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FAQs about Stands, Supports for Aquariums: Repair

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Related FAQs: Aquarium Stands 1, Aquarium Stands 2, What to Use, About Floors Underneath, DIY, Finishing/Coating, Commercial, Leveling, Modification, & Tanks, Tanks 2, Tanks 3, Tanks 4, Aquarium Repair 1, Acrylic Aquarium Repair, Used Aquarium Gear,

Composite aquarium stand issue       8/31/15
I have a 75 gallon saltwater tank on a 20 year old composite (wood board) stand.
<Mmm; hope that thing is sealed>

We have had a problem lately with the electricity going out in the area, and that caused the tank to overflow. It has happened a couple of times. I noticed that the trim at the bottom of the stand is starting to pull away from the actual stand. Does the trim on a stand have any structural benefit ordinarily?
<It does indeed. We had a similar question just yesterday... NEED to have all the parts it's built with, and these securely fastened/glued/screwed/stapled together. I might well be taking this tank down, inspecting, beefing up this stand.
Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqstdcomm.htm
Thank you for your time.
Deb Walker
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Composite aquarium stand issue      9/1/15

Is there a glue that you suggest for filling in the gaps on the composite stand?
<Yes; a few. A fave is "Liquid Nails"; good as a filler as well as a bonding agent. BobF>
Re: Composite aquarium stand issue      9/1/15

Thank you Bob. I really appreciate your input.
<Am very glad to render it. B>
Re: Composite aquarium stand issue      9/1/15

HI Bob,
I just went to the Liquid Nails website and saw several different types of adhesive.
I will be trying to fill in the gaps in the composite without the benefit of clamping, so I am not sure which one would be best...I read that if I use polyurethane glue and do not clamp, it can possibly cause more problems. Have you used the construction adhesive?
<Yes; and this is the one that I favour.... for wood repairs, stucco.... a
host of projects. BobF>
Deb Walker
Re: Composite aquarium stand issue      9/1/15

Awesome Bob. I will get it going tomorrow.
<Is on my Home Depot/Lowe's list to pick up as well! B>

Questionable Stand Design     ‏            11/9/14
Hi guys,
I just bought a 38 gallon Deep Blue tank, and a plywood/wood stand. I noticed when a got it home that the tank did not stretch all the way to the ends on the left & right.
<This is okay>
A call to the LFS said that it is sufficiently supported in the front & back, and it does cross over the side supports, just not 100 %. Seems right, but I've included some a photo for you to look at. They show how far the talk covers the end supports. Think I’m OK?
<Likely so; though I too am not a fan of brads... and would use two-by rather than one if I were constructing this stand... Not only does it have to support about 400 pounds of weight, but it needs to resist sudden jarring, movement>
Also you can see from the same photo, that the tank sits on a 1/8” piece of plywood which covers 100% of the top of the stand. In another photo, you can see the wire brads with which the plywood was installed. At first, they were not quite all the way in. I took a hammer, and a screwdriver, and tapped them the rest of the way into the plywood. I was concerned that sticking above the surface, they could damage the plastic bottom of the tank if it rested on them. These brads seems like a place for water to enter the wood, especially since I tapped them down. A valid concern?
<Yes; I would coat over them>
Also, this plywood seems really thin. Will the tank end up crushing this super thin plywood, and resting on those metal brads, creating an uneven resting surface, or cracks in the plastic bottom? Another photo of brads is included.
<Not likely>
I was thinking about getting a 1/2” or better piece of plywood cut to size, painting it, and then gluing it on top of the thin piece for best weight distribution, and support. No water in it, yet, so it’s a good time to do something.
What do you think? Need more info, or photos? Necessary? Overthinking it? Good idea? Bad idea? Won’t have any significant impact? Take an Ambien, and forget about it?
<Heeee! I don't like the thinness of the materials used, nor the fasteners shown... another piece of thicker plywood is a good idea... coated and screwed into the existing about every six inches including any lateral supports>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Questionable Stand Design     ‏            11/10/14
Thanks for the advice. I also noticed that the plastic rim around the top of the tank was not installed level. On the left side and the back, I noticed a "wave" when looking at it.
<This is just an ornamental piece (I hope, trust)... you could remove and put back on straight>
Probably not huge, but if they did that sloppy, who knows what other corners were cut. I agree about the stand. 2x4 frame would be better.
I'm returning tank and stand.
<I am relieved to read this. Cheers, BobF>

pest control... Termites in wooden stand      6/4/14
Hi Crew,
You have been such a help with my questions before, so I’m hoping you can shed some insight on my most recent dilemma. I bought a used 265 gallon tank and stand last year. I have noticed reoccurring small piles of what appears to be sawdust in the stand and just now realized what it most likely from-termites.
I would be happy to build a new stand, but moving the tank over would be an
enormous task that I would prefer to avoid. I need to get this taken care of before they relocate in my house and/or create structural instability in the stand. This brings me to my quandary. How can I safely treat the stand?
<Mmm; I'd paint over the areas... with thick... epoxy or Varathane based paint>
only does it need to be a safe treatment for inside the house where children and pets are, but I also need to be careful about chemicals around the tank water.
<Yes; hence
eschewing use of pesticides>
The only thing I can come up with is a liquid Borate that I could “paint”
onto the wood. The obvious question is why don’t I call a pest company? Well, I sincerely doubt they have the first clue about aquariums and how critical that factor is. I have searched the internet for any kind of applicable solution but haven’t found one.
Thanks for listening.
<I'd seal them in... this will likely accomplish what you're looking for. Bob Fenner>

