View Full Version : Stepping up to a 280 gallon tank build

07/22/2017, 08:54 PM
I have been in this hobby now for 7 years. There has been so many ups and downs killing so many sps coral and fish it is amazing that I am still in this hobby. Started out with what I thought was a tank size that would keep me happy 120 gallon 4X2X2 with a 120 gallon sump in a separate room in my basement also have two 40 gallon 36"X24"X12" frag tanks. I have alway been an equipment junky and love trying different methods of doing things in this hobby and love DIY everything I can.

So a couple months ago I ordered a 280 gallon 6'X36"X24" tank from GlassCages not a real high end tank but is hard to justify a tank from Reef Savey in that size. I am building the stand from 3/4" plywood all sides and top that the tank sits on will be laminated with another layer of 3/4" plywood equaling panels that 1 1/2" thick pictures to come. I have not seen this done this way but should be more then strong enough. This tank will be primarily a SPS tank.

Here are a few pics of the start.

07/24/2017, 07:15 AM
There may be a good reason no-one else has built a stand this way. I hope you test it out with an equivalent weight before putting an aquarium on it. Be sure to test for lateral forces.


07/25/2017, 07:39 PM
Then if no one else has built a stand like this maybe they just have not thought it through fully on the strength of plywood which is a lot stronger then conventional lumbar. A couple of pics showing how the top and the back of the stand are put together with overlapping joints which will help distribute the load down to the floor equally between the two laminated pcs of plywood. Also I ordered the tank without overflows. Which I just received two synergy shadow overflows that are rated up to 1600 gallons per hour. Does anyone have this style of overflow? How well do they work over time?

07/25/2017, 07:44 PM
Here are the pics.

08/09/2017, 06:26 PM
Gave our UPS driver a work out today received 120 of figi pink sand and 350 pounds of reel reef rock 2.0 along with a ecotech L1 pump. Can't wait to start aqua scaping just need to get the stand done. Then plan a grill out to get enough friends to help get the tank into the house and down into the basement.

08/09/2017, 06:30 PM
This is my current setup 120 gallon tank and a 120 gallon sump in a separate fish room which at this point is very embarrassing to show. There needs to be so much cleaning and organizing done as this build continues.

08/29/2017, 07:01 PM
Ever so slowly getting closer to having the stand done. Here are a few pics of the progress.

08/29/2017, 07:14 PM
Some new items from Bulk Reef Supply came today. A lot of apex items along with 2 maxspect gyre XF280 pumps. So very excited to start the actual build of this new tank.

08/29/2017, 09:22 PM
My 150 gallon stand is just ply wood like your doing. Half the weight, but still the same concept. Just use lots of glue and screws.

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08/30/2017, 07:44 PM
I am hoping to finish up the majority of the stand this weekend, it ended up being a little heavier then I though but it is way stronger then a conventional 2X4 stand. Just need to finish sanding and put the trim work on then stain and varnish. Doors will be a little bit later in the build.

09/02/2017, 07:22 PM
I built the stand for my current 265 out of laminated plywood 'beams'. I'd point you to the build thread except it's been excoriated by everyone's favorite photo hosting site. You are correct that laminated ply is stronger, and easier to get flat and square, than dimensional lumber, though even the 1 1/2" top will require proper support for a flat bottom tank (cannot recall if GC are rimmed or not) else it will sag. I used a single sheet of ply as my top, but it's supported by a torsion box of laminated 8" beams.

If you bought a new apex, hope it was the 2016 version not the classic.

09/03/2017, 01:58 PM
The tank bottom is braced and been designed to just be supported around the edge of the tank. I however did put a center piece of plywood to support the center of the tank that also goes all the way to the floor. This would not have been possible if i was going to run a sump that was under the stand. As for what will be under the stand is just some electronics along with some dry good storage. Just have a little more trim to put on then the stain and varnish. Hoping to have this done this weekend at least up to the stain anyways.

09/03/2017, 02:11 PM
This tank will be running on the Triton Method hoping that it is true that you can run without water changes. This tank being 280 gallons and 100 plus gallons in the sump and two 40 gallon frag tanks would be expensive doing 20% water changes a week like i am currently doing. The Triton method relies on alge to do a lot of the filtration to work properly. I really did not want to have a refugium in my sump having light filtering into areas that i did not want and having algae growth where i do not want with added maintenance in the sump keeping everything clean. So to remedy this issue i have order the new Pax Bellum ARID C30 algae reactor through Unique Corals. This reactor is suppose to work very well with the Triton method.

09/11/2017, 06:44 PM
Got all the molding on and stained today. Slow but steady progress.