Creaky stand - Page 2 - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 07:27 AM
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Creaking of any sort is NOT a good sign.

The screws/hardware thatís holding the piece of furniture together are under enormous amounts of stress.


A 55G tank filled with JUST plain water is about 625lbs


Based on your 1 photo of your entire setup.....
  • ∑ The two - 5G or 10G HOB filters youíre using = 10lbs total
  • ∑ Random ornaments & 2 airstones = 4lbs
  • ∑ Hood & lighting & heater = 10lbs

    Fortunately there is no gravel because that would increase the weight by an additional 75-100lbs.
Total weight is about roughly 660lbs (Itís always better to overestimate)

Hard to judge the stability & strength of a piece of furniture based on 1 picture of the exterior of the cabinet/stand.

The type of wood & hardware used throughout the piece is how you determine the overall strength of the piece.

When you remove/siphon....
  • 10G of water = 90lbs
  • 15G of water = 180lbs

A difference of 90lbs shouldn't cause creaking. That noise alone should indicate that something is NOT secure.

It could be as simple as the stand not being LEVEL. (24" level should be no more than $10)

Iím not sure what else you store inside the stand, but if you ever ACCIDENTALLY lean on the tank, that additional weight alone could turn that creaking into a CRACK & the worst case scenario will follow.
  • If you decide you want to reinforce the stand, the 55G tank should be completely drained & removed FIRST.
  • Get a level & someone handy who can use a miter saw to trim the pieces of wood to fit your stand.
  • Pre-drill your holes, use quality SCREWS instead of nails.
  • Use at least 4 corner brackets.

Highly recommend you get someone skilled in carpentry to look at the stand this weekend.

Hopefully I'm completely wrong, but when it comes to potential water damage, it's always better to be safe.

You may want to contact the saltwater tank mods... ReefingMadness & Tazman & see what their opinion is.

Best of luck.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info.

That tank's setup is a touch different now but it adds up to an extra 30ish pounds, around 20lbs of gravel, a different filter and a couple new pieces of decor. It doesn't creak when I take out about 10gallons but 15 or more it creaks a bit. Honestly it's the first time I've heard it creak since I filled it up with water from a hose.

I'll probably look into replacing it when I can but until then I will inspect it daily.

There is nothing under the tank except a bag of dog food and empty buckets for water changes.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Pic heavy post, sorry

I took a couple of pictures of the stand itself. I'm inexperienced with stands, especially wood ones. Hopefully someone can give me some insight. If these pictures aren't enough please tell me. I don't know anyone who is good with things like this and I don't have the money to spend unless I absolutely need a new stand this minute. I did find one at petco.com for $150 that I will probably get but I need to talk it over with my husband and he's with the kid at his brothers.


The stand from the front.


The only thing that bothers me is the corners of this area (all four corners, actually). I could probably slide one piece of paper between the space there. I think I should get the corners reinforced.


Inside right back corner.


Inside right front corner. The white things are spider egg nests I asked my husband to clean up for me /sigh


Inside left side


With the doors open.


The base of the inside. Yeah I didn't clean it up too well when I brought it in >.<

So, honest opinions? I can take it. I do plan on getting a new stand but I need to know if there is any immediate danger or if it can last a couple of weeks as long as I am watchful.

Again, the creaking has only happened twice. Once when I originally filled the tank up and I assumed that happened because I filled it with a garden hose and it was filled up very quickly. And second was last night when I removed 15 gallons when I usually only remove 10ish. I was very careful to fill it slowly when I poured the 15 gallons back in. Very slowly.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 04:35 PM
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That's exactly the type of photos you needed.

Good thing all your new photos are all very clear, I don't recommend going back underneath it.

The wood looks like pine which is a soft wood. If it was made from Oak, it would be better. Anyway...... 2" x 4' pieces & 1" x 2' pieces around the sides.

Some of the wood around the front of the shelf is very thin. Looks 1/2" thick to me.

Whoever built this cabinet created it solely for use as a bar counter/kitchen island/cabinet. NEVER did they intend to place a 55G fish tank on top of it.


With your new photos and the newest addition of gravel & mopani, your tank's NEW TOTAL weight is 780lb-800lbs.

If they used 1" thick pieces of wood throughout I would feel safer about it, but half the stand is built with what looks like 1/2" thick pieces of wood. Especially where the door is hinged.

PM Reefing Madness & Tazman ASAP. They can give you a better opinion on how much TIME you have with that stand.

It's a good stand & with some reinforcement it's better than the "assemble @ home kits" @ Petco.

That stand needs some MORE wood added by a "skilled carpenter" before I would give it the green light.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

I'll talk with my husband when he gets home about just replacing it entirely. Hopefully I can do that within a week. Boy, he's gonna be mad xD

I was thinking of replacing it with this
http://www.petco.com/product/101395/...20Stand-101395
Could I get your opinion on it?
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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So talking to my husband he said the stand was purchased as a set with the tank like 10-20 years ago..
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 11:30 PM
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I would keep the stand you're using.

Reinforce structurally & when it gets warmer, clean up, prime & paint whatever color you desire.

Anytime that stand was moved over the course of 10-20 years all the fasteners should have been adjusted/tighten to maintain the strength of the piece. Once a year the stand should be checked out unless you hear NOISES.

The factory manufactured stand you linked to looks good, but have you SEEN these boxed assemble @ home kits at the stores? I really don't like the materials they use.

All you need to fix yours is.....
  • $10-20 in wood
  • $5-7 in corner brackets & new screws.
I cannot believe no one else has any input on this "creaky" stand.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking we will end up reinforcing it with some oak in the spring, if not a touch sooner. I talked with Reefer and he thinks it should be alright as long as it's not moving a whole bunch when I put some pressure on it.

We were going to reinforce the corners, replace any metal hardware with new and give it a good cleaning :3
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 11:54 PM
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Give you an idea of what I would consider safer

Wood is much better for this design.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/d...ank-stand-240/

I like how this guy created extra support on top section.
http://www.diy-info.info/aquarium-st...ble-55-gallon/

Do some more research on other DIY stand photos to give you more visuals.

Good luck.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you ^^ We'll give ourselves plenty of time and look into everything before we begin.
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