How to level a tank on an unlevel floor?

Discussion in 'General Reef Topics' started by Matt Rogers, Nov 15, 2010.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Hi all - I started to move into a new place over the weekend. It is nice but, really old with old wood floors that are not level. I fear that I see a slope where I want to put the tank. I have a rimless tank so it is critical that I level out the stand. I have used shims in the past of wood and cardboard, but I'd love to know some new tricks. Anything out there that could deal with the whole surface area and not just a corner here and there? Maybe some kind of hard foam? Not sure.. know anything that works well?

    Thanks in advance!

    matt
     
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  3. ReefBruh

    ReefBruh Giant Squid

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    It really depends on the slope of the floor whether it is minor or major. I f it is minor I have heard of Styrofoam being used. I would also have someone look under the house where you would like to put the tank at and see if support is need. Hate for you to come home and find your floor gave out and tank is under house.
     
  4. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

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    +1 on ReefBruh's comment. Check the joists first. Make sure they're in good shape. This may be the best chance to re-enforce them with with additional wood. If the joists look solid, look at the board that's nailed on them, that's what your wood floor would be nailed to. If that board (usually 4x8's) are in good shape and seems look supported and even, the problem may be the wood floor itself. Maybe too old and humidity has taken a toll on them. I know you're looking more for a quick fix, but if possible, why not do a permanent one? If this is your house, that you bought, I would make sure all the stuff I mentioned above are in good shape and if the floor is too old, maybe lift it and re-do it.

    I don't really know what else you can do. Shims would work, as long as you have the 4 legged type of stand. If your stand makes contact with the floor around the whole stand's perimeter, you would have to look at a different way to level it, since the shims, unless you put them all around, would distribute the way unevenly.

    At one point, back in 2004, my dad and I were working at this house where the joists were giving out. We have to get one of those HUGE jacks and jack a good section of the floor up from the basement, replace the frame wood where all the joists were screwed to since that was the problem.. rotting wood. After replacing it, we lowered and leveled the joists, re-did the braces and bam! Everything looked perfect from above and below. But this was extreme. Your case is probably not even close to that. We were able to tell that something was giving out because the space between the baseboards and the floor was about half an inch. I think it would have taken that section of the house about 5 or 6 more years for something bad to really happen.

    Sorry, I know it's not much help. Maybe take some pics and show us? Above and below if possible! :)

    - Mag.
     
  5. salt4me

    salt4me Skunk Shrimp

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    You could always check the floor to see how bad it is out of level. Lets say 1" in 4' so what you can do is rip 2x4's from 1" to nothing. Cut a peice of plywood the size of your stand. Put those together and down on floor crossways of floor joist. Sit you stand on it and the put a peice of trim around the bottom to hide the 2 bys and plywood.

    If it is your house or not, I would check the floor joist. Odds are there is a 2x6 sitting on top of the outer foundation. The joist sit on top of that 2x6 and where they sit it mashes down over time due to weight, age, or rot. If it is your house I would go with a perm. fix, and i would pour some 2x2x12 deep concrete blocks under that area. let them sit up and go to Lowes and get 4x4 treated post with some floor jacks. Put the post across the bottom of joist and use the floor jacks to raise the floor. The floor jacks has holes to adjust the height and the on the end the screw out and can be left.
     
  6. Otty

    Otty Giant Squid

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    I have used door shims before and they worked great. I fine tuned the 265g tank with them and they did fine.

    Moving hugh.....lol Always nice to get your underware out of boxes everyday.... :)
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    You've described my stand Magnus - it goes all around - no legs. That's why I am wondering here. Perhaps it is not too bad, I was just eyeballing it. My level will tell us soon.

    Yeah I don't want that! I'll see what the level says.

    lol - yep, clothes are boxed. As are my 3reef shirts by the way. :-X :p
     
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  9. Dingo

    Dingo Giant Squid

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    well styrofoam works nicely (sometimes)... but a better choice is to build a platform off the unlevel floor to make it perfectly level, then maybe top it with tile to make it look very nice, them place the stand on top of that.

    I have styrofoam under my tank right now and the tank itself is level, but the floor isnt so my water level still isnt perfectly level
     
  10. AZDesertRat

    AZDesertRat Giant Squid

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    I set the system up, add a couple inches of water and level the stand using wooden or plastic shims at the corners and any load bearing points. As I continue to fill I watch for further settling and add shims as needed. I have used this method several times when my Son lived in older mobile homes which sometimes were far from level.
    Nothing like using the actual tank and stand rather than a level, its so easy to see and measure levels with a tape.

    I had one that was so far off, I ripped a 2x4 into thin slivers so it fit under the whole front side.
     
  11. DBOSHIBBY

    DBOSHIBBY Sleeper Shark

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    I leveled my 90g on wood floors. I used shims on one end to lift it up a little bit. Whatever you do add shims or somekind of support along the whole length of the tank. I tore my 90g down last week and when I removed the stand the back side bottom was starting to split because it was bowing in the middle. Not good at all!! Good thing I took it down I guess. Coulda been a big problem.
     
  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    How does one do this (especially without ruining the wood floor)? Any build threads out there?

    Nice method - but this appears to be for a legged stand. Check out mine... it does not have legs (and rimless tank makes this critical):

    [​IMG]
    Pic from old apartment with nice level floor.

    This is what I am worrying about! :p


    matt