Should I be worried about my 60 gallon falling over?

Lauren4events

Member
So yesterday I noticed the water level in my 60 gallon tank was uneven. And now it’s literally all I can see. I’ve had this tank up for 3 years. And if I’m being completely honest, I have no clue if it has always been this way (don’t think so but can’t be absolutely sure), if it has slowly happened over time, or if this is a new thing.

The tank is as tall as me, so I’m guilty of leaning on it when cleaning, changing water or arranging decor. Which is pretty often.

I’ve been examining it for hours and for the life of me I can’t tell if the problem is the tank, the stand, or my hardwood floor. But I’m really worried. From the left to the right there’s about 1/4 inch difference. And from front to back there is about 1/8 inch difference.

You are probably going to ask me if it’s glass or acrylic. I don’t know. I’m guessing glass but I really don’t know what acrylic looks like. Sorry, I’m sure that sounds really stupid. It feels like glass. But I could be wrong.

Should I be worried? I’m on the second floor and 60 gallons is a lot of water. But truthfully, I’m more concerned about my fish. I don’t want anything happening to them.

Are there warning signs of a potential problem that I can look for? I don’t see any water leaking or cracks. Tons of scratches but nothing that I’m worried about.

How easy is it for a tank to tip? Or break because of the uneven weight?

The only thing I see on my tank stand (on the side that has the higher water level—so more weight) is this, but it seems minor, right? I guess I don’t know:

 

nikm128

Member
I would say the stand is failing, possibly from not being great to begin with, or just because it wasn’t designed for the small amount of extra weight put on one side from you leaning on it. I would get a level to see exactly how off center it is, and you could maybe try plastic shims to get it level again, but with the cracking I would advise a new stand. Maybe one that’s metal or a bit shorter so it can take the weight better, or just be short enough so that you don’t have to lean on it.
 

juniperlea

Member
It looks like the seams aren't holding together, which may be why the MDF or particle board or whatever is caking off..... Am not a carpenter though.
 

bizaliz3

Member
It may appear minor...but for that to happen in the first place, clearly the stand is beginning to fail.

If it were me, I'd get it off that stand asap. It looks pretty precarious to me. I'd rather have my tank on the floor temporarily.

Its also putting extra pressure on the tank seams if its uneven like that. :-(
 
  • Thread Starter

Lauren4events

Member
bizaliz3 said:
It may appear minor...but for that to happen in the first place, clearly the stand is beginning to fail.

If it were me, I'd get it off that stand asap. It looks pretty precarious to me. I'd rather have my tank on the floor temporarily.

Its also putting extra pressure on the tank seams if its uneven like that. :-(
It’s SO heavy and takes up so much space. In order to move it, I would have to break it down completely. If I put it on the floor my animals would mess with it so that really isn’t an option. Do you think it’s something I have time to think about and figure out? Or do you think it could really break at any minute? I’m down to only 2 fish and just didn’t want to buy anything else. Because I’m done with fish when the ones I have are gone. I hope that’s not for a long time, but they are both 2 and 3 years old.

my other tank does not have compatible tank mates...

I can get my dad over in a few weeks to help me figure something out. But I doubt it will be sooner than that. Can it wait? Honestly, how urgent is this?
 

BettaDollar

Member
Have you checked the level of the floor it's on?

In my opinion - It's EXTREMELY URGENT!
I'm a carpenter and believe me, your floor wasn't built to support that kind of weght.
You'd have to build a really beefy platform to put your tank stand on to be safe.
Being on the 2nd floor makes it all the more risky.
I think it's a risk you shouldn't be taking
 

bizaliz3

Member
Lauren4events said:
It’s SO heavy and takes up so much space. In order to move it, I would have to break it down completely. If I put it on the floor my animals would mess with it so that really isn’t an option. Do you think it’s something I have time to think about and figure out? Or do you think it could really break at any minute? I’m down to only 2 fish and just didn’t want to buy anything else. Because I’m done with fish when the ones I have are gone. I hope that’s not for a long time, but they are both 2 and 3 years old.

my other tank does not have compatible tank mates...

I can get my dad over in a few weeks to help me figure something out. But I doubt it will be sooner than that. Can it wait? Honestly, how urgent is this?
Moving it would still be easier than cleaning the mess if the tank crashes.

Waiting is a gamble. I have no idea how urgent it is. But I definitely wouldnt risk it if it were me.

I hope everything works out ok!
 