trouble with a possibly shaky stand 7/19/09
I am hoping you can help me with a problem I am having with my new tank. It is a perfecto 125 gal (60"W x 18"D) and has what I would call a closed base. In other words, the bottom of the tank is a board so the contact area between the tank and the floor is ~1080 sq. in (60x18).
The tank is sitting in a room with new carpeting and pad.
The problem is the stability of the tank. if I push against the top of the tank I can get some movement.
To reduce this I placed 2 pieces of lattice (60"x1.5"x0.25") under the stand to decrease its contact surface and increase the psi on the floor. This and adding water seems to have helped alot,
<... there is no such word as alot... it's a lot>
but I still see ~0.125" movement at the top of the tank (59" off the floor) if I PUSH on it. My wife gets almost no movement if she pushes.
Does this seem like alot (too much) movement?
<And discernible movement of the stand/tank is dangerous>
I am assuming that the issue is compressing the pad in some areas.
<Maybe not... could be the stand itself is at fault, failing>
Would increasing the thickness of the lattice strips help?
I thought about pulling the carpet up and replacing the pad under the tank with a piece of plywood, but this would be significant effort at this point. Is this overkill?
<Not at all>
Any other recommendations?
<Have someone else come by and take a look who knows about tanks, stands, at least>
I would like to thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
<It worries me even just responding to this situation. Do take care, read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aqstands.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Defective Stand? 1/11/09 Hello gentlemen, <Hi Dave> I have recently had to exchange a newly purchased tank and stand several times due to various problems/defects such as scratches, cracks(!) etc with Oceanics...and decided to go with a different brand...this time a custom made 120 gallon tank with the All Glass "Mission" stand. I know that glass tanks with trim rest only on their bottom periphery, but this stand takes it to the extreme as there is only a 1/2 inch wide strip to support the tank. Having seen these stands at the store, essentially the tank will be supported by the very edges of the trim, not even the whole trim strip...makes me a little nervous. Anyhow, after getting the stand home (tank will be ready in 2 weeks) I was checking it out and noticed that the bar running across the back of the stand is about 1-2 mm below the side support areas...meaning that the tank will be essentially unsupported across the entire rear. I thought maybe at least the center vertical beam is supposed to support the rear middle but even this is too low and out of contact with a long level I placed across the back. I dread going back to the store and exchanging yet another item...I suspect the manager there thinks I am cursed! This can't be right can it? Is my stand defective? Is there a remedy? Any experience with these stands? <From a safety standpoint, I don't think a difference of .039"-.078" is anything to worry about. We are looking at a lot of weight here when the tank is full of sand, rock, and water and I'll bet then, that you couldn't get a .001" feeler gauge between the tank and the stand. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you could get some wood veneer and cut strips to fill in the difference. I'm guessing this is a knockdown stand and the assembly of it by a store employee may not be up to your standards. You may want to loosen a few screws here and there and see if you can't true it up to your liking.> Thank You, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Dave

Mismatch between Bowfront Tank and Stand Shape 2/13/08 Hello and thank you for this wonderfully informative site. <Hello Laurie, glad to be of service.> I have learned a great deal while searching for the answer to my question in your volumes of e-mails. I have just purchased a new tank and stand from my LFS (I'm guessing that this means local fish store?) <Yes.> that were sold together basically as a set. Both are 46 "Euro" Bow front style but are from different manufacturers. The most noticeable problem is that the arc of the front of the stand is shallower than that of the arc of the tank front. The tank, an All-Glass brand, fits well in the other dimensions to the stand which is made by Perfecto. The arc difference causes there to be two zones, one to either side of center where the tank overhangs for a distance of eight inches ranging from zero to the greatest overhang of 3/8ths inch in the very center of the zone. The All-Glass brand tank has a plastic frame and the frame is still on the stand but the vertical face of the front glass would overhang slightly at the center of those zones. <This is not good, not to mention unsightly. The entire perimeter of the tank should be supported.> I don't believe the LFS realized the difference because they had the tank, still in it's protective box sitting atop the stand. <Things like this happen.> I decided to write because the bow front tanks add a new twist to the list of tank/stand compatibility issues. Thank you very much for any insights or suggestions. Laurie <I would contact the store you purchased the set at and see about replacing either the tank or stand with a compatible unit. We all make mistake from time to time, it is how we handle/fix them that is a huge part of our character. Any LFS I would do business with will remedy this situation, give them a chance to'¦ a vast majority will fix this for you. Welcome, Scott V.>

