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Old 05-20-2004, 12:08 AM   #1
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Earthquake and Stands

Well...after being gone for about 2 weeks, I've decided to take up the hobby again...I should had just kept it up instead of quitting and then starting up again (lost 4 fishes, 2 shrimps and 10 hermits to the LFS, not to mention tons of organisms on my now dead rock).

Well anyways, I was wondering if stands are able to hold water and withstand an earthquake? I'm extremely paranoid about earthquakes and its possible damages. I now have a 50 Gallon Sea Clean Acrylic tank that is standing on a stand that is relatively cheap (100 bucks). Could the price of the stand mean that the stand itself is poorly built? Well not poorly built but built to only hold what it should (a tank) vs a 300 dollar stand. I would assume those expensive stands are able to hold under an earthquake while my stand might just collapse. I'm young and don't know better so i get paraniod about EVERYTHING!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-20-2004, 01:58 AM   #2
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Well to be quite honest most stands that Are store bought go thru some pretty rough testing... Most stands will hold 3x their stated weight if not more... My 55g stand was just tested at the factory and it was able to stand up to I believe he said 2100lbs.. 4x its stated 550lbs.. My stand also went thru another test to make sure that the tank would not slide off by being tilted to a dertain degree... I was informed this as me and the company were talking about my stand and the inspector was just there the day prior testing out the stands.. I would call the MFg of the stand and see what they say... Being in Ca you would think that everything would be Earthquake tested...

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Old 05-20-2004, 02:42 AM   #3
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That is reassuring. Well what about the stand breaking in certain areas? Like what if the side of the stand suddenly cracks or something?
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Old 05-20-2004, 03:04 AM   #4
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I suppose it might get hit by a meteor as well. I would think that if a quake is strong enough to topple your tank and smash your stand it will also do some substantial damage to your home as well. The point is... Don't dwell on it so much. Set up your tank and enjoy your fishies!
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Old 05-20-2004, 03:04 AM   #5
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I think that some of it has to do with what size tank and what size earthquakes we'd be talking about... as far as stands go if it was made for a certain tank then you wouldn't have much to worry about unless it really looks like it was poorly made. Like it was mentioned above, most stands are built to hold more weight than necessary... basically what I'm thinking is, if the earthquake was big enough to break the stand, it would probably be knocking everything over anyway so it really wouldn't matter at that point... with a smaller sized tank it wouldn't take much of an earthquake to possibly shake the tank right onto the floor... I suppose if one was really paranoid, and really rich, they could custom make an earthquake proof stand with shocks and supesions from the ceiling and stuff... you could be standing there watching the couch bounce across the room while you barely notice a few ripples in your tank...
Basically it could depend on the earthquake... and where it happens... let's just say it hit your town or close by... was strong enough to damage buildings and bridges and stuff... you could be right about a cheaper stand just collapsing in that situation but a stronger stand could also just tip over... who knows for sure. You could always custom build something, not as extreme as I mentioned above, that would be cheaper yet stronger than the one you have now... Basically... my thoughts are a big
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Old 05-20-2004, 03:41 AM   #6
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I'd be more worried about it tipping over... I've never been through an earthquake but my understanding is that there are 2 kinds... the up and down kind, and the back and forth kind. The up and down kind would test the quality of your stand (not to mention splash all kinds of saltwater on your $200 lights.) But the back and forth kind.... well, that might tip it over even if its a really nice stand. I'd get some of those wall straps they sell and strap the stand to the wall.
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Old 05-20-2004, 09:05 AM   #7
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Luntiz,

I would not worry too much and I speak from experience. I had an 55 gallon, acrylic tank on a store bought stand primarily made of MDF, but with some oak trim that provided minimal structural support. I was located just 30 miles from the epicenter of the Loma Prieta 7.1 earthquake (the World Series earthquake). This quake was primarily horizontal acceleration. Both tank and stand withstood the quake without damage, although I'd say I lost about 10 gallons of water due to the earth movement. A 5.3 aftershock provided a second test. No damage. If you're worried at all, for a couple of bucks you could secure the stand to wall studs with some strapping. This is assuming it's a wooden stand, not a wrought iron type. That type of stand I would replace in your location. IMO, if you're faced with a major quake, the tank set-up should be fine. Just get away from windows, then look up to ensure you're not in a place where something could fall on you. I also think a power outage would be your most likely tank threat. HTH.
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Old 05-20-2004, 09:09 AM   #8
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Luntiz,

I would not worry too much and I speak from experience. I had an 55 gallon, acrylic tank on a store bought stand primarily made of MDF, but with some oak trim that provided minimal structural support. I was located just 30 miles from the epicenter of the Loma Prieta 7.1 earthquake (the World Series earthquake). This quake was primarily horizontal acceleration. Both tank and stand withstood the quake without damage, although I'd say I lost about 10 gallons of water due to the earth movement. A 5.3 aftershock provided a second test. No damage. If you're worried at all, for a couple of bucks you could secure the stand to wall studs with some strapping. This is assuming it's a wooden stand, not a wrought iron type. That type of stand I would replace in your location. IMO, if you're faced with a major quake, the tank set-up should be fine. Just get away from windows, then look up to ensure you're not in a place where something could fall on you. I also think a power outage would be your most likely tank threat. HTH.
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Old 05-21-2004, 02:45 AM   #9
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Add your aquarium to your home insurance policy. Most companies will allow you to put a specific coverage amount on specific items. As far as I know it will cover the cost of the aquarium it's inhabitants, any aquascape, hardware and the water damage it may cause to anything else. But then again if you are that worried about earthquakes you should probably have an earthquake umbrella on your policy.
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