October 24, 2019, 10:55:29 am

Foam Under Tanks - Yes or No?

Started by TheProfessoR, January 29, 2019, 04:26:48 am

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January 29, 2019, 04:26:48 am Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 07:42:31 am by TheProfessoR
Is a mat required under your tank?

To begin with, lets assume that your tank is comprised of glass.

If this tank happens to be braced, there is potential not to require such a thing.

If however, your tank is of the rimless variety then a tank mat should be considered an absolute must!

Many with fish tanks dispense with the mat entirely, perhaps because they simply don't know any better, and more than one beginner has been guilty of throwing out the mat that arrived with their brand new tank believing it to be part of the packaging.

You are doubtless aware of that old adage 'better to be safe then sorry', so BEFORE you fill your new purchase with water and associated trappings, please place a mat underneath.

Why Do I Need This?

Because a tank filled with water is heavy and constructed with glass.

With a rimless tank, a good part of the weight will be borne by the bottom panel of glass which in itself is not a problem, its well and truly up to the task, providing the surface the tank sits on is flat and free of obstruction.

Here's the rub though, many surfaces aren't perfectly flat, and even brand new aquarium stands can come with uneven surfaces, with knots, screw heads and bows being just a few of the imperfections your tank can rest upon.

The weight of the tank is going to be focused on any high points found under it and your not even going to notice the tank struggling to deal with the uneven surface until one day your facing your worst nightmare, a cracked and perhaps leaking tank.

But it need not be so, given the ability of the mats spongy material to absorb those pressure points, thereby preventing stress and ensuring your tank lives to be a ripe old age.

Having said all that, it's possible that your tank may exist happily without ever having seen a mat but at the relatively cheap price they can be purchased for why would you wish to take a risk and dispense with peace of mind?

Using a mat under every new tank setup is a great idea and highly recommended.

Best Mats To Use?

That old stalwart, polystyrene foam sheeting.

Foam camping mats which are designed to keep you comfortable whilst camping, will do an equally good job of supporting your tank and are available in various colors.

Likewise, yoga mats are effective and can be sourced cheaply from numerous retailers.

Cork matting, if you can source it in appropriate sizing.

But whichever material you decide to use, ensure it has some give in it, this is the feature that enables the mat to counter any surface irregularities in the area your tank is going to sit.

Remember though, larger and heavier tanks will require a denser foam, given they will compress the foam more so than a lighter tank will, but given the correct choice, your new mat and tank will serve you well for many years to come.