Set-up Tank In Basement

inkslinger

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Dec 15, 2007
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I have a unfinished basement and thinking of setting up my tank . It's concrete floor and will be away from the walls so when I do decide too start framing I will have plenty of room behind the tank to work around. My question is should or do I need some sort of rubber mat to place my cabinet on to level the tank when it fills with water {110g tank}? It will be on the left side of the power panel like 5 feet and about 3 feet from the wall.

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VaughnH

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I would never use a rubbery mat under the stand. Instead I would shim the cabinet so the top is level before I put the tank on it. I like using strips of wood veneer as shims, because of the ease of stacking layers to get the right thickness for every place I need it. I would be afraid a rubbery mat would gradually compress and leave the tank not level. I just hate having to drain an aquarium and try to get shims under it a year later.
 
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inkslinger

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Dec 15, 2007
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Then how about the shims they sell at Home Depot or Lowes would those be OK to use. Would I level the cabinet first then again when the tank is on?
 

aquanewb

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Jan 20, 2018
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Untreated wood should not be placed directly on concrete, it will rot fairly quickly. Maybe a piece of pressure treated plywood against the concrete and then shims..
 

inkslinger

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Dec 15, 2007
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Would a 2x4 pressure treated frame laying flat side down with pocket hole drill to make a frame for the cabinet to sit on . Level that first then use a form board for the tank an cabinet? Right she being sitting on the floor for storage on the opposite end of the basement.
 

GreeneAquatics

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Feb 9, 2018
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I would build your stand with pressure treated lumber legs. As far as shimming, metal shims work best as the will not compress over time and will protect your stand legs from wicking moisture from the slab, which may cause them to swell, throwing it off level. If you build your stand well, everything will be level. You may still choose to put a rubber mat or foam between the tank and stand.
 

burr740

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Pressure treated lumber has a tendency to warp badly as it dries out over the first year or so of its life. Definitely do not use it for the legs of a stand, nor would I use it for a flat frame as mentioned earlier.

Better to use regular wood and just prime it with a couple coats of sealer like Kilz.
 

Phishless

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@inkslinger your basement appears to have been a monolithic pour, floor, knee walls, and footings all in one shot.
Guessing this from all the form marks on the wall. It should be a fairly dry basement due to this construction method.
Is there even a well for a sump pump, I'm thinking not???

Some strips of UHMW or floor protectors like the ones on the bottom of furniture should provide enough isolation from moisture.
 

VaughnH

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Leveling a tank in a basement, subject to high moisture, is much different from doing so in a house, with a wood floor. I have only used my wood veneer shims on indoor wood floors. For a basement, I would start by learning just how much moisture I might get on the floor where the tank stand. More than a trivial amount and I would want water proof shimming. Don't forget though that an aquarium tends to have water in it! And, a tank of water tends to have splashes or at least drips quite often. What comes to mind immediately is white oak, which is very good with water. If your stand has 4 legs, the contact area of each one should be at least 4 inches by 4 inches, if the tank is a big one. That would greatly limit the compressive stress on the shims and legs.
 

inkslinger

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Dec 15, 2007
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@inkslinger your basement appears to have been a monolithic pour, floor, knee walls, and footings all in one shot.
Guessing this from all the form marks on the wall. It should be a fairly dry basement due to this construction method.
Is there even a well for a sump pump, I'm thinking not???

Some strips of UHMW or floor protectors like the ones on the bottom of furniture should provide enough isolation from moisture.
We build it and move in 2013 the sump is on the other end of this photo, We have a big dehumidifier running all day and night {not sure if its set at 56-57} it auto shuts off when it reaches the set point. There is corrugated french drain pipe runs under the slab like a big "U" an connects to the sump well and it stays pretty dry. Oh and the walls were done first and the pic was before the crush stone was added.

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inkslinger

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Dec 15, 2007
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Forgot to mention that my tank sits on a solid Oak stand , So bought some PT 2x4 going to let it dry out in a couple of weeks and cut it like 60 1/2 x 18 1/2 so I get a 1/4in around the base and have 2 or 3 for the center base. I did had this on a concrete floor with carpet over it with a pad underneath on a first floor apt. for 13 years that's where the pic was taken at.

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