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Unsafe Stand?

Should I go forward with this stand?

  • No, it is not safe to use as is.

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Yes, it is safe enough.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

Johnzilla

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Hi all! Purchased a used stand on craigslist. Know very little about its history (even less about carpentry) and I'm wondering if it's safe to carry a glass 55 gallon tank. The stand seems to be an odd mixture of over- and under-engineering. I'll put pictures in the first reply.

I'm concerned for a few reasons. For one, it lacks vertical supports in the middle. Joey (DIYKing on youtube) says in an old video that tanks up to 4 feet long don't need them so long as they're glass and all the corners are directly supported. Now, the tank does have two horizontal supports in the middle. However, other than at the corners, the perimeter of the tank trim is only supported indirectly, in the sense that it's sitting on two thin sheets of wood that are distributing the weight but are themselves resting only on the four legs and two horizontal middle supports. My fears are slightly buoyed by the fact that there is a sort of secondary frame holding the whole thing together.

My other concern is for some cracks in the legs which I will show in the pictures as well as a small gap between one of the "outer legs" and the frame which enshrouds the 4 main inner legs. Would really appreciate any and all advice. Pictures to follow.

(BTW, I was locked out of my old account, but I'm 99% sure I used to post on this forum as a teenager, so no obligatory "first post" nonsense included to bore y'all with.)
 
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Johnzilla

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Here are the pictures.

General view:
20190223_010709.jpg


Underneath. Note the white-painted "main legs" and horizontal supports:
20190223_010751.jpg


Note the sheets of wood it is sitting on and the gap between this outer corner and the top of the frame:
20190223_010843.jpg


Crack in one leg. The one kitty corner to it also has a (smaller) crack:
20190223_010910.jpg


Side view:
20190223_010955.jpg
 
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Colin_T

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pictures didn't work.

what are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?
how thick is the glass on the tank?

what are the dimensions on the stand and how thick are the legs and other bits of wood?
 

eaglesaquarium

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Click the links Colin. They work fine.
 

eaglesaquarium

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That stand is perfectly safe. In fact, its way overkill. No worries.
 

Colin_T

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the links still aren't working for me. I go to a forum page with the following message

Tropical Fish Forums - Error
You do not have permission to view this page or perform this action.

Eagles, if you are able to view the links it might be due to your moderator status but I get nothing.
 
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Johnzilla

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I edited the post to insert the pictures directly into it; hopefully that will help if anyone else is having issues viewing them.

Eagles, thank you for your assurances. I know it is very common for new tank owners to over-obsess about such things; however I'm not sure I'm out of the woods quite yet.

I'm a renter on disability so money's tight and I only got this apartment because of a special grant so I absolutely cannot afford to have any problems here.

I also cannot probably afford a level or shims (or a new tape measure because it seems to have gotten lost in the move) until the first. Colin, the tank is a standard 55 gallon from Walmart, but I can't get precise dimensions of the stand until I find my tape measure.

I filled the tank a quarter full and the water line (appears) to be off level by about 3/16ths of an inch by my ruler. The water appears 3/16ths of an inch higher on the front and back left legs than it does on the front right leg and another 1/16th lower on the back right leg.

Furthermore, the cracks in 2 of the 4 main inner legs have gotten longer and much of the outer stand frame isn't contacting the floor. It's hard to tell where the 4 main inner legs are or aren't contacting the floor because they don't all seem to but cut perfectly evenly or maybe aren't "square" in relation to the rest of the frame. I don't think it was well built, even though it was obviously meant to be over-engineered. There are plenty of extra nail and screw holes in various places and places with gaps between pieces of wood that aren't flush. I think it was shoddily reinforced at some point, perhaps after the top of the stand started bowing or raising. I am concerned there may be high points on the top of the stand causing the tank to sit in places along the middle rather than just at the corners. But I can't be sure because of the two extra pieces of wood along the top (for earthquakes?) preventing view of whether the black tank trim is sitting in the middle. I keep hearing about how tanks UP TO 4 feet long only need to be supported at the cornees, and that it doesn't matter if the rest of the perimeter of the tank trim needs to be supported.

I am thinking of putting quarters (US currency) under each tank corner and shimming underneath the stand but it is very hard to tell if the stand might be warped and how the hell to balance that all out without having to shim the entire bottom of the stand including the outer frame which mostly isn't even contacting the floor.
 
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eaglesaquarium

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the links still aren't working for me. I go to a forum page with the following message

Tropical Fish Forums - Error
You do not have permission to view this page or perform this action.

Eagles, if you are able to view the links it might be due to your moderator status but I get nothing.
I suppose that's possible. I admit, I'm not the most tech savvy.
 
