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My DIY multi-tiered rack


DukeOfYabon
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I've decided that I am quite enjoying this fishy business, however the current mandate from "the boss" is no tanks in the main part of the house. She thinks my fish are creepy! :( I know that my Oscar has shifty eyes, but I think he is beautiful!

I have a loft area that I use as a home office and this is where my current setup is. To solve the space issue I decided to build a functional multi-tiered rack. I'm pretty handy at building stuff but can't design or draw, so huge thanks to Dan from cichlid-forum.com who came up with the design of the rack.

As Dan was from the US I had to stand on my head to understand the plans. There was a bit of give and take in the measurements as the 2x4 I decided to use was 90x45mm MGP10 pine, not the prescribed 3.5"x 1.5". A restriction I have is that the rack will be located within a small alcove area, which imposed height and width restrictions.

Here are the plans:

IPB Image

IPB Image

There is some really useful info in the full plans if you want to take a look: The Full Plans

Here is what the stand will hold:

  • two 30 gallon 3' tanks on top (114 litres each: 915mm x 305mm x 430mm) - I have not yet purchased either
  • a 4 foot 55 gallon (220 litres) and 20 gallon (76 litre) on the middle tier - I own the 55 gallon but not the 20 gallon
  • my cannister filter (for the 55 gallon) and a 29 gallon tank (110 litre - 760mm x 300mm x 460mm) on the bottom tier - I currently own both.

My Oscar occupies the 55 gallon, but long-term I plan to move him into something bigger elsewhere and take over the 55 gallon for breeding as well. The 29 gallon tank will be for shellies; I've delayed buying these until the rack is complete.

The other three tanks will be for breeding dwarf cichlids, not sure which ones yet.

I've completed the front frame, everything is square so I'm feeling happy. I'll post some pics of progress later tonight.

As they say, "Build it and they will come". I hope this also applies to fish.

Cheers,

Jason

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The front and rear frames are completed. Here is a pic of my rear frame with a first coat of paint (my fav. colour at the moment: "Mary-Janes"). The top bar will be installed when I link the front and rear frames together.

IPB Image

Here is a closeup of a join showing the "wood on wood" concept, maximising the strength of the rack.

IPB Image

Cheers,

Jason

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  • 2 weeks later...

One problem I can see is that the top two tanks aren't supported properly IMO.

If the top beam bows it could cause a lot of pressure to be placed on the right hand tank base and make it crack.

Josh

Edited by Josh
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I'm inclined to agree with Josh.

In my opinion it's always best to have the ends of the tanks resting on the strongest part of the stand (uprights).

You mention that you haven't purchased the top tanks yet. It might be worth considering some different tank dimensions so that they end up sitting on that vertical post instead :)

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Thank for the advice. I have just spent 8 days in hospital and started dreaming of eating algae wafers instead of the hospital food :). But I'm back on my feet and on the project and I can understand what you are saying about the top tanks. I indeed do not have these yet, so I'll consider what I can do. Any further input is most welcome.

Cheers,

Jason

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