New Uneven 20 gallon long

joshuaby6

I brought a 20 gallon long to put on my dresser and one corner seemed a bit off the dresser. when I partially filled it with water one side of the tank was 3/8 of an inch taller than the other. I also used my phone level measure and it came to be -1 degree off. Should I be worried?
 

SparkyJones

the question is, is the tank level? is the dresser level? is it the tank rim? is it because of the corner that doesn't fit onto the dresser?
 

RayClem

Use the clinometer app of your phone to measure the dresser incline front to back and left to right. It should be close to level.

Now check the bottom rim of the tank as well as the top rim of the tank. Hopefully, the bottom rim will stick out enough to get a measurement. Also check the vertical glass on the side of the tank. It should read 90 degrees. Once you have all the measurements, you can determine what is out of plumb.

Ideally, everything should be both level and plumb to minimize stresses in the glass and corners of the tank. If everything is within 1 degree, I doubt you will have a significant issue. It certainly is not ideal to have any portion of the tank overhanging its support stand. A 20 gallon tank will weigh close to 200# when filled with gravel, rock, and water. You might want to remove the water from the tank and place a piece of 1/2" plywood under the tank to insure that the bottom rim of the tank is fully supported. At the same time make sure that the dresser and plywood are level by adding shims as needed.
 

joshuaby6

Yea I will do that, thanks
 

RonP

1) if the dresser is a bit to small, get a piece plywood or similar that is large enough to support the tank.
2) I recommend you deal with leveling while tank it is empty. Try removing tank and checking level on the dresser. If it's off level it before replacing the tank. Then check tank level again after all above steps.
A small error on level should not be serious for a 20g tank, but it does put stress on the tank sides. Best to get it closer to level than 3/8 at the start.
I have a 32g tank that is a bit less than 1/4 in off level..going into 2nd year of use. No sign of problems yet.
 

RayClem

The tank is level and the corner does fit onto the dresser. I think it’s the dresser that’s uneven. I was wondering i I can put something under the the tank because I can’t really do that to the dresser
Ideally, you should put shims under the legs of the dresser to level it. If that cannot be done, you will need to put plywood under the tank and then shim the plywood to make it level. If you try putting shims under the corners of the tank, that will create stresses that could lead to problems later. If you do not want to add the plywood, you would be better off living with the 1 degree tilt.
 

RonP

If can't level dresser, use a shim to level the plywood.
 

joshuaby6

Are there any other materials that could be used other than plywood?
 

RonP

Any strong wood or other material can be used. Needs to be something that can stand up to hundreds of pounds pressure, and remain intact when wet.
 

RayClem

You could probably use 1/4" thick stainless steel plate or 3/4" thick acrylic, but both would be a lot more expensive than plywood. You can put a think coating of paint or polyurethane on the plywood if you want to make it more attractive and prevent water stains. Just make sure it is a uniform thickness.
 

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