Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
HOW TO: build an aquarium rack – cheap and easy

HOW TO: build an aquarium rack – cheap and easy

HI everybody, joey here again and welcome
back. In today’s video i am going to show you how
to build a cheap and easy aquarium rack. When it comes to smaller tanks, you can minimize
the space that they take up by simply stacking them on top of each other. Now in the past i have actually have shown
how to build aquarium stands and multiple level aquarium racks in the past, but have
not done a video on how to build a rack for smaller aquarium. If you haven’t watched my
video on how to build an aquarium stand, i suggest you do, before attempting this project. Now this racks that I’m about to show you
is intended for aquariums 30 gallons or less. With that said we will be using half the materials
we usually do to make rack. For this build i used seven 2×4’s and about
120 wood screws that were #8’s and 2.5″ long. Using wood glue for this build is optional,
but if you do intend to use it, it will make the stand a lot stronger. The total cost for this entire project was
under $25. The plans for this are so simple that you
can adjust how you want to put it together. I first start out with the platforms that
the tanks will sit on. I Makes these about 1/2″-1″ larger than the bottom of the tank
to allow for a bit of wiggle room. Screwing the front and back on the outside of this
formation. I repeat this for as many tanks as i need.
In this case, i needed 3. Next, i sit the tank supports up, and screw
in the side supports. I use at least 4 screws for each contact point. Now this is where
you can use wood glue if you want to. These side supports will depict how tall the stand
will be. The spacing of the tank supports needs to account for not only the tanks height
but also how much working room you will need. I suggest at least 4 inches allowing for ample
room for you to work on the tanks when the time comes. You will want to make sure the tank supports
are level and square. So insure you use both when building the stand. Now obviously as is, we have a make shift
stand. However, all the weight of the tanks will now be on the screws. So we will want
to alleviate that a bit. A 2×4 cut to the width of the stand and placed
under each tank support will provide a lot of extra support. Again, 4 screws into each
contact point. Now we still have the tank weight on the screws,
but we have more than enough support from them to worry about it. A wood screw, on average
has a shearing strength of about 100-150 pounds. Meaning, how much weight they can take before
snapping. Each tank is supported by 32 screws. The tanks that I’m using are 30 gallon aquarium
and if you do the math this rack is 10 times stronger than i need. The is a tall stand and it is evident that
this might tip over.. One of the best things you can do is actually is to secure the top
of the rack to a wall. That will not be possible for everyone, so what i do is add in a couple
of supports to the bottom of the rack. The supports at the bottom should be the width
of the stand and secured to each leg with more screws. The supports should come out
and extra 6″ from the stand. This will prevent it from tipping. The benefit to this type of rack is that it
is cheap and easy to do. It also takes up less space in width than my typical stands
do. On that same note, this style rack is only for tank 30 gallons or less, so it does
have its limits. Anyways, i hope you guys enjoyed the video,
i definitely want to thank you for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

100 comments on “HOW TO: build an aquarium rack – cheap and easy

  1. I recommend deck sealer, paint, or something to waterproof the wood. Humidity is going to warp the stand. Could be catastrophic. The tips for bracing to the wall and providing a larger base were very kind. A lot of people overlook that when the stand gets designed. Inertia and gravity don't usually get factored by beginners. 🙂

  2. Just wanted to say the bluetile background you've been incorporating is much more eye-appealling than those other greenscreens you've done. Kudo on improving editing skillz 🙂 

  3. Joey how do I build and support a rack for these tanks??i need help please !

    20tall 55g 20tall
    40b. 40b.
    20L 20L 10g 20L 20L

  4. Another great video! Fish question: I've had a few fish die in two of my tanks. About $135-$200 worth if fish. Do you have and ideas on what could've happened?

  5. Hi Joey. Great video like always. I have a question if you can help.. I Need a rack made. 5 tier, for five tanks each being 4x2x2'. So it'll need to be really strong if at all possible.. Any chance you can help? Thanks

  6. Great idea once again Joey. This one also seems so easy to do and will really make you feel a sense of accomplishment when you're done. Keep the ideas flowing 🙂

  7. Nice rack but I definitely would use a good glue + the screws to hold it together. Because with only the screws it might sag and cause problems.
    Nice vid. as always!

