I can't comment much on stands, 'cause all my stands are built to
accommodate tanks only, no room for luxuries like drawers, shelves,
hoods. But I can comment on multi-tank stands: If you want to
access the lower tanks any more than about twice a year, give
_plenty_ of room between the top of the lower tank and the bottom of
the upper rack. As a minimum, I require the diameter of a five
gallon bucket clearance. So if I need to dump something into the
lower tank, I can do it. It's a major pain to catch fish or do any
other kind of maintenance without generous clearance above the tank.
The size of the lower tank is obviously a key question. A ten gallon
is much shorter than a 29 gallon.
As for hoods, the same issue comes to mind -- There are times when
you want full access to the top of the tank or at least to the full
width of the front half of the tank. Then there's the issue of
installing, adjusting and removing appliances like heaters,
powerheads, power filters, and tubing from canisters or sump pumps.
A hood can restrict these tasks. Also, you have to keep the fish and
water in the tank. Either allow room for a glass canopy beneath or
make sure all of the tank is enclosed to prevent jumpers. If the
hood is vented, you have to consider evaporation. I use glass
canopies to prevent this. This also prevents water splash from
aspirating powerheads (which I use universally). You'd be amazed how
much water will leave the tank from a powerhead running full blast
with the air venturi cranking. Then you also need to consider
dissipation of heat from lighting. Lighting will vary _a_lot_ with
Aside from that, and structural integrity, to me, most of the "stand"
issues are aesthetic. And since that's a matter of taste, there's no
accounting for it :)
Oh, if you plan to ship them, you may want to design them with that
in mind. An assembled stand pretty much has to go motor freight
unless it's really tiny. UPS, FedEx and USPS have significant size
-- Mark Ohio USA <))>< /----------------------------------------------------------------------------- /"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily / reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes / Association" / This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association / nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word / subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to / nanfa-request_at_aquaria.net. For a digest version, send the command to / nanfa-digest-request_at_aquaria.net instead. / For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, http://www.nanfa.org