Tank/Stand gap issue... 12/6/07 Hello Crew, <Hello Clay.> I have a question regarding a 90 gallon in-wall tank that I am setting up. I had a metal stand made for this tank. After setting the tank on the stand, I checked for gaps between the tank and stand by attempting to slide a playing card where they meet. I found two areas on the front of the tank that I was able to get 2 cards into. (I am guessing about 1/32") <Not ideal.> Neither of these areas are near the corners of the tank. Aside from this issue both the tank and stand are level. <OK, so the metal is not perfectly straight.> This is my first tank larger than 30 gallons, so it is possible that I am being overly cautious. <I would be too, 90 gallons is a lot of water, not to mention any livestock you will have in it.> However, should I be concerned about these gaps? <I would, even if being overly cautious.> If so, would using 1/8"-1/4" Styrofoam or high-density closed cell foam work to resolve this issue? <Yes, for this small of a gap. Would use the 1/4".> Do you have any additional recommendations regarding this issue. Thanks, Clay <You have a sound plan, good luck, Scott V.>

Re: 125 Gallon All-Glass and Stand Question 9/16/07 Hello, <Hi again> Attached is a picture of the same setup that I have. The stand has 3 doors on the front, and in the rear there are the same 3 openings, no doors. The uprights as you referred to them as are the boards between the doors and on the side. They are 1x6's and use a T-half joint where the 1x6's connect to the 2x4's which make the frame at the top and at the bottom. <I see> Anyways the tank is now full of water and has been for a week. Every now and then I hear a creak from it, however I have check the level everyday and it is still right on level mark. Is it normal for tank stands to settle a bit? <Yes> Maybe I am overreacting? <Mmm, I too like to side on the edge of carefulness in such circumstances... but all should be fine here. BobF> Regards,
Benjamin Schmaus

Screwy base. Bunk stand, manners and Anglish 7/31/07 well I just built the stand I was mentioning in the earlier conversation, and it went pretty well considering I have never built one before. after construction I noticed that the 2 4x4 on the right side are some what not leveled. they seem to be leaning slightly but the tank is sturdy. the top of stand frame is level all the way around. Im wondering if the leaning of the 4x4 should be a concern and if should mount the stand to the wall somehow? thank you <Hello Mike. Something wrong with the Shift key on your keyboard? Precious few capital letters in this message. Combine that with the lack of a salutation to us here at Wet Web Media doesn't exactly meet with the standards those of us in the Old Country expect in our communications. Anyway, yes, a leaning tank is something to worry about. Aquaria are designed to be safe on *flat* surfaces where all four corners of the tank bear an equal loading. Anything that deviates from that increases the chance of (potentially catastrophic) failure. Having just dealt with a tank that suddenly cracked along the base a couple of weeks ago, I'm even more sensitive to the hassle this creates. So yes, you need to level the base, and yes, that may need a bit of extra woodwork. Attaching a stand to the wall sounds a singularly BAD idea though. Walls aren't designed to support the sheer weight of an aquarium pulling on them. Floors, by contrast, are very good at supporting weight. So I think you need to find a way to perfectly level the base you have. Don't take chances here -- you'll regret it when the tank suddenly cracks at two in the morning and you have to find buckets of your fish and thousands of towels to dry the carpet. Been there, done that. Cheers, Neale.>

Tank stand issue, not exactly level commercial supports of wood 7/8/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Mike> Thanks in advance for a fantastic web site. The information found within is invaluable. I have read over the forums until I've been cross eyed and had a headache, <While you're in practice then, perhaps you'll help me build the thing!> but have not found reference to a problem similar to mine. I just got a new 125 gallon All-Glass tank and stand. I know that you endorse placing 1/2" foam between the tank and stand to take up imperfections along where the two meet. <Mmm, not always, no> One such place on my stand is where two of the stringers come together at a corner. One of the boards is higher than the other where they come together. <... unusual...> The gap is such that I can slide an index card between the tank and stand, but not my drivers license. <Mmm, highly unlikely that this is, will be a problem... The wood itself that the stand is made of has sufficient "give" to settle this out> My concern is that this height difference is not spread out along the run of a board (I can slide my license between tank and stand down most of the rear of the setup), but is concentrated at one point. Is the foam capable of rendering this a non-issue? <I believe so> A call to the "experts" at All-Glass got me nowhere. I got two answers from them. First they suggested filling the tank 1/3 of the way to see if the difference settles out. <Good idea> They also said that if I feel that the stand was not made correctly to return it (a 90 mile drive with a borrowed vehicle). They would not offer any suggestions as a buffer between tank and stand that may help. Do I need to send this thing back? <Highly unlikely. I'd fill it and not worry here> Thanks for all your help, Mike <Glad to proffer it! Bob Fenner>

