Underlayment for new 180 Gallon?

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Sduvall81, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Sduvall81

    Sduvall81 Guest

    Hello everyone. My new 180 gallon tank is coming this weekend. I've already built the stand, but I was wondering what, if anything, I should put on top of the plywood to set the tank on. I've heard of people using Styrofoam. If thats the case what thickness should i go with? Any advise is appreciated. Ive atached a pic of the stand i build. Still havnt skinned the front or sides, but the top is 3/4 inch plywood.

    Attached Files:

  2. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    I believe if the tank is acrylic, a flat sheet of padding is required; I have purchased from Costco before rubber padding for play/garage areas; comes in squares and pretty darn cheap, you can cut it to size; is colored dark gray, by the tools/garage isle of Costco.
  3. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I used 1/2" styrofoam (acrylic aquarium). Standard 4x8 insulation from Lowes.
    Note: If you go bare bottom, you may want to pain it first.
    Glass: Nothing.
  4. Sduvall81

    Sduvall81 Guest

    thanks for the replies xcaret and rygh. I ended up going with the 1/2 inch styrofoam insuluation from lowes.
  5. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I have used the pink styro insulation in the past with glass tanks. As long as its not rimmed then I think it is generally a good idea.

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  6. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    What's the reasoning for styrofoam with acrylic but not glass?
  7. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I always assumed for either the styro was to prevent point loads from things like a stray sand grain or imperfections on the stand.

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  8. iani

    iani Guest

    I don't think you should put foam under acrylic tanks. IME acrylic tanks with trends to bow more than tanks without.
  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    The theory as I understand it:

    With glass:
    It is often built with a metal frame that is meant to support everything.
    Since that metal frame has a fairly small contact area with the foam, it could end up
    crushing the foam in spots under the frame, and you end up with a surface that is no longer effectively flat.
    So no foam.

    With thick acrylic: The foam nicely supports it evenly, and will get rid of any tiny irregularities,
    such as screw heads, paint blobs, and so on.
    So foam is good.

    With thin acrylic: The very edges have a tendency to bend down as the front bows out.
    Those edges are not supported as well by foam, so it bends slightly more, and you
    get a bit more bowing. Bowing is bad for joints, so not the best plan.
    So maybe foam, maybe not.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  10. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    That makes sense to me. Thanks
  11. Ezy33

    Ezy33 Guest

    Never used anything under any aquarium. 40+ years experience. Metal or plastic frames all weight is carried on the edges. Plexiglass tanks actually bow so the edges carry no weight. Try running a Business card under the edges and you'll find all of the weight is towards the center of the bottom. All you need is a flat and level surface. With acrylic The Front and back edges actually bow up away from the flat surface.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016

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