Help: Gap between stand and bottom of rimless aquarium

Andrew Butler

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Thanks Andrew for pointing out the water damage
I did spot it although you have @Hanuman for pointing it out first.
Without knowing your consumer rights in Canada I don't know how to help you pursuing your claim but in the UK ours are surmised by SAD FART:
of a Satisfactory quality As Described / Fit for purpose And last a Reasonable length of Time.
(Too much of a man called Martin Lewis but after being stung myself it's something I've learned a lot about)
It should still be fit for the purpose purchased for.....which it is not
as @hogan53 says this doesn't fit one of the above criteria.
We also so get a certain time after purchase and if it's unused you have far more rights too.

Do you know what an official FireAqua stand looks like? - It looks quite DIY in my opinion.
Plywood can twist very much by itself, not so much in thicker sizes (18mm+)

If you end up having to try and fix it yourself then it's almost as easy to start over again.
 

Nathan G

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Thanks Hanuman :)

That’s a good question about the brand of the stand. It quite likely isn’t a FireAQUA. I’ll try to find out. When I look at pictures online of FireAQUA stands, they appear different (door goes all the way to the top). I’ll also be looking into consumer rights options. *sigh* Might be chalking this up to a learning experience.
 

Hanuman

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Made my day. Sometimes I wonder if the government thinks before releasing acronyms like that. Or perhaps you just made that up?

You definitely need to complain about this. This is not acceptable. The retailler could argue that the twisting and whatnot is because of the low quality of the brand but the water damage honestly that alone can't be justified. In fact I would just ask my money back and try to look for something better quality. But that's just me.

My stand is custom made out of rubber wood planks. Good thing is that rubber wood has good water resistant properties. I paid ~280USD for it. I am conscious I live in Thailand so rubber wood is readily available here and cheap.

ADA stands use MDF/HDF if I am not mistaken.
 
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alto

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ADA stands use MDF/HDF if I am not mistaken.
Depends
ADA markets everything from metal to MDF(type) to real wood to glass

An interesting (very) fine print I was shown re ADA Aquariums - if not placed on an ADA stand, ADA glass aquarium warranty is void
I’m slightly sceptical of this bit of translation :rolleyes:
(but it served its purpose at the time ...)
 

Andrew Butler

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Sometimes I wonder if the government thinks before releasing acronyms like that. Or perhaps you just made that up?
There's a guy in the UK called Martin Lewis who is all about consumer rights and I first heard it come from him.
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/consumer-rights-refunds-exchange/

I'm unsure quite what prices of different timbers are like in Canada but I found a really cost effective way was to use kitchen worktops made from solid hardwoods; you need 4x pieces (2x sides, top and bottom) then separately a back and a door with which you have more flexibility in material.

That’s a good question about the brand of the stand. It quite likely isn’t a FireAQUA. I’ll try to find out. When I look at pictures online of FireAQUA stands, they appear different (door goes all the way to the top). I’ll also be looking into consumer rights options. *sigh* Might be chalking this up to a learning experience.
I think you need to get some info from the retailer and ask what you actually have brought, maybe see what the receipt says too.
Good luck though
 

ian_m

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I suspect you might be able to "fix it" your self, reasonably cheaply.

Place a sheet of 18mm plywood on top of stand, maybe a cloth layer in between to stop the top getting scratched.
  1. Ensure the plywood is larger than top of stand, your local DIY store maybe able to cut a sheet to suitable size.
  2. Ensure the stand is on a level floor. Maybe even a level concrete floor somewhere else in your house, maybe even on another sheet of plywood underneath to protect the feet/bottom of stand.
  3. Place on top of stand (& plywood) a couple of bags of gravel/sand (what ever is cheapest) from local DIY store. Locally I can get 10Kg bags of sand for £1.50 (UK). Could use bricks, but something with some weight. Maybe 50-100Kg ?
  4. Leave stand for a couple of days weighted up.
  5. See if there is any change in "flatness".
  6. If it is flat, get it in place, load it up with tank, substrate and water as quickly as possible before the stand decides to change its mind :cool:
 

zozo

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If you can make it stand without rocking and its a permanent place to stand for many years. You could use casting epoxy to level the top.
This you can dy black or possibly buy in black. Than you need to clamp a wooden rim around the top a few mm higher, high enough to cover teh complete bulge, make sure the rim is level all around. Laminate the rim inside with Transparent office tape, this does not addhere to cured epoxy resin. Also use a tiny bit silicone inside the rim corner to prevent resin leaking out.

