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Old 03-01-2004, 08:25 PM   #1
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Opinions Needed on Tank Weight/Floor Support

Before I take the time on this project, I'm wondering what the general consensus is on floor capacity as it relates to a new tank I'm planning.

I'm going to go 100G-150G FW, with Oak stand. So, with this setup, I'm probably looking at total weights of 1300-1700lbs, with tank, stand, water, substrate, decorations, and equipment. Being conservative, probably more like 1500-2000 lbs total.

I'd really like to put the tank on the 2nd floor in a study, but I'm wondering if I'm going to be overloading the floor in this room. I've got a 3 year old home, with truss construction for the floors. I'm planning on putting the tank against an outside wall. Will the floor hold this weight? How can I determine this, short of tracking down the builder and getting him to pull the plans? I really don't want to spend the time and effort on setting this up only to have it come crashing through the floor into my family room .

Thanks;
Jay
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:29 PM   #2
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All peopple can tell you is what the floor SHOULD be able to, if it was built right.


If you have doubt [ If you didn't, you wouldn't be posting :-p ] I would call city inspector, or someone to have them evalute your home and have them tell you if your floor CAN indeed hold it.
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:34 PM   #3
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if u want to get da plans for ure house city hall will give em 2 ya for a fee i think
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:13 PM   #4
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I've done some research on that a while back. Canadian building code (I assume that US will be close - but you should check your local code to be sure) states a joist must support 35 lb/sq foot without bending more that 1/8 inch.

In theory, a 10' x 10' room will have enough joists to support 3500 lbs. That, however, assumes that the load is spread evenly to all the joists. This will depends on how the joists are tied together. EG. my older house has pine stripes nailed diagonally across the joists, this is not as strong a tie in as new construction where the subfloor is made of plywood glued & screwed to the joists.

If the tie-ins do not spread the load evenly, then the rated load is restricted only to the area where the load is distributed. Thus, it is better to place the tank across several joists, you will know that the load is spread amoung at least 3 or more joists.

Load is increased considerably if you put the tank on a load bearing wall. You'll need an engineer to tell you the load capacity of the wall, depending on the construction.

With putting in a big tank weighing more than a ton - it may be wise to call in the pros. Considering that in addition to the weight of the tank, you also need to add in everything that is in the room, people, etc. Our code required an engineering assessment when we put in a big jacuzzi tub, and that prob weight less than a big fish tank.
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:19 AM   #5
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Honestly, I'd be surprised to see a second floor, in even some of the oldest homes out there, that couldnt support a 100gal. Total weight in that tank will approach 1000lbs, once you factor in the glass, stand, gravel/sand, and any rock inside. The water itself weighs a little over 8lbs/gal, so, you're looking a little over 800lbs for the water, so, you may come in slightly under 1000lbs. Either way, I'd be surprised if it caused you any problems.
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:26 PM   #6
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Just a simple question - Have you ever worried about 7 or 8 people standing in a room in one area? If you think about it, the weight load isnt much different.

If you are still concerned, invite about 10 people over and have them all stand in a little group. If your floor doesnt fall in, youre golden
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:36 PM   #7
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Just a simple question - Have you ever worried about 7 or 8 people standing in a room in one area? If you think about it, the weight load isnt much different.

If you are still concerned, invite about 10 people over and have them all stand in a little group. If your floor doesnt fall in, youre golden
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:40 PM   #8
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well, i have a 75 gallon tank on the first floor, unfinished basement, and the house is 100 years old. i've seen no problems after 2+ months of having the tank filled.
as long as the tank is running perpendicular to the joists, you're really only looking at 200 pounds per joist...not very much.
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:47 PM   #9
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Exactly, I've seen tanks in excess of 150 gallons supported on the second floor of some very old houses, and kept running in the same spot for a very long time, without even the slightest sign on the floor even beginning to give way.
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Old 03-03-2004, 08:20 PM   #10
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Thanks, all, for the advice

I think I'm gonna go the low-tech solution, and invite about 2000 lbs of my friends over and have us stand in the room for a little while and see what happens. Didn't even think of that one!!

Jay
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