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Old 09-23-2007, 11:09 AM   #1
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Concerned about weight of 125 gallon tank...should I be?

Hey guys and gals. I am getting ready to put my newly aquired 125 gallon tank in my apartment this week or weekend but I am conecerned. The total weight of the tank will most likely be in the neighborhood of 1400 lbs and I am on the 3rd floor (top floor) of my apartment building. I was initially concerned with the weight but then told myself that it would be fine. I had no worries until my brother mentioned something to me yesterday about the total weight and I hadn't even mentioned anything to him about me worrying and all. NOW I am worried AGAIN. I'd absolutely HATE to come home and find a hole in the floor but I'd be more worried about what could happen to the people below me (if the unit is occupied).

I plan on setting the tank up in this little "hutch" area (seems like it was meant to be for a tank this size as it will fit perfectly LOL) and this aread is on a wall that divides my unit from the neighbor's. This should be a "load-bearing wall" correct and would be the strongest point to place such a heavy object? I don't have any clue about the building code here in Michigan but maybe I should look into it to see if I can figure something out. I did some digging around yesterday and I found something saying that basically a 125 was as big as someone could/should go before having to add supports to the floor. I kinda lucked out in this respect but I'm not sure I even trust that. What do all of you think? Maybe I should look for a unit on the 1st floor to be safe LOL.
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:44 PM   #2
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Well when I was getting my 120Gal aquarium. I read alot of articles and I hate to tell you this but every article that I read, stating that the floors need renforced and the best spot is in the basement. So I did not want to renforced the floors and it went in the basement. But I also got luckly and I am in the basement every night cause my life also revloves around computers and that is where my setup is at. But what you might think about trying to do is talking to your landlord and see if that area will support that much weight.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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Being that you are in an apartment, I would check with the landlord. My 125 sits on a floor with the joists going the opposite way as the tank so I have no worries there, but my 135 sits on a floor with the joists going the same way so I reinforced the floor joists to be safe. Honestly I don't know that I would feel safe on the third floor of an apartment with a 125.
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:34 AM   #4
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Is your floor made of wood or is it concrete? Depending on where you live some apartment floors are concrete, not just the ground floor. Concrete (or flexi-core) would make me feel safer.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparKy697
Is your floor made of wood or is it concrete? Depending on where you live some apartment floors are concrete, not just the ground floor. Concrete (or flexi-core) would make me feel safer.
You know, I was actually wondering the same thing last night as the floor didn't have the same "feel" to it as "normal" floors do. It feels more "solid". I was actually thinking that my floor may actually be concrete and that would mean steel supports correct? : )

I did some digging around yesterday and found a similar question posted a few years ago on another forum (I did a google search) and one person said that they had kept a 180g on the second floor for a few years with no issue and another member said that he/she had TWO 180g tanks on the 10th floor of their apartment for over 10 years with no issue. I'm guessing that person has the concrete floors LOL. I also did a little number crunching. I figure 1400 lbs of weight (220 for the glass, another 50 for the stand as it's not that heavy, and if it were filled with JUST water it would be an additional 1000 lbs). At that weight and with a stand that has dimensions of roughly (and underestimating too) 1.5 feet X 7 feet that would give me an area of 10.5 sq. feet. 1400/10.5 gives 133 lbs/square foot and I heard that most buildings (residential) need to be able to support 200-300lbs/sq. foot. Assuming the MINIMUM is 200lbs/sq. foot I could have a weight of over 2000 lbs. I am checking with my cousin just in case as he is going to look up the building codes for me. I will probably also call the apartment's office to make sure but I feel MUCH better now.
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:48 PM   #6
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You can't trust other people's experiences, because they weren't in your building, and you have no idea how their apartments were built. With a 125, if you can't guarantee that you are perpendicular to the joists against a load bearing wall, then you shouldn't set it up. The exception would be for a building with concrete floors - if you jump up and down, do you get a "boom", or is it just a dull thud? Do your downstairs neighbors hear you walking/jumping?

Also, if your landlord will even permit the tank (unlikely), you need to buy a hefty renter's insurance policy that will cover your liability should there be any water damage. They usually require this for waterbeds, so it's nothing out of the ordinary.

Remember - as a renter you have far fewer rights than a homeowner. Be sure you understand your lease. Chances are this situation is mentioned in there somewhere.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:28 PM   #7
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I agree the very least you need to do is contact your landlord. If something were to happen and you didn't have the landlord's permission you could be liable for all damages regardless of insurance coverage. If the floors are concrete the landlord will be more likely to allow the tank, either way if you haven't got permission, you could also be evicted.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:52 PM   #8
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The lease says the only pets allowed are fish and birds but it says absolutely nothing about size of the aquarium. I am guessing that I don't have concrete floors because there would be a "boom" if I jumped on the floor.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:28 PM   #9
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Think about how much a queen sized water bed must weigh
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:49 PM   #10
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But the water bed has a bigger footprint, so lb/sq ft wise, it is less than a big tank ..... even then, some building codes require reinforcement of floors with water bed <Heck, I have to reinforce my floor with a jacuzzi tub ... and that is NOT 125 gal.>

Personally, I will not put that big a tank in an apartment unless you have concrete floors with steel gliders. You would more likely see that in tall high rises than in 2-3 stories walkups. Therefore, the posts on big tanks on 10th floor, tec don't really apply.

In any case, I would suggest you check with your landlord first.
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