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Old 02-28-2013, 04:02 PM   #1 
itsuki
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Diy 20 gallon long fish tank stand build

so ive been thinking about building one for some time and i got around to buying the wood last night. researched the dimensions and set out to build it. drilled 2 pilot holes and when putting in the second screw the cordless drill dies!! so i had to stop and call it a night :( after work today i start up again :) im building a 20 gallon long (which i will be buying this summer, maybe earlier) but it will also have to do with the 10 gallon and i will build a rack underneath with the stand to hold 2 2.5 and the bottom shelve to hold the 10g.

heres the materials, just plain 2x4's, i didnt have to do a single cut, thanks home depot (no thanks for making me wait 20 min to cut the stuff), total cost of wood under $15 :) 8 31inch 2x4's and 10 10inch 2x4's and some leftover pieces for a bond fire


Last edited by itsuki; 02-28-2013 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:21 PM   #2 
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Will you be using triangle blocks to help distribute support as well? I've been thinking about building a shelf as well since I have a ton of wood stains just sitting in the basement. Let me know how it goes!
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:36 PM   #3 
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no, i havent seen triangle blocks to designs for 20 gallon tanks, only on 40 and up, but honestly people just tend to add more pillars/columns for added weight disturbition, its much easier to do then adding diagonal pieces. im not totally sure about adding the 10g to the base/bottom shelve yet but positive about adding a middle rack for my 2 2.5 tanks. heres my modified blue print

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Old 02-28-2013, 05:50 PM   #4 
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hmmm....interesting. On the top part, if you added in triangle blocks, it should distribute the weight to the side more. I would want an extra wood plank on each side, but that's just me. I'm an obsessive person when it comes to planning ahead, so worrying about things falling always worries me. You just have to think to add two pounds for every gallon of water your tank holds.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:16 PM   #5 
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I'm not following. Scribble on top of my blue print and post. I'm very open to suggestions
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:29 PM   #6 
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Its hard to tell from the pic how you are attaching your legs to the bench top. Can i assume you will be mounting them on the inside of your upper frame?

With 2x4's you will not need to use an angle brace. That material will easily support the 170lb 20 gal tank. (a gallon water weighs 8.8 lbs BTW)

what is with those diaganol braces behind and above the tank is that just the wall behind it?

are you going to finish it with trim work or leave it rough looking?

You need to attach the legs to the top with carriage bolts.

I like your idea of boxing out the bottom, just make sure your floor is level. its way eaiser to shave a little off a 2x4 leg to compensate for a slope. With a framed bottom you will have to shim it which never looks good and with all that weight your going to have a sag issue eventually.

Im thinking you're shooting for this sort of thing but with an extra shelf or 2? depending on the length you will want to add 1 or 2 joist for support.



if your worred about strength double up the legs (2 2x4's bolted together) it wont make it any bulkier but you will be able to park a truck on it.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:07 AM   #7 
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surferjo the diagonal brace in the picture are the suggested backframe for those who want to add a 3rd tier, which i do not want to do. so i will not be adding to my build. the drawn in shelve in the middle i just want to use for (2) 2.5 gallon tanks i have which should hold with no problem using 2x4's. the bottom area where the other tank is i think i will use for storing tank supplies or have the 10gallon as either an overflow tank or quarantine tank, i havent decided yet.

im a novice builder and i just had to google what a carriage bolt was. well ive seen them around but honestly i dont know how to screw them in all the way, i figure u use a wrench for the most part but dont know how u get the last part to go in all the way, i was just planning on using some long screws and going in at an diagonal angle from the leg to the top.

as luck, fate or badluck depending on how u want to look at it, i was able to finish putting together the top and bottom then ran out of screws, so i wasnt able to put on the legs to either, which will allow me some to think on how to screw those suckers in.

other words of note: watching documentaries on netflix while putting together a stand will slow u down considerably :P even saw one on piano making and in it a guy says this isnt screwing 2 by 4 togethers and i thought "hey thats what im doing!!" here's where i stopped earlier tonight. btw thats a nice and simple design u have there surfer, i like it, had i seen it sooner my probably wouldve used that instead.


Last edited by itsuki; 03-01-2013 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:11 AM   #8 
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Your top and bottom shelf look great. Next time dont install the joists until after you put the top plate on. It makes it easier to square it up without them.

For the legs you are going to drill a hole straight through your shelf and and leg. Get two 4 inch carriage bolts (hex heads), 2 washers, and 2 nuts. You want 2 per mounting point. So a total of 16 bolts, 16 nuts and 32 washers. That may sound like a lot but its like $6 at Home Depot. The pic I linked was to a generic work bench but the principles are pretty much the same.

Drill your holes at a diagonal and not too close to the ends but far enough apart so the washers don't overlap.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:04 PM   #9 
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i had only sunday evening to work on it and here it is. i changed the layout of the legs from sitting underneath the top frame to within it. that made it easier to screw together but i lost 7 inches of height (which in some aspects is good because it does lower its center of gravity) i will make i middle shelve for my 2.5 gallons and the remaining area long the bottom will eventually become a drawer with supplies in it but for now theyll have to make do sitting on the bottom. thoughts?? comments.
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