Re: Tank stand issue -- 07/08/07 Bob, <Mike> Thanks for the reply. I am glad to hear that it may not be an issue. However, after sending my last message I began examining the stand closer and may have found an additional issue. The stringers that are immediately beneath the tank sit into notches cut into the vertical support boards and are then stapled into place. <Yes, am familiar> In the suspect corner, both stringers are fastened in place, but do not contact the notch in the support boards. <...?> The both sit approximately 1/8" above the notch. Is this safe? <Is this gap evident with water in the tank? Or is it just showing now w/o the tank on the stand?> Now having read your response I'm almost ready to try a partial fill and see if they set down into place. I apologize for not having noticed this earlier and having to send another question on the topic as I understand that time is valuable. By the way, I may have to buy another copy of your "Reef Invertebrates" book as I'm wearing out the copy I have. =) Fantastic! Thanks again Mike <Mmm, Do you have a long carpenter's level (like a three footer?)... or a shorter one that you can lay on a good straight edge? I would measure a flat/level space, put the stand on this and measure all four corners... THEN I would likely fill the tank on this stand on this space... To check all. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tank stand issue -- 07/08/07 Bob, <Mike> Please don't shoot me if this is the third time you received this, but my computer has been experiencing difficulties each of the previous times I tried this. I enclosed photos of the issues with the stand we have been discussing. I am ready to do a test fill per your suggestion to see how the stand reacts. The stand's location is easily the most level (not to mention capable) location available to me (In a brand new addition to an otherwise 90 year old home, on laminate hardwood, sitting over extra floor joists as it stands parallel with them)(yes this spot was purpose built). <Good; am glad you mention> Looking at the front of the stand, corner heights are as follows: Left rear 27 15/16", left front 27 7/8", right front 27 15/16", right rear (problem corner) 28". Should I buffer the tank with foam before I test fill it? <Mmm... not this time... but PLEASE fill it 1/2 way, check for level on all four top edges of the tank, fill to 3/4 or so... do the checking again... and DO NOT fill further if there is still an apparent 1/8" difference off on one corner> Sorry for the multiple e-mails/questions, but I don't want to suffer a catastrophe and subsequent divorce from my wife, hobby, or both! Thanks again, Mike <Understood, and agreed. I fully suspect the tank will "settle" here fine. BobF>

