DIY Best Aquarium Leveling Mat in 2023 | Fish Camp Rehab

The best aquarium leveling mat gives your aquarium a cozy place to relax, free of danger. Consider it as an aqua mat that acts as a cushion for aquarium fish.

Making sure your tank is level in the closest possible way to the perfect level is crucial for a variety of reasons. In the event of a tank not being level, it puts additional stress on joints, which can cause the seam to rupture as time passes.

It all depends on the tank as well as the location of the tank, but the suggestion is to make tanks as even as you can.

As time passes, If the tank is uneven and is not level, the force of the water could cause excessive stress to the seams of the tank and ultimately cause the seals to crack and lead to leaks.

In actuality, I’ve seen this happen to me with the 15-gallon tank I have kept in my room for many years until I woke up one Sunday morning and find the tank leaked across the floor.

Fortunately, I was planning to replace this aquarium with a 20-gallon that I had in stock and waiting to place in its place.

Then was the 15-gallon, and up came the 20-gallon. My main concern would be the chance of a leak that could occur typically at the most untimely time.

Although it might not look as much at first glance, this additional layer of padding can be an important part of the equipment used by numerous fishkeepers.

Today, I’ll tell you the reason.

Do You Require an Aquarium Mat?

If you have a tank that is braced then you cannot remove the mat completely…

However, if you have an aquarium that is rimless mat is an absolute must!

The use of a “Squishy” mat under the tank can help equally spread all the load of your tank across the stand. The best aquarium leveling mat will reduce the impact at the highest points, taking away some of the strain at the point of stress and dispersing the load over a greater area.

A lot of fish keepers avoid the mat completely, mostly because they aren’t aware of the rules.

In actual fact, I’ve witnessed beginners toss the mat included with their new tank, because they believed they were part of the package!

However, I’m going to help you get started correctly! Therefore, prior to beginning to fill up your new aquarium, with some water as well as accessories set up a mat.

I promise you, it’s simpler to lay mats in the present before your aquarium is all installed.

A full aquarium is extremely heavy! If you’re not using a smaller tank or Hercules you’ll be difficult to lift the tank up to put a mat under it.

Which is the Best Aquarium Leveling Mat? (Way to Level a Fish Tank)

It’s funny that in Europe you’ll often see the foam mats for aquariums that are on shelves of the local fish store. However, in America, there’s a completely different situation. There are so many brands like –

Cobalt Aquatics Aqua Sponge Mat

Cobalt Aquatics Aqua Sponge Mat X-Large
  • AQUA SPONGE MATS are the ultimate addition to your aquarium maintenance arsenal
  • The highly absorbent, dense microfiber material can absorb up to 1 gallon of water per 5 square...
  • The bottom of the mat is coated with a non-skid, rubberized backing, and a water-proof seal around...
  • The contemporary color and design looks great with almost any decor and appeals to the Fish Geek in...
  • 48 x 24

Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

OR, NemoHome

Fish Tank Mat Waterproof Under Aquarium Mat Table Floor Spill Protective from Scratches and Stains Anti Slip Washable Rubber Tray
  • Dry Table and Floor: Raised outer border will avoid liquids to reach your clean table and floor.
  • 100 % Waterproof Silicone no liquid is absorbed ideal to catch spills during filter change and...
  • Keep Fish Tank in Place: Our Mat Slip resistant topside features raised dots to help keep your the...
  • The Mat Fit 5 gallon tanks and bellow, absorb aquarium weight and provide some leveling to the tank.
  • Dishwasher safe or wash it by hand under the sink, dry out soon.

Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While they are excellent mats, however, they are usually targeted at smaller aquariums.

Another method of leveling your fish tank is by taking the DIY method. For mats that I place under my aquarium, I prefer to use mats similar to the ones below…

Camping mats are designed to help you stay comfy on uneven surfaces while camping. Pebbles and rocks that are on the ground? Camping mats absorb them so that they don’t cause pressure on your body as you rest.

Foam Sleeping Pad for Camping - 1.25-Inch-Thick Waterproof Sleep Pad with Carry Straps for Cots, Tents, or Sleepovers by Wakeman Outdoors, Blue
  • SLEEPING MAT - The 0.75-inch-thick premium foam material offers superior comfort to ensure a restful...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE - Weighing 3-pounds and only 9-inches-tall when rolled, the lightweight...
  • QUALITY MATERIAL - The durable NBR foam has a non-slip texture that prevents the camp mat from...
  • VERSATILE USE - This multipurpose foam mat can be used by itself as a floor pad, for car camping, or...
  • PRODUCT DETAILS - Material: NBR Foam. Dimensions: (L) 72” x (W) 24” x (H) x 0.75”; Rolled: (L)...

Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

They also work as well for your fish tank!

And they’re available in nearly every color you can imagine If that’s what you’re looking for.

While mats for camping are my preferred option, any material that has a little flexibility can be utilized…

I have friends who utilize yoga mats as padding. If you have a petite wife, she might not notice if you cut pieces off! If not, yoga mats that are cheap are available at any store.