DustiThings

Member
My dad is a carpenter & agrees with BettDollar. Very urgent!
Just a suggestion... Look for a free tank on Facebook market or ask on a public post or try Craigslist, ask nearby friends or buy a cheap smaller tank & put it on kitchen counter or anywhere safe. Transfer some of the water and your fish from your breaking tank to smaller tank. That will give u time to wait for your dad to help. Don't forget to try your best to not lean on it. You got this! You know your fishies are worth it. Gravity is as gravity does.
 

juniperlea

Member
Aquarium stands are so important. My 75 gallon is about 12 to 18 inches from the sofa and I frequently sleep or nap on the sofa. If the stand isn't secure, then the 75 gallon could decapitate me as I sleep!. Literally. Guess I wouldn't have to worry about the fish or water damage if that happened!
 

FoxxCAN

Member
Your tank being totally level is not a huge factor. The base being flat and true to the tank is.

The pictures yoy have attached don't show the support structure behind it. I believe the particle board is mearly a cheap way they skirted the stand... However..

It doesn't matter if it’s acrylic or glass. Both with fail if being torqued on. Lets se some pictures of inside the stand. If its a weak design. Stands are easy to build cheap
 
  • Thread Starter

Lauren4events

Member
FoxxCAN said:
Your tank being totally level is not a huge factor. The base being flat and true to the tank is.

The pictures yoy have attached don't show the support structure behind it. I believe the particle board is mearly a cheap way they skirted the stand... However..

It doesn't matter if it’s acrylic or glass. Both with fail if being torqued on. Lets se some pictures of inside the stand. If its a weak design. Stands are easy to build cheap
Does this help? If not, please let me know what you need to see. It’s possible the uneven weight from not being level is what causing the stand to look like it does. Not sure what happened first. But I’m worried about the stand breaking or glass cracking or coming undone at the seal from uneven weight.
I just really didn’t want to get another stand or tank. I only have 2 older fish left in this tank and don’t plan on getting more. At least not for a long time. It’s way too big for 2 fish. But at one point I had hundreds (live bearers), until I rehomed. I kept them in here because of what it would cost to convert to something smaller. But now I’m going to have to... right?
 

BettaDollar

Member
You're missing critical parts inside the cabinet and it's even worse now that I see that!

Has your Dad seen the photo?

I'm not being facetious - now is the time to panic... not AFTER IT FAILS!

The missing parts inside the cabinet have compromised it's ability to carry your tanks weight.

Start breaking it down

If you can empty the water out and find someone that knows what they're doing your stand can be re-braced and the bottom can be wrapped with new wood over the particle board.
It shouldn't be too expensive.
If even a 1/4" piece of plywood was put across the back it would be rack proof.
Stronger than new.
 

John58ford

Member
BettaDollar said:
You're missing critical parts inside the cabinet and it's even worse now that I see that!

That stand does not appear to be missing parts. Those rectangles are the indents for the pocket screws...

I do agree though that the stand is a disaster waiting to happen but only due to the damages, not the builders leaving parts out. Particle board, like all "engineered" wood products is extremely strong and can be tailored to design to save space like this stand. The problem is as soon as a chip happens it is all luck. I am surprised to see that they would have left the pocket screws cut outs unpainted, but even the glue in these engineered wood solutions is specialized and can be very waterproof (not like the furniture that got wet and smelled like cat pee back in the 70s-80s).

Unfortunately with a tank that size a pre made stand like you have is pretty expensive, you could build one out of 2x4 very cheap; just make sure it is designed with a base ring so it spreads the load across the floor, not just on 4 little feet.
 

Jeffsglo

Member
A level aquarium and stand is very very very important!! The reason?? Because an unlevel aquarium will put stress on the aquarium. Causing it to fail. I would get a new stand. Put your fish in a smaller aquarium for now. You could even buy a netted container to keep your fish safe from the other fish in the other aquarium for now. I bough some online for cheap from walmart. That way you don't have to put or buy a new aquarium right away. I would break this one down. And replace.
 

magentatooth

Member
Unsure what species you have but how about you just run the tank half full of water for a bit? Then the weight on the stand is halved.

You could even pretend it’s on purpose and call it a Palludarium
 

FoxxCAN

Member
That stand is not OK. Built something more sturdy out of 2X4. I would drain that tank immediately and move it off of that stand
 

BettaDollar

Member
John58ford said:
That stand does not appear to be missing parts. Those rectangles are the indents for the pocket screws...

I do agree though that the stand is a disaster waiting to happen but only due to the damages, not the builders leaving parts out. Particle board, like all "engineered" wood products is extremely strong and can be tailored to design to save space like this stand. The problem is as soon as a chip happens it is all luck. I am surprised to see that they would have left the pocket screws cut outs unpainted, but even the glue in these engineered wood solutions is specialized and can be very waterproof (not like the furniture that got wet and smelled like cat pee back in the 70s-80s).

