Wobbly tank stand concern

hotelbravo

New member
Hello, I bought a used tank and stand for my first tank setup. its been about a year now of owning this tank and ive noticed it wobbles when i clean it with a magnet. sometimes it wobbles so much that water shifting back and forth spills out. I now have an infant and i worry when she starts to crawl and pull on things that she could pull or push on the tank and cause it to fall or something. I have three options i was thinking.. Either build a new tank stand, repair my current stand adding L brackets to it in order try to stabilize it, or go ahead and buy the upgraded tank and stand ive been looking at. all options fill my head with problems.

If i build a new stand or even buy a new stand i have to worry about empying my current tank removing all the inhabitants and then unplugging things it just sounds terrible.

If i repair it would i need to empty it out to do the repair since i would possibly be drilling into it to make pilot holes for the screws im using on the L brackets, would i need to add something else instead?


If i buy that new bigger tank and stand which ive been wanting for a while then i would have to pretty much do the same thing with the old tank and empty it out to move everything from the old tank then fill it back up and put it back somewhere else cause my new tank has to go where my old tank is currently in order for the new tank to fit somewhere.

all sorts of headaches keep popping up as i am thinking about this. Ugh!!! what do you guys think i should do?
 

FraggledRock

New member
wobbly tank means posible tank shattering.

I would FIRST check to see if the FLOOR IS LEVEL.

if it is then i would make or buy a new stand.


Also check to see the tank itself isn't warped somehow..

whenever working on tanks or stands, it is best ti empty it as much as possible.
 

LittleBeard

New member
Baby is priority, tank is secondary.

Babies can and will get into all sorts of trouble, secure the thing now while the baby is relatively immobile.

I don't know about the stand, but if it's wobbly now, might not worth being fixed.

Also, if this is your first baby, then you probably still have money to spend on your expensive hobby, which may not be available when he/she/they are older.

So... upgrade now while you have the chance! TRUST ME!

Also, consider ditching the 5 gallon buckets for jugs with small openings. Secure the sump, even if they can't get into it, they may enjoy releasing gold fish crackers into it(yes this has happened to me)
 

FraggledRock

New member
Baby is priority, tank is secondary.

Babies can and will get into all sorts of trouble, secure the thing now while the baby is relatively immobile.

I don't know about the stand, but if it's wobbly now, might not worth being fixed.

Also, if this is your first baby, then you probably still have money to spend on your expensive hobby, which may not be available when he/she/they are older.

So... upgrade now while you have the chance! TRUST ME!

Also, consider ditching the 5 gallon buckets for jugs with small openings. Secure the sump, even if they can't get into it, they may enjoy releasing gold fish crackers into it(yes this has happened to me)

but it makes sense though... fish belong in the water right! =P
 

Robert M

New member
I had a similar issue when I got my setup. The tank, stand, sump etc was all given to me from a neighbor. He had it setup for about a year, when he decided to give it to me. He just didn't have the time.

Anyway, I had noticed the stand felt "loose" as I began to move it from his house to mine. At this point, there was really no turning back. Tank was emptied, fish and rocks in garbage cans... All in my house except the stand. I decided that it was imperative to brace/sure up the stand before going further. I had a bunch of 1x4 pine laying around. I ripped them to size and made a bunch cross members and vertical supports. The diagonal cross brace had to be added on the end, where the sump slides in. So, I cannot remove the sump without detaching the brace but its worth it. I intended on building a new stand by this point but haven't had the time. The good thing is, its rock solid. I too have small kids and had the same concerns as you. Yours maybe beyond repair but I know my stand is more solid than the day it was built.
 

DieselJunkie

New member
What size tank is it? I am assuming it is pretty small if it is moving from a mag cleaner.

I would defiantly make sure it is a level and fix the stand.

At least shim it to eliminate the wobble in the interim.
 

Goldndoodle

New member
If i buy that new bigger tank and stand which ive been wanting for a while then i would have to pretty much do the same thing with the old tank and empty it out to move everything from the old tank then fill it back up and put it back somewhere else cause my new tank has to go where my old tank is currently in order for the new tank to fit somewhere.

all sorts of headaches keep popping up as i am thinking about this. Ugh!!! what do you guys think i should do?

This is where I am right now - bought a 120G tank, stand and canopy off of Craigslist in December. Spent entire Christmas Vacation cleaning and rebuilding that tank in my basement.

Early January - had to move current nanoCube from one side of Office to other side to make room for the bigger tank.

Moving the nanoCube really wasn't that bad - I used a 32 gallon Brute barrel, emptied most of the live rock and larger corals into the barrel, drained about 3/4 of the water out of the tank into the barrel w/ a small circ pump and heater. Never took the fish or CUC out of the nanoCube - added another smaller circ pump and small heater for them to the nanoCube. I then had to wait for a not too punctual friend to show up, then moved the nanoCube across the Office, quickly put the live rock and coral back in, then pumped the water back in. It should have taken less than a half an hour to do - waiting for the "not so punctual" friend was the longest part. The water was a little cool by the time I got it back together and running again, but it came back up to temp quickly and everything did well - no loses.

