Powder coated steel vs aluminum stands

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Reef Chasers Aquaculture

92Miata

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Just as an aside - but there is a enormous markup between Extruded Aluminum and Connectors -> Aluminum stand. I had a light rack specced out before I built the current one - and the current one is way overkill, and was like 25% of the price I was quoted.

I don't know if it's just that there's a lot of 8020 used in medical systems and scientific machines, and they're willing to pay - but aluminum is way less expensive than I initially thought it was.
 

csund

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My powder coated SS rusted quite quickly
Most the steel stands I see are made of 3/16 or 1/4 steel. The entire stand could be covered in rust but I bet it would stay structurally sound for at least 30 years or more.

All grades of stainless steel will react with saltwater to some degree. Some will even rust! CP titanium is the only metal that I know of that will have zero chemical reaction with salt water until around 400f.

I actually witnessed an aluminum boat that completely covered in rust. However, that was after it was blasted with steel shot… whoops
 

Vivid Creative Aquatics

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I have always been partial to steel stands - I like the look of the clean, open setup.

This tank is no longer setup (pulled it down about 6 months ago) , but it was up and running for about 9.5 years.

When we shutdown this tank and inspected the stand, there was only a tiny spot of rust in small spot right where one of the gussets connect. Then a quick wipe down with damp cloth and the stand looked brand new.

FTS125_0233.jpg


This is the stand before it get setup - very simple design

WP_20130408_004.jpg





This is the new tank - also a steel powder coated stand. This spic is form about 7 months ago before it got setup, you can see it in our build thread, but this also has a a minimalistic. Lots of open space

IMG_20210427_123545_027.jpg
 
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mfollen

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Such great information here shared by everyone. It really helps clarify long term expectations for the different materials.

I’m leaning towards the powder coated steel. @Vivid Creative Aquatics great point on the clean open setup.

My main concern is rust leading to certain metals from the stand potentially getting into the water. I’ll be keeping acropora so I want to do what can be done to minimize long term risk of that.

For the lighting, how would a set of powder coated stainless steel racks fare long term above the aquarium?

Thank you everyone for sharing your insight and experiences.
 
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Such great information here shared by everyone. It really helps clarify long term expectations for the different materials.

I’m leaning towards the powder coated steel. @Vivid Creative Aquatics great point on the clean open setup.

My main concern is rust leading to certain metals from the stand potentially getting into the water. I’ll be keeping acropora so I want to do what can be done to minimize long term risk of that.

For the lighting, how would a set of powder coated stainless steel racks fare long term above the aquarium?

Thank you everyone for sharing your insight and experiences.
The quality of the powder coating will go a long way towards longevity - don't skimp on that.

The least expensive powder coater is usually less expensive than the others for a reason. Also, expect to wait 7 to 10 days or more. Most good powder coating companies are busy and have a backlog.
 
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mfollen

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Good to know! Thank you!

Does anyone know how would a set of powder coated stainless steel racks fare long term above the aquarium? Say 12” above the water line.. Or would that be best for aluminum?
 
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