  8. Lol it's funny how people think that glue is stronger than a screw.
    If your gunna use any glue use PL construction adhesive. Great vid once again

  9. Hey Joey nice work.

    Can i ask what did you put under the tanks for supporting glass? I mean each frames not support bottom glass, at middle point. When you fill up water, rocks, sand etc. can bottom glass break? Because frame is actually empty. Or did you put wooden plate or something like this?

  10. Joey, any chance of some more DIY tank decorations?  I loved the sand waterfall, and the DIY 3D background was interesting.  Can we expect anything else along those lines? 🙂

  11. Grand nice work. Could you specify a list of materials and indicate the dimensions of the timber. I do not understand them. Thank you.

  12. I have a 125 tank with a fx6 runing . The watter level is about 7 to 9 inches. I have a 6 foot uvb bone lite . I'm keeping hatchling alligator snapping turtle in . do you think this is enough filtration ?

  13. Okay yeah I guess that lacked way to many details. I came home to my three red hook silver dollars (my babies) covered in ich, treated them in my twenty gallon hospital tank. I waited three weeks to see if my other fish had any. They were fine and I planned on moving them that night. I got a text from my mother saying that my Lima shovelnose died when she checked on them. I came home that day pretty sad to find my 8" four line pime cat laying on his side under a slab of rock. His eyes were red so I took him out and put him in a 10g hospital and gave him a melafix and salt bath. It was useless! Nothing helped and I decided it would be better to euthanise him. It was difficult but it had to be done. I looked in my other twenty to see my growing flagtail stuck to the filter! Remember, he was with three neons and five rasboras so nothing could've killed him. Everything is squared out now but you are the best person I could think to answer. The treatment was at half dose in the predatory for the ich, 2/5 dose in the 20 (the red hooks are fine and growing) I'm a little bit nervous about this happening again in the future.

  14. will this work for 55 gallon tanks im trying to put 4 stacked up like this i know its up to 30 gallons but could it be done similar for 55 gallon tanks ?

  15. I decided to try this for 3 55s will this work for them ? how do I stay with this design  and making it work for my 55s ? please reply im almost done and want to make sure

  16. wanted to start by saying I love all your vids I built my wetdrys  from the videos I have seen from you,so my question is knowing that you have another video for a stronger rack build but me having limited space and wanting to do it like the design in this video is there any suggestion from you on how to strengthen it to hold the 55s

  17. Joey, thanks for the inspiration.  I just built a 3 aquarium stand based on your stand build video.   I used 1x4s at the ends to help support the 2×4 supports.  It is designed to hold 2x55gal and either 2 15gal or a 33 gal. I did anchor it to the wall.  Keep the videos coming, they are always great ideas for the hobby.  From watching your previous videos and book, I previously built a 125 gal stand and canopy. Thanks!!!

  18. How about an upscale extruded aluminum stand.  Like the new tank BRS made for their clownfish harem.  or team up with them on some designs and a supplier like  

  19. Would you or anyone happen to know the measurements I would use to build one that holds 3 10 gallon tanks? Thanks!

  20. i like that extra 6" brace you added to the bottom to prevent tipping.    whats the depth vs height ratio you'd recommend to prevent tipping on units like this??

  21. loved all your vids wonder if you do Shrimps I am having problems with mine in 10 gal (without Under gravel filter)so I bought 2 fluval Nano's one is a 7.9 EBI the other is Fluval Edge 6 gal thinking the reason of the Shrimps dying is due to no circulation on the bottom is it a good idea to use under-gravel filter in both tanks with gravel then sand then the Shrimp substrate  to get the ammonia and other toxic stuff to circulate better for my new setups ? 

  22. aaaahhh man your now good for me i swear, its only just really settled down between me and my girl since i took up the garage with a monster tank of frontosa, I wonder if she will go for this if i lay on thick how much money we will save with running costs 😀

  23. Hi great video i was just wondering if i was to do a 2 tier stand for my 2 3ft tanks that in total would weigh around 75 gallons would this stand hold that weight?

