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  1. #1
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    Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    Hi all-

    I picked up a tank from someone who was getting out of the hobby. I'm three months in and my tank chemistry is good (all bad stuff at 0) and fish and corals are doing well. Some of the mushroom corals have divided and I have about 30 baby snails that seem to be doing pretty well.

    Since it looks like the aquarium is going to make it I want to replace the homemade tank stand with something a little more professional looking. It is a 55 gal unit and is aproximately 48" long by 12" deep. I have seen some tank stands at the LFS but I was wondering if a standard wall cabinet would work. They are widely available in dimensions up to 48 by 12 and can be purchased with many different finishes (oak, maple, laminate, etc). They appear to be somewhat nicer looking than the stands I've seen at the LFS.

    My question is does anyone have experience using a wall cabinet for a tank stand? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    Haven't used a cabinet but I did use a coffee table one time for a 38 gallon. I think the cabinet would be fine as long as it is sized appropriately for the tank and made well enough to hold the weight of the tank.

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    1 gal = 8lbs if memory serves me correctly so 8x55=440lbs of water plust the weight of the tank and any other accesories. So do you think this cabinet will hold 500+ lbs? If so then I would put it to the test....load up 500lbs+ of stuff on it and see if it starts giving might want to do it in increments. I personally wouldnt even attempt something like this its too dangerous...especially if you have any particle board or composite boards in there cuz the first sign of moisture on those boards and then they just turn to mush. If it was a 20g I might say its worth a shot but yer talkin alot of weight and probably $$ ridin on that cabinet that may only save you a couple of bucks. Why not just build one?
    Rocky


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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    using a cabinet sounds like a good idea but it's not and here is why. Cabinets fronts are usually attached with stapples to the side and the backs are quite flimsy. So even if you use a cabinet made entirelly out of plywood, your tank will be really only supported by the sides of the cabinet. Keep in mind that cabinets are made to hold about 100lbs and your tank is going to be around 500lb. The good news id that you can modify a cabinet to work by removing the front and put it back together with liquid nails in the joints and you would have reinforce the back as well. Of course you don't want to use the particle board cabinets either cause the moisture will eventually get in it and disintegrate it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    I was planning to buy only solid wood cabinets...I realized particleboard would be an issue if it got wet. The other idea I had was to look at 2 24" wide cabinets placed next to each other. The idea here was to give extra strong support in the middle.

    I'll have to have a closer look at the ones available locally and see how the front and back are assembled. I'm sure they are strong enough on the ends but I'll have to look at the fronts and backs to see how they are put together.

    If I decide to build one myself does anyone have sample plans that they would be willing to share?

    Thanks,
    Mike

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    My 125 Gal tank sits on two solid oak cabinets. I did go through and sturdy it up a little just to be safe. I havent seen any indication of a problem. My tank is less than a year old though.

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    I'm thinkin' that 2x4 bracing on the inside probably wouldn't hurt. I may try this myself.

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    The eaiest way to build a quick cabinet is to go and buy some cylinder blocks from Home Depot, etc. Paint them black, lay 2 x 12s across the top. Depending on the size of the tank you can arrange them differently for support. If you don't want the middle open, pick up some velcro the same place (or Wal-Mart) and then find some waterproof posterboard from an arts and crafts store. Cut the posterboard to cover the front and you instantly have a removable cover for your very sturdy stand. It honestly doesn't look too bad, and if you're unsure what you want to go with permanently it is cheap and will get you through until you decide on a permanent solution. There is one type of poster board that is hard to find, but incredibly waterproof, and makes good cabinet, I use it for a quasi (not functional hood) to cover my lights. You slice one side of it with a razor blade and it makes 90 degree bends. You can see it in this picture, my stand is a metal frame for a 120 with a wood cabinet built around it for aesthetic purposes. You can see the poster board around the light looks as good as the cabinet.
    Tom
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    "No dear, there's no water on the floor near all those electrical cords!"

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    Citizen tholleyh46's Avatar
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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    If anyone is interested in this "posterboard" it is called COROPLAST, looks like plastic cardboard. I bought it in Japan at their version of Home Depot, haven't been able to find it in the US and was looking to replace it, contacted one of my Japanese friends to find out what it is called. Apparently here you can get it from plastics companies and sign shops, I went to Michaels today thinking I'd find some and they didn't have any.

    In my opinion, this stuff should be a staple for aquariums. If you take a look at you'll see what I mean with it being able to make bends, link below, I'm going to find a sheet longer than 48" so I don't have a seam in the middle.

    Coroplast - The Leading Manufacturer of Corrugated Plastic
    Tom
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    "No dear, there's no water on the floor near all those electrical cords!"

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    You could make a stand and buy cabinet doors instead of making a door

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    I'm thinking that your typical table/cabinet is not rated for the 460 lbs of water plus 60 lbs of rock and the 78 lb tank. I mean that would be like 4 grown men standing on a table at once.
    If you're ever in Burlington/Elon/Gibsonville, NC check out Piedmont Fish and Reptile @ 961 Burlington Ave Ste E Gibsonville, NC. Best fish store in NC.

    Also check out Geoff @ PF&R at http://www.piedmontfishandreptile.com/

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    If you want to keep it isolated one of the neatest ideas I've seen is using a shelving unit with multiple shelves. A bunch of people on nano-reef used them. Seems to be a good idea.

    If you think about it, it's a self contained unit. The light hangs from the top of the shelf, sump goes below, tank in middle. Very clean look. Costco had the shelf for like $60, and it supported like 1500lbs, so weight wasn't an issue. May be something to look into, or if you build your own be sure to incorporate all three parts (if you plan on hanging lights).

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    i have a oak cabinet built up against my wall and its pretty sturdy and ive used it for 2 to 3 tanks at a time. I would say build a cabinet your self out of good materials, compared to buying a stand at a store your money will go farther and you'll have alot of extra $$$ just dont cut corners on building(not saying you would) ;)

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    WoW. People are still commenting on this old thread. I'm sure he has a stand by now. Some pics would be nice tho. Da Bears.

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    And if you check out the store bought stands, you see they are made of particle board and hold the wieght. Its all in the way it is built.

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    Re: Can I use wall cabinets for an aquarium stand?

    there may be particle board on the back of cabinets, but the flavor of cabinet that is hung on walls is supporting the weight from the back illustrating the strength in the woodstruts @ the back of this type of cabinet. the weight bearing straight down on the wood and into the grain is considerable. the particle board is to stop spreading. An egg can hold 20#'s or more standing on end. I thought it to be a neat idea. I bought the 180 pre-owned and the previous owner re-enforced the LFS/Manu. stand w/ 2x4's front back and cntr. good move.


 

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