View Full Version : Levelling a stand

10/24/2007, 12:44 PM
I am currently in the process of installing a 240g (60x36x25) in a sump room that will face the living area of the house. I have built a 2x6 platform with three supports for the tank to sit on. This platform rests on 2x12's placed horizontally and mounted to three walls of the sump room (left and right sides and front - sump room is 62 inches wide). These 2x12's are bolted to wall studs with lag screws and are also supported with vertical 2x6's (from the floor to the bottom of the 2x12's) which are also lagged to the studs in the wall. I have tied the platform to the 2x12's and 2x6's with another 2x6 that is also lagged to the platform, 2x12's and 2x6's. The rear of the tank, which does not have a vertical 2x12 has four 2x6's that run from the floor to under the platform. These 2x6's also are tied to the platform with another 2x6 that runs from the floor to just under the plywood where the foam and tank rest. The rear of the tank is stabilized by a horizontal 2x6 that ties all 2x6's at the bottom at floor level.

Still with me?

My question is this. After taking several hours to build the platform and stand, the whole issue of being level comes into play. I have fought for 3.5 hours levelling front to back and side to side. It seems when I makle an adjustment for F to B, the sides get off, or a corner is slightly lower than the rest of the tank. I have filled the tank about 6 inches deep with R/O water, and it looks good to the eye, durn close with a level, and slightly off with a measuring tape (measuring water surface to top of tank). After seeing how off the measuring tape was, I put the level back up and see that the bubble is in the middle lines, but is slightly (EVER SO SLIGHTLY) to one side.

Anyone with experience with levelling a large tank? Hoping to have the tank filled for the weekend to start sand/rock cycle.

Help please. --Jeremy (alexandria, Louisiana)

10/24/2007, 12:53 PM
Try draining the water down to a "water bubble" in the center of the bottom of the aquarium, a few inches in from the sides. This makes it a bit more manageable to shim the stand, and is a heck of a lot more accurate than using a level on the top (or even on the sides) of the aquarium. It will level the aquarium according the largest plane, the bottom, and the level will span front to back and side to side simultaneously. It worked very well for my 180 (72 X 24 X 24) this time around.

I hope this helps.

10/24/2007, 02:20 PM
I will try the water bubble...sounds interesting. The water bubble theory, makes me wonder if I am over-analyzing it. Seems to simple.

OK, not thinking water bubble...Do you suggest putting a level on the bottom pane -vs- on Euro-bracing at top of aquarium? Thanks in advance for the reply

10/24/2007, 06:44 PM
Hmm. I would always prefer to go with the bottom of the aquarium being the most level. I think the physics of it enters here; I'd much rather level the place where the most mass hangs out as opposed to banking on a glue or cut job on the top being perfectly alligned.

It took me a few years (and a large number of grey hairs) to finally go with the water in the bottom of the aquarium telling me whether it was level, not a two foot level with an air bubble. Might be more accurate ways, but this works very well (much to my level's displeasure).

Now, if you're really paranoid about level (and with large aquariums it pays to be paranoid-lots of evidence for that), after you bubble-level it, you would fill the aquarium with fresh water (just in case), start up the pumps and such to check for leaks, and let it run like that for a few days. -Then- come back, drain down to the bottom again, and re-check your level after its had a chance to settle your stand. I need to do that with my 210; it resettled after I put the gravel, plants, and all in. Sigh. I'll probably just use the old bubble level and "wag" it best I can this time around though. My back hurts already.

Best of luck in your adventures-this hobby is a lot of fun!


10/25/2007, 07:08 AM
Got it level. After 3.5 hours of shimming this corner, or that side, and this and that...it wasn't working. I got some advise from one of the creators of Louisiana Reef Club...He said to take all shims out and start over. If I am having that much of a problem, it may be that 3 corners are off, rather than all 4. Makes perfect sense. 1 corner should be where you want it. I did this...and it took all of 20 minutes. Thanks for advise too...It made me look at the whole picture, rather than just one tiny buble. --Jeremy