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Construction DIY Aquarium Tank Rack Shelving Stand

  1. Oct 30, 2015 #1
    G'day Forum Members,

    I'm new to the forum I hope to get some great advice here for my projects!

    I have a slow progress DIY tank rack project going on:

    short story I bought a cheap steel shelving system which won't cut it for the project, so I'm going to build a timber setup which will be a lot stronger,
    and allow me to mount piping and equipment directly to the stand as I please

    The rack will hold 3 four foot (52gal) tanks 6mm glass thickness - dims = LxWxH 1220 x 355 x 457mm (48 x 14 x 18inch) complete weight per tank =approx 271kg (597lbs)
    Slimline sumps will be added behind each tank - dims = LxWxH 1137 x 120 x 457mm (45 x 4 x 18inch) complete weight per sump =approx 78kg (172lbs)

    I have chosen to use structural pine 90 x 35mm for the 4 upright columns and 70 x 35mm for the beams and bracing
    column force = mg = total weight of tanks x gravity = force in N = (271*3) + (78*3)= 813+234 =1047*9.81m/s =10,272N

    The shelves will be connected to the columns using dato joints which will remove relying on nails/screws holding the load alone

    Each tank will sit on 10mm foam which will sit on 9mm marine plywood on the shelf

    My brother has a plethora of woodworking equipment so I have access to industrial nail guns, drop saw etc,
    My house is full concrete flooring so no issues there
    House walls are double brick so I can brace it to the wall using dynabolts if absolutely necessary, would like to avoid if possible

    The shelves span 1230mm accross
    the height of the stand will be 2100mm
    the service gap above each tank is tentative however I find 180mm to be enough

    I have created a sketchup design of the rack, attached

    I want to know how to reinforce each shelf to avoid using a support column in the middle of each shelf?
    I am unable to find horizontal stress calculations of timber online, I may be searching the wrong term

    My thoughts are to use 45 degree bracing at the rear of the racking and on the sides with the force pushing to the rear of the stand,
    and using a staggered pattern of cross beams underneath each shelf

    Let me know what measurements your prefer to quote and what sketches you want to see

    Your help is very much appreciated,


    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thread closed temporarily for Moderation...
  4. Oct 30, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, this thread will remain closed. It is too dangerous for you to be asking for DIY help in building something so heavy, and which could cause injury if it fails. It would be best to just use commercially-available aquarium stands for this, or consult a local licensed Professional Engineer to help you.
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