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Gap between stand and aquarium


JRed
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Good morning everyone, I’ve searched for hours about this online but haven’t seen a conclusive answer. I have a 125 gallon aquarium with a metal square tube stand - the tank sits level on the ends however in the middle there is a 1/8th gap between the stand and tank. I have multiple tanks that are supported on the 4 corners however I thought the limitation was 36” long. I know you can add styrofoam but that is more for abolishing small defects to prevent pinpoint pressure spots but wouldn’t provide any structural support. I read on an old forum post that playing cards or small pieces of plastic could be used to fill the gap. Anybody had this and what did you do? The tank is made of 1/4” glass with 2 cross braces and black trim. Thanks for reading and opinions! 

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Don't know your tool or skill set, but its possible to use some 2x4s, a long straight edge and some clamps to flex the tubes flat.

Depending on the stands design, you can also use some tube stock to "wedge" between a bottom brace and the top tube and flex it back into place. Both options would leave a better look than playing cards smashed in there, and would be far more water proof. 

I personally would to the former, and add a square stock leg front and back center, with an adjustable foot to prevent it from sagging over time.

If you don't want to go that route, rather than using playing cards, get a thin white HDPE cutting board. Cut and sand some strips to the size needed. However, be aware that its possible and probable for the steel tube to droop over time without any central support. I mean, you are already having that issue now. It won't get better if not properly supported with hundreds of pounds of water now sitting on it.

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3 hours ago, McNubbin said:

Don't know your tool or skill set, but its possible to use some 2x4s, a long straight edge and some clamps to flex the tubes flat.

Depending on the stands design, you can also use some tube stock to "wedge" between a bottom brace and the top tube and flex it back into place. Both options would leave a better look than playing cards smashed in there, and would be far more water proof. 

I personally would to the former, and add a square stock leg front and back center, with an adjustable foot to prevent it from sagging over time.

If you don't want to go that route, rather than using playing cards, get a thin white HDPE cutting board. Cut and sand some strips to the size needed. However, be aware that its possible and probable for the steel tube to droop over time without any central support. I mean, you are already having that issue now. It won't get better if not properly supported with hundreds of pounds of water now sitting on it.

Thanks for the reply - unfortunately I don't have much experience with metal or trying to get a metal tube to shove in there to help with the flex. I thought about using some 2x4 but not sure how that would hold up or prevent it from popping out like a missile. Fortunately the tank is not filled yet so can still do some playing around, I mocked up the playing cards and it didn't look too bad actually, looks almost like foam underneath as you can only see the white of the cardstock. And yes I am aware the tube stands are prone to droop however I think mine has already "settled" to its drooped position as I bought it used and scored a really nice 125 later on. Do you know where I could purchase the HDPE cutting board, I do like the idea of it being waterproof cause we all know there are spills in any fishroom haha. 

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1 hour ago, Alexa said:

I found what I was trying to remember, it starts around 1:30:15. He doesn’t specifically say what size gap would be *too much* though.

Thanks for the reply, actually it was that off comment he made on the Livestream that got me thinking about this again but unfortunately he doesn't state which span is ok to do so. I know Joey on King of DIY stated 36" is about the limit and I have several 40 breeders, 22 longs and other tanks supported only on the ends but I've never pushed past that. Don't want to bother him directly as I know he is busy, but then thought hey I should try the community Cory is building. Thanks!

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15 hours ago, JRed said:

Thanks for the reply - unfortunately I don't have much experience with metal or trying to get a metal tube to shove in there to help with the flex. I thought about using some 2x4 but not sure how that would hold up or prevent it from popping out like a missile. Fortunately the tank is not filled yet so can still do some playing around, I mocked up the playing cards and it didn't look too bad actually, looks almost like foam underneath as you can only see the white of the cardstock. And yes I am aware the tube stands are prone to droop however I think mine has already "settled" to its drooped position as I bought it used and scored a really nice 125 later on. Do you know where I could purchase the HDPE cutting board, I do like the idea of it being waterproof cause we all know there are spills in any fishroom haha. 

Meijer, Walmart, target, places like that. If nothing like that is around you, just Google HDPE cutting board and order one online. Its the standard white plastic cutting board. HDPE is good at resisting deformation. Its often used as sliding blocks for heavy stuff like pop out campers.

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I don't have a tube stand myself, I "built" mine from light construction blocks and film/water plywood (I used Google translate so I hope the thing got it right..) and on top of that I slapped a 5 cm thick block of styrofoam and on top of that a joga mattress. 

To be safe I'd do something similar there too. Especially if the tank has a frame. Without frame the yoga mat can apparently be detrimental even. The plywood would give potentially a nice look and some way to attach stuff to the stand later if needed. Plywood is pretty easy to work with without any serious carpentry skills, and you can get it cut to your liking, so the ends of the frame would have a notch cut into a thicker plate. Also it would definitely give all the support the tank needs, along the whole bottom. 

I'm assuming the tube frame you described is just that, just the frame with no flat surface to place the tank. I'd play it safe here. 125 gallons is a lot of water to have loose in your home. Worse yet would be the loss of fishes if things go wrong.

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That's actually a good thought. I work with metal a lot so I just think of what might work easier for me. However, a 2x4 frame might be a better option here. I personally would shy away from plywood and partical boards for this sort of application. Unless you want to bump up the cost a fair bit to get waterproofed stuff, both have a tendency to swell when just a bit of water gets on it.

But a 2x4 frame with some bracing, and a couple of wedges to tap in the gap in the center to add a little support there might do the trick. 

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Hey guys thanks for the responses. Yes I agree adding a piece of plywood would probably allow for the tank to sit flat however it would still have a gap between the wood and metal. I agree @McNubbin I prefer to avoid MDF and plywood where possible but maybe I could put a piece of plywood then use pieces of 2x4 cut thin to fill the gap every 6 inches or something? I'm not really sure what to do, I feel like adding the plywood isn't going to really do anything different from adding little fillers between the tank and stand. Thanks for the responses.

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I suppose when in doubt, KISS. In this case the simplest route is to use the plywood, cut to size, slap a few coats of latex paint on it, then a few more. While getting the plywood, you can also pick up shims. They are generally used for cabinetry and come in packs of 10. 

So, put the plywood on the stand, put the tank on and maybe add the substrate, or just about 10 gallons of water for some weight. Next take the shims and tap them lightly into place. A touch of wood glue before hand might be a good idea. 

After the tank is full, cut the shims down flush. Here are the shims I mean btw. 

fd3e1cf0-0a68-4756-9040-127e1940f639.8ea
WWW.WALMART.COM

Free 2-day shipping. Buy Nelson Wood Shims 8" 12 Pack - Kiln Dried Wood - Set of 2...

 

Edited by McNubbin
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