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Johnzilla

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Eagles, it's not that I don't trust your advice. I just want to make sure you could tell by the pictures that the entire perimeter of the aquarium is only supported by plywood and the two horizontal supports in the middle. Only the four corners rest on the legs.

I put sand and rocks in and filled the aquarium up a quarter way to see if it was level. It is very not level, though I won't be able to tell if it's the stand or the floor until I can purchase a 48" level in a couple days. Unfortunately, now this nrand new tank seems to be damaged, even though I drained most of the water out. One of the long panes of glass is sticking out about 3 millimeters from the end pane... This really sucks because I don't have the financial margins to be in this hobby right now except at a DIY level. I needed a little bit of luck and great advice to make this work. My life sucks of late and I was really hoping to get back into this hobby to give myself a ray of light (and not waste the $400 I already spent). I was gonna put a breeding pair of kribs in hereall by themselves to show my girlfriend the beauty of fish rearing and now I'm screwed. Wish somebody would take another look at those pictures and either reiterate Eagle's' opinion or provide a different perspective. Maybe I need to find a more active forum.
 
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Johnzilla

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I think that the plywood and corkboard (or whatever it is) combo in the middle is warped and raised leading to high points along the tank trim perimeter.
 

Deanasue

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The corners need some work for sure. They should never hang off the stand or support. If that one board is particle board, it’s won’t hold up when exposed to water. I realize money is an issue but you may want to wait and locate a used TV Console or dresser to use. I often find such things thrown to the curb for trash. I know it’s disappointing when you’re ready to go with something but in the long run it will be worth it. I’m sorry you’ve had problems recently but moving forward with this stand may be another big problem. My 55 gallon tank weighs 440 lbs when filled. That’s not including decor and gravel either. The stand has to be solid. Good luck! Note: Upon closer look, the corners do seem to be sitting flush on the stand.
 
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Fishmanic

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perhaps adding 2x3 or 2x4 on front and rear in the middle of the span as a 5th and 6th leg would add some some more stability seeing that tank does not sit over the outside legs.
 
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Johnzilla

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Thank you Dean, Fishmaniac and eagles for your kind responses. I bit the bullet today and purchased the crappy "brooklyn-style" Imagitarium metal stand from petco for in-store pickup at $62.00. Gonna be living on beans and rice this month as a sacrifice for my hobby.

I know I'm probably going to have issues with this one as well but I'm taking the gamble. Even more concerned about the tank because the front long pane seems to have shifted... But as long as I don't have a catastrophic blow-out and it lasts a year or two before leaking I'll take that. Hopefully it'll "shift back" once it all settles.

Gonna get a 48" level and whatever screwdriver I need to assemble the stand.

Based on reviews, while the corners of the tank will be sitting directly above the legs, it still has an issue of there being a gap beneath the tank perimeter (except on the corners, which are a little higher). I reiterate that I have heard before that on tanks UP TO 4 feet long, the perimeter does not need to be directly supported so long as everything's level. Anybody else heard about this?
 
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Johnzilla

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Forgot to mention, I will be attempting to resell the stand (and the tank it came with, which had degraded seals) in order to recoup some of the investment. I will put a warning in the ad that the new buyer might want to re-seal the tank and fix the stand. Hopefully somebody with a lot more experience than me will take interest in refurbishing the tank and stand because I won't be like the guy before me and place a dishonest ad.
 

Deanasue

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Thank you Dean, Fishmaniac and eagles for your kind responses. I bit the bullet today and purchased the crappy "brooklyn-style" Imagitarium metal stand from petco for in-store pickup at $62.00. Gonna be living on beans and rice this month as a sacrifice for my hobby.

I know I'm probably going to have issues with this one as well but I'm taking the gamble. Even more concerned about the tank because the front long pane seems to have shifted... But as long as I don't have a catastrophic blow-out and it lasts a year or two before leaking I'll take that. Hopefully it'll "shift back" once it all settles.

Gonna get a 48" level and whatever screwdriver I need to assemble the stand.

Based on reviews, while the corners of the tank will be sitting directly above the legs, it still has an issue of there being a gap beneath the tank perimeter (except on the corners, which are a little higher). I reiterate that I have heard before that on tanks UP TO 4 feet long, the perimeter does not need to be directly supported so long as everything's level. Anybody else heard about this?
I’ve never heard this and was actually taught that corners should be supported and not hanging off the stand. I have one stand that I actually added a piece of wood on top of that hung over the stand a little. This provided extra support for my tank. Good luck and happy fish keeping!
 
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