tank racks... need help

tank racks... need help

Postby geminianspark » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:57 pm

I wasn't sure where to put this so here's my question:

I bought a set of racks to put tanks on:
Image

Box said it will hold up to 4000lbs. Unfortunately, the shelves are made of particle board which A)if exposed to water will absorb the water and fall apart and B) by itself isn't strong enough to hold the weight of the tanks full of water.

I have thought of several options but would like some more experienced opinions so please offer me some opinions!!!!

My thoughts: '
A) i could paint the shelves with epoxy type paint to seal them and the brace them with 2x4s underneath but that will take up valuable vertical space.

B) i have SOME experience with fiberglass via surfboard repair so in theory, could i lay out some fabric and glass each shelf? I KNOW it would be water tight, but do you think it would be strong enough to hold the weight... and also, would it be cost effective?

C) buy thick plywood and seal it...

got any other ideas or improvements to mine?

and one more pic of the corners so you can see how the shelf sits on the braces:
Image

thanks!!
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Re: tank racks... need help

Postby rsman » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:14 am

plan c, get some 2x4's and build your own stand
GONE!!!
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Re: tank racks... need help

Postby geminianspark » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:18 am

single mom... minimal tools... minimal tool experience.... and the list goes on... this is what i got and i'm trying to make it work... got any ideas?
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Re: tank racks... need help

Postby rsman » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:45 am

ive considered those stands on many ocasions, especially due to there very very low price .... every time it comes down to the simple answers.

the particle board would need to be water proof, then it can handle the weight ( but if it gets damp ...... )
the metal will rust ( but you can use a better sealer on the metal )

re bracing takes space

but the particle board can be painted with a few thin coats of killz2 then 2x4's can just sit across one on the front one on the back on TOP of the shelf layed on there long side so your only 1 3/4"ths of lost space dont attach the 2x4's to anything you will weaken not the 2x4's but the metal or particle board, and the weight of any tank will keep them down.

then before putting the wood on get some of that rust removing primer, and any spot you think you might see bare metal, sprey 4 or 5 nice thin coats on that spot. then put the shelves and 2x4's in place
GONE!!!
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Re: tank racks... need help

Postby Waldend » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:54 am

I believe I have the same exact racks and would recommend you use these with caution. Mine is working but I had to make some mods. First off, when you load it with tanks the plywood will bow. I already had my tanks on it and filled so I had to build some extra bracing. I cut a 2x4 the width of the shelf and then cut (2) 2x4 risers the just barely longer than the distance between the cross 2x4 and the shelf below it. This helped with the bowing and gave more support on the ends. As long as you keep the risers in line and then put a block under the bottom shelf for support it worked ok. I am now noticing a slight bow even with this however. The second and more serious concern is that the metal braces will bow out in the centers, allowing the shelf to drop. Luckily mine was the bottom shelf almost on the floor and only that side dropped but I am keeping a close eye on all braces. I had to drain the tanks to get it fixed. I have my shelf against the wall and have a 2x4 parallel to the floor mounted on the wall which I then screwed the shelf to in order to prevent tipping and provide some rigidity. If you do this I would also recommend a 2x4 piece behind each shelf to help prevent the previously mentioned bowing. All in all, I ended up buying 2x4's and gray paint for them so I would just recommend building a 2x4 stand. That was a lot to explain, if you have any questions please let me know.
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Re: tank racks... need help

Postby BaboonScience » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:14 am

One other thought to add to Waldend's input.
Those metal shelf braces are made of roll formed sheet metal, I believe. This means that their strength rests in a straight brace. If the braces bend too far out of shape, they could kink, with catastrophic results. Is it possible for you to screw a 2x4 (or 2x2 even) behind the load bearing braces to keep them from distorting.

BTW, if the tanks are positioned to overhang the braces, there is no need for the flooring. Glass is exceptionally strong edge on. In fact, all of my tanks rest on 2x4 racks with no other support than the four contact points with the 2x4s. I have never had a problem (30 years and change). There are some pictures of my racks in one of the "show us your fish room" threads.
John
"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth" Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696)
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Re: tank racks... need help

Postby geminianspark » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:40 am

okay, between this site and a two others with the same question posted... i am convinced that using this rack is just asking for disaster. So, that brings me to a new question: I've seen how stands are put together to hold one tank.... but how do you build racks to hold multiple shelves of tanks??? Anyone got any pics or references they can point me to? And advice on making sure it's stable.... like type of wood used, what to seal the wood with.... do i use nails or screws.... VERY VERY basic carpentry skills here and if i were to get someone to build it for me, they wouldn't be fish tank prodigy's so i'd need specific details to tell them what i need.

Thanks for all your help... you guys offered some VERY detailed information and I REALLY appreciate all the help...!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: tank racks... need help

Postby PaulG » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:22 am

gemini spark wrote:okay, between this site and a two others with the same question posted... i am convinced that using this rack is just asking for disaster. So, that brings me to a new question: I've seen how stands are put together to hold one tank.... but how do you build racks to hold multiple shelves of tanks??? Anyone got any pics or references they can point me to? And advice on making sure it's stable.... like type of wood used, what to seal the wood with.... do i use nails or screws.... VERY VERY basic carpentry skills here and if i were to get someone to build it for me, they wouldn't be fish tank prodigy's so I'd need specific details to tell them what i need.

Thanks for all your help... you guys offered some VERY detailed information and I REALLY appreciate all the help...!!!!!!!!!!



Here is what I've been using for the brood-stock system (4'ft tanks)

Image

Image

Image

Image



Its sturdy & has been stable for 2.5 years now?
You could either make multiple units or if you wanted them to be longer, add a support in the middle & it would be fine.

The materials this one uses is 90 x 35 mm structural pine. I did build another but made it out of 90 x 45 & prefer this size lumber as it just gives a little bit extra safety factor.

And they are really easy to build, all you need is a hand saw, chisel, hand drill & some patience although a power saw is a better option & once you start buying tools you'll find PLENTY of other things to use them for ;)

I should also add I do have a heavy duty racking that I use for the larval/grow-out system as per below

Image

If your wondering why I went down the path of the metal racks.... they were cheaper than what it would of cost me in materials to make them out of lumber!

HTH

PaulG
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Re: tank racks... need help

Postby geminianspark » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:26 pm

thanks paul.... espically for the encouragement and for the pics of how you put the wood racks together... that helps alot... .now i just have to build up my confidence and give it a try. THANKS!!!
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