First big tank, can I use a ply base?

Phildaint

Member
Hi guys, first time posting here!

So I’ve just taken delivery of my new 5 ft tank to upgrade the discus to, it’s 550 litres and I’m trying to get the tank level on my uneven floor, it’s perfect left to right but leans forwards slightly ( front needs raising by 6mm)

so the footprint of the stand is similar to that of flat pack furniture (in the picture) so I cant really place packers directly under it with it being so heavy.

My other idea was to cut a sheet of ply for the tank cabinet to sit on and then place packers under that? Is this the way to go? Has anyone done this before?
If for example I used 10 packers on the front and the whole of the back is touching the floor then it would roughly be 30 kilos per packer and less if I can squeeze some into the middle of the ply...

can you let me know if this is a good idea please? As I can’t really think of any other way without destroying my floor and using screed...
thanks, Phil
 

NoahLikesFish

Member
You can put little butts of plywood under it to level it they make stuff to do it I think
 

SanDiegoRedneck

Member
First off welcome to fishlore!

Second with a stand or furniture that has wood touching in square on floor not like just 4 posts... the issue with putting ply under that stand is that you will have tiny air gap under stand with awkward pressure where stand meets ply.

Also ply will break under that pressure and unless painted will swell with water. A solid piece of wood is better option if you go that route.

It would be some work but to do safer only thing my crazy mind thinks is using a chisel and file on solid wood plank and making it angle so touching all parts of base leaving no air gaps.
 

John58ford

Member
SanDiegoRedneck said:
First off welcome to fishlore!

Second with a stand or furniture that has wood touching in square on floor not like just 4 posts... the issue with putting ply under that stand is that you will have tiny air gap under stand with awkward pressure where stand meets ply.

Also ply will break under that pressure and unless painted will swell with water. A solid piece of wood is better option if you go that route.

It would be some work but to do safer only thing my crazy mind thinks is using a chisel and file on solid wood plank and making it angle so touching all parts of base leaving no air gaps.
I love a good chisel day as much as the next guy but... I have ripped wedges 1/8-0 while squaring 2x4 boards on my table saw. You can do it on purpose even with a cheap table saw by setting the fence to 3" (or 7" depending on desired wedge width), put two 2x4 next to eachother laying flat, then put a pencil between them at the and you are pushing from. Should just turn the first foot or 2 into dust, then start leaving a wedge. Might help to take the riving knife down while you rip wedges.
 

SanDiegoRedneck

Member
John58ford said:
I love a good chisel day as much as the next guy but... I have ripped wedges 1/8-0 while squaring 2x4 boards on my table saw. You can do it on purpose even with a cheap table saw by setting the fence to 3", put two 2x4 next to eachother laying flat, then put a pencil between them at the and you are pushing from. Should just turn the first foot or 2 into dust, then start leaving a wedge. Might help to take the riving knife down while you rip wedges.
And a reason to buy a tool if you dont already have. Lol
 

Dennis57

Member
Years ago 1 of my stands was off front to back by 3/16".

I used steel shims that I picked up from a welder.

Most welders will cut what you need to size,
 

SanDiegoRedneck

Member
Dennis57 said:
Years ago 1 of my stands was off front to back by 3/16".

I used steel shims that I picked up from a welder.

Most welders will cut what you need to size,
Dang never even thought of steel shims. Great idea.
 

RayClem

Member
SanDiegoRedneck said:
Dang never even thought of steel shims. Great idea.
A gap of 3/16" is pretty big. However. you might be able to glue together several fender washers to make a suitable shim if you cannot find some scrap metal thick enough. Stainless steel would be even better.

The problem with using plywood is that if it gets wet, it can swell and eventually it will deteriorate. Thus, you want a water resistant material. Even 3/16" acrylic would work.
 

jmaldo

Member
Hmm...
Nice setup. I see your using a level, good idea. With it being a "New" tank and stand. Have you leak tested it? I had a similar issue setting up a 55g (not as large as yours). Add some water, the additional weight will help it settle and you can measure the level of the water for a true reading. Turns out mine was "Ok"

Good Luck!

Oh by the way, "Welcome to the "Community".
 

A201

Member
It's almost impossible to have a perfectly level tank. As long as the east / west line is level and the north / south line only has a very slight even forward tilt, no problem.
There should be no torque or twisting of the tank.
As long as all four corners rest firmly on the stand, things should be fine.
 

86 ssinit

Member
They also sell plastic shims. But if it’s leaning forward 3/16 just run a 2x4 through a table saw removing 3/16. Cut that to 5’ add under front of stand. Should be fine.
 

Fae

Member
I have no idea if what I'm doing is actually good long term, but I have a 4ft 48g tank on a very similar looking (solid wood) stand, and my water level is definitely higher on the right than the left by an inch or two. And it's fine.

For me it's because the floor is super not-level, is that your problem too? If it's not a huge difference I would just leave it be, it's way more likely you'll mess something up trying to Jerry rig something. Just make sure your stand is really stable. (I drove screws in all the places that were stapled, made a big difference)
 
  • Thread Starter

Phildaint

Member
jmaldo said:
Hmm...
Nice setup. I see your using a level, good idea. With it being a "New" tank and stand. Have you leak tested it? I had a similar issue setting up a 55g (not as large as yours). Add some water, the additional weight will help it settle and you can measure the level of the water for a true reading. Turns out mine was "Ok"

Good Luck!

Oh by the way, "Welcome to the "Community".
I’ve had the level on the floor too, the floor is 100% out!
 
  • Thread Starter

Phildaint

Member
Thanks for all the replies, this forum seems way more active than others!
I get what your saying with the wedges but with the style and footprint of the stand it’s chipboard style sheet material which would not stand up to pressure points in areas which is why I was thinking of a ply sheet as the base for the stand to sit on and then packers between the floor and ply. I can get metal packers/ shims to go under no problem, I have a vast collection of metal
Washers in a tub that I could use

I can seal the ply once it’s cut to stop moisture getting in to.
 

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