Can I keep my freshwater aquarium on carpet?

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AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
SF Bay area, CA
I've done it a few times, both were carpet on slab, so no subflooring to warp. Things I've learned from that:

Padding doesn't always go all the way to the wall, so the tank may not sit level.

You may need to shim the stand to get at least to 1/4 - 1/3inch max!! of level. Measure front to back & lengthwise. Shims can be either wood or plastic, it's very much better to shim the stand at the floor, you really want the tank to sit level on the stand top.

Use 2 x 4s or plywood under stands with legs or at least those small plastic carpet square protectors (what the heck are they called? caster cups?) especially if using a metal stand that can leave rust marks on carpet, wood or tile. But like Joel said, they can leave carpet dents too.

Thick padding can hold a LOT of water. I had 5+ to maybe 8 gallons go into the padding...& since it was a solid type stand I had to do an emergency tear down to be able to dry it all out. Luckily it was only a 20g & fishless at that time but still plants & substrate. By the time I was done & moved the stand there wasn't much water to soak up with towels...but it went somewhere...many weeks of fan running to make sure it dried out thoroughly.

Very low tanks are hard to tell what's going on & hard to siphon. My first Aqua Clear was not level (or better, slightly tilted toward the tank) & "peed" a bit of water along the wall all the time. At first we thought it was evaporation but NO! It wasn't much spillage but I was on a AC hate for several years after that, lol. Now I know ACs are great if they're properly situated & that they often don't restart after power outages (a separate issue).

You may want to lay an old towel along the tank front during water changes to catch dribbles. I'm a slob so I don't worry too much but if you live with fussy spouse or parents...well, they water is not without a smell to many people, lol. Another reason to keep up with water changes.

I haven't had it happen (yet?) but there can be mold issues in addition to wood warping if any floors get wet & don't dry out completely pretty fast. I did have a styrofoam container slowly leak when used as a plant holding bin over a couple weeks. My maple hardwood floors were cupped when I realized it. OMG!!! But since it was such a short time (?) the floor magically dried flat after a few weeks & no subfloor damage, WHEW!!!


AC Members
Dec 1, 2020
Real Name
don’t use chemicals on it though a friend had a huge reef tank crash with sps because he used chemicals in his room to get a stain Out of carpet


AC Members
Mar 21, 2020
don’t use chemicals on it though a friend had a huge reef tank crash with sps because he used chemicals in his room to get a stain Out of carpet
No one said anything about chemicals (i think).
It’s fine on a stand I have all my tanks on carpet in my room
Good luck. I once spilled straight 9 liters of water on me and my beautiful carpet DOH!