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Tank Slightly Unleveled

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by HoneyBun, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. HoneyBunNew MemberMember

    Not sure if this the correct thread category...anyway, I was wondering if a slight lean was acceptable? I noticed today that one of my tanks (a 37 gallon, filled with about 32 gallons of water) was slightly uneven towards the back. I measured it and the waterline is about 1/16th of an inch higher towards the back (meaning the stand is slightly lower towards the back, causing water to be higher?) The tank is even from side to side (I’ve read that this is more important). The tank sits flat on the stand and it’s on carpet 5 inches away from the wall.

    I know this is a very slight lean and I’m probably being way too paranoid. But it’s on a second floor and I can’t help but worry...should I be? Thanks <3
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  2. Katie AlliboneNew MemberMember

    You shouldn’t worry at all but I understand why your paranoid cause I am to about small things too!
    If your tank has a lid they won’t be able to jump and if the tank feels unstable/wobbly then I would change the stand but if not it’s fine xx

  3. Morpheus1967Well Known MemberMember

    It's fine.

  4. NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    You are talking about .423 lbs distributed unevenly. In the grand scheme of things its not going to matter.

  5. Massalo85New MemberMember

    sitting flat and even on the stand is far more important then if the level is off
  6. NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    That is not true by any stretch of the imagination
  7. HoneyBunNew MemberMember

    I’m just going to hope it’s fine, I think it will be. I’m moving in a month or so, I’ll get a new stand at that time and make sure it’s leveled with shims (under stand). Thanks for all the input! Y’all put me at ease...I’ve heard horror stories of slight unevenness to very uneven causing all sorts of problems so I’ve been a little paranoid!
  8. NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    If your water is level you are ok. If your tank is not level with the ground then it will be a problem over time. Some people will say "it will be fine" it is not. I am a mechanical engineer and a chemical engineer and i am finishing my doctorate right now. It will not be fine. Short duration sure but not long term. I can get into a discussion about elastic deformation and compressive stress but i will tell you it is not good.
  9. HoneyBunNew MemberMember

    In a previous post, you said My slight unevenness was fine (1/16th of an inch higher off). Or was this comment directed to the general people with more considerable unevenness?
  10. HoneyBunNew MemberMember

    Just to be safe, I’ll drain the tank to 25% in my next big water change and stuff a shim or thick folded cardboard pieces under the two rear legs to see if it gets rid of the slight unevenness. I’m moving in a month but I don’t want my paranoia to get the best of me, lol.
  11. BaerBonesBarberValued MemberMember

    This is the correct answer.

    In response to others.. If the tank isn't on the stand properly or evenly, thats a different issue and very bad.

    We are talking about the water line in the tank which represents the tank being level to the earth and even distribution of weight on the glass panes etc.

    I will add that I've had tanks slightly unleveled in the past. One that was about an 1/8" off from front to back, It was even though from side to side which is important because now two corners are sharing that uneven load as opposed to only one etc. The tank that I had like this was brand new and only up for 3 years. if it was up for 5 (hypothetically) we may have seen a slow drip from a corner as the silicone would be compromised most likely over time.

    I am no "rocket surgeon" but I would assume at 8.4 pounds a gallon what you see as "slightly uneven" in a 30 gallon tank could be more stress on the integrity of the seal than you think. Add some time to the equation (and the potential that the seal may have been dried a bit over time, maybe in the warehouse or it may have been near a window in the pet store soaking up the sun, or didn't get a perfect job done by whoever put it together - who knows..) but hopefully this isn't an older tank you bought used or one that used to have fish, sat in the garage for a year or two and then you filled it back up with water etc.. if thats the case the silicone won't be at it best anyway and the amount of time it will take to see a leak will be less if sitting unlevel etc.

    If I had to bet money I would say you are probably ok at 1/16th of an inch for a long time.

    Do what was suggested by leveling the best you can with a shim if it helps you sleep at night though. I would. I had woken up to water in a room though from a slow drip coming from a corner of an older tank I bought on CL.. not fun and now I have fishtank PTSD and triple check everything. Its super rare though.
  12. NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    I can provide the math for you if you want
  13. NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    My comment about your 1/16th stands. As a general for everyone else, level your tank. It is just not ok. 1/16th is like peeing in the ocean to raise salinity. Its not an issue.
  14. BaerBonesBarberValued MemberMember

    Thank you, but I'm not that good at math and we came up with the same conclusion so I don't need it this time, but I will for sure be asking you some questions in the future!
  15. HoneyBunNew MemberMember

    Can I use coins as shims? For example, in my case, a quarter might be enough. I won’t stack coins on top of each other tho, seems slippery? It would be between the wooden legs of the stand and carpet. Thoughts?
  16. BaerBonesBarberValued MemberMember

    I would not use a coin.

    What we want to accomplish is the tank being level, staying level, and not sliding around which wasn't a concern until now. I've never heard of anyone using a coin and I wouldn't want my 30 gallon tank to be the test dummy to see if it will work or not.

    Shims are about the cheapest thing I think I've ever bought in my life. Maybe less value than the coin. You can make one too by taking a piece of wood and splitting it with the claw of a hammer. hope this helps
  17. Massalo85New MemberMember

    sorry to hear your imagination is off but to think that a tank not sitting even on its stand and in stead creating pressure points on the tank glass is not more serious then if there is a little more water on one side of your tank then the other then you should not talk on the subject. Here is a good video for reference
  18. BaerBonesBarberValued MemberMember

    The water wasn't level in this post it was level in the video.. How could it be on the stand "wrong" and level in the tank (unless its a 240 gallon 8' long tank on a defective DIY stand..again a stand issue and doesn't matter at that point how it sits on it.)? Hard to imagine yes. Or it's on the stand correctly and still uneven.. (very possible by just having a slanted floor.)

    I think its just semantics. For example I could say not hitting the tank with a hammer is far more important that the tank being level as well.. this is also true.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  19. NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    The water level must be parallel to the floor. If it is supported by the stand but the stand is higher on one side that is less important. You can make a stand to account for an uneven floor.
  20. Massalo85New MemberMember

    its clearly stated in the video that the stand was build with a bow in it causing a pressure point on the glass causing it to fail. The point of this is a tank that's sitting on a slightly tilted floor will not fail because there is a little more water on one side of the tank then the other. Maybe if you are talking about a monster tank but not in a 37 gallon.