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Old 03-04-2008, 09:36 AM   #1
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Maximum tank weight supported by 2nd floor

Hi,

I have a 55g saltwater tank and a newly filled 75g water turtle tank in my dining room. I'd like to if you guys think the floor is OK to support these.

The saltwater tank has 100lbs of live rock and 50lbs of sand, so perhaps it weights 700lbs. My roommate's turtle tank is filled with about 50g of water and has some heavy rocks, perhaps 225lbs of them, for an estimated total of 850lbs.

Both tanks run perpendicular to the joists which are 2x10 inches and spaced every 12 inches. So each tank sits on at least 3 joists. The tanks sit across from each other so they share joists except maybe one each (I can take a picture if you need). Also, the turtle tank is against a load bearing wall (but not in a corner) and the saltwater tank is against a wall but I doubt the wall is load bearing.

So do you think the floor can support 850+700 = 1,550lbs?

Thanks,
Patrick
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
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As water weighs about 8lbs per gallon (8x55=440), plus the 150 (sand and rock), you're actually at about 590 lbs. The turtle tank is about 475 (5x50=250 + 225 = 475).

So, new number is more like 1065 lbs total.

On 3 joists, I'd guess you're OK. I'm only guessing thought, since I'm not a structural design type person. What's below that floor?
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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Might need a bit more info if you have it. Are the walls where the tanks are load bearing or non-load bearing (do they support structure from above). This is assuming the standard 40 pounds per square foot live load for residential structures. If you're supporting structure from above I wouldn't want to go over 1200/1280 on each wall.

The key thing here isn't so much the joist size (although that plays a part) it's how much load is being transferred downward to the support headed for the footings.

Being from the general area I know some of the houses are rather old. While I don't think the 850 is a problem, if it was me I might take a look in the basement (I assume its open since u know the span) and put some bracing down there (small 2x4 stud wall)
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:35 AM   #4
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850 was the estimate for the turtle tank only.

I think the two total are at 1065 lbs.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for the prompt replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinsdad View Post
As water weighs about 8lbs per gallon (8x55=440), plus the 150 (sand and rock), you're actually at about 590 lbs. The turtle tank is about 475 (5x50=250 + 225 = 475).

So, new number is more like 1065 lbs total.
My estimates also considered the weight of the stand, tank and misc items like filters. Although I hope I am high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tawolcott View Post
Are the walls where the tanks are load bearing or non-load bearing (do they support structure from above).
The turtle tank is against an outside wall so I assume it must be load bearing. The saltwater tank is against a wall that separates the dining room and kitchen. I'm not sure if it is load bearing. I kinda doubt it. How would I tell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tawolcott View Post
Being from the general area I know some of the houses are rather old. While I don't think the 850 is a problem, if it was me I might take a look in the basement (I assume its open since u know the span) and put some bracing down there (small 2x4 stud wall)
Yeap, the house is about 60 years old. I've had the saltwater tank for 2 years and the turtle tank for a year but the turtle tank never had this much water and rock in it before.

Could you point me to any information on doing the bracing? Is this something I can do myself?

Thanks guys,
Patrick
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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You certainly can.. pic attached
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:30 PM   #7
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Running parellel to the joists I would support them. Running perpendicular to the joists it would not be necessary IMO. I have a 125 gal tank running perpendicular to the floor joists with no supports and a 135 gal running parellel to the joists I built a box with telepost supports.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Running parellel to the joists I would support them. Running perpendicular to the joists it would not be necessary IMO. I have a 125 gal tank running perpendicular to the floor joists with no supports and a 135 gal running parellel to the joists I built a box with telepost supports.
Thanks, my original post was wrong. The tanks are running perpendicular to the joists, which is why each one sits on at least 3 joists. Are both your tanks on the same floor?

Patrick
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:16 AM   #9
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I'll offer it up one more time, the important point is the full load bearing on the wall nearest the tank. The joists are of least importance. It's the determination if the wall is load bearing or not and what the load is on that wall. You wanna put the tank in the middle of the floor then we can talk joist span and dimensional lumber.

If you're unsure or don't trust the advice, call your local lumber yard (not Lowes or HD) and ask them. Center = span importance perimeter = load

Either way the weight looks nominal. As I said Drexel Hill has some old houses so you might have to account for bad footings, dried/split lumber over the years, undersized materials due to the time the house was built, termites, etc.

Your house my friend but $20 in lumber is a cheap insurance policy
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