Unfortunately with a tank that size a pre made stand like you have is pretty expensive, you could build one out of 2x4 very cheap; just make sure it is designed with a base ring so it spreads the load across the floor, not just on 4 little feet.
"That stand does not appear to be missing parts. Those rectangles are the indents for the pocket screws..."

Those pockets are called mortises -

:a hole that is cut in a piece of wood or other material so that another piece (called a tenon) will fit into it to form a connection.

I've worked in production cabinet shops and custom cabinet shops, and as a custom cabinet maker and installer who has milled miles of wood, I can say with certainty the inside of that cabinet is missing parts.

It's still a good looking stand capable of supporting the tank if repairs were made correctly and the missing parts replaced.

And the floor it sits on should be checked for level before it's fixed or the new one is built.
 

H Farnsworth

Member
Buy a new stand ASAP. $150 vs the cost of ripping up the floor and everything else plus the tank replacement.
 

toeknee

Member
Just here to agree with everyone else. Get a new stand asap. The headache of replacing the stand will be MUCH less than the headache of a tank crashing to the ground. Or.....since you only have a couple fish in there and don't plan on getting more anytime soon Just re home them and tear the tank down and start it back up with a new stand when you're ready.
 

Dennis57

Member
Here is a quick cheap fix if you are not planning on keeping the tank set up for years to come. Go to Lowes, Home Depot and pick up some cinder blocks ( less then 2.00 each ) you can go as high as you need to. Then a piece of 3/4" plywood. Alot of people on here do this and they even paint the cinder blocks to match there decor in that room. The stand you have is falling apart, how long will it last? No one can answer that ( 1 day - 5 years ) Good luck
 

FoxxCAN

Member
To be quiet frank, particle board should never be used to support the weight of a tank. Its not a strong building material on its own to begin with. It requires proper support to be effective and is susceptible to failure if it gets wet. Although it can be made strong, there is no way I would risk using it under a Tank. My 2 cents
 

John58ford

Member
BettaDollar said:
Those pockets are called mortises -

:a hole that is cut in a piece of wood or other material so that another piece (called a tenon) will fit into it to form a connection.
Those are not mortises. Those are pocket holes (you can see the screws). The stand is the marineland heartland stand. You can look the stand up yourself, wander a PetSmart, or even just watch a YouTube video and see that it is built correctly. One of these almost ended up in my house last month; it didn't.

I am in agreement with you that the stand should be replaced. But I will not put the fault in the assembly as I have seen that stand in person, asked if they left braces out because it was a display, looked closer at the piece and saw they are honestly just pocket screw holes cut mass production.
 

kallililly1973

Member
I also agree with most everything said. Particle board shouldn't be made for tanks or any wet locations. I agree with Dennis57 go to depot or lowes and get 8 cinderblocks and 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood. put one cinder down on each side then a piece of the plywood then add the other 3 cinders to each side and put the other piece of plywood on top. Just be sure the cinders are spaced right and the plywood is cut right to match the bottom of your tank. Then if you think the design looks ugly just add a piece of fabric to the front and sides and everything will be hidden. I have 3 of my tanks on cinderblocks and honestly if there was extra room on the sides I could stand on it and it wouldn't budge. 600 plus pounds is a very lot of weight to be sitting on basically compacted and glued sawdust. if you drain 95% of your water and have a couple strong people you can move the stand and tank away from the wall and set up your new stand and slide the tank right back onto it. Be sure to leave enough room for your HOB and canister hoses if your using one, Good luck!!
 

nikm128

Member
John58ford said:
Those are not mortises. Those are pocket holes (you can see the screws). The stand is the marineland heartland stand. You can look the stand up yourself, wander a PetSmart, or even just watch a YouTube video and see that it is build correctly. One of these almost ended up in my house last month; it didn't.

I am in agreement with you that the stand should be replaced. But I will not put the fault in the assembly as I have seen that stand in person, asked if they left braces out because it was a display, looked closer at the piece and saw they are honestly just pocket screw holes cut mass production.
Agreed, I have the same tank and stand and it does have the pocket holes for screws as well
 

LurkingontheReg

Member
Dennis57 said:
Here is a quick cheap fix if you are not planning on keeping the tank set up for years to come. Go to Lowes, Home Depot and pick up some cinder blocks ( less then 2.00 each ) you can go as high as you need to. Then a piece of 3/4" plywood. Alot of people on here do this and they even paint the cinder blocks to match there decor in that room. The stand you have is falling apart, how long will it last? No one can answer that ( 1 day - 5 years ) Good luck
This. Cheap, sturdy and customizable.
I used 2x4s instead of plywood and also added a few coats of Flex Seal before setting everything up.
 

