3-in-1 DIY Aquarium Stand Feasibility Analysis

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Summary:

Sup gyz, I have designed an aquarium stand to house 3 aquariums. I am not a technical person, please let me know if this is a sustainable stand.
Please help me to find out if this is a feasible project. If not, what changes shall be made to make it sustainable for a long time without changing the layout?

1. Details of the stand: L 36", W 18", H 30"
2. Details of Aquarium 1: L 36", W 18", H 18", weight: 225kg
3. Details of Aquarium 2 and 3: H 12", W 12", L 12", weight 40kg each
4. Total aquarium load for this project will be 300kg
5. The frame will be made of 1mm 2" X 1/2" MS Tube (Metal Tube)
6. 1" Board will be used on the Metal Frame to ensure even support for aquarium bottom
 

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  • #2
Baluncore
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Welcome to PF.
Rectangular tube will flex less if it is used on edge rather than on the flat as you show it.

The two lower tanks are supported on a cantilever that projects from the midpoint of a cross tube. That is not a reliable support, it will flex with every movement until the joins fracture.

The two cantilevers could be made from one continuous metal tube. Or better, there should be two continuous full length tubes, one at the front and one at the back.
 
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  • #3
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Welcome to PF.
Rectangular tube will flex less if it is used on edge rather than on the flat as you show it.

The two lower tanks are supported on a cantilever that projects from the midpoint of a cross tube. That is not a reliable support, it will flex with every movement until the joins fracture.

The two cantilevers could be made from one continuous metal tube. Or better, there should be two continuous full length tubes, one at the front and one at the back.
Thank you mate for your opinion. I will consider your feedback and redesign the model for bottom aquariums. However, do you think that the top aquarium of 220 kg can stay peacefully in the present design?
 
  • #4
berkeman
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Welcome to PhysicsForums. :smile:
4. Total aquarium load for this project will be 300kg
This is bordering on a dangerous project, so keep in mind that the thread may be closed at some point.

As @Baluncore points out, a cantilever design is not a good match for such a heavy load. Each load should be supported at least at all four corners directly to the floor/ground.

The layout of the stand looks a bit odd to me as well. Are you really intending for people to get down on the floor to look into the bottom two tanks? Or is this stand meant to sit up on a table of some sort?

Where will these aquariums be located? What happens if the stand fails and they end up crashing down -- would water damage be a problem where this will be, or will the water drain out of the area easily? Will the aquariums be made of glass or plastic?
 
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Welcome to PhysicsForums. :smile:

This is bordering on a dangerous project, so keep in mind that the thread may be closed at some point.

As @Baluncore points out, a cantilever design is not a good match for such a heavy load. Each load should be supported at least at all four corners directly to the floor/ground.

The layout of the stand looks a bit odd to me as well. Are you really intending for people to get down on the floor to look into the bottom two tanks? Or is this stand meant to sit up on a table of some sort?

Where will these aquariums be located? What happens if the stand fails and they end up crashing down -- would water damage be a problem where this will be, or will the water drain out of the area easily? Will the aquariums be made of glass or plastic?
Thank you for providing opinion. Actually I am here to know if it is dangerous, and how it can be made a safe project. Closing the thread will not help me anyway. However, I am moving away from cantilever.

I am planning to keep the aquariums in my drawing room, where I can easily view the aquarium, that I kept on the floor. So 10 inch raised aquariums will be excellent for viewing pleasure. So no problem with the aquarium height for this design.

As I mentioned, the aquariums will be kept in my drawing room. However safe we play, there is always chance of aquarium leaking. So I have to ensure the physical strength to make sure that it lasts long. But I definitely have contingency plan to take care of any emergency. And yes, the aquarium will be made of glass. That's why I have rated such high weight.
 
  • #6
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Welcome to PF.
Rectangular tube will flex less if it is used on edge rather than on the flat as you show it.

The two lower tanks are supported on a cantilever that projects from the midpoint of a cross tube. That is not a reliable support, it will flex with every movement until the joins fracture.

The two cantilevers could be made from one continuous metal tube. Or better, there should be two continuous full length tubes, one at the front and one at the back.
I redesigned the model as per your observation. Please share your opinion on this.
 

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  • #7
Baluncore
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It is better, but it is too springy.
The tube is still being used flat and is not on edge.
Closing the tubular framework loop will give it more strength and rigidity.
 
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  • #8
berkeman
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I redesigned the model as per your observation. Please share your opinion on this.
Have you looked much yet at how standard aquarium stands are designed and built? You will see the design features that @Baluncore has been suggesting. Here is a Google Images search on Aquarium Stand DIY to use as a starting point for looking at how folks have been doing this type of project. Many of them are built out of wood (with the wide direction of the wood pieces vertical -- why is that?), but there are also some design ideas for welding DIY stands.

https://www.google.com/search?q=aqu...mg&ei=8phGX4GKB7Xi9AOw5JWoBw&bih=516&biw=1139

1598462436211.png
 
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  • #9
BillTre
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If the stand flexes too much as @Baluncore discussed, it will put uneven pressure on the base of the tank.
If this happens to glass, it could crack. Plastic tanks would be less likely to do that. Some glass tanks have plastic frames which might counteract this to some extent.
Typically stands are supported at the corners of the tank, and sometimes in between also (like what @berkeman has shown). This would reduce the possibility of the stand flexing. This makes a more clunkier looking stand but it is stronger.

I had a friend who made tank stands from metal, like you are proposing. He would look up in a engineering book how much the square tube metal he was using would flex (there are tables). As @Baluncore said supporting the load across the long dimension of the tube will result in less flex. You might be able to get similar information from where ever you are getting your metal. You might be able to google it up.

