Leveling a Large Aquarium Stand on Uneven Wood Floor

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Forum topic by Sir_Daddy_Man posted 03-19-2021 01:51 PM 616 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 300 days

03-19-2021 01:51 PM

I am preparing to install a 125 gallon aquarium in a room with a wood floor. The stand is 72”x20”.
The floor is very uneven and is older construction. What is the best way to level this?

I have added jacks underneath the floor to help support the 1400lb weight, and confirmed the joists have brackets, so that’s not the problem.

The problems: 1. Shimming the stand to distribute the weight. 2. Hiding the shims

Constraints: 1. I don’t have a table saw so can’t rip my own shims from 2×4s (although it DOES give me an excuse to buy one). 2. I don’t want to permanently damage the wood floor.

So far I’ve considered buying wide strips of 1/2” and 1/4” wood and making my own shims, as well as using store bought.

Any better ideas?

10 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


3843 posts in 2882 days

#1 posted 03-19-2021 02:10 PM

What I used to do is shim the corners really try to get the platform flat. Then a piece of foam under the bottom of the tank.
I used to make stands for Inland empire marine.
Occasionally I was asked to level them esp the big ones.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View iminmyshop's profile


379 posts in 3078 days

#2 posted 03-19-2021 02:49 PM

Cut commercially available shims so they don’t stick out and stain them black. People will be focused on the tank. Nobody will notice the shims unless you point them out.


View bilyo's profile


1366 posts in 2186 days

#3 posted 03-19-2021 02:58 PM

Using shims will concentrate the load at those points. I think you want to distribute the load over the entire base. Use some temporary shims just to get the whole cabinet level. Then scribe the bottom edge to fit the floor. Use what ever method you have to cut the bottom edge to the scribbed line. The cabinet should now sit level and be in complete contact with the floor all around. If you don’t want to cut the existing base, make a removable sub-base.

View splintergroup's profile


5132 posts in 2306 days

#4 posted 03-19-2021 03:20 PM

Having placed my 140 gallon tank in several homes over the years I feel for you 8^)

Given your diagram and what I consider large gaps, I’d build a platform. The bottom would sit flush with the floor to distribute the weight and the top would be flat, level, and square for the cabinet. I think your gaps are too big for simple shimming and of course any twist imparted to the tank will greatly stress the tanks corners.

View waho6o9's profile


9019 posts in 3661 days

#5 posted 03-19-2021 03:47 PM

Scribe a platform.

View Sir_Daddy_Man's profile


8 posts in 300 days

#6 posted 03-19-2021 07:17 PM

Thanks for the ideas.
Re: Scribing a platform, any link/steps to do this? I’m thinking due to the height I’d like to keep the platform 1/2” at the center (moving to one inch at corners).

View waho6o9's profile


9019 posts in 3661 days

#7 posted 03-19-2021 07:47 PM

simple scribe

Maybe practice on a 1×6 just for fun. Let’s say the width’s 4 feet, cut a four foot long 1×6 and level it out
at your desired location.

If there’s a half inch gap, use the 1/2”, or 3/4”, scribe and mark the 1×6. Then cut to fit.

You can do it.

View Sir_Daddy_Man's profile


8 posts in 300 days

#8 posted 04-21-2021 07:12 PM

Final product. Thanks guys.

View Sir_Daddy_Man's profile


8 posts in 300 days

#9 posted 04-21-2021 08:46 PM

Note the thin platform separating the tank stand from the floor.

View Steve's profile


2494 posts in 1666 days

#10 posted 04-21-2021 08:57 PM

That turned out looking good. Thanks for coming back and updating the thread with the end result.

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