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Wooden racks are easy to dismantle and a pleasure to look at, but need proper treatment with several layers of wood protector and waterproof varnish to last for a long time in a moist environment. An advantage of this material is that it’s relatively cheap, especially when you assemble it yourself. With a minimum of tools like an electric drill, a level, good screws, carpenter glue and basic DIY skills, they’re easy to build. Be sure to use thick enough beams to carry all the weight. Compared to iron and aluminum the bulk of wooden racks limits the space available for tanks. Of course the price of such racks depends on the kind of wood that's used. Pine is the cheapest, but if you want better quality like beech, chestnut or oak, you'll definitely pay a higher price. As we fish keepers have a bit an ecological heart, tropical wood definitely should be avoided. All we have to do is take accurate measures, go to the lumber yard and let cut all the parts needed for the rack

Iron is cheap, but a professional welder must do the construction. Few people have such an apparatus in their toolbox at home, and it’s quite questionable they’re able to assemble a safe rack with strong connections. Can you imagine a rack full of tanks collapse when you’re in the neighbourhood? A drawback of this material is its sensitivity for corrosion, especially in a moist environment. Several layers of a good quality paint (some brands can be put on the iron and even directly on rust) and a yearly repaint is a must. There is also a possibility to let "powder coat paint" the complete frame. In this procedure the paint is sprayed as a fine powder, not a liquid. After the powder has been applied, the heat from an oven liquefies and hardens the paint. Also electroplating is a possibility. Plastic pads under the legs of the rack helps to protect it from rust at the most critical part of the construction.

Aluminum is the perfect material for building racks. It's light and practically immortal, and if you additionally use electrostatic coated beams, then you can forget about it once and for all. You can also choose any color that matches that of your basement. Aluminum is very expensive compared with wood, iron or electroplated iron. The construction of racks must be done by a professional, and his wages are also expensive, although the tools needed for such constructions are cheap and easy to use. All you need is a clinch tool and rivets. There is a special technique to fit the beams together. The best craftsmen use aluminum profiles in the joints that they can fit within the beams, so the rivets do not rumple them when clinched and practically the beams’ thickness and durability is doubled. Additionally the joints are not evident.

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