Problems leveling tank

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Pth03001, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Pth03001

    Pth03001 Member

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    Morning Everyone,

    So I have run into an issue with my tank. I ended up getting this off Craiglist and everything looked fine. It is a 180 gallon reef ready with a twist, the bottom panel is a PVC like material with a plywood backing (photographs to follow) I resealed the tank and built the stand myself (thank you King of DIY and youtube). So once I placed the tank on the stand I found that I had a problem. The tank edge of the tank does not come in contact fully with the stand. Now I have my 4 foot level and prior to placing the tank on the stand I checked to ensure the stand was flat and level, which it was. I checked the level of the tank and found that it was in fact not level because of contours in my flooring. So I shimmed the floor and got the tank on the stand level. Problem though is that the tank's edge still does not meet the stand top all the way around the stand. The rear two edges are fine, they sit flush next to the base. The front two on the other hand do not and instead lift up at the edges. The center of the tank though is flush though. I attempted to solve this issue with shimming the bottom of the stand further but every time I shimmed one side the other would get worse and vise versa. I also added a 3/4" piece of dense insulation grade styrofoam which was recommended as well by the previous owner. This all has left me scratching my head for the last couple months and without water in my tank. I will include pictures and look forward to any possible suggestions or comments that ya'll can make based off these details.

    After all of that explanation I just am looking for a way to fix my current issue. I have seen and heard numerous ideas to include filling the tank to see if the weight will compress any warping that may have occurred in the plywood base of the tank. Also I have had suggestions of either planing the stand or the plywood itself. Also rebuilding the stand or tank are also ideas that Ive heard. I'm interested though in what ya'll have to say about it and look forward to seeing any suggestions. Thanks again everyone.

    Also bonus question: what type of wood would you recommend finishing the stand in? (Cedar, Oak, Pine, Poplar, ect?) I am thinking of a darker stain/look to match other future furniture in the room fyi.

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  2. Pth03001

    Pth03001 Member

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    Oh yes, I forgot to mention, around the edge you can see parts where the plywood is poking out beyond the depth of the trim. To me this is a sign of warping wood but that's just me.
     
  3. Smo

    Smo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Just to confirm...the stand top surface is level and in plane...not only left to right and front to back but also diagonally across opposite corners?
     
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  4. Pth03001

    Pth03001 Member

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    I checked its level when it was finished and it was but I don't recall if I checked the diagonal level across the top of the stand. I'll remove the tank and check asap but I'm going to have to call come reinforcements.
     
  5. Smo

    Smo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    First step would be to ensure the top mating surface of the stand is in plane. If it is and the tank is not sitting flat on the stand then the tank is likely warped somehow.
    The foam will help reduce point loads but I suspect you would need to shim the gaps between tank and stand with long tapered strips of wood or plastic. This will complicate the leveling process too.
    I would be concerned about filling the tank with water and just allowing it to settle on the stand. It may work initially but over time the shear loads on the tank seams could result in catastrophic failure. One of the main reasons for leveling a tank aside from having an even water level is to ensure there are no asymmetric loads on the tank seams.
     
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  6. beaslbob

    beaslbob Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the tank bottom is warped and the stand is true.

    I think you gonna have to shim that corner until it touches the tank bottom. then let the water weight sink the entire tank into the Styrofoam.

    <<<< not an expert.

    worth only .02
     
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  7. Pth03001

    Pth03001 Member

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    I think y'all are right, I'm going to have to take the tank off and check the bottom of the tank first as well as the top of the stand to see where the possible defects lay. I had read other posts which were anti shim around the frame bit all those posts were for glass bottom with weight laying on the frame of the tank only. I wasn't sure if same rules apply but figure they would not because the entire bottom comes in contact with the entire top of the stand. Like I said it may be a minute before I get the muscle together but I'll update when I get it down and inspect it. Thank God for dewalt metal horses!
     
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  8. jeff williams

    jeff williams Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried setting the tank on a flat surface other than your stand and seeing if the same corners are not in contact? Use a square to check your stand a large framing square would be best. It's possible to build a stand that's level yet it's still out of square
     
  9. glb

    glb Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member 2018

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    I would make sure the gaps are filled in. It would be easy to fix now and a nightmare to deal with once the tank is up and running. Good luck!!!
     
  10. tcarter1936

    tcarter1936 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I would take advantage of the muscle when it arrives and find a suitable place outside to correct these issues then when you feel it's correct fill the tank for two weeks. I know your already invested but it will cost alot more and possibly a marriage if it fails inside. Better safe than sorry. Good luck with it.
     
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