Re: Tank stand issue 7/13/07 Bob, <Mike> Alright, here is where I am with the tank/stand. I filled the tank 1/2 way and let it set for 24 hrs. No movement in the wood. I filled it to 3/4 just now and still no movement. I grabbed a better measuring device (not the cheap tape I keep in the house) and remeasured stand corners: LR 27 31/32, LF 27 15/16, RF 28, RR 28 1/32. I grabbed my level and checked it against the water in the stand: perfect. The floor under the aquarium has a VERY slight decline to the right (not even enough to make the bubble touch one of the lines on the sight). The top of the tank shows all but perfectly level on every angle all the way around the top. I also checked the long runs of the tank using a six foot straight edge and without. No difference on the level. The water level from the top of the water to the bottom of the tank is as follows: LR 16 7/16", LF 16 15/32, RF 16 9/16, RR 16 17/32. Apparently the slight drop in the floor is enough to allow the right "trouble" end of the tank to be barely lower than the other end. I'm looking for your advice on what to do next. Is a 3/32" difference in water height over six feet of run acceptable? <Mmm, yes> If I am at the point of adding foam between tank and stand, what thickness do you recommend? <I would not use foam here> What else do I need to/should I do? Thank you so much for all your help. It is appreciated more than you know. Mike <I think you're golden here... I would go ahead and set up this tank on this stand. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Support for 220 gallon x high aquarium 7/8/07 Good afternoon, <Too early AM here now... Howzit?> My name is Brian and I have been a hobbyist for many years. I recently found your website upon searching for information on my newly purchased 220 gallon extra high tank and Prestige series stand made by Perfecto. Your website has a plethora of great information for hobbyists! <We thank and acknowledge you> I recently set up this tank in my living room and, upon filling it, I noticed it was slightly off level. It has a total of 6 metal adjustable floor jacks underneath in the basement for support (one in each corner and 1 each in the front and back center of the tank). I placed these jacks under two eight foot long 4x6 's (which are aligned with the front and back lengths of the tank) that I ran perpendicular to 7 floor joists. <Mmm, okay... Though, if close, I would have placed (screwed) a good-thickness of plywood under all, the jacks under this> I think the weight of the tank is adequately supported by these jacks. However, from left to right the tank is level, but from front to back it is not. <Bingo> It looks like it is leaning forward (away from the wall) and is unlevel by approximately 2-3/16". <Yeeikes!!!> Due to the height of the tank with stand (5' tall) and the fact that it is leaning away from the wall, I am concerned that this is too much. <It IS!> Do you have any advice on how and if I can easily correct this? <YES! Drain the tank down (move the water... and any other easily removed heavy decor/rock... out, into an area away from the tank... try affixing the plywood as alluded to above> I already filled the tank and am hoping there is a solution without having to start over. The stand has a totally flat bottom. <No suggestion exists w/o emptying here... Too likely to split a seam or worse...> Any advice you may have on this would be most appreciated. Thank you!!! <Please.... Do this NOW! Bob Fenner>
Re: Support for 220 gallon x high aquarium -- 07/08/07
Bob, Thanks so much for your help and advice!!! I have promptly emptied the tank, sump, and eliminated the stones and decor and am now ready to attempt this again with the plywood. Do you think 1/2" of plywood would work on this or should I go with more? <I would use a 3/4 or 1" thick piece> Right now there is a 17" space between where the two 4x6" beams are, with a total of 28" if you include the 4x6" beams. This was done so that the front and back of the tank rests along with the center of these beams. Do you recommend that I keep it this way when I affix the plywood or should I set it at a different distance? <I would leave this as is... screwing every six inches or so... with three plus inch wood screws on all faces> Also, just to make sure I understand this correctly, should I be placing the beams against the floor joists and then the affixed plywood goes underneath , or should I be placing the plywood on top (against the joists) with the beams underneath? <The jacks should all push on the ply which is screwed up onto the beams> Any advice you could give would be most helpful and appreciated. I am hoping I can set this safely and correctly so that I don't have to move the setup to the basement. I had a 135 gallon tank and a 75 gallon tank in my living room for years without a problem, but this is a different "animal"!!! I wanted to upgrade to one large tank since the others were approaching 20 years old. Thanks!!!!! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Support for 220 gallon x high aquarium 7/10/07
Hi Bob, <Pontiak...> I was able to find a 3/4" thick piece of particleboard which was level and seemed quite sturdy. <Mmm, I wrote ply... Plywood...> Do you think this would suffice? <I really don't like particle board...> I couldn't find plywood that was nicely level except for some very expensive birch plywood. <Exterior grade will/would do... Do you have no Lowe's or Home Depot or equivalent near? Any advice is much appreciated. Once I get the board and beams up, should I use the jacks to adjust the floor as necessary until I get it level in the basement before filling the tank? <Yes> Thanks for your help!!! I will keep you posted on results..... <I'd still use ply... RMF>
Re: Support for 220 gallon x high aquarium7/14/07
Good morning Bob, I was able to get a 3/4" piece of plywood and I affixed it as recommended. Unfortunately, when I fill the tank, I get the same result......the tank is level left to right but still is not level front to back. <Need to jack it up more in the front... from below is best, but with shimming twixt the stand and floor as well if necessary> It still leans forward away from the wall a little. My floor has carpeting and there are hardwood floors underneath. The tank is approximately 4" away from the wall. I have the six floor jack poles and the platform underneath in the basement so I think the weight is adequately being supported. Since I have never seen underneath the carpeting, I am beginning to wonder if there is a tacking strip or something under the rug that makes the back end higher. <Mmm, shouldn't be... not four inches away... Likely there is just a natural, gravity and time... sagging of the floor toward the middle... again, tighten the jacks that are away from the floor, and shim along the front/outward edge of the stand...> Since the front of the tank leans forward and since the bottom of the stand is entirely flat (the top of the stand is a flat piece of wood with a decorative lip around the front and sides), do you think it would be safe to try using shims underneath the stand to get it level? <Ah, yes> I am thinking of trying a 1/8th" thick shim about an inch wide along the entire front of the tank. <Good... look for the "plastic" ones that come in graduated height... they won't degrade over time like wood...> I have set up tanks in other rooms in the past and usually they would lean forward a little unless I shimmed them in the front. Any advice you may have would be most helpful. Thank you!!!!!! <I do think we're dialing into the same wavelength here. BobF>
Re: Support for 220 gallon x high aquarium 7/17/07
Good afternoon Bob, <Howdy!> I did everything as suggested and got the tank level. It looks great!!!! I used a combination of jacking the floor a little more and I used a 5mm thick shim that I ran under the entire front of the stand and this brought it into balance. Thanks so much for your advice!!!! <Welcome> Now that the tank is set up, I am hoping you wouldn't mind helping me with two questions that came to mind. First, I noticed there is a very thin vertical line (looks like an air bubble in the seal) dead center in the thickness on the left glass panel of the tank at the seal where the left panel connects to the front glass panel of the tank. The glass panels are 1/4" <Mmm... seems too thin... maybe 3/8"> thick. The apparent bubble is not very wide at all (maybe the thickness of about 2 human hairs) but does run almost the entire vertical height of the tank. I inspected the other side and noticed a few air bubbles in the seal and one small centered bubble maybe an inch long. I also inspected the internal seals of the tank and they appear fine. I am wondering if this is anything I need to be concerned about. <Mmm, no, not likely> It seems so minor but when I inspected all of my other tanks, I didn't see anything quite like it. I saw a few air bubbles here and there, but no straight line. I inspected the back left panel at the seal and, although I couldn't see very well since it is close to the wall, it looks like there may be a similar line in the back left side. Do you think this is anything I need to be concerned about? <No> Second, since the tank is so big, the largest heater I could find was 400 watts and I don't know if this is enough. The tank is in my living room and probably would maintain 66-70 degrees without a heater. Can I go with 2 heaters if necessary? <Yes... this is better> I'd like to place them in my overflow corners so they are hidden out of view. Any advice you would have would be most helpful. I am planning on placing either Oscars or African cichlids in the tank. Thanks so much for your help!!! The information your site provides is most valuable. <Thank you for this follow-up and congratulations on your success. BobF>