It might also be worth considering the kind of metal you intent to use (this will also affect its strength properties). In the fish facilities I ran, we would always use stainless steel. Otherwise you could have corrosion and rusting issues (which would be bad looking and weaken the rack).
In addition to the wood racks in @berkeman's pictures there are also commerically available, slot together mini-warehouse type racks that can work quite well for aquariums. Smaller than the warehouse racks that can hold pallets, but very strong and don't require welding. They are also weight rated.

It is also "traditional" to put a thin sheet of styrofoam under the tank and on top of the wood shelf. This is too even out any small bumps and spread the load.

I did not calculate you volumes (based on your dimensions) and don't know if you added in the weight of the water when the tank is filled. This important since the water will weight more than the tank itself. Water is a bit less that 10 pounds/gallon, if I recall correctly.

Another weight consideration is what will the tank be sitting on and what are the size of its feet. All that weight will be supported by (possibly) a few square inches of surface. This might go right though a floor. some people try to align the feet with joists under a floor. Optimal floor would be a cement slab. Wood floors might even get dented. In some cases you might want to but a thick sheet of plywood under the stand to spread the weight over a larger area of the floor.
 
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  • #10
Lnewqban
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Welcome, Vutum. :cool:

Weldings of those pieces of thin walls are not always reliable connections.
Their locations are where higher levels of moments happen.
For those reasons, it is important liberate them from accidental stresses that tend to deform a rectangular geometry.

Please, see:
http://datagenetics.com/blog/november12014/index.html

You can improve rigidity and strength by adding panels for the three main planes.
Those could be made of wood screwed or riveted to the metal pieces.

Another thing to consider is a mean to level the structure and aquariums once installed.
You will have the level of water running next to the edges and revealing any lack of level, which is not good for stability and distribution of weight.
That could be a form of adjustable screw and nut at the bottom end of each leg.

Best luck with your project.
 
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  • #11
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If the stand flexes too much as @Baluncore discussed, it will put uneven pressure on the base of the tank.
If this happens to glass, it could crack. Plastic tanks would be less likely to do that. Some glass tanks have plastic frames which might counteract this to some extent.
Typically stands are supported at the corners of the tank, and sometimes in between also (like what @berkeman has shown). This would reduce the possibility of the stand flexing. This makes a more clunkier looking stand but it is stronger.

I had a friend who made tank stands from metal, like you are proposing. He would look up in a engineering book how much the square tube metal he was using would flex (there are tables). As @Baluncore said supporting the load across the long dimension of the tube will result in less flex. You might be able to get similar information from where ever you are getting your metal. You might be able to google it up.

It might also be worth considering the kind of metal you intent to use (this will also affect its strength properties). In the fish facilities I ran, we would always use stainless steel. Otherwise you could have corrosion and rusting issues (which would be bad looking and weaken the rack).
In addition to the wood racks in @berkeman's pictures there are also commerically available, slot together mini-warehouse type racks that can work quite well for aquariums. Smaller than the warehouse racks that can hold pallets, but very strong and don't require welding. They are also weight rated.

It is also "traditional" to put a thin sheet of styrofoam under the tank and on top of the wood shelf. This is too even out any small bumps and spread the load.

I did not calculate you volumes (based on your dimensions) and don't know if you added in the weight of the water when the tank is filled. This important since the water will weight more than the tank itself. Water is a bit less that 10 pounds/gallon, if I recall correctly.

Another weight consideration is what will the tank be sitting on and what are the size of its feet. All that weight will be supported by (possibly) a few square inches of surface. This might go right though a floor. some people try to align the feet with joists under a floor. Optimal floor would be a cement slab. Wood floors might even get dented. In some cases you might want to but a thick sheet of plywood under the stand to spread the weight over a larger area of the floor.
I am glad that you spent a lot of time for my project. I am really impressed to see how helpful you people are!

Actually I want to stick to the final visual. I will go for stronger metal tube, if necessary. But I want this view. That's why I wanted to know if physics equations can help me determine if 2"x1/2" Metal Tube is strong enough to take such heavy load. I will definitely put a rubber mat on top of the flat surface to ensure even pressure on the tank bottom. I am an old fish keeper, so you can have faith on me regarding the glass tank. The weight that I mentioned are the final weight after pouring water, tank substrate and rocks. I will really appreciate, if your friend can give his opinion on if I shall go for thicker metal tube or I shall make any other changes. I am bored of seeing traditional aquarium stands, so I made my own design. The aquarium feet will stand on ceramic tiles. I really don't know if ceramic tiles can take such load, but we keep metal almira, bed, fridges on such tiles, but the tiles don't mind.
 
  • #12
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Have you looked much yet at how standard aquarium stands are designed and built? You will see the design features that @Baluncore has been suggesting. Here is a Google Images search on Aquarium Stand DIY to use as a starting point for looking at how folks have been doing this type of project. Many of them are built out of wood (with the wide direction of the wood pieces vertical -- why is that?), but there are also some design ideas for welding DIY stands.

https://www.google.com/search?q=aqu...mg&ei=8phGX4GKB7Xi9AOw5JWoBw&bih=516&biw=1139

View attachment 268397
Thank you for giving your valuable opinion. Yes, I went through them and talked with some local manufacturers as well. I realized that metal frames are stronger than wood, but wood gives aesthetic look to the fish tank. Regarding the design, I wanted to make something uncommon. So I need help from you people to decide the correct material, which is strong enough to support this stand design.
 
  • #13
Dr Transport
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