20 Gal on home-made stand: small GAP in front middle

lexxelNovember 24, 2005

I just set up a 20gal tank on a home-made stand, well, actually it is an old kitchen cabinet with the counter top removed. I thought it was flat, but it turns out the front sags somewhat, this is from age and use, and I don't expect any more sag to occur... however, I knew there was about 1/2 inch sag in front, so I put the tank on a 3/4 inch foam (high density) slab... figured it would sink into the foam on the outside edges and even out... well it's been up for 24 hours full, and the foam seems to not be compressing at all... there is still a gap in front along the bottom of the frame, in the middle, about 1/16 inch, but all the way along the front getting less toward the sides. I would say the sides for about 3 inches touch the foam, but then the gap starts... as I said, worst in the middle...

Why isn't the foam compressing to take the load evenly?

What should I do now? Some have said don't worry about it bc it is only 20 gal.

I don't want to stress the fish out out and drain the tank... should I shim the middle or will the foam eventually compress? What should I shim with and how tightly? Can I shim without draining the tank?

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The foam will compress with time, but, if the gap is too much then you need to level it, when it´s only a few milimiters there´s not much problem but if it´s more you have to level it. 20 Gal may not seem as much but got any idea how much a 20 gal tank weights when full ? the answer is around 200+ pounds and that´s a lot of weight, weight that has to be evenly distributed over the standing surface because glass is anything but solid, glass bends and deforms under pressure, pressure caused by the water itself and in a tank the pressure points are in the middle of the long glasses that form the tank; specially in the bottom glass with time the silicone adhesive will break because the pressure pushes the bottom glass this pulls the adhesive and the adhesive breaks. I know it because I used to build tanks when I had the aquarium store and before installing the tank I had to level the surface with styrofoam so the tank would stand leveled at the bottom. Shim the middle. How thight ? until you have filled the gap.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 12:16PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

May be a good idea to use a piece of 3/4 MDF or plywood over the top of the stand. Shim the gaps as raul said.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 8:46PM
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Yes put that flat piece of plywood under the tank and the styrofoam on top of the plywood then there should not be any gaps.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 12:10AM
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