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Old 01-25-2009, 09:33 AM   #1
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Question Aquarium above a fireplace????


I'm new here and I've been looking for info about whether or not it would be faesible to put an aquarium on my mantelpiece.

I have seen some photos of built-in aquariums over fireplaces but I can't see anything else.

It's a pretty big mantelpiece, about 50cm above the fire which is a closed, stove type. The wall doesn't heat up very much.

Any ideas?

Regards from Madrid.

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Old 01-25-2009, 11:32 AM   #2
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It depends on the size of tank. Most mantle places are decorative & not built to take the weight of a tank. Those built in aquariums would have hidden supports (& likely an access room behind the tank.)

personally, I wouldn't put more than a 5 or 10 gal on top of a mantle (& only if it is well made.) Even then, you would still have to worry about heat from the fire getting to the tank, how you are going to route the electrical wires so they don't melt, etc.

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Old 01-25-2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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I would think cleaning would be difficult as well.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:03 PM   #4
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Hi guys, thanks for your replies.

I'm not sure if I made it a bit unclear... I'm only really worried about the heat coming from the chimney. I was thinking about simply putting the aquarium on top of the mantel piece. It's pretty strong and I can run the cables from one side where I can put a plug socket in an alcove-style shelving thing I've got there.

I'm making a 3D model of my living room (as it will be when finished). I'll post a picture when I can.

Hasta pronto...
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:38 PM   #5
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If you are worried about the amount of heat up there and its effect on an aquarium, why not put a gallon jug of water up there for a few days and check its temp. on a regular basis. An accurate digital kitchen thermometer would do. Then you will know. Make sure the fire place is in use if that is how it is going to be normally.

Most mantles are only decorative now days. Some are only 1x10's with some minor bracing and decorative molding. Good for pictures of the family, not so good for things with lots of mass. That much of a load (tank size x 12 lbs/gal. approx.) may break the mantle, the tank, or rip the whole mantle off the wall. Look into how the mantle is constructed and anchored. That will help you determine what it can safely handle. Maybe test it with sand bags or similar first. If you can't see it holding the weight of a person it won't hold even a small tank. (10gal tank = approx. 120lbs +/-)
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:54 PM   #6
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Jim692 offers great advice. By putting a jug of water on the mantle you will find the heat effect. I would seriously consider testing the weight capacity of a mantle as well.

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