Than cast the top with epoxy resin till its completely covered.. Its almost as thin as water and we all know water always levels.. Let it cure, take the rim off again and polish the 3 corner sides in view smooth and shiny. I guess since its only millimeters, you'll be done with less than 1/2 litre resin.

And the top is flat, using the correct color you might not see the difference, but you can use always some paint if needed. To paint teh sides, after all the top will not be seen since the aqaurium stands on it.
 
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Andrew Butler

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I understand your approach @ian_m and @zozo - there's lots of answers but none are going to get rid of the water damage or the bow in the sides and if @Nathan G is concerned over this then there's only one realistic option - build/buy a new cabinet.
You may be able to use an approach to try square the cabinet back up using force (part of what Ian is trying to achieve) but that won't fix the problem with the bow in the top or sides of the cabinet or the suggested side, back and front pieces not being straight. If you get everything else sorted so you can do this and try Ians method then I'd put packers in opposing corners (ones touching the floor are packed up) to try and take the twist out a little easier.
If you are to try and go down the route Ian suggests I personally would just give it up as a bad job if you get nowhere with the retailer. The more pictures you show, the more it looks of appalling build quality along with materials at fault
One important thing to look at is how the straight edge sits on the pieces that surround the top.
After looking at the pictures I'd guess the back is made up of 1/2", the sides and front of 3/4" then the top is sat inside these pieces on an internal support of some kind, probably like the bottom. If theses side, back and front pieces are not straight then that's going to make it impossible to flatten out as it is; let alone take the twist out. If you can remove the inset top, then with a saw or router lower the borders so they are flat you might find it easier to put a piece of wood straight over the border pieces and not inset as it is.
Water damage can only be cut away so that depends how bad it is to what you could do.
Hopefully this all makes sense?

I still think getting/building a new one is by far an easier option.
Everyone has an opinion and this is part of mine.
 

Nathan G

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Thanks @ian_m and @zozo for your diy suggestions. I'm weighing the pros and cons of trying to make the stand work vs. sourcing out a different one. However, my wife may be the deciding factor since she has very little faith in the stand at this point.

After looking at the pictures I'd guess the back is made up of 1/2", the sides and front of 3/4"
Good guess! Just confirmed those are the measurements. And that the piece on the top is 3/4" thick.

Water damage can only be cut away so that depends how bad it is
The squishiness requires some good pressure to be noticeable when squeezing the bottom plywood. But it's hard to tell how high it goes up the left side since the stand bottom prevents me from seeing any higher, so it's a question mark as to if it's a dealbreaker or not.

I've also been able to confirm the stand's brand is called Purity. Unfortunately here in Canada, it seems there isn't another option for a stand (other than ADA which is out of my budget).

While I pursue a refund / exchange from the shop owner, I'm going to start pricing out other options as many have suggested for getting it built for me locally. Wish I could diy it, but I don't have the tools, let alone experience building anything with wood. A couple months ago, I did get one quote from a local cabinet making company that was more than an ADA stand, but I'm hopeful there are other cheaper options.
 

Hanuman

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The squishiness requires some good pressure to be noticeable when squeezing the bottom plywood. But it's hard to tell how high it goes up the left side since the stand bottom prevents me from seeing any higher, so it's a question mark as to if it's a dealbreaker or not.
That alone is an enough reason to not use that stand. Honestly why even risk it.

I'm going to start pricing out other options as many have suggested for getting it built for me locally.
That is a good option and probably will cost you less than buying an ADA stand, which as for everything ADA related is usually outrageously expensive, borderline rip-off. Canada is a wood producing country so you should be able to find good wood. Stay away from pine. It's not good when water is present. Wood needs to be treated anyway.
 

