Is this safe? o_O

Zak Rafik

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Hi everyone :)

I hope to get some advice or experience from the members here. Thanx in advance:thumbup:.
So here goes.....

I'm planning to get a solid wood cabinet (L:4ft x B:2ft x H:2.5ft) from a buddy of mine who had previously used it for a 4ft planted tank. The cabinet is in good condition except for minor scratches here and there.

Also I'm planning to get a brand new braceless tank ( for planted....of course....what else:lol:).
The dimensions of the proposed tank will be L: 4 feet x B: 2.5ft x H: 1.5ft (Approx vol: 450 litres / 120 US gal)

According to the dimensions stated above, there is a difference of 6 inches / 15 cm in the breadth of the tank and cabinet. Meaning the tank is 15 cm longer than the cabinet.
I'm planning to have the front of the tank placed flush with the front of the cabinet.
The length of the tank and cabinet is the same (4ft /120cm)

Now my question is :
A) Is this safe for the tank to have about 15cm protruding at the back with no support from the cabinet.
(Please see the drawing below for a clearer idea)

B) What else can I do to make this tank and cabinet safe?

p.s. the cabinet in the picture below is not the actual cabinet I'm getting. This is for illustration purpose only

Tank%20amp%20Cabinet%20size_zpsimy2lqbu.jpg

I chanced on this tank on the net. It's built by Eheim. If you notice, there is a small length of the tank not supported by the cabinet. I have marked it with red lines. This picture got me inspired to try something similar with my setup.

Tank%20sample_zps3l4zwflb.jpg
 

Aqua360

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The Eheim one is supported at the bottom.

For your idea, why not add wood to the back of the cabinet your friend is giving you? This will strengthen the cabinet as well as providing the support underneath
 

Sarpijk

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Cheers for the very detailed presentation! Having said that I wouldn't go for such a big tank without full and proper support. Better safe than sorry?
 

Zak Rafik

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Cheers for the very detailed presentation! Having said that I wouldn't go for such a big tank without full and proper support. Better safe than sorry?
Hi Sarpljk,
Thanks for your compliment with regards to the details.:)
I know what you mean by "better safe than sorry". I share the same concern.
Do you think 15cm of the tank protruding at the back will in anyway compromise the safety of the tank?
The main reason I'm attempting this method is save some $$$ on the cabinet. I have enquired many tank makers in my country and it's not cheap.:arghh:
Furthermore my friend's cabinet is made of solid wood ( meaning not laminated plywood). A solid wood cabinet will cost me many times more.

Cheers
 

Tim Harrison

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Zak Rafik

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Yes it will...don't do it, it's not worth ito_O

Hi Tim,
OK how about as @Aqua360 mentioned about having some form of support at the bottom of the tank. Please take a look at the two plans I have drawn up and let me know what you think.
If plywood is not suitable, I can get solid wood material also.

Apart from wood, what other types of material would be suitable for support in such a scenario?

I hope to gather as much info and feedback from the experiences of fellow members.
Cheers.
The Eheim one is supported at the bottom.

For your idea, why not add wood to the back of the cabinet your friend is giving you? This will strengthen the cabinet as well as providing the support underneath


Plan A: Have heavy duty plywood at the bottom of tank and have it placed flush with the front of the cabinet.
Fish%20cabinet%20plan%20A_zpspplxg8at.jpg


Plan B: Have heavy duty plywood at the bottom of tank BUT have the tank placed in the centre of the cabinet with equal spce at the front and back.
Fish%20cabinet%20plan%20B_zps1nxefokm.jpg
Image credit : Plywood and cabinet images from Google
 

ian_m

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Do not overhang the tank the weight will crack the bottom sheet. As explained 18mm or more plywood would support the weight fine. Maybe two sheets of 18mm ply would be better. Remember to varnish to prevent escaped and spilt water damage.
 
