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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Living less than 1/4 mile from the Hayward Fault, would acrylic be a better choice than a glass tank?

I have heard that in any torque situation, acrylic would be preferred.
Will this be significant with a tank 48x18x18 inches?

Could a filled tank *slide* during an earthquake?
Should something 'anti-slip' be placed beneath a tank at the outset?
Intended tank location: atop 6 ft long, 18 in deep, 31 in. high wood cabinet.

The house is built to latest earthquake code and is largely on solid rock, so should be more stable than most.

Any recommendations to help prevent water damage?
- sloshing out from an earthquake?
- water drips, etc from maintenance or equipment?

Floor is hardwood, in a high visibilty location.
Want to take the right steps from the start.

Thanks!
 

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On some stands, there is a thing that surrounds the tank (sides and front) for good looks to hide the frame. To put the tank onto this kind of stand, you'll need to slide it in. I think you could do something similar to this design, except have this thing surround all sides including the back. I don't recommend a hang on back (HOB)/power filter for this tank, because additional water can slosh out there. I think you can place some half inch thick styraphoam under the tank to make it even and level.... that's styraphoam that will cover the whole footprint of the tank.
 

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I would think acrylic. They are stronger, almost half the weight of glass and not as rigid (they can give a little without breaking). I've always bought acrylic aquariums with earthquakes in mind.
 

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I was lucky in the past living on Okie Hill above San Leandro. Never had a "situation" while there. Using a glass tank in that area would always be a risk. Tipping will be the over all risk in a big shaker with an acrylic tank so do consider keeping the stand hight less than the width.
 

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Securing is a life safety thing. If you've seen the seismic videos of data center racks that have been simply anchored to the floor shaken at 6.0 and 8.0 levels it would probably eject the tank off the rack.

It's best to let it float and keep the center of gravity low. Having a wider base than the hight of the of the stand will allow it to dance a bit without tipping. As suggested loosely anchoring it to the wall is a good idea so it isn't skipped across the room. But tight would just distribute more of the energy to the tank.

There is a new solution that I wish my company would employ at my DC but the executive management loves to make the big gamble. For the sake of being cost effective.

The Iso Base had skids floating on large ball bearings and allows the entire load to disperse the energy of the earthquake without damaging sensitive running hard drives.

If used on a aquarium stand in some way would spill some water but not drop to the floor or break the tank... Still like Acrylic since the glass could not take the beating. Glass has little ability to flex before breaking.

I'm not suggesting this solution for your stand but illustrating what your trying to mitigate. Letting it move a bit during the event 100% a bad thing.

Trying to disperse the energy to the contents is the best focus including using materials that best fit this requirement. Go acrylic!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for all these helpful replies! You have definitely sold me on acrylic!

re anchoring: there will be no adjacent wall !... but the projected tank will be ca 48 in long and only 16 or 18 inches high. 18 in deep. It will be about 30 in off the floor on a long, low piece of furniture.

I am wondering if a 'lip' or 'rim' would contain the tank in a quake or make things worse? Wouldn't such a rim on a cabinet-top only be glued on and not all that strong?

Thanks again for your help!
 

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Any lip will help. Glue is stronger than you think of course depending on the construction technique. Good luck.
 

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This may help with tremors and aftershocks;

some put this high compressive strength;
Blue Foam aka Pink Foam aka extruded Polystyrene
aka Styrofoam aka DOW extruded polystyrene

between the tank bottom and the tank stand.
this helps distribute weight and soften vibration
if your tanks is not level or in a high traffic area.

this stuff is also great if you have a heavy rock
or driftwood that may press on the tank bottom
and crack the glass as it can be safely submerged.
 
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