BettaDollar

Member
John58ford said:
Those are not mortises. Those are pocket holes (you can see the screws). The stand is the marineland heartland stand. You can look the stand up yourself, wander a PetSmart, or even just watch a YouTube video and see that it is build correctly. One of these almost ended up in my house last month; it didn't.

I am in agreement with you that the stand should be replaced. But I will not put the fault in the assembly as I have seen that stand in person, asked if they left braces out because it was a display, looked closer at the piece and saw they are honestly just pocket screw holes cut mass production.
A wise man once said, "It takes an idiot to argue with a fool... "
Oops! (I just said it again) (; D
 

John58ford

Member
BettaDollar said:
A wise man once said, "It takes an idiot to argue with a fool... "
Oops! (I just said it again) (; D
I wouldn't call any of what we are doing here arguing; nor would I call you an idiot, or a fool.
I am not surprised that an esteemed professional cabinet builder such as yourself would not be familiar with the mass produced furniture in a box PetSmart sells bundled with aquariums.

I just don't want OP, who is currently in a stressful situation, to think that she, or her helpers neglected to assemble that stand with all the included parts.
 

FoxxCAN

Member
I actually saw that exact stand/tank combo today while I was out buying the fish some treats..

If you want to trust that long term I say power to you. I sure wouldnt. Honestly Id burn that stand and keep the tank.. the one in the store had visible damage to the upper corner.Not even sold yet. they are absolute junk
 

jpm995

Member
I think people are way overreacting. A tank unlevel as little as your saying is more common than completely level ones. Theres probably only a few pounds difference between sides.The supports for the stands are the feet in the pic not sure what the particle board does. Don't panic, if your dads a carpenter he can add a brace if needed. It won't fall apart. The only thing I recommend on all tanks is to strap the stand to the wall to prevent tipovers if someone bumps into the tank.
 

nikm128

Member
But you can see that in the first post the corner in busting and those two panels are splitting apart at the seam. Is it a dire situation? No, but there definitely needs to be a new stand here.
 

jpm995

Member
nikm128 said:
But you can see that in the first post the corner in busting and those two panels are splitting apart at the seam. Is it a dire situation? No, but there definitely needs to be a new stand here.
Yes and its probably been like that for years. I'm not even sure if that's a skirt or load bearing, have to see inside to tell.
 

John58ford

Member
In this stands design; the left and right panels (particle board) are the direct load bearing members. The two rear braces (particle board) prevent racking and spreading. The lower trI'm arch on the front (particle board) prevents spreading, as does the upper trI'm on the front. The vertical braces (particle board) front and rear help reduce bowing.

The vertical members on the right and left are designed just narrower than the frame of the tank so the primary forces on the top panel are biased to the outside, forming an upward pressure in the middle.

The primary damage appears to be the lower rear brace (racking/spreading) and the corner of the right side (direct load bearing). To see if this is in fact why the water level is off bubble, you could use a straight edge on the right side and look for a slight bow. A bow in the right side would allow the stand to lean that direction. To see if it's the floor you could simply lay a level on the floor behind and in front of the stand, then compare those results to the top surface.

We seem to have run away a little with what the stand is and why/how it would fail, I think I'm going to chill on this post until OP decides what she's doing with the stand. I would love to see some after photos if her father repairs it with her, or if she just outright replaces it. There are some great, easy, affordable DIY solutions that have been posted here and I have enjoyed the friendly banter
 
  • Thread Starter

Lauren4events

Member
Thank you so much to everyone for your comments.

I bought another tank and stand and moved my fish. Not sure it was necessary but just for peace of mind. However, I’m wishing I hadn’t because it seems the stress of the move has allowed my fish to get quite sick. It seems to have happened out of nowhere. And my old tank stand had been going strong for 4 years. So I’m kicking myself a little.

Today he is at the top of the new tank, no interest in food, a little bloated (but not dropsy), fins are deteriorating and the ends are missing with red bloody streaks at the end of his tail fin, part of his front fin is completely gone with a white spot on the remaining part. It looks like fin rot and possible something else at the same time. His color is faded to almost white. It’s bad. I can’t figure out what happened. Other than stress.

I don’t know what to do. The water is pristine and I moved over my filter so I was lucky to have an instant cycle. No ammonia or nitrite. Less than 5ppm nitrate. I matched the temp exactly and kept the same PH, GH and KH... everything. It took a lot of time and effort but I matched the water in every way possible.

