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Re: stand issues + air circulation and humidity issues

Bill wrote:

>All perimeter members are 2x6, the center two braces 
>are 2x4 mounted so that the top of them is even with
>the top of the 2x6 perimeter. 

I like this idea of having the tops flush, so the load
can be handled directly without transfer.  But my
preference would be not to have the supporting studs
in the middle so that I could fit the three tanks down
there (without obstruction of access or view).  So I
think I would have to use 2X6s under the tank oriented
as you would a floor joist (like you mentioned).  But
one thing that wasn't clear to me is how many rows of
2X6s did you put (with the wide side vertical) running
underneath the tank? Or did you only use the 2X6 for
the outside members?

>I used two carriage bolts to hold the 2x6 to the 

what exactly is a carriage bolt? (possibly an ASCII
drawing?) and does a place like Home-Depot carry

> use the fender washer, it helps keep the
> nut from pulling through the wood) 

good point!

>all the weight of the tank is handled by the 
>horizontal wood sections resting on top of the 
>vertical wood sections.

This is the best way to do it, especially with a 200G

> I did find out the the slab isn't as 
> flat as you might think.

I think I am in the same boat with that...

>I have some cheapo office-style carpeting down 
>there that evened it out OK, but if you have a big
>problem you could screw a few *large* lag bolts into 
>the bottom members and use them as leveling feet. 
>I've done this before with good success. 

I think the carpet trick should work for me, but just
in case, how "large" of a bolt are we talking here?
(diameter) and how many of these "feet" do you think I
would need to employ for a large tank such as this? 
Do you think this method would really work for such a
large weight?  It does concentrate the load in one
area (creating high pressure).  Do you think its a
high enough load to do damage to the concrete? (I
doubt that...)  How far apart would you recommend I
space these "feet" if I need to use them? (assuming I
go with a 9' stand)

>it is common practice to use a piece of large (5/8" 
>or so) threaded rod to bolt between a wall member 
>and the top of an equipment rack

how long would the bolt have to be since it needs to
go into the wall too!  

>I would recommend the triple-point expanding anchors 
>if you have a solid wall, or the expanding lead kind 
>if you have a block wall 

I do have block walls and so I can't use the
triple-point expanding anchors (by the way, is this
the variety thats used to bolt foundations too?) 
Since it is a block wall, what type of expanding leads
would I need (how long?)

>You could probably use some urethane sheet 
>between the angle brackets to make a stiff spring if 

I like this idea.  Does Home-Depot carry the urethane

> I have a covering made of MDF to provide a level 

sorry, but that flew right over my head.  What does
MDF stand for?

>I used 2x6 on the top to minimize deflection. I 
>actually ran some calculations before building it to
>keep deflection down to under 1/16" or so along a 3' 
>span (the longest unsupported horizontal span). You 
>get more bang for the buck using beams like 2x6 and 
>2x8 than 4x4 if you are worried about deflection.

Its decided then.  I will use 2X6 and I will put your
calculations to work.  I'll build the stand 9' long
with the longest unsupported horizontal span being 3'.

>I...was concerned with possible warpage over time of
such a small structure member. 

Do I need to worry about warpage with the 2X6, 2X4, or

>If I had the time I would have built the stand out 
>of 2x2x1/4 structural steel angle stock

I couldn't do that even if I wanted to! ;-]

>creative interpretations many lumber mills have 
>about dimensions 

I hear you loud and clear!  I better start working on
my inch fractions!

>With my stand, the vertical load is placed 
>directly on the structural members, not on a table 
>top type surface that needs to transfer the load to 
>the actual supporting structure. 

Yes, I think this is crucial for such a large weight.

>If I built my stand as you described I would have 
>used 2x6 for all members of the top rather than
>using 2x4 for the two center braces.

YES!  I was thinking the same thing and I alluded to
it in the beginning of the email that I am writing. 
How many center braces would you recommend I put in?
(assuming the tank is 2.5' wide) and how much spacing
in between the braces?

>I might have added more braces too.

where? can you give me some suggestions?

>I would then have used the same 3/4" MDF on the top. 
>The MDF is very flat and not prone to warpage bust 
>it MUST be sealed from the water! 

I really wish I knew what this MDF stuff was! ;-]  And
speaking of sealing, warpage, and water; Did you stain
your wood?  Are there stains that are water
"resistant" (or "proof")  What about paint (I would
use paint if it could keep the moisture out better
than a stain).  Also, is lamination a practical
choice? (like the kitchen counter-top kind)  If
possible, I would at least like to use this for the
very front part (especially the 6" extension that I am
using to give a boost to my foot print area).  Simply
because I will be sticking my hands in and out of the
tank constantly (don't we all!) and even if you
couldn't destroy your stand Bill, H2O can do it

>the height of the stand to something around 28" if I 
>remember correctly.

Then this means that my 32" isn't too much off-base.

> I mostly want to use it as a plant filter with 
>horwart so I don't need anything fancy. 

LOL! don't even get me started on the sump topic. 
That will be the subject of another record-breaking
post in a few months time!  I am still entertaining my
brain with the stand design ;-]

>by using 2x6 outer framing on the top and only 
>2x4 for the two center braces, you can mount 
>flourescent fixtures on the 2x4 part and have the 
>extra 2" (more like 1.5") around the perimeter 
>shield them from view.

Ooooh!  sneaky!  I like it!  But if I end up using 2X6
for the center bracing (which I probably have to),
then I might have to install the lights in between the
braces.  For that, I could put in a couple of 2X2
perpendicular to the bracing and screw them in from
the sides(ie attach the bracings at two points with
the 2X2 and screw the light in there like so:
    |           |
    |           |
====^===========^===== (top view)
= is 2X6 bracing
| is 2X2 (probably a foot long)
^ is wood screw

> I probably set the list post-length record with 
> this ;-) 

yes.  Well done!

and just a PS question:
since you mentioned that you did your project in a
basement as well, how did you take care of the high
humidity that the tank causes?  I mean basements are
humid enough as it is!  Obviously, I will have to try
to keep the tank "sealed" as well as possible to
prevent evaporation.  I really don't want to buy
de-humidifiers because those can run steep and the
electric bill here in calif isn't exactly "user
friendly."  I was thinking of installing a miniature
"circulation" system which would basically consist of
two computer fans, two DC power supplies, and some PCV
pipes like so:


Thanks again

Saman in LA

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