Strengthening the steel stand
by, 11-04-2013 at 02:25 AM (4082 Views)
After placing the 60g AGE tank on the Ez-Tube steel stand ( link ), I didn't feel comfortable with how it seemed to jiggle with minimal touch. It was empty, but the tank is heavy enough that it takes two people to place it on the stand. Water, sand and rock would add 600 lbs easily, and there's little doubt it would be even worse over time. Even cleaning the glass with a cleaning magnet would probably be concerning, so I decided to add some wood panels to the stand to limit racking. Plywood adds shearing strength, locking the frame up nicely.
Using plywood is smart since water damage causes other materials to weaken. I found some nice 3/8"-thick birch at Home Depot. I cut two pieces and painted them with black paint on both sides and all edges. I found some self-tapping screws designed to screw into steel, although I did have to pre-drill 1/8" pilot holes due to the thickness of the steel.
The offset of the back panel was to allow plumbing to feed through the back and then through the wall.
Using some small pieces of acrylic, I wedged 1/8" to 1/4" shims under the corners of the stand to level the tank. Then I added rinsed sand and 3g of saltwater for some additional weight, and tested how solid the tank felt. It's much better.
I may need to screw one more panel on the left side, but I was hoping to keep that one removable for storage. When the tank is running, I'll decide. Fortunately, it's fully accessible so securing a panel on this side would be simple. If this stand was shorter, I have a feeling the wiggle factor wouldn't have been as concerning.