Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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dm800 04-22-2009 06:28 PM

Tank placement and levelness on the stand
I just built a stand for my 50 gallon tank and was setting it up but had some support questions. First of all, I got the stand so it is totally level, and the plywood is also flat on the top. Its basically a 2x4 frame top with a sheet of plywood on it. I ran a straight edge along the top to look for any warping and did not see any. When I put the tank on the stand, it sits on it level and without any wobble. However, when I look under the front and back of it, there is a slight gap where near the middle of the front and rear spans is not making contact with the stand. We're talking about the width of a business card. I filled it with water to see what would happen and it didnt really change much, that small gap was still there. Just to be sure it was not the stand, I placed the tank on a granite surface and found the same slight gaps.

I am confused as to whether or not this matters because I have read in some places where every part of that frame must contact the stand, and I have read in other places that just the 4 corners or the two sides need to be. I am certain my stand is much sturdier than some of the commercial stands, and I do have it completely level with no wobble. I just want to know if that front and rear span is going to hurt anything if it is not touching, or if i should slide a thin shim under the middle.

JohnnyD44 04-23-2009 06:36 AM

You should be ok....

do you have support beams running through the middle as braces? plywood may not be enough

dm800 04-23-2009 10:14 AM


Originally Posted by JohnnyD44 (Post 189908)
You should be ok....

do you have support beams running through the middle as braces? plywood may not be enough

Yeah its a 2x4 frame around the outer edge, plus one across the middle with the plywood on top. The tank is only 36" x 18". It's almost like the tank frame is purposely slightly arched up a little in the middle as if to make sure all four corners would touch if there was any uneveness in the top.

Byron 04-23-2009 10:46 AM

I concur with JohnnyD that you should be OK. The nice thing about plywood is that there is give within the wood, so with the weight of the tank full of water and gravel the wood will "give" so that the entire tank frame is touching it. If after several years you were to remove the tank and look at the plywood, you'd probably see the indentation of the tank showing that it settles evenly into the wood. With a metal frame you should always put a layer of that foam insultating stuff around between the tank frame and the stand as it serves the same purpose of filling the minute gaps that might exist.

MBilyeu 04-23-2009 05:20 PM


dm800 04-23-2009 11:59 PM

So is it not necessary to put small shims under the middle span then? I have it on a thin piece of foam shelf liner, not that that really is going to do anything I guess but seems better than just laying it flat on the wood! I have the plywood screwed down onto the frame in several places along it. Do you think it would be better just to put a screw in each corner, so possibly if the wood bows up in the middle then it will come in contact with the tank?

Tyyrlym 04-24-2009 08:57 AM

I highly recommend putting a piece of foam insulation under any tank. You can get the stuff for $10 a sheet at a home improvement store and a sheet is 4' x 8'. It helps to support the entire tank bottom and even out any rough spots.

dm800 04-24-2009 12:24 PM

Just something like that pink stuff? Does it come in 1/2"? I made my stand so a piece of molding just covers up the plastic frame of the tank, so I'd like to get this as thin as possible or else I might have to redo that part.

Tyyrlym 04-24-2009 12:32 PM

Some of it's pink. Mine's white with a silvery outer coating. Mine's about 1/2" thick.

dm800 04-24-2009 12:52 PM

Ok I'll check it out later when I go to the store. Is it real solid, or is tehre a lot of give in it?

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