Leveling the aquarium

  • c_etude
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c_etude created the topic: Leveling the aquarium

When I put the level for my new 125 gallon tank, the buble was BETWEEN the two lines. But not exactly perfectly centered, but was between the lines.

Problem is, I did use some shimmers (or whatever they are called to level) and it was perfect but when I added water, I had to remove the shimmers!!!! Because it was off the other end.

So now I'm back where I started..BETWEEN the lines but not perfectly exact. Should I empyy the tank and and try again??

Thanks for your time
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Leveling the aquarium

Getting the tank level is pretty important. You don't want broken Seals or cracked panels. I think you're doing the right thing, you can use wood or foam board.

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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Leveling the aquarium

Should you be concerned?? Yes and No...

Let me explain.
Often times people bring home a new aquarium and place it where they want it and check it with a level before filling it with water. Thats all good and they should. As a beginning point, the bubble of the level should be relatively close to middle and in between the two little lines. But if it's not 100% centered there is no need to panic. Consider that some people are placing their aquariums directly on top of a carpeted floor etc. and that the aquarium is thus far empty. Once you fill that aquarium, things have a way of leveling out because all that extra weight compresses the carpeting / flooring material and you are good to go. So, if the level is close, you should be fine.

Once filled with water, you should have no more then 1/8 of an inch and certainly no more then 1/4" difference at each end of your Aquarium, measuring from the surface of the water to the top ledge of your tanks rim. Rule #1 is that Water seeks its own level and in fact will always be level. If you fill it and it is off more then 1/4", then you may need to remove the water and re-level again. Of course, the above is all relative as a 10 Gallon Aquarium that is off 1/8" is off way worse then a 125 Gallon aquarium that is off by 1/4". Why? Because the length of an aquarium magnifies the discrepancy so the longer it is the easier it will be to see any difference. YET, that being said the weight of water in a 10 Gallon Aquarium has far less potential force to do damage then the weigh of the capacity of water in a much larger 125, so care must be taken to get it close especially in the bigger aquarium. (Note I didn't say exact.)

The important thing is to keep the stand 100% underneath the tank itself. Never shim under the tank as that can create high and low contact points under the aquariums frame (which is not good) because that is what causes cracks and leaks. If necessary, shim under the stand between the stand and floor. Lastly, consider that any shims you do use will see tremendous crushing force PSI (Pounds per square inch) and thus must be strong enough to sustain the point pressures of all that weight. (Foam is not an acceptable shim as that acts only as padding and easily compresses under the waters weight to where you started with in the first place.) In general I have found that as long as your level is between the two lines, you should be OK once it settles in. If your aquarium is off a bit because your floor is off a bit, you are probably better off without shims at all as long as the level from end to end is less then 1/4" off, especially if you'r talking about a 4 foot or longer aquarium. Just my opinion from my experience...

Ken, 51, NJ-USA (2 Tiger Oscars)
Need to give away one healthy 1 year old Oscar if you know of anyone interested. See the adoption thread for photos. Thanks!
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Leveling the aquarium

Very good advice. And advice that doesn't often crop up on forums because people don't think about it. You are certainly correct about the length of the aquarium making it easier to see the difference. The water on the right-hand side of my tank is slightly low down the left-hand side. I don't think it's worth worrying about though. The tanks been there for quite a while, so touch wood everything is fine. But I will be paying a lot more attention to levelling on the new tank. If you like, I will add what you have said in this post to helpful articles and put your name at the bottom.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Leveling the aquarium

Certainly you can, although I would have liked to add the below to it to ffurther explain why you shouldn't rely on either foam or plastic to do any levelling: If you like, I will condense it into one article and clean it up a bit so you can post it.

Plastic too should not be used for leveling a stand as plastic can (and will) later crack and break down sometime after your tank is established. Shims should only be solid wood or metal capable of sustaining the point weight pressures they will see. Foam does absolutely nothing except compress under the weight (to paper thin if necessary) as it is not capable of bearing much of any weight. See my other post......

To illustrate my point, take a piece of foam and place it on the floor and then stand on it. See if it holds you up or if it simply flattens out under the pressure and your weight. (In aquarium use, foam is a "feel good" material because it makes you feel good about using it but it does absolutely nothing.) Same with plastic, it may hold for a while, but when you least expect it it will crack and fall apart later on which could then leave you in a precarious situation.

Ken, 51, NJ-USA (2 Tiger Oscars)
Need to give away one healthy 1 year old Oscar if you know of anyone interested. See the adoption thread for photos. Thanks!
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Leveling the aquarium

Put the article together with everything you want and I will get it on here straight away. Well, depends what time I get it to me. And make sure the spelling's right :lol:

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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Leveling the aquarium

I sent it to you in a word document via email. I checked it with spell checker. :ohmy:
I also sent you a web link earlier for a live food / worm farm here in the states that does mail order. Luckily for me, the worm farm is but one town away from me here in NJ.

Ken, 51, NJ-USA (2 Tiger Oscars)
Need to give away one healthy 1 year old Oscar if you know of anyone interested. See the adoption thread for photos. Thanks!
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Leveling the aquarium

All done Ken. That is an extremely good article, very informative indeed. If you got the others, then send them to me.

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OFL replied the topic: Re:Leveling the aquarium

Go to Google and type in levelling your aquarium and see who is first, and second come to think of it

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c_etude replied the topic: Re:Leveling the aquarium

I appreciate the article! Now I did get some plastic shims which is supposed to sustain 1,500 pounds of weight. Well, it sort of seems like plastic but thicker but it allegedly is supposed to support weight much better than wood. I have 8 legs on the aquarium. You think these will last a while???????
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