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Old 07-21-2002, 08:53 PM   #1
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tank size

Before anything else, great site with tons of useful info.

Can anyone help me with this?? I want to place a 125 gallon tank on our second floor, but was told that only 55-75 is really safe secondary to load issues. This was advice from the guy at my local store, who didn't seem to have a master's in mechanical engineering, but did seem to have a decent knowledge of fish tanks...

Is this really true? What have other people seen/done??

Thanks!!
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:24 PM   #2
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I am not sure if it will work in your situation, lot's will have to do with the construction of your house rather than the tank. I have known people that have kept 125g S/W Reef tanks full of LR and LS on the third story of an apartment building. I know many people that keep tanks that big and larger in the room directly above their basement (not sure there is a difference). You can figure your tank will weigh about 150-200 lbs + the weight of the stand + 1,000 lbs for water + 100-200 lbs for sand and rock or other decorations + 150 lbs for a sump.

So your tank will weigh approx. 1600 lbs, figuring the tank at 150, the stand at 100 and the rock etc at 200. All figures are approximate. I would get with my builder and see if the floor will hold that kind of weight, you may be able to add some sort of reinforcement to shore it up.
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:34 PM   #3
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Welcome and thanks. We work hard and glad it shows.


Ok, now on to the answer.

Water weighs approx 8lbs per gallon. So 125 gal of water would weigh 1000lbs. Acording to all glass aquarium website their 125 wights 200+ pounds empty so just the tank full of water would be in excess of 1200lbs.

If you take proper care in placing the tank aganst a load bearing wall and make sure the tank's weight is spread out perpendicular with the floor joists you should have no problems. Placing the tank lenghtwise with a wall should assure you of this if the wall is load bearing. This will spread the weight out over several floor joists. Also if you can get a section of plywood and cut it to the dimentions of the stand and place this on the floor then place the stand on the plywood this will also help spread the weight out. Most stands do not have a solid bottom so the weight is not spread out as much. If you ever had a tank on carpet and then move the carpet you know exactly what I mean because usualy there is just a thin border all the way around the tank where the carpet is mashed down.

Make sure your tank is level before and after filling with water. If the tank is not level that will cause stress at the seams of the tank and could/will cause the seams to fail.

Placing your tank on the second floor is no different than placing a tank on the first floor of a house with a basement.


More info about your house/apartment would be good so we can provide more accurate advice.
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:48 PM   #4
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So if we use kevin's weights we are easily at 1750+ lbs. A 125's foot print is 9 sq feet so the tank will exert just under 200lbs per sq foot. So if you get 9 200+ lb guys to stand close together so they are taking up just 9 sq feet of space then thats approx what your tank would do as far as stress on the floor.

The key to spreading the weight out as best as possible is to use the plywood between the stand and the floor.
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishfreek
So if you get 9 200+ lb guys to stand close together so they are taking up just 9 sq feet of space then thats approx what your tank would do as far as stress on the floor.
Better get em drunk first, otherwise you might find the foot print is on you....

I totally concur with Aaron's answer...Good Answer, Good Answer, Good Answer, Good Answer, Good Answer, Good Answer, Good Answer, Good Answer, Good Answer
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Old 07-21-2002, 11:19 PM   #6
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Great help!!

I was figuring roughly 1500 lbs, which was confirmed by people who obviously know more than I do. I like the plywood base idea as I agree that the thin rim of support offered by most frames would concentrate the weight in a very small area (let's see, 1.5 inches wide by 6 ft long, by about 3 feet deep = 324 square inches, 2.25 square feet, 667 lbs/sq. ft.---(feel free to correct my math)--- kind of like a woman's high heel I guess.)

Plywood would definitely help to spread the load out 1500/18 sq feet=83 lbs/sq ft seems much more reasonable--I wonder how truly evened out the weight would be though.

I don't know a lot about the construction of our house. Built in 1987, not expensive, not cheap, probably pretty standard builder grade specs. I know that doesn't help us figure anything out though.

At any rate, we have a contractor coming in to fix the master bath (the joys of owning a home) I'll ask what he thinks as far as weight bearing.

More practically--has anyone done this and had/not had problems???
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Old 07-21-2002, 11:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwets
support offered by most frames would concentrate the weight in a very small area (let's see, 1.5 inches wide by 6 ft long, by about 3 feet deep = 324 square inches, 2.25 square feet, 667 lbs/sq. ft.---(feel free to correct my math)--- kind of like a woman's high heel I guess.)

Plywood would definitely help to spread the load out 1500/18 sq feet=83 lbs/sq ft seems much more reasonable--I wonder how truly evened out the weight would be though.
From these statements I think you may have the measurements of the tank wrong. 125g tank is 72" X 18" X 22" (L X W X H) that is a surface area of 9 sq ft, not 18.
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Old 07-22-2002, 08:14 AM   #8
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If the house has a basement and the basement has exposed celing so you can see the floor joists of the first floor make not of the direction the floor joists are running. (Usually in the direction of the house's front to back vs side to side.)

The floor joists of the second floor should run parallel with those of the first floor.

I suspect the contractor will suggest additional support simular to the way they support a bathtub if they suggest anything.

to find sq footage use the formula
Quote:
((L X W)/144)
Where Lenght and Width is measured in inches.
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:02 AM   #9
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thanks for the math corrections

always my worst subject!!! I'll let everyone know if a contractor has an interesting input. Thanks again.

Eric
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