Wood vs. Stainless Steel vs. Regular Steel - STANDS

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by Finatik, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Finatik

    Finatik FINatik about my Tanks ! R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm moving soon, so before setting my tanks back up after the move, I want to get new stands. I've got two 120s, and may possibly upgrade one of those to a 180 gallon.

    1) Which would be best in terms of strength and longevity ??? Is "stainless steel" actually stronger than "regular steel" ?

    2) Is stainless steel less prone to rusting ?

    3) What are the Pros, Cons, Pitfalls of using one material over the other ? (I've always had wooden stands in the past, and most retail stores use wood for their displays too)

    4) I've considered T-Slot Aluminum, but I'm not convinced that they won't fail on a large heavy aquarium

    5) Any other considerations ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  2. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Member

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    I’m a big fan of wood in the marine environment. Steel rusts too easy and stainless will rust too, just not as easy. You will have salt creep, drips from pulling your arms out of the tank, ect.....
     
  3. Eastlake

    Eastlake Active Member

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    The first thing I would do is to check the warranty on your aquariums. If you got them new some have a lifetime warranty and I've seen a few that state on the tag that if the tank is placed on anything other than a wooden stand then the warranty is void. Aside from that, I personally like wood stands for the aesthetics alone. They just simply look nicer that the stainless stands, to my eyes anyway, to each their own. Stainless is less prone to rusting but given enough time in the presence of saltwater it will eventually rust and rot.
     
  4. Finatik

    Finatik FINatik about my Tanks ! R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I thought the whole reason for "powder coating" prevented rust on metal stands ?
     
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  5. Tautog

    Tautog Valuable Member

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    Wood and cinder blocks. Steel will rust. Powder Coating will last a little longer, but eventually rust. Stain-less Steel is exactly what it says..........steel that stains LESS, but really means it rusts less in time.
     
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  6. Finatik

    Finatik FINatik about my Tanks ! R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    So are you saying that "wood" will outlast steel ???
     
  7. MaddyP

    MaddyP 'Til Reefdom Come... R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Build Thread Contributor

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    If price/longevity is your priority, a welded and powder coated steel stand (or aluminum) can't be beat. Having it powder coating will eliminate the chance of rust so long as the coating is never chipped off (damaged) and most weld shops will fabricate the stand for about the same price as building a heavy duty wood stand (after you skin/paint). For our applications, steel is a better option than stainless if considering price so long as you are planning to powder coat the steel. Aluminum tube is a good option as well, though it can be more expensive than steel in both material cost and welding.

    I've used t-slot to build a few stands as well, though nothing as large as your tanks. I would bet with the right design a t-slot stand could easily support the largest of tanks. T-slot benefit those who want flexibility and don't mind paying for it as the pieces can be reused on other setups down the timeline.

    When I start designing my next tank upgrade, it will be a t-slot stand.
     
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  8. Finatik

    Finatik FINatik about my Tanks ! R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    My primary concerns are:
    1)
    Strength - I don't want to come home to 180 gallons of water on the floor because of a stand failure
    2) Longevity - I want it to last a long time
     
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  9. MaddyP

    MaddyP 'Til Reefdom Come... R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018 Build Thread Contributor

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    Excellent! Those are my primary concerns as well. A welded steel, welded aluminum, or t-slot stand would account for both concerns. If I were to consider cost as a #3 concern, welded steel would be my option.

    Note: I am not against wood stands, I just think around saltwater, steel and aluminum holds a durability/longevity to which wood can't compare.
     
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  10. Finatik

    Finatik FINatik about my Tanks ! R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Those were my thoughts as well ! But I wanted to reach out to all of you to make sure that my thinking aligns with reality ! (smile)
     
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  11. davocean

    davocean Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I'm a carpenter, so it's just too easy and much more affordable for me to build my own from wood, but, a steel or aluminum stand is superior in strength, longevity, especially if powder coated.

    My choice would be that and a wood enclosure.
     
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  12. Greybeard

    Greybeard Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I've built many systems over the years, and built many wood stands. I enjoy woodworking... and my latest stand is 1.5" 11 gauge powder coated square tube steel.

    Stainless? Depends on the exact composition of the steel... some of it rusts just as fast as mild steel, some doesn't... Costs way more.

    Aluminum? Probably an excellent choice, provided you've got enough material to support the weight. Expensive... of course, and requires some skill to weld, but it might be worth it.

    Wood? Nothing wrong with wood... particularly if you use a good sealant. Easy to work with for most DIY types. The 60g cube stand I built could double as a stool for an elephant. Plywood and solid poplar construction, dado/rabbit joints, clamped and glued, three coats of marine epoxy inside. Top surround was done in a mosaic tile design. Should last for many years. It was _not_ cheap, nor easy, nor quick, to build. Here's a view of the construction:
    [​IMG]

    Steel is lighter and stronger than wood, allows for maximum usable space under the tank (not that I'm using it...), and with a good powder coat, should last for several decades.

    I found, when designing my latest system, that wood is not cheaper than steel. I had the structure built by a local fab shop, sand blasted and powder coated, and saved money over just the materials I was going to buy for the wood stand. No, I wasn't going to screw together a few 2x4's... if I was going to be happy with that sort of thing, it'd have been far cheaper... but with a solid cabinetry stand, plywood and solid wood trim, the steel was cheaper. I added a fancy painted wood top, covered with two gallons of bar top epoxy, solid oak trim, and will shortly be adding bookshelves to fill in under the tank. Also, my sump is elsewhere, so chances of exposure to salt water is fairly minimal. It's not your 'typical' aquarium implementation, I suppose :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Finatik

    Finatik FINatik about my Tanks ! R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Very Niiiiice !!! Until you said it was wood, I thought that was a piece of granite on top of the stand. Looks very nice and clean.
     
  14. Greybeard

    Greybeard Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks. Turned out very well. I did see someone here who did the granite thing, looked wonderful. I looked into it, but couldn't justify the expense. One of my daughters is pretty talented, artistically... runs a small business painting murals. Here's and odd view of the paint, before the edging and epoxy went on. It's kinda hard to get a good photo of it...

    [​IMG]
     
  15. lacrosseboss18

    lacrosseboss18 Active Member

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    I have a show quality stand. Professionally built. If i could go back and do it again I would do a metal stand/ 80/20 and wrap it with wood. This way it can always be changed if you want and repaired easily if there is any water damage.
     
  16. davocean

    davocean Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Nice, like that top, and agree, very talented daughter!
     
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  17. jose hernandez

    jose hernandez Active Member

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    this would be my first metal stand its 1.5 inches thick made out of tube steel I have a wood frame with doors so I will have access from all 3 sides

    03930269-E78D-4448-8E11-F166FEB61EF9.jpeg

    612B9981-0A70-4B2B-9903-C24861E908B4.jpeg

    23FFADCE-6506-4BC6-B33F-498A0F514B4E.jpeg

    0F32B18F-BD2D-41BA-B12E-B2994851F53A.jpeg
     
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  18. jose hernandez

    jose hernandez Active Member

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    i will be adding a 1 inch piece of plywood which im gonna paint and waterproof for the bottom of the stand as well
     
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  19. jose hernandez

    jose hernandez Active Member

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    bought the stand from a fellow reefer its a planet aquarium tube steel 1.5 inches thick had some rust on it took it to a steel welder had it stripped prime and waterproofed also had all the entire stand rewelded just in case
     
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  20. jose hernandez

    jose hernandez Active Member

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    work in progress
     
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