Unsupported Tank Corner - Uneven Surface - Even Styrofoam doesn't help 6/23/07 Hi Guys :) Hope all is well. <Thus far... thanks> I've got a 90 gallon tank 1/2 inch glass, with a custom built stand. The builder has made many tank stands before, and he arches the surface very slightly so that the surface becomes flat when the tank is filled. <Mmmm, unnecessary to have such a camber> I put about an inch of Styro and waited 2 weeks. All areas are properly supported except for the front-right corner. The area is un-supported and I'm able to slip about 2 CD's inside - to demonstrate the gap, and depth of the gap. I also included a picture below. <Too much gap here> The unfortunate thing is that I did not notice this gap until I have placed all my liverock, DSB, and livestock inside... :( Is this a nightmare waiting to happen - thoughts of a cracked edge or silicone spreading and 90 gallons on my floor come to mind. <I would take all out, modify the stand, replace it... whatever it takes to fix the gap here> What do you guys suggest to help me with this issue? I'm thinking of slipping cut pieces of acrylic below the Styro to raise the Styro somewhat, but don't know if this will be good enough. Please help.. Jason <Intermediates like Styrofoam are not really for leveling per se... I would fix this stand issue now... Yes, unfortunately necessitating taking the tank down. Bob Fenner>

EMERGENCY! Tank not level, will tank fail soon - 4/6/07 Hi, <Hi Helen, Mich here.> I don't have a level or anything but I do know that the front of the aquarium water is 6 mm from the trim and the back is 13mm from the trim. <This doesn't sound good.> It's 75 gallons, it's new, it's sitting on a black trim on the bottom (does that mean I can assume it has a floating bottom?) <Mmm, not sure what you're referring to here.> <<I do and very likely yes. RMF>> It's on a wooden stand that was bought with the tank as a kit. It is sitting on a carpet that has...Ummm...very tight weave, not very fluffy, understand? <Gotcha.> That carpet is sitting on a hardwood floor, which is in my new apartment (hence my full blown terror right now). <OK, no need to panic.> When the tank was set up it looked level and was stable. The problem is further compounded by the fact that there are fish in it from my last tank, that I no longer have as I gave it away. <That's OK we go to plan B.> Please answer if only to calm me. <Slow deep breaths... inhale...exhale...> I want to keep my fish, but I don't want a swimming pool in my apartment. <I'm sure your landlord doesn't either. It does sound like something is not right, though I'm not sure what. This does seem like a significant difference in the height of the water. I would recommend moving the contents of your tank to a large Rubbermaid type container temporarily. Sooner is probably better than later. I imagine you will have to move everything regardless to determine/resolve the problem. Make sure the temporary container has a heater and some type of circulation or aeration. Many thanks, <You're welcome. -Mich> <<And then? Refer the writer to our piece/s on stands, leveling... RMF>> Helen
Re: EMERGENCY! Tank not level, will tank fail soon - 04/20/07
Hi Mich, <Hi Helen, Mich with you again.> First let me say thank you for emailing me back so quickly. It really helped calm me down. <You are quite welcome. I was going for speed as you seemed a little panicked in your message.> The tank is now empty of fish and most water, about 1 third left. I emptied it completely to level it up, and am now taking it slowly in refilling it, checking for possible damage I may have done when it was un-level. <Hopefully none.> I seem to be experiencing something odd with the leveling of this aquarium and I wanted your advice. Initially, the tank was leaning forward, so what I did was put shims between the stand and the floor. The stand is a wooden one it is box-sided with a small arch at the front. It is at the front corners that I shimmed the stand. I used a spirit level borrowed from a friend to make sure it was level after shimming and as I fill the tank with water and decorations, I am looking for possible leaks and to make sure that it is still level. Here's the problem, the tank is now leaning backwards. The bubble in the spirit level is still within the lines, but without water the bubble was close to the center, now with a third of the water in the tank, the bubble is moving to the front line meaning the aquarium is leaning backwards. I emptied the tank again and pulled the shims back a bit to try and account for this and have now left it as stated above. What the heck is going on? <Mmm, not sure.> If I add more water will I be in danger of un-leveling the tank to the back, or is this just because there is not a lot of water in the tank to weight it down enough to even the tank out. I haven't even tried to put my filter on the back yet and it's fairly large, the emperor 400, I believe. What do you think? <Maybe it's something with your floor?> My fish need a bigger aquarium, but I can't get the tank to level up, Argghhh! <I'm sorry for your frustration. Perhaps a sheet of 1/2 inch or thinner solid insulation placed between the stand and the tank would help remedy this problem. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqstdleveling.htm Hope that helps, Mich> Thanks, Helen
Re: EMERGENCY! Tank not level, will tank fail soon 4/24/07
Hi Mitch, <Not Michelle, but BobF here> Quick question. I read an email in AqStdleveling called "Re: question about leveling... 2/16/07". The guy said that his spirit bubble was inside the lines but not exactly center. My spirit level bubble is saying that my tank is leaning a little backwards but is inside the lines, almost center, and that the tank is leaning right to left but again is inside the lines, is my aquarium alright? <Likely so> I plan to leave about an inch between the water level and the bottom of the top trim. Do you think it's okay to consider this aquarium safe? Sorry to keep pestering you. Helen A. <Again, you should be fine here. Bob Fenner>

