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Old 05-07-2006, 02:56 AM   #1
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Tank too heavy?

Hey guys,

I don't know if i'm in the right section to ask this question, but anyway.

I've decided to get a 5'x2'x2' tank, with stand and standard hood, which will give me somewhere between 125-135 gallons. I live in a new apartment building on the 3rd floor, with solid concrete floors. I was just wondering if anyone on this msg board would know if the tank would be too heavy for the floors, and therefore should i settle for a smaller tank (which i don't want to do!)

Thanks in advance!

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Old 05-07-2006, 08:41 AM   #2
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Consider that the tank will weigh about 1400 lb with water. If you add another 500-600 lb or so in sand and liverock, that's close to 2000 lb. (This guess is a little high, but a possible number depending on weight of tank and stand anshow much you add to the tank).

I don't know how much concrete can withhold at all, but was thinking that perhaps you can ask your landlord if your flooring is strong enough? Let him know how much it weighs and maybe he/she could tell you. My guess would be that it could hold it, but I'm not positive.

It never hurts to get more than 1 opinion on that topic, in my opinion.

I'm not much help, but good luck.


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Old 05-07-2006, 09:36 AM   #3
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First, let me state that I am not an architect or engineer. However, I would say you shouldn't have a problem. Most apartment / public buildings use poured concrete with rebar which is a similar system to what they use in highway bridges (although highway construction uses different concrete grade and probably a lot more rebar). Typically concrete is much stronger than a wood joice system found in most homes.

Note: Make sure the tank is level. Sometimes poured floors look level but may have slight sloaping and depressions.
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Old 05-07-2006, 10:11 AM   #4
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You have solid concrete floors on the 3rd floor? If so you should be fine but I’d verify with your apartment complex to verify its ok. Most apartments will not let you keep anything larger then a 55 gal IME (due to liability/insurance reasons)

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Old 05-07-2006, 11:36 AM   #5
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A few years back, I was also on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex. I was eyeballing a nice 90g tank. I called the apt management, and they gave me permission. I would check with your management first. On a side note, I ended up selling the 90 a while later and going back to a 29 because I was going to move soon. Unless you are permanently staying at your apartment, you will eventually have to move the tank (not fun).
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:54 PM   #6
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i lived on a 2nd floor apt a couple of years ago and had a 55 ciclid tank, 29 fw, and a 5 gal fw, not to metion other critters all stuffed in one bedroom with no issues. there were also tanks spread out the rest of the apt. i dont think there will be an issue. it wouldnt hurt asking the landlord though.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:43 AM   #7
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Hmmm...I am an engineer and the question is broad. So many different types of construction out there and different codes depending on locale and soil types. I've seen engineering films where huge prefab concrete apartments complex collapsed in in catastrophic failure due to resonance. Hopefully your architect learned from others past mistakes and used monolithic pour techniques and avoided precast bolt together panels.

Concrete has excellent compressive strength and very poor tensile strength. A properly designed concrete floor will actually get stronger as it it's loaded - to a point. A discussion of concrete is probably not warranted here. I'd do what the other have said and ask your landlord, they probably have guidelines from the architect or local building inspector. I'd guess being in Melbourne would be a good thing as far as this goes. You might not fare so well in places where building inspections are corrupt and full of payoffs.

I still think you'll be okay in a modern building. When I first got married I had a king size waterbed on a second story wood joist apartment. That calulates to about 350 gallons and a little over 2900 pounds.
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:32 AM   #8
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Thanks a lot for all the replies!

So i guess it should be okay, but yeah just to be safe i think i might get in contact with the landlord.

I'm sure it will be fine. Its the top floor of the apartment complex, and we got a very big fountain put in with approval from an engineer. that would be about 250 gallons i'd say, but it is spread over a longer area....

thanks again everyone
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:43 AM   #9
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Okay, I'm not an engineer either...I'm actually a chef, however, I used to be in construction. It's not at all uncommon for 3rd floors to be of concrete. It's actually building code in many states. Any residential building over 2 stories has to have concrete floor 3rd and every odd numbered floor after that. As far as the weight of the tank goes...If I remember correctly from what my ex-father-in-law (plumber) told me about weight of water....You should be fine. Even though you're dealing with a very large amount of water, it's spread out over a large area of the floor unless your stand has 4 or 6 focal points for the weight (legs). If the stand has a continuous weight distributing bottom, you will be totally fine as it'll be distributing the weight over a large area. Think about it like this....waterbeds sometimes have 4 or 6 legs instead of being supported by the entire frame sitting on the floor. Those 4 or 6 legs are focusing all of the weight onto the floor in a very small area (where those legs sit)...that's bad!! If the weight is distributed over the entire length of the frame, it's a LOT less weight per square inch of flooring.
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:22 AM   #10
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thanks so much for the detailed reply returnofsid, you've put my mind at ease! The tank is spread evenly so im sure itll be fine. well its coming in two days... so we'll soon find out!

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