He’s not responding to kanaplex/metroplex combo or paraguard. Not sure what to do. I’m not moving him again to a hospital. I only have one other fish in the new 36 gallon tank with him anyway and I don’t think he could survive another move. I’m out of ideas.

This is a never ending nightmare. I do appreciate everyone’s concern and responses. Do you think you could do the same again and offer some advice on how to save my little guy please? I can take pictures when I get home, if I’m not too late. Poor thing. This is why I’m done with fish keeping and why I didn’t want to spend all this money on a new setup. I can’t do it anymore, too sad
 

John58ford

Member
Lauren4events said:
Thank you so much to everyone for your comments.

I bought another tank and stand and moved my fish. Not sure it was necessary but just for peace of mind. However, I’m wishing I hadn’t because it seems the stress of the move has allowed my fish to get quite sick. It seems to have happened out of nowhere. And my old tank stand had been going strong for 4 years. So I’m kicking myself a little.

Today he is at the top of the new tank, no interest in food, a little bloated (but not dropsy), fins are deteriorating and the ends are missing with red bloody streaks at the end of his tail fin, part of his front fin is completely gone with a white spot on the remaining part. It looks like fin rot and possible something else at the same time. His color is faded to almost white. It’s bad. I can’t figure out what happened. Other than stress.

I don’t know what to do. The water is pristine and I moved over my filter so I was lucky to have an instant cycle. No ammonia or nitrite. Less than 5ppm nitrate. I matched the temp exactly and kept the same PH, GH and KH... everything. It took a lot of time and effort but I matched the water in every way possible.

He’s not responding to kanaplex/metroplex combo or paraguard. Not sure what to do. I’m not moving him again to a hospital. I only have one other fish in the new 36 gallon tank with him anyway and I don’t think he could survive another move. I’m out of ideas.

This is a never ending nightmare. I do appreciate everyone’s concern and responses. Do you think you could do the same again and offer some advice on how to save my little guy please? I can take pictures when I get home, if I’m not too late. Poor thing. This is why I’m done with fish keeping and why I didn’t want to spend all this money on a new setup. I can’t do it anymore, too sad
I hope you can treat your fish and the new stand isn't a waste . I'm not good with illness and due to the title of this thread the folks that specialize in that sort of thing may pass it by. Maybe open a new thread in the freshwater fish disease thread when you are able to get some pictures of the poor guy.
 

juniperlea

Member
Lauren4events said:
Thank you so much to everyone for your comments.

I bought another tank and stand and moved my fish. Not sure it was necessary but just for peace of mind. However, I’m wishing I hadn’t because it seems the stress of the move has allowed my fish to get quite sick. It seems to have happened out of nowhere. And my old tank stand had been going strong for 4 years. So I’m kicking myself a little.

Today he is at the top of the new tank, no interest in food, a little bloated (but not dropsy), fins are deteriorating and the ends are missing with red bloody streaks at the end of his tail fin, part of his front fin is completely gone with a white spot on the remaining part. It looks like fin rot and possible something else at the same time. His color is faded to almost white. It’s bad. I can’t figure out what happened. Other than stress.

I don’t know what to do. The water is pristine and I moved over my filter so I was lucky to have an instant cycle. No ammonia or nitrite. Less than 5ppm nitrate. I matched the temp exactly and kept the same PH, GH and KH... everything. It took a lot of time and effort but I matched the water in every way possible.

He’s not responding to kanaplex/metroplex combo or paraguard. Not sure what to do. I’m not moving him again to a hospital. I only have one other fish in the new 36 gallon tank with him anyway and I don’t think he could survive another move. I’m out of ideas.

This is a never ending nightmare. I do appreciate everyone’s concern and responses. Do you think you could do the same again and offer some advice on how to save my little guy please? I can take pictures when I get home, if I’m not too late. Poor thing. This is why I’m done with fish keeping and why I didn’t want to spend all this money on a new setup. I can’t do it anymore, too sad
I think you did the right thing about the stand. Is there such a thing as 'moving trauma' for fish. I believe there must be! They still have four walls, but..... it's not the same. If the water tests are healthy, it might be plain and simple psychology. Yeah. Even fish possess psychology! I'd keep in close physical/visual contact until they/he become accustomed to their new home.
 

Brizburk

Member
In an emergency you can put your fish in buckets until you have their tank set up either on the floor or on a new stand.

I found a beautiful Aquarium stand on Amazon it cost about $200 and I had to assemble it, but it put my worrying mind at ease.
 

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