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Project: A Steel Stand For The Glass Reef


An up and running 375gal display tank, with water sand, rocks, etc. can weigh in excess of 5000 lbs. That weight has to supported safely and solidly, without the possibility of vibration, tipping, etc. For a tank this large, building a stand out of wood is possible, but the dimensions of the lumber that would have to be used would cause the structure to be so massive that very little room would remain, beneath the tank, for the needed sump and other equipment, such as pumps. For this reason, I decided to go with a steel stand. Such a stand can be built very stability out of 1-1/2" square steel tubing. Properly designed, to include sufficient bracing, such a stand is rock solid and the compactness of the steel tubing leaves plenty of room, within the frame, to work with.

As I know very little about welding, I had the stand made, according to my specifications, by a local fellow, Jeff Robinson of JR Fabrications. Jeff did a great job! I'm really pleased with how the stand turned out. As mentioned, above, it's made of 1-1/2" Sq. steel tubing.

Here's a pic of the raw material already cut to size:

Here, the welding of the pieces comprising the base is completed:

In the next pic, the basic frame is done. Just the bracing, for lateral stiffness needs to be added:

Here it is, all framed up! All the braces will ensure that it is "torsionally" up to snuff.

And a quick pic from the end. Braces here too. Notice the overhang of the upper surface, to the right. That overhang will fit into the cutout in the wall where the tank will sit. You can see that better in a couple of later pics.:

All that needs to be done now is to have the stand powder coated a nice white color. That will ensure that all the saltwater splashing around the fish room won't be able to coax the stand into rusting.

Here's the stand in its final position, in the fish room. You can see dark shadows under the bottom of some portions of the stand. That is where it is not touching the floor. When the house was built, the fellas that did the slab weren't in a good mood. I'm going to have to do a lot of leveling...

And a bit closer:

I had little flanges welded on so that I can fasten the plywood sheet that will cover the stand:

And finally, here you can see how the stands fits into the wall opening:




wow says...
what a build!
8th June 2015 8:16pm

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