29 Gallon tank with a possible twist 2/25/07 Hello. A few days ago we transferred our fish into a new 29 gallon tank. After all was finished, I noticed what I believe to be a very slight "twist". Using a bubble level, I checked all four sides of the tank and the stand as well. I cannot check the floor level because it's carpet. The aquarium sits completely flat on the new aquarium stand, so I am assuming it's the floor that isn't level. The long sides (front and back) are level. The left and right sides are not. The bubble was barely between the lines, leaning to one side. Looking at the water level I see that the water on the left side of the tank is 1/16'' lower in front, and the right side is 1/8'' <This may prove to be too much> lower in the front. We were in such a rush switching the tanks out we (foolishly) hurried to get the fish back into their heated environment without checking the level beforehand. My question: Is this small of a twist cause for concern? <Mmm, yes> Could it cause leaks/breakage? Or is it slight enough not to worry about? <Could be problematical... depending on "how tight" the glass has been fitted/siliconed... IF two panels are touching closely, there could be a catastrophic break here> I am worried that if we had to empty the tank out and put the fish through that stress again so soon, they wouldn't make it. If it is cause for concern, is there anything that I could do without emptying the tank? I'd really appreciate any input. Thank you, Kathy <For this size, shape glass tank, this amount of "play" concerns me. If it were mine, I would drain it, shim the low side... and place a piece of foam under all the tank's edges. Bob Fenner>

Rusting Tank stand 1/27/07 Hi, <<Hi, Joe. Tom>> The stand on my 120 reef is rusting due to the high moisture level in the room. <<Doesn't sound good, does it?>> Wondering if you have ever heard of a stand failing due to rust and if you have any experience with Rustoleum around an up and running reef? <<Haven't heard of this personally, Joe, but I bet I will if you don't take some action to correct this. Whatever product you use, don't make it an aerosol. (Undoubtedly, you already had that one figured out but I wanted to make it perfectly clear for our readers.) One product that I'm familiar with in an industrial environment is 'Extend' Rust Inhibitor. When brushed onto the metal it appears milky white but dries black. It combines with the oxidized metal to form a protective coating that protects the underlying metal. You might want to use it as a primer and brush a top coat of another paint on for aesthetic purposes. Your preference here. Don't procrastinate on this one, Joe.>> Thanks Joe Damone <<You're welcome. Tom>>
Re: Rusting Tank stand 1/28/07
Thanks Tom, <<No problem, Joe.>> Have you used Extend around an up and running reef? <<No, Joe, I haven't. I've used it extensively on large air handling units in a high-rise office building. Subject to high humidity loads during the "cooling" season here in Michigan and, obviously, non-toxic to people. In all honesty, though, I don't know of any implications of using it around an operating reef system, pro or con. (I'll transfer my response to Bob and seek his input. Watch the FAQ's... Tom>> <I do think/believe this material is safe once cured. BobF>
Re: Rusting Tank stand 1/28/07
Got it. but my main concern is the fumes not when its cured thanks Joe <I see... I would definitely be doing the application/curing out of doors... in a well-ventilated garage perhaps if the weather were inclement. Bob Fenner>
Re: Rusting Tank stand 1/29/07
I guess I am not being clear. I want to do this with the reef tank up and running ON THE STAND Thanks <Sorry... I would NOT do this... I would take the tank down temporarily (yes, a big job) prep./clean the stand, paint it up. allow it to cure... then re-set-up. BobF>
Re: Rusting Tank stand 1/29/07
Bob, Thanks for your input. Is the reason you would not do it when the tank is up and running is because of contamination issues? Thanks Joe <Mmm, only partially... Mostly the desire to do a thorough job (need to get off most all the rot/rust) and secondly to avoid fume issues. BobF>

Acrylic Tank Wobbles on the Stand -- 10/02/06 Hello WWM Crew, <<Scott>> I was wondering if I could tap your experience to help with a potential problem. <<Okay>> I am currently assembling a new setup, which includes a new Tenecor 135 gallon acrylic tank (72"Wx18"Dx24"H) on a custom BRI cabinet. <<Neat! I too have a Tenecor tank, though somewhat larger. Very good craftsmanship>> In spite of the fact that the craftsmanship appears to be outstanding on both the tank and cabinet, the (empty) tank "rocks" back and forth about a quarter inch on the stand. <<Mmm, need to determined if the fault is with the stand or the tank>> Needless to say, I want to stabilize the tank on the stand before proceeding and was hoping you folks might have some "tips" as to how to do this. My first thought is to shim the tank from below but I am concerned this may create stress points along the bottom that may cause problems down the road. <<I would not do this>> Another thought was to lay some kind of soft base under the tank that would form to the uneven contours along the bottom (the cabinet has a "lip" along the side of the top deck so about one inch of the bottom of the tank will be covered from view). Any thoughts/suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated. <<Firstly Scott, I would obtain a long straightedge and place this diagonally from all four corners of the tank stand to determine it is flat and level along it entire length/width. If not, this should be taken up with whoever crafted the cabinet and corrected. If the problem is with the tank bottom being slightly convex then I would contact Tenecor. Acrylic tanks do have 'some give', and there is a 'chance' all would be fine with the small gap you describe, but I would contact the tank manufacturer and describe/discuss with them just for peace of mind. After you get these things sorted out and are ready to proceed, get some 'fan-fold' insulation from Lowe's or HD and place under the tank. This thin (1/8') Styrofoam insulation will add just a bit of cushion and 'gap filling'>> Scott <<Regards, EricR>>