Nathan G

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I've heard back from the store owner, and he's agreed to take back the aquarium for store credit, which I've done. Given I picked up the aquarium just under two months ago, I feel this is fair.

I've been looking for someone local to make a stand for me, but quotes I'm getting back so far are $1000 CAD or higher, which is over three times the cost of the Purity stand. I realize I need to increase my budget for the stand, but hoping I can get one made in the $600 range.
 

alto

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quotes I'm getting back so far are $1000 CAD or higher,
I wonder if there’s some misunderstanding of what’s required for the build

Have you taken some stand design plans with you to discuss?
(I believe there are some detailed plans on one of the ukaps threads)

I’d expect to pay up to double the Purity price - it’s not a complicated build and finish should be fairly simple
Advantage of custom build should be ability to include slide out filter canister shelf ( as in the Oase stands) etc

Well done on achieving the shop credit (better than initial offer!) - don’t let it sit too long
 

Nathan G

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Have you taken some stand design plans with you to discuss?
The plans I've communicated are quite high level, which may be the problem. High level specs I've sent when seeking quotes...

25 gallon rimless aquarium (no framing holds the glass panels together, only silocone does). The dimensions I'm looking for are 60cm wide, 40cm deep, and 75cm tall. The top needs to be perfectly flat, the stand needs to be able to hold 300lbs (weight of water, stone, and wood in the aquarium), made with wood, and have a waterproof finish. Similar look as the following pictures - https://azure.wgp-cdn.co.uk/app-practicalfishkeeping/gear/50cf24202f442.jpg and https://azure.wgp-cdn.co.uk/app-practicalfishkeeping/gear/50cf2421c0a51.jpg

One local cabinet maker responded with the following and an estimate $1000+:

The example you’ve provided looks like it has plastic laminate exterior with birch or cherry interior. There are many varieties of P-lam patterns, colors and styles to choose from. Estimate for cabinet with your choice of P-lam exterior and select graded ply.​

I realize I'll still need to give actual measurements for things like where the holes are and how big, etc. But does any have any suggestions on how I could clarify what I'm wanting in a way that may lead to a lower cost?

Advantage of custom build should be ability to include slide out filter canister shelf ( as in the Oase stands) etc
Good call!
 
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zozo

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I once made a stand from 1" Steel Gaspipe with scafolding couplings. This type:

It seems not to be named scafolding coupling in English, don't know the proper Eng term for it.
type-06-bks.jpg


Anyway i created a table frame with these type of couplings with a 1,5" wooden top. The good thing is, because the couplings are bolted, the frame can be leveled very easy if the floor is not. Than if you take a bottom shelf on the floor, essamble the fram on it level it out, place a top shelf, screw side panels to it and mount some doors in. You can place additional shelfs inside with ease.

From the outside it will look as an ordinary cabinet, no need for a difficult labor intensive and expensive reinforced wood construction.. Inside it will have a rocksteady heavy dutty steel frame that goes nowhere for ages it'll survive an earthquack, not susceptible to water damage etc.

And very cost effective actualy simple building kit and you don't realy need to be a DIY wizzard for it.

Just an idea if you are on a budget..

Steel frame
dscf4972-kopie-jpg.jpg


With table tops
dscf5082-jpg.jpg


Later on i decided to move it to an other room give it side panels and doors.
dscf7426-jpg.jpg


I made it a bit shabby chick old school industrial looking. Depending on your wood working skills you can go many ways. The strenght is in the steel frame, the wood is the dress. If i ever plan to move it again and since its an old house as croocked as hell. It can be leveled and costumized again to a different floor level with ease..

For $ 1000 i'll make you 4 of these in any style you like..
 
