Water Not Level - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Water Not Level

Hi Guys,
Im setting up my 40 breeder and only have it filled 3/4 of the way right now. The water is noticeably higher on one side, its about a quarter ro a half of an inch difference.

I know this can be a big problem in the long run in long tanks but this is only 3 feet long. It also has a center brace on the bottom.

Is this something i should be worried about?
What can i do to fix it?

I dont want to come home to 40 gallons of water on the floor and im sure my neighbor below me wouldnt appreciate it either

Im pretty sure its not the stand, i think its the floor.
its on carpet though so would it level out?


any help would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 06:52 PM
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Go to the hardware store and get some shims. Even with carpet you can place the shims under the stand (not the tank) and tap on them with a hammer. You might have to empty out some of the water at first to be able to slide them under the stand. I did this with my tank and it worked really good.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 06:52 PM
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You need to put something under the stand legs to level it out. Do you have a level? A greater concern than out of level would be a twist in the tank.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clayman View Post
You need to put something under the stand legs to level it out. Do you have a level? A greater concern than out of level would be a twist in the tank.

Exactly- You'll need to pick up a "spirit level" or "bubble level" at a hardware store and lay it across your stand in both directions 'til the bubble is dead center. Carpeting can make things difficult. One possibility is to cut away the carpet around the stand and this way your stand is resting on solid floor. the carpet tack strip can then be reused to set the carpet back in around the tank. Probably more work than you're looking to do though.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FewestKitten896 View Post
Go to the hardware store and get some shims. Even with carpet you can place the shims under the stand (not the tank) and tap on them with a hammer. You might have to empty out some of the water at first to be able to slide them under the stand. I did this with my tank and it worked really good.
I was about to +1 the above before I took a second look at the picture. I don't think packaged shims, even stacking a couple, would be enough. Unless the angle of picture distorts it some, I would bet it's a solid 3/4" off from one end to the other. If it's that much, I would secure a piece of wood to the low side of stand and put shims under that as needed. Take the most accurate measurement possible while the tank is still mostly full. Unless your floors are that far off throughout or you have no alternatives, you might want to just consider a different location?

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 08:04 PM
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While it's mostly filled, just measure the distance from the water line to the top trim to see how much you have to shim the low side. First, be certain that the tank is the same height on both ends; Tetra tanks give me reason to doubt such things.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushkill View Post
I was about to +1 the above before I took a second look at the picture. I don't think packaged shims, even stacking a couple, would be enough. Unless the angle of picture distorts it some, I would bet it's a solid 3/4" off from one end to the other. If it's that much, I would secure a piece of wood to the low side of stand and put shims under that as needed. Take the most accurate measurement possible while the tank is still mostly full. Unless your floors are that far off throughout or you have no alternatives, you might want to just consider a different location?
After closer look you are right. You might have to go with something a little more drastic than shims. They would work for a small change but yeah this looks a little bit more than a little.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 08:13 PM
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If the tanks is assembled correctly, and it's the same height at both ends, it'll be really easy to see how far off. Also, keep in mind that on carpeted floors, some leveling issues come just from placing a tank against a wall. The carpeting will naturally pitch away from the wall where there's less traffic and the tack strips being along the wall's edge.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice guys

I will dig out a spirit level and figure out how bad it is (Though i already know its pretty bad)
Ill be getting a new stand for this as part of a CL trade on friday so i can see if that one will work better. If not, I will look into getting a piece of wood or something to level it out.

I cant cut the carpet away though, im renting and the landlords would flip if he saw that


I'll also drain it until then, i dont want to end up with a cracked tank and a mess


if possible, id rather not change location either, its kind of in a perfect spot and i arranged my furniture around it. though if it stays this bad, i will of course move it.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 11:15 PM
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Glad you are working to fix. I had a 180gal that was just slightly off level - about 1/4" off from one side of the tank to the other (6 feet across). I chose to ignore it. About 1.5 years later the silicone seam at the bottom of the tank split along a 2' section (probably where the stress was greatest). 180 gal leaked onto my wood floors over two days while I was out of town - lost everything, destroyed the equipment and filters (ran dry) and of course all fish died.

Make sure your tank is level!
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 11:24 PM
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you already have a level. your tank. put an inch or two of water in. measure the diff. on both sides.

start to shim, stop when it's the same on both sides.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
you already have a level. your tank. put an inch or two of water in. measure the diff. on both sides.

start to shim, stop when it's the same on both sides.
This can work. And don't forget to do the same for both the side to side, and the front to back.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 11:45 PM
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When you get the new stand make sure it is not sitting on the tack strip and is as level as it can be.
Then put the tank on it and start filling (just water at this point). As it fills the carpet and pad may squish down a bit more in one area than another. When the tank is pretty full, then check it again with the level. Note where, and by how much you need to adjust it. Drain it.

If the stand has legs, then make sure you are shimming them equally so the stand does not get lifted unevenly. One corner higher than the others. This would stress the tank.
If the stand is one that touches the floor all around then the job of shimming is a bit trickier. All along back and front, and the sides you need to shim just enough so the stand is lifted evenly. This might mean the equivalent of a 3' long wedge under the front and back.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 11:59 PM
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Why in the world do you need a spirit level? You need ghostbusters? The water is your "spirit" Lower the level to the top of the bottom trim and when it meets it it's level on all four sides. Put some shims under the low end. They are stackable. If need be using cedar shakes as shims. You only need to shim the corners of the stand. Even if it's wood.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 12:42 AM
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Yep, all you need is a tape measure...
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