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How to tell if furniture is a sturdy stand?


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  • Regular Member

Hello! :)

I am considering getting another tank, a 30 gallon, but I am not getting a stand meant for tanks- i am getting a piece of furniture. Does anybody know how to tell if the furniture is sturdy enough to hold a tank? are there some calculations i can do? Or should i jump up and down on it a bunch of times? I don't weigh as much as a 30 gallon tank though, so I'm not sure if that's the best option. Any ideas are appreciated :)

Thank you!

-Mandie :)

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  • Regular Member

A 30 galllon tank will weight minimum 300 pounds. Don't take a risk... buy a tank rated for the tank form a petstore, or buy a wrought iron stand from craigslist, or use cinder blocks.

Not worth having water damage.

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A lot of the petstore stands seem cheap and flimsy, which amazes me. I don't think they are necessarily better than a sturdy piece of furniture. I have my 36 on an antique sewing table, and I don't worry about it at all. And I braced my desk so I could have a desktop tank, and it's fine now.

To decide, you'd have to have a little bit of knowledge and some common sense. Obviously, you'd want something with a sturdy top -- not extra sturdy, but not glass. And it would need vertical support without too much distance between the supports. So, a coffee table that's 3 feet long with legs at each end would have a lot of space between the vertical supports, and that wouldn't be strong enough. And it would have to be fairly rigid, not something that wiggles.

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I kept my 29 on a sewing table before I got my 40. I have to agree with Shawn, most aquarium stands seem flimsier than a well made piece of real furniture,

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As long as the furniture is of solid wood (not pressed or MDF wood) and the vertical supports are directly under the edges of the tank all around it should hold. You don't want the tank in the middle of a desk top for example, unless you add vertical bracing. My 45G is on a piece of furniture. I had to add vertical and cross/horizontal bracing. Not only do you have to think of down pressure of a full tank, but water is not stationary, so shifting weight can cause twisting too.

Store bought stands seem flimsy but they are built with the bracing in the right places for a water filled weight.

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what ever you do, please do not use cinder blocks! They are known to break under weight. I have know people to use them holding cars and have had them break. As far as furniture goes for a stand. Like you said jump on it and if you are worried have a friend jump on it with you. While you think your small weight may not be comparable. Jumping on it is dynamic weight, setting a fish tank on is static weight. Dynamic weight is much harder to hold.

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BUT static weight of the tank has to be held much longer than a person jumping on it for a few minutes. I've heard horror stories of furniture holding for months...then suddenly crash! Better safe than sorry.

Our tanks are not a constant weight either. We empty, fill, empty, fill. A stand or furniture will shift each time. Mine does, I hear it settling every time. Little creaks/snaps. I inspect it every couple months, making sure it is level & square.

Edited by Red
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This is an old picture. :)

Because this in an antique, the top is thicker than it would be on a new piece of furniture. The legs are solid iron, so they are nice and strong. And there are extra braces that come up underneath in the back. The problem with this table is that the top is not perfectly flat, so I am using a piece of foam board between the stand and tank.

5946572955_d181a2c3f5_b.jpg

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That's cool that such a tiny table works!! Could somebody shown me a picture of this "bracing" you are talking about? :)

It might look tiny in the picture, but it's not a small table. The top is an inch thick (if made today, it would be 3/4 of an inch thick), and the legs are solid iron. :)

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