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Old 10-06-2014, 12:40 AM   #1
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How level is "level"

So I've had my 29gal up for about a month. I have a solid wood table with 4 legs that are short and also solid that screw into it. I leveled everything, filled the tank, substrate water, etc, and made sure at the 1/4 , 1/2, 3/4 and full points that it was still level. Over the time its been up once in a while we hear a creak noise, you know, like old house settling noises. Then today i noticed the water was just a tiiiny bit higher on one side.

Measured about 1/2CM difference, water lower on the left. Put the level on the table, bubble in the leveler is still within the lines of being level, but more towards the side of inside the lines.

Should i be worried? I know they say "keep your tank level, 400lbs of water leaning on one side of glass will cause it to break" but how perfectly level are we talking? Down to the micrometer?

Any suggestions to beef up support on one side?

I will say that its on furniture on carpet, and to get it level initially i had to put a plastic ricotta cheese lid under each of the legs on the side that is a hair lower now, because it was a hair lower without them then too.

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Old 10-07-2014, 05:13 PM   #2
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Some out of level is okay. I have a 29 gallon tank I placed on a diy shelf. It started out perfectly level with with time has settled to where is it almost 1/2 higher on the front than it is in back. It has not caused any problems. As long as you know the stand is solid some leveling is to be expected. Weather changes will make it be out of level some. If you want to reinforce the stand You could add some more legs around the perimeter or even make a bottom frame from 2x4's or something. Is the stand actual wood or some composit?
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:23 PM   #3
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I think that the important issue here is that the table is moving. That is far more concerning than whether it is perfectly level. Really, in terms of level, it either is or isn't. it isn't a matter of degree.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:17 PM   #4
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I think that the important issue here is that the table is moving. That is far more concerning than whether it is perfectly level. Really, in terms of level, it either is or isn't. it isn't a matter of degree.

I have to agree with what BillD is saying. The underlying issue of the table moving is more of a factor. Personally, I wouldn't trust a table that has legs that screw into it. Maybe that's just me. I've built a few stands and in the end, no matter of having a level on the stand or the tank, it comes down to where the water level sits in the tank itself when full. I've filled and measured at the increments that you stated in the original posting and unless it's equal when full, it doesn't mean squat or give me any confidence that things will "be okay". I've drained and refilled till the water level was perfect all the way around the top frame. That's where it matters most to me. I've stacked four levels (2 left to right, front and back, and then 2 on top of those, front to back) and let it sit for 24 hours. I gained two things out of doing things this way. Peace of mind and more patience. After all, this is a "no rush" hobby. hth


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Old 10-08-2014, 03:33 AM   #5
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Not sure if table is moving, or just finally "settled", but either way its a bit off now than when it started. It was pretty darn perfectly level for the first week minimum. Wouldn't have put my fish in otherwise. Now... kind of nervous. The table isnt particle board, its solid wood. Legs are solid wood that screw into a metal plate with a thick bolt, but at an angle.

Fish are in the tank, when i do a water change i can lift the table slightly, tested in case i need to build a support. But i cant move the tank itself even during a 50% WC.

Stuck in my current lease until next October so i cant upgrade to a 50gallon yet, otherwise id set one up, get it established and switch the fish to that, then fix the table with the 29, then use the 29 for something else. I have to figure out something that will last a year minimum.

I was thinking of transferring the fish to my 10gallon for a short time, emptying the 29 and leveling / reinforcing the table setup, then transferring them back, but 2 fancy goldfish and a very small bushy nose pleco I don't want to stress them out. How long could they really stay in a ten gal? A day tops?

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Old 10-08-2014, 01:08 PM   #6
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is it on carpet that would explain it , you can always siphon out some water till you can pick up the side thats not level and shim it up till its level , if its that bad
easier then moving all the fish as long as they have 2/3 inch of water they will be ok for that short time
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:11 PM   #7
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Should i be worried? I know they say "keep your tank level, 400lbs of water leaning on one side of glass will cause it to break" but how perfectly level are we talking? Down to the micrometer?
Myth.

Flat is important, level not nearly so. Though you will hear people argue loudly that "I had a tank that wasn't level and it broke".

Just think about the physics, a quarter inch difference in height is 0.16 ounce additional pressure per square inch on one side vs. the other. Or thought another way, how often does your water level increase or decrease a quarter inch and you never worry.
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