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Does a towel under an aquarium help prevent damage to the stand?


Grubhead
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I've used a towel in the past and don't remember having any issues with water damage. It's been a long time though and I wonder if anyone else has used them to protect furniture used as a stand?

For my two previous aquariums I used plexiglass cut larger than the size of furniture (a nightstand, and an old radio cabinet) and it works fairly well, but I do sometimes spill and water will get under the plexiglass, so I have to carefully lift and dry underneath.

The latest 6.8 gallon aquarium will ideally go on a dresser, which cannot be fully covered with plexiglass and there won't be enough extra space to lift plexiglass and dry underneath. The aquarium does have a thin foam sheet on the bottom, but I considered putting a towel underneath in hopes that water dripping during a water change would be absorbed, but not damage the dresser.

I ruined a desk years ago when water and the aquarium caused the veneer to come off when I moved it. 😞


I know...a stand dedicated to an aquarium is ideal, but that can't happen in this space. 

Anyone have experience using a towel or something else?

Thanks!

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On 7/11/2021 at 8:27 PM, Phantom240 said:

Any water absorbed by the towel, if stuck under the weight of the aquarium, will do every bit as much damage.

That's what I was wondering. The towel would compress around the edges, so water could absorb underneath, just like with the foam that's already on it. However...if the towel was larger than the footprint of the tank...it would also absorb some of the water prior to it getting underneath. That's the idea anyway...

I've used small bath towels during water changes to place along the edge as well, and this might be the best method. I just don't like the idea of plexiglass if I can't overhang it as water will most likely seep underneath.

Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

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The only product I can think of that might provide a watertight seal would be something like 1/8" Neoprene or Nitrile rubber gasket material. It would form a really good seal under the aquarium, but you'd likely end up with a square print on your dresser around the perimeter of the rubber, unless you were super diligent in drying after a spill and using some compressed air to ensure a complete dry.

Something like thisthis, or this would be my best guess. 

Edited by Phantom240
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On 7/11/2021 at 8:33 PM, Phantom240 said:

The only product I can think of that might provide a watertight seal would be something like 1/8" Neoprene or Nitrile rubber gasket material. It would form a really good seal under the aquarium, but you'd likely end up with a square print on your dresser around the perimeter of the rubber, unless you were super diligent in drying after a spill and using some compressed air to ensure a complete dry.

I'll look into that. It is a black dresser, so maybe it wouldn't be noticeable. Or maybe I'll just have to claim the aquarium for myself and put it in another location. 😉 😉

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I'm using contact brand ribbed shelf liner that I picked up at Target.  So far it's worked really well.  Its a necessity for me.  I bought one of those flipable stands in amazon and the veneer is glued on.  Last January, it was the only thing I could find.  I was getting ready to look for new bedroom furniture and needed the fish tank off my old dresser quickly.  

The shelf liner has held up and the stand has no water damage.

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If you just want to seal the bottom of the tank so water can't get under it and linger there, a rope of plumber's putty around the bottom of the tank would do the job. Plumber's putty is used to seal faucets to prevent water sneaking under them and stays soft and flexible seemingly forever. I don't think it would hurt a furniture's finish at all. It would provide you a watertight seal so any water spilled would stay on the surface and not get under the tank. If you wanted to move the tank later, you'd just scrape off the plumber's putty. Anything absorbent you put under the tank will help to suck water under the tank. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the feedback!

We did end up using a piece of plexiglass and will use a towel for water changes and maintenance. It is small enough that we can move it if water does get underneath. There are only a couple inches around the sides, so it will probably happen at some point and I'll have to move it to dry underneath.

I really like the ideas provided and will have to try some of that contact foam. It seems similar to what is on the bottom of these all-in-one aquariums.

Thanks everyone! 🙂 I'll try to get a picture to share.

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