Leveling Mat?

Patpatthepat

Hello there! I recently purchased an UNS 75S tank (UNS 75S - 26 Gallon Ultra Clear Rimless Aquarium). It is rimless and does not have a frame. I built a stand for it and it's level, though I am wondering if I will need a leveling mat for the tank? My understanding is all rimless tanks need leveling mats but I would like to confirm. If so, does anyone have any recommendations on where to buy one/how to make one? I can't find one that is appropriately sized (30'' x 18'') online and I am not sure how to make one. Some people say that a cut up yoga mat/neoprene would suffice whereas others have said that a yoga mat/neoprene won't work, and I need to use styrofoam. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

BigManAquatics

I have heard the same and almost always seen a yoga mat recommended. Probably cheaper than using an "aquarium specific" option. I would put one under the tank, either way.
 

Patpatthepat

I have heard the same and almost always seen a yoga mat recommended. Probably cheaper than using an "aquarium specific" option. I would put one under the tank, either way.
I'm debating if I should go with a yoga mat or styrofoam? Maybe both? A quick google search yielded another forum that said that yoga mats weren't enough so now I am suspicious. Sorry if this seems nitpicky, I want to be absolutely certain that the tank is safe because it was rather expensive and hard to acquire.
 

BigManAquatics

I'm debating if I should go with a yoga mat or styrofoam? Maybe both? A quick google search yielded another forum that said that yoga mats weren't enough so now I am suspicious. Sorry if this seems nitpicky, I want to be absolutely certain that the tank is safe because it was rather expensive and hard to acquire.
Don't blame you there.
 

dwc13

Getting the stand perfectly level and the surface as smooth, level and blemish-free as possible is the first step. You're trying to ensure the pressure exerted by the table/stand surface upon the bottom of the glass is basically the same at any point since there is no bracing on the tank to help shoulder the weight. If there are slight imperfections in the table/stand surface, such as a small wood knot or perhaps a hardened glue/paint dropping, the leveling mat should even things help out. However, it might *not* prevent problems in the long run if there are gaps in the table/stand surface that need to be spanned. So if you used a cheap grade of plywood (such as CDX) with large knots and an uneven surface to construct your DIY stand, you might eventually experience some problems with your rimless tank. FWIW, some aquarists have reported using camping mats, yoga mats and (apparently) even cork sheets as a leveling mat. Be sure the leveling mat covers the entire bottom of the aquarium plus a little more on all sides, in case of movement.

I have no experience using XPS foam board (typically pink, but also available in blue or green) as a leveling mat for a rimless tank. That being said, I use 2" XPS foam board sold in 4'x8' sheets on my model railroad because it is fairly easy to carve/sculpture; not surprisingly, it is susceptible to compression & chips/dings. A 3/4" plywood base is what really supports the weight of my layout. XPS foam board is also sold in 1" and 1/2" thick 4'x8' sheets. Often there is a ever-so-slight curvature in the sheet. When compressed, it won't bounce back. Note that a 4'x8' XPS sheet is often scored lengthwise on one side every 16", 16" and 8" and generally does *not* play nice with spray paint (melts).
 

Patpatthepat

Getting the stand perfectly level and the surface as smooth, level and blemish-free as possible is the first step. You're trying to ensure the pressure exerted by the table/stand surface upon the bottom of the glass is basically the same at any point since there is no bracing on the tank to help shoulder the weight. If there are slight imperfections in the table/stand surface, such as a small wood knot or perhaps a hardened glue/paint dropping, the leveling mat should even things help out. However, it might *not* prevent problems in the long run if there are gaps in the table/stand surface that need to be spanned. So if you used a cheap grade of plywood (such as CDX) with large knots and an uneven surface to construct your DIY stand, you might eventually experience some problems with your rimless tank. FWIW, some aquarists have reported using camping mats, yoga mats and (apparently) even cork sheets as a leveling mat. Be sure the leveling mat covers the entire bottom of the aquarium plus a little more on all sides, in case of movement.

I have no experience using XPS foam board (typically pink, but also available in blue or green) as a leveling mat for a rimless tank. That being said, I use 2" XPS foam board sold in 4'x8' sheets on my model railroad because it is fairly easy to carve/sculpture; not surprisingly, it is susceptible to compression & chips/dings. A 3/4" plywood base is what really supports the weight of my layout. XPS foam board is also sold in 1" and 1/2" thick 4'x8' sheets. Often there is a ever-so-slight curvature in the sheet. When compressed, it won't bounce back. Note that a 4'x8' XPS sheet is often scored lengthwise on one side every 16", 16" and 8" and generally does *not* play nice with spray paint (melts).
Thank you for the detailed response! The wood is cypress and there doesn't appear to be any visual imperfections. I'll get a leveler and report back. After doing some more reading, I think I will try and find the densest suitable material possible. I'll check out the XPS foam board, though I am a bit wary of its susceptibility to compression.

I also messaged UNS on their website, I am hoping to get a response from them soon so that I may clear this up.
 

dwc13

Patpatthepat

You're welcome. Personally, I wouldn't use XPS (or any) foam board as a leveling mat for a rimless tank. I'd find another solution, perhaps a camping mat or yoga mat -- something that has play but can "bounce back" and adjust over time as needed. But that's just me. Others might disagree with me w/r/t XPS foam board.

Definitely make sure your DIY stand is as good as it can be. It's the foundation, so-to-speak. I wish you much success with your new setup.
 

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