Underlayment for new 180 Gallon?

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

  1. Sduvall81

    Sduvall81 Guest

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    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.
     

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  2. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

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    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

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    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

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

    tygunn Webmaster

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    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.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  6. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

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

    tygunn Webmaster

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

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  8. iani

    iani Guest

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    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

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    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.
     
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  10. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

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    That makes sense to me. Thanks
     
  11. Ezy33

    Ezy33 Guest

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    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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