking not because of how low it would put the bottom tank. But if I were just getting a pump for water changes anyway, this may be more manageable for me than building my own? I would of course get thick plywood or boards to create solid surfaces for the tanks to rest on.View attachment 147070
That’s a ton of questions to answer that I can’t get to right now. Again, it’s hard to explain it for me because my mind is wired to see structural framing in a certain way, and I’m not sure I’m entirely capable of getting my points across in a forum setting, I’m too hands on and usually need to have someone present. But I will get back to that for you, when I have some time later this weekend.
 
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OliveFish05

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That’s a ton of questions to answer that I can’t get to right now. Again, it’s hard to explain it for me because my mind is wired to see structural framing in a certain way, and I’m not sure I’m entirely capable of getting my points across in a forum setting, I’m too hands on and usually need to have someone present. But I will get back to that for you, when I have some time later this weekend.
I will hopefully start on some sketches tonight and that would be awesome if you could model it for me.
I appreciate your help. Before you waste your time, I spoke with my mom. She pointed out that I would have a very hard time building a stand myself. We also looked at the stand from Petco, and with some deals and such said she could get it half off. I was looking into building a stand to save the money, but if i can get the stand half off is there any point?
 
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Naterjm

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I appreciate your help. Before you waste your time, I spoke with my mom. She pointed out that I am young (I am highschool age) and would have a very hard time building a stand myself. My dad works and I have no one else to help me with it. It is a big project, and would need quite a bit of planning. She also looked at the stand from Petco, and with some deals and such said she could get it half off. I was looking into building a stand to save the money, but if i can get the stand half off is there any point?
I did not realize you were that young.

Is there any point to building it yourself to save money? Not at this point.

If you continue in the hobby and building custom stands for certain setups is something that interests you, by all means, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help. In the meantime, those diy stands you see on YouTube do require a certain know-how and skill set to make them safe to carry the weight.

The stands I build will last a lifetime, so if you’re going to buy a stand, do your homework, don’t invest too much money into those particle board ones. You’ll know the material because it will be that same crappy material in the inside as an IKEA furniture build. They don’t hold up to water damage well will rot quickly if prolonged.

Good luck, and message me if you have any more questions.
 
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OliveFish05

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I did not realize you were that young.

Is there any point to building it yourself to save money? Not at this point.

If you continue in the hobby and building custom stands for certain setups is something that interests you, by all means, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help. In the meantime, those diy stands you see on YouTube do require a certain know-how and skill set to make them safe to carry the weight.

The stands I build will last a lifetime, so if you’re going to buy a stand, do your homework, don’t invest too much money into those particle board ones. You’ll know the material because it will be that same crappy material in the inside as an IKEA furniture build. They don’t hold up to water damage well will rot quickly if prolonged.

Good luck, and message me if you have any more questions.
Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
 

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