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Re: Overlapping Tank Stand (Was Setting up new tank)

Foam isn't really very useful for filling gaps in a way that transfers
the weight through the foam-filled gap.  A less compressable material
is a better choice for large gaps but small gaps don't really matter. 

A lot of the weight of the "sides" is tranferred to the bottom frame,
not just where the side glass touches the bottom frame but also through
the joints between the side and front and back panels.  A slight
overhang (less than an inch) on a small tank, say 30 gallon, is very
unlikely to cause a problem.  A larger overhang, or one on a larger
tank and the risks get larger -- though you might have that 55 gallon
tank set up for years without seeing aproblem with a couple of inches
of overhang.  

In any case, the "overhanging" weight is still transferred to the
bottom frame and supported by the stand -- but the transfer of weight
cause pressures and tensions that the frame wasn't desinged for.  If
you put a plastic coffee can lid over the edge of a tabletop and press
down, you can see what the tensions do the frame of the lip of the lid.
 Those sorts of stresses will make it easier for the aquarium frame to
crack, which can lead to a braken glass panel if it is in the right
place and the frame cracks all the way through.

Foam under the tank won't provide much support unless it is intensely
compressed--it is too soft.  So it is mainly just a gap filler -- but a
few gaps here and there won't cause any problems for your tank anyway. 
Large gaps are better filled with wood.  If you don't have a table saw
or band saw to cut some very thin marterial, some veneer or cardboard
(not the corogated type) can suffice.  You can work them into the
visible gaps after you place your tank on stand but before putting in

All of this is for naught if your floor isn't strong enough to support
the weight without serious dipping or dipping.  In that case, even if
you don't see gaps between the tank frame and stand, there can still be
uneven pressures on the frame. (This of course applies only to floors
using wooden joists, not concrete pads.

Scott H.

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