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I would also advise going with the eheim (also aqua one and jewel use this theory on some of their tanks) theory. Put an extra top on the cabinet you are getting, which matches the footprint of the tank. I would consider having a matching base (it does not have to be as large, but if you have a base that is slightly larger than the actual cabinet footprint, it mirrors the shelf on top and looks more natural). 18mm marine ply will be fine. As would HDF. You need to seal whatever you buy, and you need to do it on BOTH sides or any sealant/paint may cause the wood to warp slightly (although unlikey with 18mm). You can even get self adhesive vinyl in woodgrain style, or probably whatever colour your cabinet is. Another alternative is Granite. Its not cheap, but you can get it from any stonemason cut to size and they will advise you on how best to stick it to the top of the cabinet. I'm no carpenter, but id imagine for this purpose, some kind of no-nails product would do the job :) Lots of options, but the key thing is YES you must support the entire footprint of the tank.
 

Zak Rafik

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Do not overhang the tank the weight will crack the bottom sheet. As explained 18mm or more plywood would support the weight fine. Maybe two sheets of 18mm ply would be better. Remember to varnish to prevent escaped and spilt water damage.

Hi Ian_m, How are you? :)
Awesome tip! Thanks.
Now that I study both the plans A & B, I more comfortable with Plan B, where the tank is equally space. What do you think? Plan B?
Aside from having two pieces of 18mm plywood, I also plan to have rubber mat placed in between the tank and the plywood ( similar to the one below). Any thing else I should be aware of or take into consideration?
Cheers. Have an awesome weekend ahead.:thumbup:
IM10545-2.jpg
 

Zak Rafik

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I would also advise going with the eheim (also aqua one and jewel use this theory on some of their tanks) theory. Put an extra top on the cabinet you are getting, which matches the footprint of the tank. I would consider having a matching base (it does not have to be as large, but if you have a base that is slightly larger than the actual cabinet footprint, it mirrors the shelf on top and looks more natural). 18mm marine ply will be fine. As would HDF. You need to seal whatever you buy, and you need to do it on BOTH sides or any sealant/paint may cause the wood to warp slightly (although unlikey with 18mm). You can even get self adhesive vinyl in woodgrain style, or probably whatever colour your cabinet is. Another alternative is Granite. Its not cheap, but you can get it from any stonemason cut to size and they will advise you on how best to stick it to the top of the cabinet. I'm no carpenter, but id imagine for this purpose, some kind of no-nails product would do the job :) Lots of options, but the key thing is YES you must support the entire footprint of the tank.

This is fantastic. So much helpful points within a few hours. Luv it!:D

I live in an apartment where I'm not able to do painting or sealing of stuff ( aka "NO DIY HERE" zone:thumbdown:, furthermore my wife would not approve of it even if I can do it:p),
BUT I'm lucky to know of a shop nearby which sells all kinds of plywoods and such. What's your opinion about laminated 18mm plywoods ( like the one below). I'm very sure the shop can do it jiffy.

Cheers.

Laminated-Plywood.jpg
 

alto

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Yes Plan B :)

Laminated is fine BUT all edges need to be completely sealed against water, depending on the top & bottom finish, I'd have this aggressively sealed against water as well - it's not just standing water but also humidity around the tank can compromise laminate if there are any unsealed edges or slightest perforations
 

ian_m

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Plan B so symmetrical over the stand.

Make sure stand is 100% level before putting tank on as well.
 
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I'm not sure the "No DIY" rule can legally extend to preventing you from painting something of your own inside the flat. IF that was the owner's intention then they need to wake up and realise the rest of the dinosaurs of this world have been gone for sixty million odd years, because that is utterly draconian. I can understand perhaps, such a rule meaning "no putting up of shelves or painting the walls black" type of thing. alto, above, is totally correct. Laminating would need to cover ALL exposed surfaces of the ply, and you would need to emphasise that it needs to be completely sealed against water ingress. You can, by the way, have a paint shop do a gloss finish to the wood of your choice, and it would be as good as gloss cabinets. But that would be upping the price. But then laminated ply is not going to be cheap. Another option is to contact one of the companies that makes tanks and cabinets and ask them for a price just for the top surface of a cabinet. That would be the best option IMHO :)
 
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Now that sounds sweet. Thanks.
Hope it will be light on my wallet.:lol:

I hope so too. Also, the footprint is 4' x 2.5' as you stated. I'm sure there may be a standard tank that size. I know some of the aqua medic marine tanks were quite wide. So as well as bespoke tank/cabinet companies, you could look at contacting the major manufacturers who do tanks/cabinets that size as it would then be a case of trying to get just the top part of their cabinet as a spare part.

That's about all I can think of so good luck. Let us know what solution you found in the end :)
 
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