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Old 01-21-2023, 06:10 PM   #1
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Cabinet for Aquarium has bowed top

Hi there, new to the site, first post.

I bought a 29 gallon aquarium, and found a cool cabinet to hold it. I beefed it up inside with a secondary 2x4 frame so it is good and strong.

I placed the tank on there and noticed the top of the cabinet is not perfectly flat. It sort of bows down in the middle so if you are squatting and looking at eye level at the bottom of the tank, there is a small gap under the tank in the middle.

Naturally Iím a little concerned what this could do to the structural integrity once the aquarium is full. Does it matter? Will it place too much pressure in the middle? I think so, so now need to figure out how to fix it. Any ideas? Only thing I can think of is find something flat to put down first, like a thick board at least the footprint of the tank, maybe stick something in the middle of it underneath for support.

Thank you,

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Old 01-22-2023, 01:07 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum

If the top of the cabinet is bowing down and there is a gap between the base of the tank and cabinet in the middle, it's not such a big issue. The problem is when the stand bows up and puts pressure on the base of the tank, then you crack the bottom of the tank. Glass naturally bows down a tiny bit if there's nothing under the glass to support it, so having a slight gap under the middle should be fine.

In Australia we have a sheet of polystyrene foam under our tanks (between the tank and stand) and this helps to remove any unevenness in the stand. We use 1/2 inch thick foam for small tanks up to 3 foot long, and 1 inch thick foam for bigger tanks. A sheet of 1/2 inch thick polystyrene foam should prevent the base having any issues.
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Old 01-22-2023, 06:33 AM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. I did some searching around, and I think I found a YouTube video you did, is that right?
I read some of the comments and also in other places I hear people say the sheet should not be under the whole tank bottom in one like mine that has the frame around top and bottom. You replied that it should not matter, I agree and cannot understand how it would affect the tank negatively.
But then I just read in a forum, fishforums dot net, this guy who was a moderator says-

“There are two common types of tank construction.
One has a piece of trim around the bottom of the tank that raises the actual tank bottom a fraction of an inch above the stand. A pad or mat is a terrible idea for one of those tanks, it removes the small gap that the raised bottom provided and makes the tank more vulnerable to local pressure points.”

So this guy was a forum moderator, he must have some understanding greater than the average Joe, right? I can only imagine that perhaps over time as the foam compresses where the frame touches it, that eventually the bottom glass will come in contact with the foam and there will be upward pressure?
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Old 01-22-2023, 07:53 AM   #4
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I don't do YouTube videos.

Being a moderator doesn't mean anything. Forums need moderators and if someone is on regularly and they are good with people, they ask them to be a mod. Some say yes and some say no. It has no bearing on how good they are with the subject. Don't get me wrong, there are some very knowledgeable moderators out there (Aiken here is pretty good and there's a few on the other forum that are good), but there are other moderators that are simply doing a job on a forum to help out. It's a bit like a pet shop, some staff are really knowledgeable and helpful, others are just there for a weekly pay cheque.

If an aquarium has a metal or plastic frame around the base, then it doesn't need a sheet of polystyrene foam under it. However, you can still put a sheet of foam under it but you need the foam to cover the entire base. If the foam doesn't cover the entire base and sits in a little bit from each end, it will put pressure on the base and be more likely to crack.

If an aquarium does not have a metal or plastic frame around the base, then it should have a sheet of polystyrene foam under it. Again the foam has to cover the entire base of the tank.
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Old 01-22-2023, 09:51 AM   #5
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Ok. The guy is Aussie aquatic and his name is Collin who did the video that is a crazy coincidence because it is about polystyrene foam under tanks.
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Old 01-22-2023, 10:00 AM   #6
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Everyone in Australia has a piece of polystyrene foam under their tanks, it's standard practice here. However, it is a bit weird having someone with the same name doing videos from the same country. Not unheard of but uncommon.
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Old 01-22-2023, 11:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrderrik View Post
Hi there, new to the site, first post.



I bought a 29 gallon aquarium, and found a cool cabinet to hold it. I beefed it up inside with a secondary 2x4 frame so it is good and strong.



I placed the tank on there and noticed the top of the cabinet is not perfectly flat. It sort of bows down in the middle so if you are squatting and looking at eye level at the bottom of the tank, there is a small gap under the tank in the middle.



Naturally Iím a little concerned what this could do to the structural integrity once the aquarium is full. Does it matter? Will it place too much pressure in the middle? I think so, so now need to figure out how to fix it. Any ideas? Only thing I can think of is find something flat to put down first, like a thick board at least the footprint of the tank, maybe stick something in the middle of it underneath for support.



Thank you,
Hello, rule I go by is if you can slide an empty envelope under corners or center of tank then I try to rectify situation.
A gallon of water is 8.35lbs. a 29gal is around 242lbs water only. Your aquarium is basically just glass w/caulking holding it together & they seem to go out at worst times(sleeping, at work, on vacation or just out running errands). Insuring that your stand is stable can save you property damage & pets. Hope this helps you!!!!
If you could provide a pic of stand we might be able to come up with ideas to help.
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Old 01-22-2023, 04:08 PM   #8
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I saw another little uneven spot on the side, ended up going to hardware store, had them cut a piece of 3/4” plywood just a hair larger than tank footprint. Will prime and paint black then set tank on that for a good flat surface.
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