Aquarium Rack In Progress

Due to a lot of reorganizing in my life focused mainly on my writing business, I need to make space in my home office for working. that means most of the fish tanks resident on the room have to move.

Raw wood for aquarium rack at

There is a long cascade of events hinging on moving out the tanks, and that hinges on having a place to put the fishes. So, I am annexing one wall of a different room and building a wooden aquarium rack. This will actually allow me to have more tanks in less footprint, despite the window I have to work around.

I actually started on this plan back in January or even December by buying a bunch of scrap lumber from Home Depot. Some of it is excellent, some is not so good. It’s possible to spend as much as you can on a project like this; I’m trying to minimize the cost.

This is a row of raw boards that I planned to stain. I used Minwax Red Oak 215 for staining, and that got me to this stage:

Stained wood for aquarium rack at

That finished in about February, and other activity got me side-tracked. Then came summer. Yeah. Not fun to drag a table saw outside when it’s over 110 degrees. It’s still warm but thinking about the year, I need to get the rack finished and populated before the weather changes. I intend to heat the room instead of the tanks themselves.

There are eight 2x4s that I bought because I needed pieces longer than the scrap. You can see those in the corners in the last photo. The photo shown is the tower that will be on the left of the window. At that semi-finished stage, I stopped and began working on the second tower.

semi-finished aquarium rack tower #1 at

There will be a surface on top of the 2×8’s around the bottom, and another reasting on the 2x4s half-way up. I can’t continue until I have that plywood in place for structural reasons. The main concern is that the weight of all the water must be supported by lumber in a compressive direction all the way from the top shelf to the floor.

Inside each corner is a 2×4 attached to the outer long 2×4, and it’s the inner piece that supports the weight itself. While I can get away with cutting around the 2×4 on the bottom shelf because it is supported by the 2x8s, I can’t do that higher up. There can never be water weight supported only by screws.

As I said, another three-level tower goes to the right side of the window, and that one is less complete than the one in the picture. Between the two towers will be a 2-shelf assembly that will allow me to use the ambient morning light for a couple of tanks.

The outlet near the tower will be exchanged for a GFI outlet and will supply most of the necessary electricty, primarily to drive an air pump for my sponge filters, which is the only kind of filtration I use on most of my small tanks.

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Got something to say? Go at it!