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The Stand

The stand is made from aluminum pieces that you lock together. It has two doors in the front with push latches and the back is open, so you can run cables and such inside the stand. It also has a wooden shelf that is adjustable and optional. The instructions are decent and the main tool used is provided. You will also need a screwdriver for the top.

Tips

  • Don’t immediately remove the protective film from the pieces. For one, the stickers that label the pieces are on the film and, if you remove it, you remove the labels and lose track of which piece is which. Secondly, the black aluminum scratches very easily, so keep the film on as long as you can. Avoid having a tool in your hand while moving or positioning the pieces. I scratched mine quite a bit doing that.

  • When you do remove the film, do it very slowly, or you will end up with glue remains that will be sticky and pick up dirt.

  • Every piece is attached by a tension lock that has to be turned with the provided tool. The locks have a small dot on them and, in order for them to be fully locked, the dot has to be facing the opposite direction; it has to be turned 180°. So, if it starts unlocked at the 9 position on the clock, you have to turn it until it points to 3 o’clock. Pay attention to this and make sure all the tension locks are indeed locked.

  • There are no markings to help you line up the pieces, so you have to do your best to make sure all the angles are 90°. I recommend you take out a measuring tape and make sure everything is straight.

  • As you progress through the setup, you will most likely have to loosen some pieces to get things lined up. I had to do this to get the doors to fit. If you do that, don’t forget to go back and lock those pieces; it’s very easy to forget since they fit tightly.

Overall, the stand did not inspire much confidence although it is clearly strong enough for a tank this size. It does, however, look pretty good. The black glass inserts are a nice touch.

Now that the stand is ready, we need to think about where to put it.

Placement

  • The most important thing about placing the stand is to account for the total weight of the full tank. One gallon of water weighs 8 lbs, so I usually estimate 10 lbs per gallon to account for the water as well as the glass, rocks, sand and the stand. In our case, this comes out to be 250 lbs which is no reason for great concern. For larger tanks, you need to be certain the floor and sub-floor can support the weight and you may need to consult with an engineer.

  • Check that the floor in your desired location is level and not damaged. Remind

  • Make sure you can reach all around the tank for maintenance and in case something goes wrong. It may be helpful to get some masking tape to outline the tank’s dimensions on the floor and the wall, so you can visualize it.

  • If the tank is close to a window that gets a lot of sunlight, you may want to reconsider or add curtains. This can lead to excessive algae growth which you’ll have to battle later.

  • You will need a power outlet close to the tank since running a long extension cord is not advisable. If you do have to run an extension cord, use a good one, that has the proper rating for its length. Make sure the outlet is dedicated to the tank and other people won’t be fiddling with it frequently – to avoid them accidentally unplugging the tank’s equipment. Label it, if you have to.

  • Finally, it is a good idea to put your tank somewhere where it will be seen and not hidden in a room no one visits. This helps the tank get more attention. You’ll be surprised at the kinds of things, good and bad, you see when you happen to walk by the tank.

Setup

It is a very good idea to place a leveling mat between the tank and the stand. These are special rubber mats that help keep the tank level and distribute the weight. In our case, the tank already has one glued to the bottom, so we're ready to go.

Once the stand is in place, we can put the tank on top and make sure it is level by using a level and checking that the air bubble is right in the middle.

Now, let's look at the equipment that came with the tank.