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DIY stand questions

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Projects' started by neil82, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Hello, I'm getting ready to build the stand for my 90 gallon. Standard glass tank with plastic trim top and bottom. Glass center brace. My plan for the stand is your typical 2x4 construction with 2x6 horizontal runs (yellow and red in image) for the top frame since I don't want a vertical center brace.

    Here are a couple questions:
    Do I need a plywood top? Or could the tank set right on top of the wood frame?
    If I need the plywood top, does it need to be one continuous piece? Or could I use two pieces that each cover half the top?

    Thanks for your feedback and feel free to chime in with any other tips that may help me with the construction. imageproxy.jpeg
  2. scchase

    scchase Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    It can sit right on top, also you don't need the 2x6s for a 4 ft tank, 2x4s will do just fine.
  3. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Since the tank has a frame, you dont really need the plywood on top. All four corners of the tank/frame do need to sit squarely on the top though.
  4. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks guys. That is good news as I would prefer to skip the plywood top. Using 2x4s in place of the 2x6s will allow more access room to the sump.
    Here is something else I am wondering about: the basement floor where the stand will go is not quite level. I was thinking of building the stand to compensate for this. So when I attach the top frame (red and yellow in image above) I would level that out and then cut the purple pieces to fit since they would vary slightly in legnth. Then I wouldn't need to shim the stand to level it out. Does this idea sound okay?
    Anybody use treated wood for their stand?
  5. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Hey everyone, any thoughts about building my stand to compensate for the not level floor? Please see last post for details about how I would do this. Anything I'm not thinking of? I'm going to start building this weekend.
  6. ryewalk84

    ryewalk84 Copepod

    I’d build it square and level. Then shim as needed to level where you want to put it. If you move it, the stand would have to be redone to level it in a new place.
  7. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

  8. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    This is where I am struggling. In my mind, this tank and stand will be in place 'long term'. But we all know how life can throw a curveball, and next thing you know, you're tearing down and moving a tank. Thanks for the input. Using shims is not a big deal.
  9. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Would be very hard to make the stand true if you build it uneven, to match the spot. Much better to build it square, and true, and then shim the corners as needed to make it level.
  10. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Sounds like a plan. I'll build it square and use shims to get it level.
    JuanGutz likes this.
  11. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Next question. Ideal stand height? I was think of 32 or 34 inches. Height of 90 gallon tank is 25 inches. Access to sump will be total height less 7 inches. What do you think?
  12. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    I'm about 5'4" so there will be a ladder involved regardless of stand height...
  13. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    I personally like taller stsnds.... Mine is 40 with a 30ij tank on it.
  14. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks for the quick reply. Went with 36 inch height. Let my wife make the final call. I'll only have myself to blame. :)
  15. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Use the composite shims if you can. The flimsy wood ones can break down pretty quickly from saltwater contact.
    Legonch, neil82 and Balz3352 like this.
  16. flagg37

    flagg37 Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    You asked about pressure treated wood. If it’s going directly onto concrete then it would be best. If there’s some kind of vapor barrier then it’s not needed.

    I did a build for a buddy and started with a nice square and level stand and then got it into position and planed the bottom so that it had 100% contact all the way around. It was made to be permanent though. IMO if you’ve got to move a tank, building a new stand is a small part of the job. Also, it’s nice being able to pick the tank up and put it right down on the new stand, instead of putting it on the floor then moving the stand and picking it back up from the floor and onto the stand.

    If you do shim it, definitely use the composite ones like @SkyShark advised. You can usually find them with the doors and windows at Home Depot.
  17. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks for the reply about pressure treated wood. I did a little bit of research after posting the question. It appears that pressure treated wood used to (before 2003) be treated with arsenic and chromium. I'm not great with chemistry, but I'd imagine that was stopped because of safety concerns. I looked on the home depot website to find out what is used in the treated lumber they currently sell. Here is the quote from their website:

    The most common chemicals used to treat wood are Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ), Copper Azole (CA), and Micronized Copper Azole (MCA).

    I don't know if these chemicals pose any concerns for use inside our homes or near our reef tanks, but thought I would post the information for what it's worth. Maybe someone else here that is better with chemistry can share their thoughts.

    Anyways, I ended up using regular wood. The stand will be resting on tile. I used a self leveling product on the cement floor and then set the tiles with mortar. Unfortunately, the floor (concrete slab in basement) was significantly uneven and the self leveler didn't completely fix this. I would have needed a couple layers of the self leveling product.
    I'm hoping that using regular wood for the stand will be okay in this application. I'm going to give it a couple coats of Kilz paint to protect the wood. Any other recommendations?
  18. flagg37

    flagg37 Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Yes, copper is the main component of the chemicals used to treat the lumber; so don’t touch it and then stick your hand in your tank. ;) Treated lumber is used whenever making a wood attachment to concrete or places with expected moisture (like a deck).

    Using a good primer on the bottom would be a good call since you’re not using the treated lumber.

    Are you going to skin the stand?
    SkyShark and neil82 like this.
  19. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks again for the reply. Yes, I'll skin the stand with plywood. I'd like to use construction glue aka liquid nails to attach the skin to the stand. I'm thinking of holding off with the Kilz paint where I'll be attaching the skin because I read the glue won't adhere to the paint. What is the best practice here?
  20. halmus

    halmus Cuttle Fish Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    Poplar is a relatively good wood for comabating rot. (Better than pine or spruce). You could potentially put a layer of that where the stand meets the floor. Incorporate that into the base and then paint it to match.

    Also, I like to leave some openings where water cant get trapped long term under the stand. Spills are inevitable but it’s better if the wood has a chance to dry out.
    neil82 likes this.

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