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zooz
08-26-2014, 07:40 PM
So I am building a ~187G peninsula style tank in our main floor to divide the living and dining room. The sump will likely be in the basement below. What is everyones take on wood vs steel?

I know Steel is more $$ but can rust

Wood is cheaper but some tell me it can bow overtime?

I have seen many very well built stands with 2x4 and 2x6. I was thinking something like this: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1169964

Please share your experience if you own steel or stand and what you like/dislike of each.

spit.fire
08-26-2014, 08:00 PM
IMO both are equally strong and water resistant if built properly, both can get quite expensive depending on how fancy you want to make it

In the end it comes down to the look you want out of your stand

JmeJReefer
08-26-2014, 08:17 PM
There are pros n cons to each. Steel rusts ( unless coated properly). It is stronger than wood, and can take a wack or two without damage. However, one needs to know welding or handy metal skills to make properly. One doesn't need a whole lot of material to build a stong stand, just proper structural know how.
Wood seems a bit more intensive. It rots and expands where water touches if not coated. A lot of material is needed to obtain decent strength. It is however nicer to finish and match the house crown moulding or style etc.
I've built metal stands and haven't had issues with rust as I had the stand sandblasted and industrial primed, then coated heavily with a waterproof/rust proof paint.
It's preference really.


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zooz
08-27-2014, 05:01 PM
There are pros n cons to each. Steel rusts ( unless coated properly). It is stronger than wood, and can take a wack or two without damage. However, one needs to know welding or handy metal skills to make properly. One doesn't need a whole lot of material to build a stong stand, just proper structural know how.
Wood seems a bit more intensive. It rots and expands where water touches if not coated. A lot of material is needed to obtain decent strength. It is however nicer to finish and match the house crown moulding or style etc.
I've built metal stands and haven't had issues with rust as I had the stand sandblasted and industrial primed, then coated heavily with a waterproof/rust proof paint.
It's preference really.


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If it is coated and stained will it still rot and bow overtime? I understand it may if you get a lot of water spilled on it but I will have the sump in the basement so humidity and water are not a issue.

whatcaneyedo
08-27-2014, 06:56 PM
Which one are you personally able to do? Can you weld or do you have the carpentry tools? Or are you going to have to hire out and pay for the work? How do you want the finished product to look? Is it going to be framed into a divider wall or standing alone? If its standing alone are you going to leave it exposed or cover it with wood or some sort of synthetic panelling?

If your main concerns with wood are rotting and warping you can use pressure treated lumber and include a layer of Styrofoam between the top of the stand and bottom of the tank to compress and compensate for any irregularities.

My own stand for a 120gal is made out of regular No2 SPF 2x4s, I built it 8 years ago, its not coated with anything and its still standing. Since I'm a Carpenter and the tank is now built in-wall that was the most practical thing to do. If I was a welder and I wanted the tank presented in some other way I probably would have made it out of metal. Do what you are able to do with the skills that you have for the finished product that you want.

MarkoD
08-27-2014, 07:52 PM
It depends if you want a stand or a piece of furniture.

If you want a piece of furniture. If you get a steal stand you'll still probably have to get a wooden skirt.

The Grizz
08-28-2014, 12:13 AM
Steel all the way!! My 165 gal was on a steel stand for a couple of yrs, many leak and issues with the tank over that time and when I took it down there was not one speck of rust on it anywhere ( I used marine enamel paint )

Aquattro
08-28-2014, 01:06 AM
Steel all the way!!

Not that you're biased at all :)

The Grizz
08-28-2014, 02:38 AM
I have had wood stands in the past before I had the place to build all my own stuff, they got mold, where actually heavier then metal and did not have as much room as metal stands do.

Reef_aholic
08-28-2014, 03:13 PM
I have built several steel stands. Making a wood panel skirting is easy. I counter sink in rare earth magnets, when you lean the skirting up against the steel, the magnets hold it in place. When you have to do any work what so ever under the tank, you simply remove the panels, work away. With steel, there is much more room under there as well. Less bracing, less frame work, more room for sumps and equip, and easier for servicing. My stands I finish off with some nice trim and stain when I am done, I will try and get pictures later when I'm home.

zooz
09-02-2014, 09:45 PM
Thank you everyone for your input. I think Steel is the way to go with this project. I feel if it will be difficult to do maintenance on a tank due to small and confined space and so one will neglect the tank. I want maintenance something quick and easy and a steel stand will offer this advantage.

reef-keeper
09-04-2014, 08:11 PM
I have had a wooden stand for over 20 years under my 50 gallon now its under a 40 gallon fresh. Made it and painted it with about 10 - 15 coats of Urethane. Not a single sign of rot. I also had another one made and coated it with the same amount only this time it was coated inside and out. It will be under a 20 gallon. Both stands have an open back for cords and hoses to run.

kamloops_reefer
09-05-2014, 12:15 AM
Steel over wood

1.) less material needed to make stand, giving you more freedom underneath
2.) The fears of rusting are far greater than it actually happening since most have paint on them. There are coating systems out there for steel submerged underwater 24hrs a day. Steel will still last longer in bare form that wood if you are drenching both with saltwater. the time it will take to compromise the structure with splashes of saltwater, you'll be out of the hobby before you need to worry.
3.) Easier to move (likely lighter) and more rigid - will not bow overtime

things the can detour you from steel:

1.) it can leave a rust stain if you have this on carpet and have poor coating. But with saltwater aquariums there are bigger things that can go wrong and we just have to accept in the hobby
2.) Cost for most people, it seems for a hobby where its not unusual to spend thousands upon thousands, Drawing the line on a couple hundred dollar stand isn't uncommon. Expect most businesses to charge a minimum of $500 and over a thousand depending what you want.

intarsiabox
09-05-2014, 01:00 AM
My next stand will be t-slot aluminum.