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Old 12-14-2022, 03:52 PM   #1
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My Foam Underlayment Dilemma

The plan was to lay .5" foam under the 125 G & 75 G that should go on the stand this weekend. i have 4'x1' 1/2" Styrofoam around. The husband thinks it's a bad idea & will make placing the tanks on the stand far more difficult because he usually does it with the handyman & they slide the tanks after getting one end on the stand. This stand, BTW, is 38" tall. The husband also slides tanks inside our open 4'x8' trailer on top of big pieces of cardboard. It works out well. I have never used a stryo underlayment before, but was going to this time because Andy (as I recall) thinks it's useful.


Any ideas? It may be difficult to hire extra help.
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Old 12-14-2022, 04:21 PM   #2
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Are these standard, plastic braced tanks? If so nothing needs to be underneath. Rimless tanks are a different story.
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Old 12-14-2022, 04:38 PM   #3
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Every tank I have has a metal frame.
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Old 12-14-2022, 06:20 PM   #4
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I have polystyrene foam under all tanks to help remove any slight variation in the stand it is resting on. There is no guarantee the stand isn't slightly bowed, warped or has a small lump on it somewhere that can put uneven pressure on the base. Wood stands can swell in high humidity or if water gets on it. Even a drop of paint that is slightly higher than the rest of the stand can set hard and create a bump.

With foam on the stands, you normally lift the tank onto the stand and place it on the foam. The empty tank can usually be moved a bit on the foam to line it up properly. However, don't try to slide the tank all the way along the foam because it will destroy the foam.
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Old 12-14-2022, 06:34 PM   #5
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This use of foam seems to be far more prevalent in the UK & Australia than in the US. I’m beginning to think the floors across the pond and down under are more crooked than some of our American politicians.
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Old 12-14-2022, 08:47 PM   #6
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This use of foam seems to be far more prevalent in the UK & Australia than in the US. Iím beginning to think the floors across the pond and down under are more crooked than some of our American politicians.
Because they are smarter than Americans. It's called " going the extra mile for safety." Do you really want to have 110 gallons of water on the floor because you were too lazy to put some styro under the tank?
It's not about the floors. There are a number of factors that can break the glass of the tank that styro prevents.
I'd also double up that 1/2" styro for the big tanks. I prefer to use .75" doubled for anything over 100 gallons and single for 40 gallon to the 100. I have 10 gallon tanks that flatten .5" styro because the floor in the hatchery is slanted for drainage. If a 10 gal tank can do that, imagine what a 125 can do.
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Old 12-14-2022, 08:57 PM   #7
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Can someone please summarize the rationale for the foam?
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Old 12-14-2022, 09:26 PM   #8
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I’ve never heard of the catastrophes you describe, not even once over here.

Perhaps the tanks over there are poorly made from old chamber pots & jelly jars
It came down to our tank manufacturer teaching us the differences between stress cracks, puncture cracks, leveling issues and others so we would know what was covered by warranty and what wasn't. Stress cracks were not warrantied because they are 100% preventable. Ironically, this happened more when people were getting into the wood stand craze over the angle iron stands. ( And angle iron stands could have welding issues that would crack a tank so we always had to check out stands when they first arrived. ) When you are around long enough, you see it all ( or almost all. )

I actually have first hand experience. I had a 55 gallon saltwater tank on a block and pressboard stand where the tank was on the blocks not just the wood, with a floating bottom, and one day I returned from school to find 45 gallons of water in the carpeting because the presswood had become unlevel by squashing down causing the bottom of a side panel to crack. I managed to lose close to $500 worth of fish from that little boo boo. I've never had any stand not made of wood planks since.
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Old 12-14-2022, 09:50 PM   #9
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You worked for a US tank manufacturer?

Do you find it odd that no LFS or big box store I know of sells or suggests foam pads?
Seems to me there’s big profits to be made by these merchants buying 4x8 sheets & cutting to size.
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Old 12-14-2022, 10:26 PM   #10
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You worked for a US tank manufacturer?

Do you find it odd that no LFS or big box store I know of sells or suggests foam pads?
Seems to me there’s big profits to be made by these merchants buying 4x8 sheets & cutting to size.
No, I worked for retail pet shops and wholesalers besides my own hatcheries. Before there were umpty ump national tank manufacturers, there was a couple of local tank manufacturers that some of the stores I worked for sold exclusively. These guys made tanks to last and I still have a few of their tanks that are over 40 years old that I have no issues still using.

