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Old 08-07-2009, 12:27 PM   #1
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Foam Under Tank / Soaking Hydrometer

A few quick questions ...

As I read more and more of these 'tank build' threads, I'm learning that most people put a sheet of foam between the base of the aquarium and the top of the stand. Is this for shock absorption or to level out the surface? I didn't use any foam between the stand and tank - any detrimental effects this could cause?

I have yet to buy a refractometer but do have a hydrometer. At first the hydrometer wasn't overly accurate, but my LFS told me to float the hydrometer in the tank for 24-hours. Being a new tank and all, I have been having my LFS test the specific gravity of my water a few times a week and my hydrometer is now remarkably accurate. How the heck does floating it in the saltwater affect the hydrometers performance?

Thanks for any insight!
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:05 PM   #2
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As far as I can tell, it's supposed to relieve pressure on both the tank bottom and the stand. I've seen some use it, and some not. I'm not sure if it makes that much of a difference.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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From what I have heard the foam does act as a shock absober and also allows some "give" to keep the tank from getting in a bind when water weight is added. It is more for keeping the glass from cracking and the seems from leaking rather than for protection of the livestock. I didn't hear about this till after I set my tank up so I don't have any other mine either.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:40 PM   #4
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I don't know the reason behind it but most of the hydrometer manufacturers instruct to soak it for 24 hours to "season" the hydrometer.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:48 PM   #5
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Putting a sheet of foam under the aquarium is a bad bad thing. It should NEVER be done. 99% of tanks were made to be supported from the edges of the tank (the trim). There is an old thread on here about a guy that had a 150 gallon reef tank break twice and it was most likely attributed to the foam that was put under it.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:52 PM   #6
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This is the link to the thread. It is quite long but interesting.

Ziggy953's 150 Build errrr....120 Build
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:55 PM   #7
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I agree with spoon, don't do it! I have only heard bad things about putting foam underneath. I was going to do it with my 30g long but opted not to after reading up a bit. The tanks are designed to take the weight on the trim and as long as your stand is level you should have no problems.

I'm a freshie so I can't answer your question about the hydrometer... hopefully the others will chime in.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:01 PM   #8
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Interesting on the 'don't do it' with the foam. On some of these tank builds people are using up to 1" of foam between the aquarium base and the top of the stand. Some use the pink stuff and others I've seen use the white beaded stuff.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:03 PM   #9
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A lot of plywood builds use it to cushion since all the weight is on the bottom piece of plywood. It's inadvisable on a commercial tank however.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:04 PM   #10
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Plywood might be a different story, but glass is definitely a no no.
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