How to level large tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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How to level large tank

My new 180 Gallon tank is not level. From right to left it level, but not front to back. It off by as much as 5/16 on one side. The standard shims are not going to work in my case so I am going to pickup some 2x4 and have a guy that lives by me cut some shims. Sounds simple enough The problem is the stand does not have legs, it solid stand so frame all around the outside and then a brace in the middle on the bottom as well.

If I double up the shims I got from lowes, it then levels out from front to back, but front corner on one side has large gap still. I would assume I am going to have to also cut wood for that large area that has a gap even though it level since this is where most of the weight of the tank will be the corners and the sides?

I thought doing all the plumbing would be a pain, that looking easy compared to getting this thing level.

Thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:15 PM
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picture of the stand?

we built my 125g aquarium into the wall when we renovated our basement.



As much as we tried while putting this section together, it was not perfect. In fact, it was higher in the middle than on the ends. We slowly raised the plywood so that it met the tank when level.

"But how did you deal with the gap?", you ask.

Easy... we shoved shims into the gap and a ton of liquid nails. I water tested for a month to ensure that the liquid nails and shims wouldn't compress/settle, and they did not. a year later my tank hasn't budged.

shims are wedged, as you know, so you should be able to follow the same procedure with your stand.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:20 PM
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I'm a little confused by this one. Is the stand not constructed level or is the floor the stand on not level?

Usually the stand is level but the floor is not. Then it just takes some proper use of the shims to make fit. The shims go below the vertical support of the stand. Usually some 2x4's on the larger tank stands.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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I'm a little confused by this one. Is the stand not constructed level or is the floor the stand on not level?

Usually the stand is level but the floor is not. Then it just takes some proper use of the shims to make fit. The shims go below the vertical support of the stand. Usually some 2x4's on the larger tank stands.
The stand is level, even made the custom wood worker come back and check it. He been building stands for 25 years, and builds them for 2 LFS, so I trust him.

Posting pictures in a few mins.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Several pictures to give everyone general ideal of the stand. Braces in back of stand are removed right now so I can put sump in before I put tank back on stand.

The back of the tank is what not level. You cannot tell from the pictures, but it about 5/16 to 3/8 low in the back. From the front of the stand about half way back it hardly even on the floor.

The right and left underside of the stand are about 2 1/4 inches wide. I would assume I would need to have a shim that covers that entire width? I guess I don't have a good understanding of what I need to shim, or should be no gaps anywhere?

Thanks
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 02:35 PM
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You need to shim underneath the vertical braces only. These are the load bearing part of the stand. So that means the four corners, and under the braces in the front and back as needed.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE V View Post
You need to shim underneath the vertical braces only. These are the load bearing part of the stand. So that means the four corners, and under the braces in the front and back as needed.
agreed. shims from a hardware store will do the trick. long shims help as they allow for a more gradient scale and you can trim them if needed.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 10:28 PM
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Another tip is don't trim the shims until after you fill the tank with water. Once you add all the weight you will likely need to make some adjustments. I spent a lot of time meticulously getting my 125G stand level only to have to start over after the tank was filled with water. The waterline in the tank also makes it much easier to level since you can just measure each corner from the top down to the water line.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 10:10 PM
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When you mention the shims not big enough when you are needing 5-16, it makes me think you are not using the shims in the best way. With shims that are 1/4 thick at the larger end, you should be able to get somewhat close to 1/2 inch high. Many try to use a single shim and that leaves the item standing on a slope. A pair of shims, one from each side with the thin portions overlapping will leave you with a level top on the shims. This may be important if you have a stand with a bottom that is not quite as firm as might be. Some stands are made with a 1X at the bottom and if you leave it standing on a single shim, it can put quite a bit of stress on the 1X. Just better practice to always use shims in pairs so that you get better support from the level top. You also get a lot more height out of the shims.
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