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Old 10-01-2002, 12:49 AM   #1
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New tank...will it collapse my floor? :P

A friend just gave me an older 125g tank. I have two questions. Does anyone suggest i scrap off the visible silicone and apply a new seal to the outside(outside of the inside of the tank that is)?

My main question is: Does anyone have a 125+g tank setup on a second floor or higher level? I have a nice and seemingly strong area set up for the tank, but before I set it up I want to see what people have to say about its affect on my condos supports. I am setting it up along an outside side wall so the tank has one end facing to the front of the complex and the other facing the rear. I believe this will usually cross the most supports?

Hangon power filter or cannister? The tank will be an african cichlid tank.
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Old 10-01-2002, 10:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Does anyone suggest i scrap off the visible silicone and apply a new seal to the outside(outside of the inside of the tank that is)?
Not sure why you would do this? Does the tank leak? If so I would try to patch the leaking area only. If the tank holds water fine then I don't see why you would want to go to all that trouble to remove the silicone from the glass just to reapply.

Setting the tank up against an outside wall is good as the outside wall is a load bearing wall. A 125 gal tank i belive is 4 foot long. Standard building practices would dictate 16" joists distance at a maximum so that would mean that the weight would be spread out over three floor joists. If you had the tank for example with the short end toward the wall this would put all the weight over 1 joist or maybe 2 if you was lucky and placed it so the front and back was over a joist. Having the tank within a foot from the wall will also be good as the joists are much more stronger at the ends than in the middle.

Do you have access from the lower level to check out the floor supports? If so you could "double up" the floor joists in the area that your going to put the tank for added support. If you are very unsure I would contact a home improvment contractor and get their opintion.

I would suspect the full weight of the tank when in operation would be close to 1500lbs where 1000lbs of that is the water itself. But if you can get it over 3 floor joists then your effectivly putting 500lbs over each joist. Thats really not alot of weight when you think about the weight of a room full of furniture and people.

I don't think you will run into a problem unless your condo was built out of code.

DISCLAMER - I AM NOT A BUILDING CONTRACTOR
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Old 10-01-2002, 05:51 PM   #3
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ok, i know i am the paranoid chick around here, but i think i would have the floor checked out before putting something that heavy in such a small space....just my humble opinion...
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Old 10-01-2002, 06:46 PM   #4
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room full of fish

My 125g is actually 6' x 18" x 22-24" The glass is 1" thick. The tank had been in a garage for like a year in storage and i was just thinking it might be a good practice to reapply silicone to the inside of the tank and perhaps the bottom, but not split the tank to recaulk the whole thing.

I don't have access to the ceiling downstairs because its a condo owned by someone else. Not asking to check their ceiling...etc.etc.. because I am not sure if the tank will be within the condo associations 'code'. When asked about it by a neighbor I told them it was for my snake

Wonder if the blueprints are available to the public at the townhall?
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Old 10-01-2002, 07:28 PM   #5
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So its 6' long. Thats even better then because it puts the weight over even more floor joists.

If at all possible I would fill the tank in your friends garage and let it sit for a few days. Check it for leaks. If it does not leak then no need to reseal. If it does leak then try to pinpoint the spot of the leak and fix. Once its fixed and had a chance to cure recheck for leaks.

AT 16" joist seperation that is 4 joists and a weight distribution of 375lbs per joist. If you had 8 200lb men stand in a 18"X72" area that effectivly would be the downward force of your 125gal tank full of water, rock, sand plus the wight of the tank and stand and canopy.

Since you have a condo association I would read up on their rules and guidelines but I would say if they allow water beds then a 125 gal tank would be fine.
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Old 10-22-2002, 01:22 PM   #6
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It may be a little late for this post, however, I felt compelled to weigh in. I am a structural forensic engineer (I investigate cause and origin of structural problems). What everyone is saying about distributing the load accross multiple floor joists is true and probably okay, assumming you are orienting the tank perpindicular to the joists. However, if you are aligning the tank with an individual joist then this could potentially lead to problems. There are so many variables that could come into play I really couldn't give you any specific advice, however, the floor joists would typically span accross the short direction of the room below. You could possibly use a stud finder to locate the floor joists to determine which direction they span, never tried that.
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Old 10-22-2002, 05:31 PM   #7
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floor boards

Pulled up the carpet and check underneath. Under the fireproofing are what could have been a wood floor The boards run front to back and the tank would also go lengthwise front to back. I am guessing the joists would crisscross the boards so there would be 4-5 supports under the tank. Am I wrong? I figured the supports would go opposite the floor boards.
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Old 10-22-2002, 09:28 PM   #8
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That should be correct. The long direction of the, what I assume would be plywood floor decking, would cross multiple joists. You should probably be able to see the screw or nail pattern as well which should outline the position of the joists.
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Old 10-23-2002, 05:14 PM   #9
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i can understand you not wanting to disturb your neighbor, but if your floor doesn't hold, you could be looking at a lawsuit, or worse--that's a lot of weight to crash down on someone's head...i would much rather have someone check out my ceiling than deal with a potential mess like that...and i would think that somewhere the plans should be available to you, i assume you do own this condo? if not, that could even be more trouble down the road--jmho
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Old 10-23-2002, 07:16 PM   #10
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CRaZee is right. Like I said previously there are so many factors that come into play, spans, how the load is distrubited through the stand to the floor and on and on. You could probably find a local engineer in the yellow pages that could check it out for you, for a couple of hundred dollars. Based on what it has cost me so far to set up a 30 gallon, I would think this would be a small part of the overall cost. If you think about it, the weigth of the tank would probably put more load on the floor joists than a small car. Would you be comfortable parking a small car on your floor?
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Old 10-27-2002, 10:59 PM   #11
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Same here...

I had the same prob. I wondered if a 55 would be too much for a one room third floor in my house, with no second floor under it, i thought it would be too much, but if you think about it, 6 100 pound men would not pose a threat, as long as it is not on a single joist, which could lead to some major problems. Good Luck
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