Should I be worried about my 60 gallon falling over? Help 

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Lauren4events

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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:

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nikm128

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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

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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

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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. :-(
 
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Lauren4events

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
 
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Lauren4events

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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?
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BettaDollar

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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

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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

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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.com. That way you don't have to put or buy a new aquarium right away. I would break this one down. And replace.
 

magentatooth

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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

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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

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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

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

toeknee

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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

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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
 
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