View Full Version : Foam under the tank or not??

02-02-2010, 12:39 AM
So I'm wondering, I kind of see mixed opinions on using foam. I'm getting ready to set my tank up soon here, its a 120g.

I guess I want to just tally up the results and see what's the route.

I know it seems like a good idea in theory. Again in theory your stand should be perfectly level within .005" on a concrete floor, right lol No but level, so any imperfections and the foam kind of.. gives you some additional support.

But I'm going to take my time setting the stand up. My floor is pretty level which is nice, but I know once the 1300lbs of water and glass get on the stand and the floor things are going to move a bit.

So, what do you guys say?

02-02-2010, 12:51 AM
I used a sheet of 1/2" corrugated plastic and cut it down to the foot print of the tank.It sits snuggly between the stand and the tank.

Lady Hobbs
02-02-2010, 12:54 AM
Not needed unless you think the stand is not perfectly even. It works to even up irregularities nicely. Cork board should work, too.

02-02-2010, 01:36 AM
If it's wall to wall there's already foam under it. My apt. sinks to the center of the 4 major sized rooms. Nothing helped and I can't put tanks on an inside wall in the rear of the apt. they go on outside walls.
The 2 rooms in the front tilt to the center too but not as bad as the rear.
The rears ones tilt back and to the center lmao...

I can recommend a cheap alternative fish stand. For about $20.00 !!!!!
Height is adjustable 24" inch or 27" inch and the 5/8" shelf thickness.
And a smaller tank will even fit in the lower space if you put a platform on the floor to cover the carpet.

Materials needed:

4 Large cinder blocks.They weigh 50lbs. each.
They go for about $2.60 each,and one 2'ft. x 4'ft. manufactured board,{sorry I can't think of the exact name for it but it's precut with those exact dimensions for $5.00 and get it all at Home Depot. Total cost about $20.00.
Recommended: Then if ya want ya can stain and polyurethane it for $10.00 more, and it's a fine looking piece of furniture.

Just a suggestion maybe if someones on a tight budget.:22:

02-02-2010, 01:50 AM
I would check with manufacturer of your tank first, some may void warranty if you use with glass tank. Remember a glass tank you only want to support it along its frame, not on the bottom. If the foam starts supporting the tank along the bottom glass could cause problems. For glass no foam, with acrylic you can.

I'm in an apartment as well, the walls/floor are very crooked here. I just have every stand shimmed. Probably the safest route to go.

02-02-2010, 02:27 AM
If it's 10G or lager it gets 1/2 foam sheeting.


02-02-2010, 11:44 AM
I use styrofoam under my 190g.

Lady Hobbs
02-02-2010, 02:02 PM
If the floors are uneven, the stand should be shimmed. If the tank is uneven, the styrofoam works the best. I have a piece I painted black around the edges and you can't even tell it's there.

02-02-2010, 03:06 PM
Interesting topic! I'm wondering if someone thought of that for substrate insulation reasons. It will definitely keep the gravel from getting chilly and maybe to warm under certain circumstances. That is if ya don't have a heater in the tank.
I would never put a soft pliable material under my tanks though.

02-02-2010, 03:15 PM
Interesting topic! I'm wondering if someone thought of that for substrate insulation reasons. It will definitely keep the gravel from getting chilly and maybe to warm under certain circumstances. That is if ya don't have a heater in the tank.
I would never put a soft pliable material under my tanks though.
Many stands whether they are store bought or DIY are not perfectly flat.Either are some large tanks.
The foam base between the two actually gives more suppport for the tank.
Always level the stand not the tank!

02-04-2010, 12:44 AM

So then next question, are you guys just putting foam under the frame of the tank, like jsut one piece covering the whole stand?

I like the cork board idea alot. However I do have some foam at my parents I was saving. Not sure it would be good though.

Its about 3/4" thick, and its that regular white styrofoam, the really weak stuff that just flakes apart if you sneeze on it. I know it would just compress ass soon as the tank alone sits on it, but being so weak I dont know if it would do much good. Plus 3/4" is probably too thick hey lol might wobble a big until it flattens out.

What do you guys suggest?

02-04-2010, 02:01 AM
I think using some kind of foam under a tank is ESSENTIAL to ensure that the amount of sound and movement vibrations that could potentially disturb fish are greatly lessened. The water can make these vibrations louder, and fish can be quite sensitive to sound and get stressed.

Remember that the glass tank floor will be supporting an aweful lot of weight once all the substrate and water are in. A foam sheet ensures that there is a perfectly even surface which means the weight is distributed evenly and you won't get undue structural stress at any point which can cause some glass tank bottoms to crack.

(I use a sheet of high density styrofoam sheeting I cut to shape for my 5.7 gallon hex from a sheet that was used to protect some sensitive pc parts when shipped in the mail.)

02-04-2010, 02:07 AM
The blue 1/2" styrofoam is what you want.The white stuff will not hold up properly.Its too soft.
The blue is much more dense and will not give as much.

02-04-2010, 03:20 AM
A few months back I setup a 60g long for my Malawi fish.
I noticed the stand surface was not level so I redid the top of the stand.

Removed the tank sitting surface, sanded the braces and installed a new top (2x12x48). Then sealed it.

Very level and smooth.

Did not apply any foam.

ps: I had to shim the stand but the tank sitting surface is level.


02-04-2010, 04:14 AM
I've always shimmed the stand , but foam under a tank isn't much use. I can potentially cause problems by placing a unwanted pressure on the bottom glass. This could result in leaks or even failure of the glass itself. Of course that all depends on the thickness and type of foam used.

For reducing vibration , again it's useless. Your fish will become acustomed to the daily routine around them and won't really be bothered by it. My last bunch went though a couple of earthquakes without paying much mind.

02-04-2010, 08:36 AM
If it were me I would just level the stand and be sure the tank sits flat on top of it.