Is My Tank In Danger of Collapse? (Help)

Molasses

Member
Hello,

So here's what my issue is. My first tank I ever got was a 29g. When I was setting up, I was doing my research to prepare for the tank, but something I never did was look up the actual weight of a fish tank. It dawned on me recently how heavy a 29g tank actually is, and I'm now worried for collapse. My tank was set up on my dresser (pics attached) that I've had for over 10 years, I don't know what exact model it is because it's been forever, but I know it's from Ikea. Before the tank, it never really held anything heavy. I've now had this setup going for almost 2 years.

Whenever I bump into the dresser or the tank, nothing moves, which I think is good. My anxiety though, comes from what I discovered. I was feeling around the top of the dresser to check for cracks when I made a discovey. Along the perimeter of the tank, some parts of the dresser feel slightly bumpy. In almost all other areas of the dresser I can feel, there's barely any bumps. My current theory is that the water from spillage during water changes may have sunk into the cracks and is possibly damaging the wood? I can't show pictures of this because visually nothing is wrong, and honestly I don't know for sure whether or not anything is wrong at all.

Should I be worried about possible collapse? What warning signs, if any, should I look out for so I can catch the issue before disaster? Should I just buy a dedicated stand for the tank? I wouldn't know where to put it in my house, and I would rather not get one unless I need to.

(Also, apologies for the pics. I took these in the middle of a water change and this tank is an algae mess!)
 

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Ghelfaire

Member
If you can afford to you should buy a stand. The bumps dont sound like a good thing.
 

RollaPear

Member
Structurally a dresser simply isn't built to hold that amount of weight. That's like 330lbs not including gravel and equipment. I'd say lady luck has been embracing you for some time.

But she's know to be impatient.

I'd water change and put that on the ground/floor asap and go a buy a stand asap.
 

bamos1

Member
What is the dresser made of? If it’s mdf or particle board, I’d move the tank. If it’s solid wood, I’ll bet it’s fine. Wood is way stronger than most people give it credit for, especially in tension. Since the tank is almost the same size as the dresser top, almost all the weight will be on the edges. Wood in tension (the dresser sides especially) will be extremely strong. The weak point will be the top, which may experience some fiber crushing along the tank edge, and may bend because of its thickness. You could add a piece of waterproofed 3/4” plywood between the tank and the dresser top and you’d be just fine. Again, that’s only if the dresser is actual wood. If it’s a man made product, I’d get a tank stand.
 

jake37

Member
Sadly if you move the tank it really should be emptied including the substrate. Tanks are not designed to be moved while bearing weight.
 
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Molasses

Member
jake37 said:
Sadly if you move the tank it really should be emptied including the substrate. Tanks are not designed to be moved while bearing weight.
I wouldn't really have much of a choice I'm afraid. The good news is the move would probably be quick as I hopefully can find a spot nearby to put the stand.
 
  • Thread Starter

Molasses

Member
bamos1 said:
What is the dresser made of? If it’s mdf or particle board, I’d move the tank. If it’s solid wood, I’ll bet it’s fine. Wood is way stronger than most people give it credit for, especially in tension. Since the tank is almost the same size as the dresser top, almost all the weight will be on the edges. Wood in tension (the dresser sides especially) will be extremely strong. The weak point will be the top, which may experience some fiber crushing along the tank edge, and may bend because of its thickness. You could add a piece of waterproofed 3/4” plywood between the tank and the dresser top and you’d be just fine. Again, that’s only if the dresser is actual wood. If it’s a man made product, I’d get a tank stand.
I would be willing to bet it's not purely wood. You seem to be really smart with handy things, how urgent should I be looking to get this move done? I have more of a time issue than a money issue, and it's been 2 years since this tank was set up.
 

faydout

Member
Molasses said:
I wouldn't really have much of a choice I'm afraid.
Even if you moved the fish and as much of the substrate over into 5 gallon buckets?
 
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Molasses

Member
faydout said:
Even if you moved the fish and as much of the substrate over into 5 gallon buckets?
I've currently got one five gallon bucket. I suppose it's not out of the question for me to move the substrate, but I'm trying not to disturb the bacteria or anything. I also want to make the move as painless as I can. What could go wrong from carrying the tank for a few seconds with substrate?
 

mattgirl

Member
Molasses said:
I've currently got one five gallon bucket. I suppose it's not out of the question for me to move the substrate, but I'm trying not to disturb the bacteria or anything. I also want to make the move as painless as I can. What could go wrong from carrying the tank for a few seconds with substrate?
As long as there are at least 2 people lifting and moving this tank I really don't see a problem leaving your substrate in the tank. With just one person lifting it, it might get twisted and thus causing potential problems. Such as weakening the seals and causing an eventual leak or even cracking the glass if it gets in too much of a twist.

I am thinking most of the ikea furniture is made with pressed sawdust wood. In other words, man made wood. It looks good until water gets too it. Moisture will soak into it and cause it to swell up. I feel sure that is what is happening under this tank. If you don't have another place to move this tank you may want to just add a piece of cabinet grade plywood to the top of this dresser to add strength. You could paint the plywood to match the dresser so it will just blend right in.

Make sure the plywood is the same size as the top of the dresser or even a tad bigger but no smaller than the original top. Most of the strength of the dresser is going to be on the sides and possibly the back. You want to be sure the plywood is supported by both sides and the back.
 

paulatgis

Member
goodwill or other thrift stores have solid wood dressers, that will handle it. just skip on anything made of particle board. you'll see. lots that they have are thick solid wood, skip the flimsy stuff. probably 30$.
 
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