Since then, I've now got a nanoCube running next to my desk, while a 120G system cycles on the other side of the Office. I love my nanoCube ... but I am really looking forward to the day that I only have 1 aquarium in this Office!! (I also never noticed how noisy this nanoCube was, until I had a comparison to the much quieter 120G system running in the same room!)

Don't let moving a tank freak you out - it's really not that hard to accomplish.
 

SGT_York

New member
Shim and level, you may need to drain the water in the process. Composite shims are probably your best bet.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Level, shim, and you might consider some corner bracing on the inside of the stand. A triangle of wood glued into corners can go a long way toward strengthening a tank.
 

hotelbravo

New member
wobbly tank means posible tank shattering.

I would FIRST check to see if the FLOOR IS LEVEL.

if it is then i would make or buy a new stand.


Also check to see the tank itself isn't warped somehow..

whenever working on tanks or stands, it is best ti empty it as much as possible.

The stand is level and i cannot see any warping

Baby is priority, tank is secondary.

Babies can and will get into all sorts of trouble, secure the thing now while the baby is relatively immobile.

I don't know about the stand, but if it's wobbly now, might not worth being fixed.

Also, if this is your first baby, then you probably still have money to spend on your expensive hobby, which may not be available when he/she/they are older.

So... upgrade now while you have the chance! TRUST ME!

Also, consider ditching the 5 gallon buckets for jugs with small openings. Secure the sump, even if they can't get into it, they may enjoy releasing gold fish crackers into it(yes this has happened to me)

I would love to upgrade now but im not sure i can afford it right at this moment. i was thinking of just buying parts of the puzzle, stand here, sump there.. over time
I had a similar issue when I got my setup. The tank, stand, sump etc was all given to me from a neighbor. He had it setup for about a year, when he decided to give it to me. He just didn't have the time.

Anyway, I had noticed the stand felt "loose" as I began to move it from his house to mine. At this point, there was really no turning back. Tank was emptied, fish and rocks in garbage cans... All in my house except the stand. I decided that it was imperative to brace/sure up the stand before going further. I had a bunch of 1x4 pine laying around. I ripped them to size and made a bunch cross members and vertical supports. The diagonal cross brace had to be added on the end, where the sump slides in. So, I cannot remove the sump without detaching the brace but its worth it. I intended on building a new stand by this point but haven't had the time. The good thing is, its rock solid. I too have small kids and had the same concerns as you. Yours maybe beyond repair but I know my stand is more solid than the day it was built.
Im hoping its not beyond repair. im willing to try to repair it but im nervous about working on the stand if there is a tank ontop of it. even if the tank is mostly empty.
What size tank is it? I am assuming it is pretty small if it is moving from a mag cleaner.

I would defiantly make sure it is a level and fix the stand.

At least shim it to eliminate the wobble in the interim.
it is a 30 gallon.

Level, shim, and you might consider some corner bracing on the inside of the stand. A triangle of wood glued into corners can go a long way toward strengthening a tank.
im not familiar with shimming what is it?
 

billdogg

Active member
Shims are thin wedges (commonly of cedar or better yet, composite) that you can use singly or stacked UNDER THE STAND (not under the tank - ever!) to fill the gaps that allow it to rock. Use a level in both directions to ensure that the tank ends up level both front to back and side to side. Once you get them in place - and use as many as you can around the perimeter to support as much of the stand as possible, they can be scored with a box knife and snapped off flush so that they will barely show.
 

JMorris271

New member
A shim is a wedge that is used to displace space that will cause an imbalance or play in an object, such as the corner or side of a stand or the leg at the only table available in a restaurant that wobbles because all legs are not equally touching the floor.. You therefore must fold up a napkin to shim the leg so the table won't wobble. The actual act of placing the wedge in place is called shimming.
 

Robert M

New member
I did my repairs with a 90gal on top partially filled. I did have a friend here to act as a spotter so to speak. Probably little he could have done if catastrophe struck but atleast his presence was peace of mind. Naturally, a 30 gal should be easier to work with due to the wright differential.

Based on his description, I don't think the stand is rocking but more swaying. Meaning there is movement or free play in the joints. I could be wrong but that's how I took it. If so, shimming it will do nothing.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
If the joints themselves are loose and wobbling, that's terrifying, and very close to a tank crash in the most literal sense. Go immediately to a hardware store and get some corner braces (metal) with screw holes. They fit inside the stand. You attach them with small wood screws. You start the screws by marking the screw-locations with a pencil by holding the brace in place, then take the brace down, drill holes a tiny, tiny bit smaller than your screws, and shorter than them also by a tiny amount. Using a ratcheting driver, rather than the drill, carefully screw the braces in each corner.

Your alternative is to replace that stand immediately and get one sturdy enough to bear the weight. Which would entail placing all specimens in a poly bucket of their water and working fast to totally empty the tank water into poly buckets, then securing help to lift and move that empty (but still heavy and unwieldy) tank onto the new stand. Then you quickly put everything back, using a mixing bowl set on the sand to pour water into so you don't kick up all the sand.
 
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