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Old 07-10-2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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How much weight can my floor take?

Hey guys,
Firstly, hello - I'm new to this forum, I've recently started keeping fish again - this time I'm keeping malawi cichlids instead of what I used to keep, just community fish and a few tanks of betta's.

I've set up a small tank in my room just to get started, 60litre or so and have a few small malawi's in. I'm not ignorant to the fact they will need rehousing in a few months time and have no problem with that at all. The problem is where I want to put them.

My house was built in 1900 or so, and I'm not sure what sort of weight I can put on my floorboards before they fall through, I'm not much of a DIY guy and quite oblivious to common sense when it comes to being hands on so perhaps this is a ridiculous question.

What's the maximum size tank that would be more than comfortable upstairs in my house? Would 200litre be safe or is that pushing it?
Many thanks,

James
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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Hi welcome to AA!!
Without physically looking and inspecting your house, I'd say 50-75 gallons, perhaps a tiny bit more if you have it inspected. The only problem with your question is that its highly subjective. Depends on what kind/size of wooden beams and even the type of wood they used. Obviously if you put a fish tank in the middle of the room, where there's usually no reinforcement underneath, its gonna bow a lot. Whereas you place it along a wall that has support underneath, you won't see as much bowing. I'd honestly recommend getting a good look at the support beams in the floor if possible. Hope this helps
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:39 PM   #3
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Thanks, that'll at least give me a rough idea of what to look for. Perhaps I'll get someone round to have a look for me.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:43 PM   #4
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It would take an inspector, or someone who was very knowledgeable on the subject to determine, but I will say that I'd put money down that a house built in 1900, if in good shape, will hold more weight than a newer house. Back then, they overbuilt... now people just put the minimum to get by on most builds.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:55 PM   #5
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Yeah I think that's what's of importance, how good of a condition is the weight-supporting structure of the house?
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ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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Odds are good you could park a small car on the second floor of a house that old, if it is in good condition. The key to holding the weight is how the stand distributes the weight. If you put 1000 pounds on a single square inch of space it is a lot different than putting 1000 pounds evenly distributed over 20 square feet.


You could get a stud finder from a hardware store and use it on the floor to determine how far apart the joists are to make you feel better.

But a better way is to determine the total surface area of the parts of the stand that will be touching the floor. Divide that by the weight to determine the pounds/square inch (kilos/square cm). If your floor can handle that load you are good to go.
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:13 PM   #7
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Also, when placing the stand, place it across several joists rather than run it parallel. My house was built in '52 and I know for making changes that the wood is thick and heavy...my father actually burned out a circular saw blade trying to cut through a wall beam to install a bathroom vent fan.

Still, I wouldn't place a tank on the second floor just from things like cracks in the ceiling from the weight of a radiator that has been in the house since the place was built. On the first floor however, I had a 75 parked across 3 joists and ran a reef...so about 150 pounds of liverock plus tank, stand and water. Never had a problem.

Most average floor joists are 16" on center.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:36 PM   #8
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Yeah my main floor has 10x2 that are spaced 16" on center, handles my 125 pretty good..... Zparticle brought up a very good point. If the weight is evenly spread out over the stand, shouldn't have issues. If its uneven and weighted to one corner or side, could cause issues
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ever see someone cut a 125g in half??
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...-286438-4.html
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:19 AM   #9
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Here's what i do 1st stretch a string across the floor you want it flat the mark the tanks foot print on the floor Now the hard work get some free weights or bags of sand and load the foot print with the as much weight as you can this will show any flex or bow in your floor the string will stay level were the floor will sag
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:15 AM   #10
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Go down in the basement and take a look at the support.
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