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Image of aquarium stand

I purchased this aquarium and stand secondhand, and a few people I’ve spoken to have been suspicious of the stand’s ability to hold the aquarium when filled with water.

The tank holds roughly 55 gallons. The legs are 1/2” diameter cold rolled steel. The lower frame is about 8” from the ground. The upper frame is 30” from the ground. Both frames are welded to the legs. The upper and lower frame are angled steel, approximately 1” x 1” x 1/8”.

I am confident that this stand can hold the 600lb filled tank. Can this stand reliably hold 800-1000 lbs?

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  • $\begingroup$ Has it been used? If so, it held water... Unless it was special light water... :) $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Dec 24 '19 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ I’m interested in how much weight th stand can hold, not whether the tank can hold water. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Dec 24 '19 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ Then you need the thickness of the wall of the frame... but my point was if the tank was used, then it had water in it and if it had water in it then the stand survived the load... Unless they put the tank on the floor. $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Dec 24 '19 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ It's probably stronger than you think. 55 gallons of water (plus some gravel, etc) weighs about 1/4 ton. Any rubbishy steel should be fine at 10 tons/square inch, so just one of your legs will support a few tons weight if it doesn't buckle. And the design of the legs with two sections held apart by the scroll will be pretty resistant to buckling. I would be more bothered about its overall stability, since there doesn't seem to be a diagonal brace between the top and bottom frames. But there is no way to know the maximum weight it will hold, even if seems well designed for a 55 gallon tank. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Dec 24 '19 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ @alephzero I changed the question to ask, “can this stand reliably hold 800-1000lbs? $\endgroup$ – Andrew Dec 25 '19 at 0:08
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It looks like it can hold 1000 lbs. Except it seems it can be vulnerable against an inadvertent impact by a person walking or bumping to it with something in their hand. Wich can twist the legs loose.

As a stability measure they have welded the legs in a gentle slant to the 2 angle frames.

As a double check you wand to check the welds. If they are solid and continued along the 1 inch side of the angles and if when you hold the legs and try to twist them or tap them they don't feel jerky, it should be ok. Hi pitch tone of the legs when banged with a light hammer is a good sign.

Ultimately the best test is to load the table with 10 sacks of sand 96lbs and shake it.

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Like the first week quiz in "strength of materials" . 8 legs at 1/2 " diameter = about 1.5 in. square inches. Cold rolled might be 50 ksi , but maybe it is hot rolled , so use a yield about 40 ksi ( much lower than the tensile ) . So I would not put more than 60,000 pounds ( 30 tons) on the stand. BUT , failure will be geometric instability or buckling , so it would be best to limit the load to about 30.000 pounds. On the other hand I have a 30" long similar stand with 0.31" ( 5/16 ) legs and it has held up 700 lb for decades ( deep 40 gal on top and a long 20 gal on the bottom).

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  • $\begingroup$ I will try and keep it under 30.000 pounds. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Dec 25 '19 at 5:41
  • $\begingroup$ The sides of the aquarium itself provide strength lengthwise. The most important factor is having a smooth flat surface for the aquarium to sit on. Sometimes I use 1/2" thick sheathing foam under the aquarium to accommodate any possible bumps., although probably overkill. $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Dec 25 '19 at 15:51

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