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Old 02-25-2006, 10:51 PM   #1
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tank stand help needed badly

I need some serious help

I have a 55 gallon tank

it is saltwater

It has 40 lbs of crushed coral as the substrate

it has an undergravel filter

it has 5 lbs of live rock

it has only 2 fish in it they are both clowns.

That is the background on my tank. My problem is that when i purchased my tank, i bought a metal stand, which was my mistake. It is flimsy and wobbles when you bump into the tank. I don't care if people tell me that the stand is sturdy, i'm (seriously) having nightmares about it and want to replace it with a more sturdy wooden stand.

This is where my problem begins, i've only got part of it figured out.
The parts that i've figured out are: I can get the stand, it will be a very short move( 2-3 ft), i will have to empty most of the water, i know a few people that are strong enough to lift it when partially emptied.

What i need help with are these questions (if you answer, please keep the background info in mind)
If i leave enough water in the tank do i still have to remove the fish causing stress? If i remove most of the water and try to lift it, will the bottom break through? Does anyone have any better reccomended ways of moving the tank? Remember, it is only a 2-3 foot move, i will set up the new stand right next to the old one. Is it safe? And lastly, why is my old stand so flimsy?
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Old 02-25-2006, 11:28 PM   #2
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Well, the bottom will not "fall out". The tanks is supported solely on the bottom edge of the tank anyway so you don't have to worry about that. IMO though I would empty ALL of the water no matter how strong your buddies are. If you get the water slushing around from side to side no matter how little it is, it can damage your seals in the corners of the tank and you will be leaking in no time. I'm not saying it has never been done or it may go off without a hitch but I'd just be way too paranoid that something would go wrong so why not take out the few last gallons of water along with the fish for a short period of time?? I had my 55 leaking a little over a week ago and I believe it had something to do with me moving it about three weeks back with 1/3 water in it. I was able to upgrade to a 75 but what a PITA!!!

Just my 2 cents. HTH
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Old 02-26-2006, 02:14 AM   #3
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Empty everything before moving. A guy I work with moved a 72 gallon with gravel, an inch of water, & a couple of fish. The center brace across the top cracked, no leaks yet though. He had a machinist that works for the shop build a metal crossbrace support for over the top of the tank.
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:56 AM   #4
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Moving a tank with anything it can lead to disaster. As far as the bottom "falling out" it could certainly happen. A tank is supported just on the edges, but it's supported on all edges equally. as soon as you have a couple guys pick it up, it suddenly only supported at four points (where their hands are). That and any shifting of the water, etc can lead to significant amounts of force being applied to the seals and panes of glass.

I do not recomend moving a tank with anything in it. I know its pain, but how much of a pain would it be to have just a seal burst and have to solve the issue all of a suddon and end up with gallons of water on your floor.


Check out our articles section, there is an article or two in there with some tips and tricks for moving an aquarium (i think its in the FW section, but can be easily applied to any aquarum)

Good luck and WELCOME to AA!!
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:26 AM   #5
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As has been suggested you must remove everything from the tank before you can safely move it. The reason is the substrate and the tank will weigh consiterably more than they did when you setup the system now that its in the tank and the substrates had a chance to absorb water. Plus if you leave a few inches of water in there you likly will have another 40+lbs of water weight. Moving a tank with this much weight inside it can cause the corners to be stressed and could lead to a total tank failure. Also moving a tank with water can cause the sytem to become unstable as the water moves.
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:47 PM   #6
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my reply

On the subject of the tank suddenly being only supported by the corners,
i do not think that will be a problem, well actually it is the problem.
One of the reasons i want to get a new stand is not just that it wobbles, but it is literally only supported by the corners. There is a space wide enough to see through that seperates the bottom of the tank from the horizontal bar that is supposed to be supporting the tank. It is either a really strong tank or i am very lucky.
(the stand that i want to buy supports the tank on all sides)
Also i think i will have to leave the gravel in the tank for my ug filter
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:00 AM   #7
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well we could also debate the use of a UGF in a SW tank, but that might be best for the SW general forums.

in regards to moving the tank with water in it: there are folks who do it and "Get away with it" but those who don't swear they'll never do it again.


and there's a lot more who don't get away with it than do. Keep in mind that water weighs over 8 pounds per gallon.

2 inches of water in a 55 gallon tank is roughly 5 gallons of water, which is over 40 pounds of weight. Add that to the weight of the tank and the weight of the substraight you're considering leaving in it as well, it adds up quickly.
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Old 03-02-2006, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: my reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefishyjoe
On the subject of the tank suddenly being only supported by the corners,
i do not think that will be a problem, well actually it is the problem.
One of the reasons i want to get a new stand is not just that it wobbles, but it is literally only supported by the corners. There is a space wide enough to see through that seperates the bottom of the tank from the horizontal bar that is supposed to be supporting the tank. It is either a really strong tank or i am very lucky.
(the stand that i want to buy supports the tank on all sides)
Also i think i will have to leave the gravel in the tank for my ug filter
You have seen first hand a few problems with tank stands, in general, both steel and wood. What you describe with the tank weight not being equally distributed across the length of the stand is quite common in steel stands, because steel is seldom straight. I have fabricated in steel for 25 years and it is common to the material. Wood stands can give you the same problems, especially if stick wood is used (dimesional wood). That is why most stands are built of MDF and such (as well it is cheaper). The simple solution is to place a piece of white styrofam of about 1/2" to 3/4" underneath the tank to take up the irregularities in the stand. A tank is a very strong structure, and as you have seen, it will hold water even if it isn't properly suppoerted across it's length. However, it is not good practice to have a tank in a stressed condition, as there is a risk. IME it is better to completely empty the tank to move it, but I have moved some smaller ones, with some gravel and water in them. From what I have seen looking at 55 gal tanks, is that they are rather flimsy, in that they all seem to be built with rather thin glass for the size of the tank. Good luck.
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