Tank Underlayment? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Tank Underlayment?

Please don't laugh if I'm overthinking this

I'm placing my 26 gal tank on an oak desk. Thought perhaps I should use an underlayment to protect the wood & level out minor imperfection in the desk top (tank level, but does wobble while empty).

Thinking about using thin cork sheeting or even a yoga mat cut to size.

Do you think this is a good idea?

Wondering if others have tried something like this

Thank you!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 09:12 PM
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227lbs in water weight how much do you trust your desk, cork sheeting would be fine or yoga matt ,I use the yoga matt

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 09:22 PM
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It's a pretty good idea, and what a lot of people use (the underlayment bit). Pretty much anything that is slightly compressible. You just want something to serve as a gasket, and make sure there is continuous contact around the rim of the tank, and to relieve pressure points.

As to putting it on the desk, that would depend on the build of the desk and the orientation of the tank. If it's an older desk, or an institutional desk (built for (older)offices, hotels, dorms, etc.) it will probably be fine, those are often overbuilt and quite sturdy. If it's a desk from a cubicle farm or for home use, I'd be fairly cautious.

You want to get the corners of the tank directly over the desk legs if you can.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 09:50 PM
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As I see it, it will have mixed results. It will keep the tank from scratching the desk but then have a second side effect. When water gets between the cork and desk, it will soak in and not dry well. This may actually cause more damage to the desk from staying wet.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
It's a pretty good idea, and what a lot of people use (the underlayment bit). Pretty much anything that is slightly compressible. You just want something to serve as a gasket, and make sure there is continuous contact around the rim of the tank, and to relieve pressure points.

As to putting it on the desk, that would depend on the build of the desk and the orientation of the tank. If it's an older desk, or an institutional desk (built for (older)offices, hotels, dorms, etc.) it will probably be fine, those are often overbuilt and quite sturdy. If it's a desk from a cubicle farm or for home use, I'd be fairly cautious.

You want to get the corners of the tank directly over the desk legs if you can.
Thank you lochaber and all for responding
This desk is Amish construction solid 3/4" oak, furniture store gave me a thumbs up for 300 lbs easy no problem…Can prob hold a lot more but I'm not gonna push it

I am concerned about moisture getting to the desk, and to a lesser extent, a means of leveling it out. Maybe cork is the way to go

I found rolls or sheets of cork (1/8" thick?) at Hobby Lobby, Michael's Crafts, etc & thought that might work & also help with moisture aspect?

Now is my chance to do this, once it's filled, it's staying put

I appreciate any thoughts...
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 11:40 PM
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I used this yoga mat type material I bought from lowes. It was over in the flooring section and they sell it by the foot. Got two 20L tanks worth for about $8. So far its working well and haven't run into any issues.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-13-2014, 11:40 PM
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Got to love old hand quality furniture , I had my 75g sitting on a antique hutch solid construction.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 12:07 AM
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Does your tank have a frame on the bottom? If so, no underlayment is really necessary. And moisture? You better not have any. If there is, then you have a leaky tank. Or leaky filtration.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 12:34 AM
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The way I get most of the water that runs down the side of my tanks is from me! When I get in the tank to catch fish, trim plants or add/remove decor, water winds up coming out with me. When it runs under the front side of the tank, there is no way to get it back out short of moving.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
As I see it, it will have mixed results. It will keep the tank from scratching the desk but then have a second side effect. When water gets between the cork and desk, it will soak in and not dry well. This may actually cause more damage to the desk from staying wet.
Oh, yeah, good point, I didn't really think about that angle.

It might look tacky, but maybe getting a big sheet of some sort of thin plastic (like ~1mm, not like a plastic tarp) to put on top of the entire desk as a surface protector, and then the foam/cork/whatevs right near the tank.

Or, if you are up to it, putting a heavy coat of sealant on the desk top.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking cork?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
Does your tank have a frame on the bottom? If so, no underlayment is really necessary. And moisture? You better not have any. If there is, then you have a leaky tank. Or leaky filtration.
Thanks thelub.

My tank does have a frame on bottom. No moisture, just minor spills during maintenance.

The tiny wobble may go away when the tank is full...

I'm thinking an 1/8" or so cork sheet can't hurt, I'm kinda leaning that way?

Just want to get it filled and move on to more exciting things, like planting and stocking.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 02:42 PM
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I can attest to the fact that the thin sheet of cork is not a good idea. I used it under my planted nano on my desk for about a year before discovering that just a few drops here and there while trimming and doing water changes never really dried out. The wood underneath had bubbled up and basically ruined that portion of the desk. Pretty hard to avoid all moisture / small spills when maintaining a tank in my opinion.

Anyhow, good luck w/ your new tank!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heron72 View Post
Thanks thelub.

My tank does have a frame on bottom. No moisture, just minor spills during maintenance.

The tiny wobble may go away when the tank is full...

I'm thinking an 1/8" or so cork sheet can't hurt, I'm kinda leaning that way?

Just want to get it filled and move on to more exciting things, like planting and stocking.

I missed that bit about the wobble the first time through...

That's not good. you want the tank to be on as close to a perfectly level surface as you can get it. If the wobble goes away, that means the tank is flexing to fit the surface it's on, and that's putting stress on the glass and the seams. foam or something might help, but you'd probably want to go slightly thicker then 1/8".

And yeah, a very small spill can wick under (both the tank, and foam/whatever) due to capillary action, and it will pretty much stay wet until it's torn down.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 08:20 PM
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The stuff they sell in the kitchen section for lining cabinets and shelves is very good. It's like thin silicon/rubberized foam.

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