  24. if i sawed out a top and put a light in the space do you think theres a bulb powerful enough to shine through all three tanks?

  25. I know that you can get solutions for that on woodprix website. just google 'woodprix' :)))

  26. great video, What is the minimum and recommended space or clearance between the top of a tank and the shelf above in a multiple tier aquarium rack. Thanks

  27. I strongly suggest you google Hyezmar's Woodworking book (no cost), if you're experienced. He's got an alternative for newbies as well.

  28. I want to make a rack for 3, 20 gallon long tanks I am new to the hobby and I really want to start breeding some easy fish. can anyone help me with the blueprints?

  29. I am looking for plans to build a 3 tier 10 gallon aquarium stand for 3 tanks 2 fish and 1 hamster

  30. Great Videos keep up the great work. I was wondering would it be possible to put a 39 gallon of the bottom shelf since it will be supported by the floor. I was going to use three aquariums. The 39 on the bottom and 29's on the other two shelves. I have started building the stand but am not to the point of doing the final assembly.

    Thank you

  31. Can you please tell me what type of wood you use ? I can not find anything that cheap here in the uk for this size rack system. I have been recommended redwood but its very expensive so any suggestions would be appreciated.

  32. Thank you for this video, i was wondering how much is minimum working space between top of one tank and wood supporting the tank above, I was wondering if 6" was enough and you recommended 4 so i should have enough room to play with, thanks once again bro.

  33. Could I build for a 40B on the bottom shelf and then subsequent smaller tanks on top, supported by sized frames with cross support on the 40?

  34. I have two 20 gallon tanks and one 10 gallon. How would I set up the top last shelf to accommodate the 10 gallon one since it's not as big as the 20 gallon ones?

  35. If I added extra support could I make a stand that supports more than 30 gallons? I have a 40 gallon that I want a rack for so that I can put a hospital tank above it and a sump below it.

  36. hi just wondering do you make this for sell? I need one like this really bad for my 2 36×18.5×18 aquariums to save my room space. I dont have the saw. I only have the screw driver and screw. all I need is just cut it in piece and ship to me. I'll screw by myself. and I'll pay you.I been looking for the coffee table and TV stands. for long long time. but there's no size fit my 2 tanks.

  37. I am new back to the hobby and just built this rack to hold two 30 gallon tanks.. I left the uprights tall enough to either add another tank later or build a canopy. Thanks for the quick fast and easy design.

  38. Great little video, thanks, just want to pass on a pitfall, the support blocks would be in the way if you wanted to use a popular designed LED light on top of the bottom two tanks with only 4" inches clearance between tanks, you'll need 31/2" plus the height of the light ends so the light fits under the 2"x4" support block, I'm glad I saw that before I built.

  39. I want to stack 4 75gallon tanks on a steel rack. run then in sequence top to bottom. any suggestions or cations?

  40. +103112177334022608693 Hay joey was wondering if i can get some advice on fish tank build, im gonna do a triple stack of 4ft tanks, I'm gonna do dado joints along with a back up brace like you did in this video, also gonna make sure there 2 support beams on the rectangle piece that the tank is gonna sit on, my only concern is the 2 long horizontal piece that tank sits on whether its gonna need a vertical center support beam in the middle cause I'm not sure if its gonna sag in the middle due to being long? or can i get away without it.

  41. Quick question. Why not use a sheet of plywood under the tanks. It would support the bottom of the aquariums and provide additional stability against side to side movement.

  42. I remember in a more recent video you saying these DIY kind of videos dont get you viewers I think its only because youve covered so much already in the past :D. Good reference material

  43. I built this for my 2 29 gallons. It's great, though I'm sure you'd build it better. First time I have ever built anything. I'm now building a stand for 6 29 gallon tanks as I'll be breeding soon. Thanks for everything, Joey!

  44. Joey, I’m building an aquarium rack using some of your design. I am putting 20 10 gallons and 4 20 tall on it. The length is 55 inches and width 37. I am building sturdy rack based on your stand. Should I center brace because it’s over 48 inches. I am using plywood on top of the shelves. Thanks

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