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zozo

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The top is 4 pieces of solid Douglas timber 40 x 87.5 mm screwed and glued and secured togehter. Uses 12 pieces, 6 x 120mm screws. Than it went through planing machine again leaving a solid and flat 35mm thick top. It rest on the couplings and already stands for about 5 years now without issues. The tank is 90x35x35cm, that's peanuts for such a heavy duty construction.

I wanted it in teak color wood and used old wood what i still had in the shed.

As said you could go a number of ways to dress and hide a steel frame with wood as long as the top can support the tanks weight. I didn't measure but i believe the couplings are 5mm thick, than place 5mm plywood on the bars and screw that to a larger 16mm panel resting again on the couplings. Than it will rest on both over the complete surface.

As said the hous i live in is old and crooked all that stands rocks in every corner differently. This was the best and cheapest solution for me to build someting adjustable no matter where i put it. :)
 

Nathan G

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Thanks for the idea @zozo! I'll consider a gas pipe solution. Seems incredibly sturdy, and may be within my DIY skills.

Another economical idea I'm thinking of is using the Ikea HAVSTA cabinet as a starting point, and reinforcing it really good. Here are my thoughts so far...
Would it be a good idea to waterproof the top of the cabinet with something like varnish?

Would this be sufficient reinforcement and stability?
 

Hanuman

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Another economical idea I'm thinking of is using the Ikea HAVSTA cabinet
Why not but I am skeptical. Read below. I would rather do what Marcel did. Those pipes will not only last but will be extremely strong. You could add over 20 tanks on top of that structure that it would not budge. Dont quote me on the number, you get the idea! ;)

Instead of using the base that comes with the cabinet for the base of the cabinet (12 cm height), use it to reinforce at the top - trim the front and back panels to fit inside the cabinet's width, and mount as a support right under the cabinet top width-wise at the front and rear (screwed in from the cabinet's sides)
  • Trim the two side panels to fit between these two panels and screw them together to form an H underneath the cabinet top
  • Guess I could also use 2 x 4 lumber for this type of reinforcement
Yes could work and I would say required.

Personally I would definitely not use those because you would be focusing all the weight in 4 points rather than distributing the weight along the panels spine (bigger surface area thus less weight per cm). If your cabinet will be sitting on a wood floor then even more definitely NOT. Look at what @zozo did. He added two pieces of wood under each side else his floor would have deep markings.

2 beefy L brackets per corner 12" length down the side (10" on the top leaves room for the cross beam of the H, as describe above) - https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07HYCCSGT/
Definitely needed but also reinforcing from top to bottom with lumber wood on each side 4 sides.

Make a hole in the cabinet top for the canister tubing and use some sort of hole cover (there's 20cm total to work as the aquarium only takes up 60cm of the 80cm width) -
10cm each side if you place the aquarium on the center which I would recommend for even weight transfer. Personally I would make the hole on either lateral sides like on traditional tank cabinets.

Would it be a good idea to waterproof the top of the cabinet with something like varnish?
Since you are at it I would waterproof the whole cabinet not just the top.

Would this be sufficient reinforcement and stability?
Not sure because my little finger tells me that Ikea doesn't actually use a solid wood panel for the back. They usually use some 2/3mm MDF boards foldable in the middle. This allows the cabinet to be contained in a smaller package. This means you would also need to add a proper solid wood back to that cabinet.

Also I do own a few Ikea furniture made of solid pine wood (table, book shelves, coat hanger, Buddha stand) and let me tell you that although they are solid pine would you can actually mark the wood easily with your nail if you push a bit. Pine is a softwood. Needless to say what will happen when you put over 100Kg on it (water + tank + hardscape). Those Ikea cabinets can be woobly as well so maximum reinforcement is a must.

I would be you I would go down the @zozo route. His cabinet is fantastic and it will last you an eternity. Plus it has the benefit of you being able to make the exact size you want and customize it as you see fit. Plus again since the pipes are the ones supporting the weight you can chose even very cheap wood to make the sides, back and front. It wouldn't matter in regards to the integrity of the cabinet. The top wood panel would probably the one that matters because it is where the tank is resting so it would need to be thick enough and durable. Final plus, it will probably be cheaper!
 
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