Set-Up... Iron Stand Using Acrylic Tanks 10/8/06 Bob - appreciate this. <James with you today.> I "inherited" an angle-iron metal stand with a foot print of 72"X18", commonly used with 125g tanks which appears to support a two-tier set-up accommodating a second tank on the bottom. I purchased two 100g acrylic tanks with the same footprint. Beneath each I have initially placed a 3/4" piece of plywood with a 3/4" inch piece of Styrofoam (came as packing materials with tanks). I have not filled the tanks yet because two things are bugging me: (1) The plywood board for the top tank has a noticeable bow. With the bow "pointed" upwards, the tank (unfilled) and Styro easily shifts since the board edges do not make contact with the corners of the stand. (a) When this top tank is filled (850lbs+), will the bowing "settle" such that contact will be made between the plywood and stand and presumably eliminate this shifting issue? (b) Or, is it better to turn the board over with the bow downwards and the fours corners contacted? Would this negatively impact acrylic tank bottom? <I'd keep the bow up and would fasten the plywood to the frame with flathead screws. Only necessary to fasten in the middle of the board onto each of the long rails. This will keep the tank in position without the board moving around on you while you are beginning to fill the tank.> (2) Inspecting the bottom tank contact to the stand frame, there is a noticeable bow and gap in the middle of the front "rail." The back frame rail does not have this situation and there is a middle metal support leg in the back, not the front. I can actually push upwards and lift the middle of the front rail upward to make contact with the plywood board, Styro, and tank bottom. I am not sure of the prior use of this stand, but I suspect that a shorter tank (or tanks) may have been used on the bottom frame, possible creating this effect. My initial thought is to support the front rail in the middle in a manner similar to the back rail support, probably with a cut block of 4X4" wood such that this gap is eliminated. Is this an answer, or would you consider the stand compromised? <I'd definitely support the front rail as you say. You can use a 4x4 but think a 2x4 would suffice. You man also want to weld an angle iron foot to the front that would be similar to the rear. Don't believe the cost of welding this would be much.> I also noted that with a 17" inch high tank, and giving up 1.5" for the plywood and Styro, I have only 3-4" of access between the top of the lower tank and the stand's top frame. I attribute all such stands as being built to support a two-tier system, but I may be wrong here - for iron stands of this size, isn't this the case? <Is the stand built with 3/16 angle iron? If so, you could tier two tanks. Without actually seeing the stand, I couldn't guarantee the results. I'd make sure all the weld joints are sound before doing such. Insure you place a piece of plywood/Styrofoam on the top also. Acrylic tanks need full bottom support.> Thanks in advance for your help - I appreciate your thoughts. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Scott

Termites in My Stand! 12/15/06 Hi Crew, <Hi> I am almost positive I have dry wood termites in my tank stand. <Uh oh.> I have no idea how long they have been there (I have had the stand for 1 year and a few months), but I just noticed termite "frass" (droppings, essentially) clearly originating from under a panel in the stand. <Significantly less than good.> In your experience, what are my options here? Should I put a new stand on my holiday shopping list? Thanks for any advice or suggestions! Jason <A new stand and quick. The structural integrity of the stand may already be compromised, and with the tank's significant weight on the top a failure is possible. Unfortunately the termites may not leave with the stand, probably worth calling a exterminator to come take a look so the problem does not reoccur.> <Chris>
Termites in My Stand! Part II 12/18/06
Thanks for the advice. <Sure.> I am getting a new stand ASAP (possibly a new tank, given the breakdown that has to occur anyway). <Nice.> What are your thoughts on metal stands? Guaranteed termite-free. I've been told by fellow reefers who use them that a powder coating prevents rust. <Not really a fan due to rust, saltwater is extremely corrosive.> I appreciate any experience you can share. Thanks, Jason <Welcome> <Chris>

Acrylic Tank Stand Dear Bob, I just did a water test on a new 215 gallon (72' x 30' x 24' x ¾') tank. 24 hours later I discovered cracks in the tank. <Cracks? Where?> It is most likely caused by the uneven stand. There is about a 1/8th variance from one end to the other on the long side. <A good idea to shore up the one short end, place a substantially thick piece of material like foam core (from Home Depot, Lowe's) under the entire bottom> Upon close examination, I see the stand takes all the weight of the tank on 6 2'x4' legs. There are no beams spanning the entire length of the tank even though there is a ¾' board on top of the legs as a floor for the tank. My questions are: Is it true that even a small amount of uneven support can cause cracks in an acrylic aquarium? <In any aquarium, yes> Am I correct in saying that the stand I described is not constructed properly to support my acrylic aquarium? <Or the floor isn't> How can I correct for the problem? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tksstds.htm> Thank you in advance for your advise. John
<You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

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