I have to think that there may be negative connotations for a tank manufacturer to demand people use styro or padding underneath their tanks. If a tank breaks, people buy another so why prevent that from happening? The invention of the " floating base" was supposed to compensate for minor issues but as I just told you, my 55 had a floating base that did diddly to stop the tank from breaking. Things happen. Companies today are not as hobbyist conscious as in the old days. IMO.
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Old 12-15-2022, 04:15 AM   #11
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This use of foam seems to be far more prevalent in the UK & Australia than in the US. Iím beginning to think the floors across the pond and down under are more crooked than some of our American politicians.
LOL

---------------

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Can someone please summarize the rationale for the foam?
It reduces the chance of cracking the base. For a few dollars it's a worthy investment. And as Andy said, there's more money in selling customers another tank because the first one cracked a base due to no foam.
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Old 12-15-2022, 08:06 AM   #12
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Would you buy another tank of the same brand if the first cracked? I sure wouldn’t. There’s lots of tanks in the sea & I’d find another manufacturer.
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Old 12-15-2022, 11:30 AM   #13
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Would you buy another tank of the same brand if the first cracked? I sure wouldnít. Thereís lots of tanks in the sea & Iíd find another manufacturer.
You seem pretty logical and intelligent, also a bit cheeky but funny. Most people aren't.

eg: I have a rat that lives in my roof, She is smarter than most of the people in this neighbourhood. She's also quite cute for a rat.
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Old 12-15-2022, 12:23 PM   #14
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Would you buy another tank of the same brand if the first cracked? I sure wouldnít. Thereís lots of tanks in the sea & Iíd find another manufacturer.
Not in every store. Many stores stick with one brand. Keep in mind, there are a lot of "excuses" that can be had to convince a customer that it was a fluke happening.
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Old 12-15-2022, 12:26 PM   #15
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Right back at ya, Colin T. Yeah, I saw some posts that rat made at another forum. Among the smartest there.

OK, Boys, here’s a summary of my investigative reporting on tank pads, be they styrofoam, other foam etc.

I called Top Fin, the manufacturer of my 55 G tanks. The company was acquired by Petsmart who sells them exclusively. These are desktop tanks, sold without stands. Mine are on top of sturdy built-in dresser drawers. No pads. The tech said underlayments are totally unnecessary unless one lives in an earthquake zone. She said Petsmart doesn’t even sell them, but she googled while we were talking & found some on Amazon. She added they don’t get reports of cracked tanks; occasionally they hear about leaks around the upper frame. She mentioned her son has a house full of tanks of all sizes and has never used any mats. I took that to mean he doesn’t reside along the San Andreas Fault in California.

Next I called Aqueon & spoke to a nice tech there. They made two of my three 125 G tanks. He said the under pads are not recommended because the frame is designed to offset defects. He offered details; most were too complex for me. He said he never hears of cracked tanks placed upon the stand generally sold with the tank. I described my homemade stand & he said it sounds better than theirs, but nonetheless, the company will do anything to weasel out of the warranty. So a cracked tank would be on me. This guy was informative, candid & funny.

Next I consulted with the husband, asking if I could truthfully say he’s a Rocket Scientist because he writes software for space satellites. He said, no, he’s a software engineer but I can tell you guys he’s a genius & a hunk. I suggested we use yoga mats topped with slick oil cloth so he can do his tank sliding thing. The genius said that’s not only unnecessary but poses potential problems because the tank frame sets above the flat surface & the under pads would bunch up and negatively affect the design integrity.

So the tank manufacturers and the hunky genius have spoken & the tanks will go without pads. This is the first time I ever seriously considered them out of respect for Andy and Colin. But now it’s off the table.
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Old 12-15-2022, 06:37 PM   #16
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All I can say is I've never had a tank on styro crack and I've never had an issue with bunching so hopefully you won't have any issues without it. That said, if you do, I would just like the opportunity to say " I told you so." jk
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Old 12-15-2022, 06:56 PM   #17
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If all my tanks crack tomorrow & splinter into 1001 pieces, you will never know! Hah! Iíll steal the finest tank photographs available online, those most spectacularly landscaped & photoshop my fish inside these glorious environments. So there, Mr. Sanger! Expect to see my creations on magazine covers everywhere.


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Old 12-15-2022, 08:05 PM   #18
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If all my tanks crack tomorrow & splinter into 1001 pieces, you will never know! Hah! Iíll steal the finest tank photographs available online, those most spectacularly landscaped & photoshop my fish inside these glorious environments. So there, Mr. Sanger! Expect to see my creations on magazine covers everywhere.


Yeah but you'll be the one that has to deal with all that floor water so no skin off my nose.
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Old 12-15-2022, 08:12 PM   #19
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Not me. The hunky genius has very large wet shop vacs & loves using them.
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Old 12-16-2022, 05:04 PM   #20
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Check this out. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-63996982
(Berlin's giant AquaDom hotel aquarium containing 1,500 fish explodes )

I bet they didn't use thick enough styro under the tank.
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