Water is not level and appears to be leaking... Help

  1. escapay Well Known Member Member

    Sorry if this is in the wrong spot... it kinda hits equipment and other stuff.

    In my 10 gallon (planted & has a betta) I have water appearing from underneath the aquarium on the stand. That doesn't worry me normally since when I do a water change there is often water that spilled on the aquarium, stand, and even the floor. However, I cleaned up earlier when I did my water change today... so that shouldn't be appearing. Especially to the point that there was water on the floor.

    The other issue that I just noticed today - when looking at the side angle from the tank, the water is not level... It should be level even if the substrate isn't... Not sure whether the stand is level anymore but probably not since the water isn't. The stand is from PetSmart and is this one... it is made of particle board. It seems to be damp in the middle of the backside... though I think that may be because part of the filter media bag (HBH Aqua-Pure) was hanging out and dripping. So maybe the water is from that? But odd for the tank to not be level...

    The water is leaking very slowly if it is leaking. When I came home less than an hour ago, there was water on the stand in the front part AND on the floor.

    I don't plan on going to bed for another hour... so if more water seems to be escaping, I do have another tank [5 gallon] that can be setup as an emergency tank for the betta. I've never had to design a plan on this before... so not quite sure what I should do. I will likely do the following at least:
    • Scoop out 5-ish gallons and put in other tank
    • Scoop out betta and place in other tank
    • Move HOB filter and filter media bag over
    • Move heater over?*
    • Move decoration and driftwood over

    * I know a heater needs to be on the tank, but I'm wondering whether a 100 W might be too much for a 5 gallon aquarium. I don't want to overheat the fish. I do have a 50w heater close at hand, but it wasn't fully reliable - the choices were too warm or too cool.

    What is the best plan of action? Especially with the plants (I have Crypts and Amazon Swords that do not like to be touched). I'm assuming I should get a level tomorrow and see whether the floor is messing up or the stand. I really hope it is the stand... because I did check the floor before moving the tank and stand to its location. The stand is newer than the aquarium.
     
  2. Daac Well Known Member Member

    Your plan sounds pretty good. I would move everything over that fits and just make sure the 5 gallon is on a level and hard surface. About the wet particle board... that is a problem. Particle board gets spongy when wet and could be bowing which would make the tank lean backwards (if the bowing is in the back). A non level fish tank is also a big problem because it puts stress on different parts of the tank that may not be able to take that much stress. I would move the fish over and tank the 10 gallon down after checking it with a level to make sure it actually is leaning. Then I would replace the particle board stand with a wood or metal one but that is just me... You could just inspect it and make sure it is still sound.
     

  3. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    I have the same stand actually, and it seemed pretty cheap setting it up. I agree with everything Daac said; firstly particle board is not the strongest stuff, and is pretty easy to break when it's wet. Secondly, if the floor is uneven, there is more water pressure in certain areas of the tank than others, which can cause stress at the joints.

    Personally I would get a new stand, one that is more trustworthy. Could you (for the time being) put the 10 gallon on the floor (assuming you don't have pets or small children), so that you didn't have to move him to a new tank? You could also consider choose a new location for the tank if the floor in that area isn't level. My landlord must have had a few too many when he renovated our apartment building, because the floors are terrible. But we make shims to slide under the tank so that the water is still level. (There's seriously a hill and a valley in one hallway...)
     

  4. Daac Well Known Member Member

    I was saying take the 10 gallon down to make sure it has no cracks and isn't leaking. Either that or take all the substrate out so you can see the bottom and check for cracks
     

  5. escapay Well Known Member Member

    Thanks guys for the responses! Since the water seemed to be a very slow leak and wasn't spreading to the floor in that last bit of time, I just set my alarm to wake me up a little early. There was still some water present between the stand and the tank, but not enough that would cause immediate worry. So the tank is still up and running like it was. A few hours later - I found out that the tank has no visible water between it and the stand. I think the "leak" was actually from the media filter bag that had been hanging over the back yesterday after I did my water change...

    Of course, I still need to take down the tank to see whether the stand is the reason the water level is off or whether it is the floor. Again, hope it is the stand and NOT the floor. If floor stopped being level, that means my 36 gallon will need to be put on hold until we move out. 36 gallons weigh much more than 10 gallons.
     
  6. escapay Well Known Member Member

    Update... the floor is the cause foe the level being off. Sounds like I won't be able to have my larger tank setup because of that. It is level one direction but not the other (like front to back).
     
  7. Daac Well Known Member Member

    You could shim the stand but if you are moving soon anyway it may not be worth it.
     
  8. escapay Well Known Member Member

    I'm actually not moving for at least another year. If not longer than that... I was just indicating that if I wanted my tank to be up I would have to move elsewhere. Of course, now I am learning that I could shim... which I'll have to do some more research on that. It looks like that would be a good possibility.

    I did test another floor spot where my computer is currently at - and the dining table. That was where I originally wanted to place the 36 gallon but we then had the table moved there. Seems the table works great there and the whole layout of the downstairs flows very nicely. I'll have to see what will happen if I move the dining table to the other side of the room.... though it may be easier to do the shim portion instead.