Yoga Mat 1/3 inch QMKGEC Exercise Mats 8mm TPE Non-Slip Extra Thick High-Density Eco Friendly for Yoga Workout Pilates Yoga Mats for Women Men
  • 【Environmentally TPE high quality material】The yoga mat is made of high-quality TPE material, a...
  • 【8mm thickness, very suitable for yoga beginners】Size: 72inch x 24inch x 1/3inch, 8mm thickness...
  • 【Slip-resistant design and double-layer tear resistance】The 1/3-inch thick yoga mat has a...
  • 【Diversified uses】Because of the thickness of 8mm(1/3inch), TPE material, environmental...
  • 【Easy to clean and guarantee】The yoga mat can prevent sweat and odor from entering. Easy to wipe...

Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Others make use of others use a cork mat, one of the most popular drawer liner options that are able to be used in a mat for aquariums.

Quartet Cork Rolls, Strips, 24 x 48 inches, Corkboard, Bulletin Board, Natural, 1 Roll (103)
  • Clean and simple cork roll is ideal for light use in any environment
  • Cork makes a great shelf or drawer lining
  • Roll measures 24 Inches wide x 48 Inches long, and 1/16 Inches thick
  • Natural cork is durable and absorbent
  • Use to fit your individual needs; this cork roll can be easily cut into any size or shape

Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sometimes, I hear Styrofoam is recommended for use in aquariums. However, I don’t recommend this as it is easily crushed.

Whatever material you decide to use for a mat beneath your aquarium, be sure that it is flexible This is what helps the mat able to absorb any imperfections in the substrate.

Remember that heavier tanks require a thicker foam because they’ll reduce the mat’s volume more than smaller tanks.

When you’ve decided on the mat you want, simply cut it down to the size you want. This way, it’ll remain obscured from view.

Why Do You Require a Mat Under Your Fish Tank?

As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, a complete-setup aquarium can be weighty. Unlevelness can cause seals to break prior to the glass breaking.

In a tank without a rim, the majority of the weight is placed on the bottom of the glass. This is not a problem since the bottom panel is able to handle the challenge of carrying the load…

As long as the ground that the tank is sitting on is flat.

This is where things can get difficult – the majority of surfaces aren’t level.

In fact, I’ve seen aquariums with brand-new stands sporting irregular surfaces. Screw knots and heads are imperfections on the surface that the tank can sit on.

It’s not something you would want to press into the tank’s bottom, do you?

The weight of the tank will be centered on the highest points of the surface, which will place the glass’s bottom under stress that is focused.

It’s hard to see your aquarium straining against the rough surface.

In time, as pressure continues to be applied to these areas your glass will eventually be able to give way. ….

Seals are the most flexible element in the tank. The major issue when a surface is not level is that it puts stress on the glass, and enough pressure can cause the tanks to explode or collapse.

The worst nightmare you can have is an unsound tank.


But, it does not need to be this way!

The spongy substance that is your mat absorbs the high points, so they don’t cause pressure on the floor of your tank.

This is the reason they are often called mats for leveling to eliminate any bumps or bumps that are hidden below the surface of your aquarium.

It’s entirely possible that your tank will be fine in spite of all the pressure. However, it’s a risk that is costly.

When you consider the cost of an aquarium mat it is a good reason not to put one in the base. For your own peace of mind, it’s worth the investment.

Personally, I prefer to use some of the best aquarium leveling mats each time I install an aquarium.

It is important to note that foam mats are only ideal for surfaces with raised bumps, not gaps.

If your aquarium has gaps that are not filled with foam, then a mat is likely to be compressed into the gaps. What do you think it signifies? It’s a sign of unbalanced pressure on the base in your tank.

If the cause is that gaps in your aquarium aren’t level mats aren’t going to solve the problem It is necessary to discover a method to smooth the surface.


Do You Need an Aquarium Leveling Mat?

If your tank has braces it is not necessary to leave the mat out completely… However, if you have an unrimmed aquarium mats are an absolute must!

Should I Put Foam Under My Aquarium?

A “Squishy” foam under the tank can help equally disperse the weight of the tank across the stand. The foam will break slightly more on the higher points, thereby removing some of the strain at this point, and spreading the weight over a wider area.

Can I Put a Yoga Mat Under My Fish Tank?

A yoga mat could be the best way to get it. Styrofoam (Expanded white ball) is the recommended material by nearly every Custom tank manufacturer for tanks that are TRIMLESS. Actually using yoga mats, or any other extruded styrofoam can void the warranty.

What Type of Foam Does Not Absorb Water?

Dry Fast Foam isn’t water absorptive and will not be able to rot, mold or mildew. It’s extremely durable and buoyant. It has an open-cell structure.

Final Thought

I’ve seen some hobbyists not using the foam mats due to the fact that they don’t like how it appears beneath their aquarium.

I can assure you that if you remove the foam that is left it’s not evident. I’ve never received a comment from a stranger about the foam that is underneath my tanks. They’re too focused on what’s going on within the tanks to pay attention.

Do you have mats as an aquarium’s base? Let me know what kind you use and the reason in the comments below!


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.