Making the grade? DIY stand and your feedback

Ross Petersen

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Hey there,

I need some advice on this stand (see picture) in terms of structure and long-term stability.

The steel frame is 49'' L x 21'' W x 39'' H. Each steel frame is about 1.6'' (4 cm) in thickness. I don't have any additional corner supports or vertical supports in the middle of the steel frame. Perhaps I should have requested these.

I've got a large sump ~50 galloons that will rest on 3/4'' plywood. The tank itself will rest on thick 1'' plywood. Plywood will be treated with Kilz and then a marine-grade white.

I need to do some research to find someone who can make magnetic panels. Enough DIY for me for a bit.

Any insights? Will this be a-ok from a structural perspective?

Cheers

Tank frame and plywood supports.jpg
 
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Ross Petersen

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Good questions. The display tank will be 100 galloons.

Square tube steel. I don't know the gauge of steel used. It's pretty heavy, around 30-40 pounds I'd estimate for the full frame. I'll look into the gauge.

Thoughts on this?
 

JoshH

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Personally I'd think you're okay, but I'm no structural engineer . Obviously it would be better with some corner bracing but not the end of the world. Will this be a frameless tank?
 
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Ross Petersen

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Personally I'd think you're okay, but I'm no structural engineer . Obviously it would be better with some corner bracing but not the end of the world. Will this be a frameless tank?
The tank has a eurobrace on it.

Unfortunately, some problems were apparent on arrival from the custom maker. See photos. Ball valves glued shut, chips where drilling was done, exposed MDF, and some paint and silicone transfer on the underside of the tank. See photos.

I've removed all MDF and replaced it with plywood.

My main concern is the chip and if the gaskets on my bulkhead will hold over time. It may initially, but there's got to be an increased risk that I don't want to have to problem solve down the road.

Any professional insights out there on all this?

Chips on return hole.jpg Bubbles in silicone of sump.jpg Exposed MDF.JPG Tank from afar.JPG Underside of tank (paint and silicon consideration).JPG
 
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Ross Petersen

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The chips are internal. Which I gather is worse, given that's where the seal forms. Yes?

The bubbling is in the sump, but yes, that was my impression - a concern.
 

kyleinpdx

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The chips are internal. Which I gather is worse, given that's where the seal forms. Yes?
Thats my understanding, they'd make it more difficult for the gasket to seat correctly. More experienced folks will hopefully chime in.

The bubbling is in the sump, but yes, that was my impression - a concern.
Better than it being on the display as there are likely less forces acting upon that joint, but I personally would want those and the other defects remedied.
 

JoshH

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The chips are internal. Which I gather is worse, given that's where the seal forms. Yes?

The bubbling is in the sump, but yes, that was my impression - a concern.
Take a bulkhead gasket and place it over the hole, as long as the chips do not extend to or past the edge of the gasket you will be fine.

The bubbles in the seams especially at that location where it looks to be a baffle are of no concern.... bottom and corner seams are the issue...
 
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Ross Petersen

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Duplicate post.

overall there seems to be several issues - not sure I would trust the tank.

re: the stand - I'd be thinking about racking - can you rock it side to side at all?
The pattern is of concern indeed. My gut is the tank will work (now that I've replaced the MDF) but I just can't trust everything (from the leveling feet to the silicone).
 
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Ross Petersen

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Take a bulkhead gasket and place it over the hole, as long as the chips do not extend to or past the edge of the gasket you will be fine.

The bubbles in the seams especially at that location where it looks to be a baffle are of no concern.... bottom and corner seams are the issue...
The gasket extends 1-2 mm beyond the hole. It's close. I do feel the hole is deep enough though that a tight seal will create uneven pressure in the gasket causing it to cave in a bit and distort. I may look into filling the hole.

Yes, the bubbles are at a baffle region. I'll have to look more closely elsewhere.
 

lmm1967

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I can't rock the stand. Seems pretty rigid.
Typically racking is the real danger with stands. Most stands are completely capable of handling the downward pressures of a full tank. It's when the downward pressure is not perfectly downward that stands normally fail.
 

JoshH

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The gasket extends 1-2 mm beyond the hole. It's close. I do feel the hole is deep enough though that a tight seal will create uneven pressure in the gasket causing it to cave in a bit and distort. I may look into filling the hole.

Yes, the bubbles are at a baffle region. I'll have to look more closely elsewhere.
1-2 MM is borderline... if the bulkhead sits closer towards the chips instead of centered in the hole does the improve anything atall??
 
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Ross Petersen

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1-2 MM is borderline... if the bulkhead sits closer towards the chips instead of centered in the hole does the improve anything atall??
Slightly. Definitely worth consideration. I’m thinking of patching the larger chip. A 2 part epoxy or what the automotive industry uses. Will do some research.

The metal frame is 3mm in thickness.
 

Rybren

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The stand for my 120G is very similar to yours, but is only 30" high. There is no corner bracing, and my tank sits directly on the top frame. I skinned it with 1/2" ply and covered the edges with a plastic U channel that I picked up at HD. The panels are attached to the frame with ceramic magnets that I also picked up at HD.
 
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Ross Petersen

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The stand for my 120G is very similar to yours, but is only 30" high. There is no corner bracing, and my tank sits directly on the top frame. I skinned it with 1/2" ply and covered the edges with a plastic U channel that I picked up at HD. The panels are attached to the frame with ceramic magnets that I also picked up at HD.
Nice. How did you attach the ceramic magnets to the 1/2'' plywood?
 

Rybren

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I drilled out holes in a number of 1"x2"s, epoxied the magnets into the holes so that they were flush with the surface, and then attached the 1x2s to the inside of the panels so that the magnets would contact the stand.
 
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Ross Petersen

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I drilled out holes in a number of 1"x2"s, epoxied the magnets into the holes so that they were flush with the surface, and then attached the 1x2s to the inside of the panels so that the magnets would contact the stand.
Send me a PM or post a few photos here if you don't mind. I might try this. Appreciate the insights :)
 
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