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Thread: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

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    Default Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    I prefer to dive in, cut first, have headaches and then ask questions. This time I'll be changing the orders to avoid the headaches. Drawing inspiration from all the simply discus fish room build especially Han's and Chad, it is time to start my own journey.

    I will be constructing 6' racks that will house 6, 40 gallon breeders , 2 per shelves. I've seen how sturdy some of these 2x4 build, I was even shocked at the amount of weight I've seen racks hold even though dado cuts were not used.

    I've decided not to chance it for the 40 gallon breeders and construct the legs using two pieces of 2x4. I will like to have unobstructed access to each shelve, is it possible to skip adding in the legs between the 40 gallon breeder? Also should I construct the shelves to be longer then both aquarium width. That way if I needed to have access or grab the tank from the side, I will have the space necessary. Like an extra 2-4 inches just enough to fit my fingers in?

    I saw on one of the post that it was recommended to paint the lumber, will these paint or stain be sufficient to keep the feet of the rack safe in case there is any water spills. Should I add some leveling/heavy duty caster to the feet so it cannot get any water damaged. Is there any latex paint that you recommend for the wood and the tanks itself.

    Since I do want to keep my system small and modular and automated, I'm expecting to have several return pumps, bulkhead, and aquarium related necessity. Are there any reliable companies that I should look into if I'm in need for bulk supplies and creating a fishroom.

    Thanks for any help, I' would love to finalize my rack design and could use any input so I can take the next plunge of building.

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    Moderator Team & Homesteader Altum Nut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    A Simply Discus welcome to you darxvad.

    Seeing that your anxious to jump in I would suggest you measure twice and cut once if building your stand. lol
    My first question is have you had Discus before and how long has fish keeping been in your blood.
    Mentioning Hans and Chad would indicate that you have already gone through some of the many useful threads.
    - My suggestion would be to double up on the stand support posts as that extra coin spent can prevent headaches later.
    - There is no need for actual plywood shelving and the perimeter support rails will be sufficient when flush with tank edges. What I would recommend is 1/2" styro-foam sheets on stand rails prior to securing tanks foot-print to cushion any un-expected stress points on corners.
    - There are many paints on todays market that can be used on glass but would recommend lights colors...
    - There is no need for casters but if you want I use solid hardwood blocks that will not allow water to absorb but even this is not really required if your extra careful.
    - You can buy pumps and necessary equipment you need from one of many reputable sponsors on this forum.
    - Again want to make clear to always measure twice and cut once....lol
    Tank stand designs can vary....some want to hide sumps or pumps which require doors but the simple typical design is here just to give you an idea. This is a stand for a tank 4' by 18" foot-print.

    Best of luck and feel free to enquire on any further questions you may have.
    ...Ralph
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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    Thanks Ralph, I've been keeping fish for a little over ten years. My main interest is marine fish, but over the course of the years I've been having a problem of adding more tanks to my fish room. My fishroom is the king of a hoarder, I've collected over the years a mix array of tanks and stands. Now I've decided its time to de-clutter the room and make the room more accessible. This way I can add more tanks! While I wish it was a room filled just with a ton of discus, this will be a room devoted to my wide range of fascination.

    My main reasoning behind getting rid of the middle support column is I want the ability to have larger tanks in this modular setup. This way I can have similar racking throughout the fishroom and just have several different options of changing the aquariums I use on the racks.

    I may have to take up some welding classes to get rid of my worries of these wooden rack. Is there any formula to tell how much weight a stand can hold?

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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    I'm going to attempt to start my first build tomorrow. I think I'm going to go with a very simple design for now to see if these racks are sturdy enough to handle the weight. Each shelf will be oversize by 4" so I can space the aquariums in case I need a spot to grab the side. I'm having second thoughts on the actual length of these racks, at the moment they are 80" long which seems burdensome if I need to rearrange or move any of these racks in the future.


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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    Is there a reason you recommend the light colors for backgrounds, I was told darker colors will allow the colors to pop.

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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    Here is the stand design I use variations of;
    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...readid=1169964

    My rack has four 20-gallons on top and a center brace with 40 gallon breeders on either side, it's 8' long. I used 2x6 and it's way over built. For the paint I use Rust-Oleum Marine Coatings Topside Paint in white, but a good gloss will work too. I highly recommend painting. On the bottom I use felt self-level pads;
    http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...la=pla_6292486

    My fish look and seem to like light blue colors for the background, I had a dark blue (nearly black) tank and the fish hide more and were always a darker color. Moved them another tank the same size, but lighter color and they changed their behavior and color within a day.

    Good luck!
    DC

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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    I wish I was at my computer and not the phone, I'd play in a sketchup and try to help out more. I find your sketchup drawing above a bit excessive. Not in build strength just that you basically have 3.5" of wasted space on each side with the 2x4 supports oriented that way. And the edges of the tank will be falling on the horizontal support where there is no vertical support under it. It's probably fine spreading the load, we tend to overbuild stands, I personally just would build it a bit different.

    And yes I'd always leave a bit of space so you can slide tanks in and out, or run cables, get fingers in, add insulation, etc. it also helps factor in the tank rim width.

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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by darxvad View Post
    Is there a reason you recommend the light colors for backgrounds, I was told darker colors will allow the colors to pop.
    It's the complete opposite IMO. As I'm sure your aware with all the new domesticated Discus strains on the market today there are many of a pigeon blood strain that carry the gene that will pepper under dark surroundings.
    If you plan on breeding...any dark colors will attract the free swimming fry away from the parents.
    The lighting you provide will enhance the true colors in Discus.

    ...Ralph
    Last edited by Altum Nut; 07-16-2015 at 10:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    Thanks discus_noob and ralph, I've been finalizing my design, and I've been considering the wasted space on the side. Especially where I'll have two racks together, I'll have to look at 7" of space where I could of place more aquariums. The only way I can see of getting rid of wasted space is to use a rack like hans which completely utilizes the whole shelves for aquarium, or the dado method which minimize the wasted space by half.


    I've decided to add another vertical beam in the middle to distribute the weight. And for my 180 gallons I'll overbuild the rack but use the same dimension to make them uniform. I'm also debating on removing the top part of the rack so the top shelf is flush giving it a cleaner look. However this may limit the abilities to mount lights and pvc pipes, and also if I ever need overhead storage. I definitely will need to make my mind soon as I'm excited to get the ball rolling.

    I've also decided instead of painting the tank I'll be painting acrylic cuttouts so I can interchange the background depending on the type of fish the rack will house. The racks itself will be painted with a flat white latex paints, while the acrylic will be painted on one side black and the other side a light blue.

    CSP-545.jpg I hope this color lives up to its name of sheer bliss.


    Any recommendation of how much extra space is sufficient for finger/cables, I was thinking 1" on both side of the tank but I tend to have fat fingers.

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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    Dado cut is the way to go for rack. Here's my stair step dedo joint stand. Stand holds a 75g on top, three 29g, and a 16g tall.


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    Default Re: Planning my modular fish room - input wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by darxvad View Post
    Should I add some leveling/heavy duty caster to the feet so it cannot get any water damaged?
    Expected a few Canadians to chime in on this question. Two words: Hockey Pucks.
    Peter
    Corazón y Cuerpo en Alamos, Sonora, Mexico de nuevo

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