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Old 08-12-2011, 11:13 AM   #1
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How to reinforce floor for a 210g aquarium??

I'm getting a glass 210 tank, 84x24x24in. It will be along the exterior wall of our 1930's farm house. It'll sit perpendicular to the beams. They are 8in by 2in beams, inner spacing between them is 14in and they are 13ft 8in long. There is 1in solid wood flooring covered by 3/4in fancy plywood as the floor.

Is there any additional support I should add? If so, how do I do that and with what?

Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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It would be best to contact an engineer or contractor. You are talking about one ton of weight on fourteen square feet. You could probably post this on an engineering forum and get a decent answer.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
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it all depends on what the underside of the floor looks like. i own a general contracting business and do reinforcement all the time. If u can take pictures of the area under the floor where the tank will be places. i will be able to help u more. off the top of my head a few things u could do is double up the floor joist under the tank area and build bearing wall underneath. there are other methods of doing this its just hard to tell u somthing without seeing what it looks like.

if u dont feel comfortable about doing it yourself i would 100% agree with contacting a local contractor to help u with the design and building process it requires
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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Your best bet would be yes hire a contrator or if you have the tools and are pretty handy put cross beams inbettwen the studs in the floor and to add extra support run some 2x6 down every 1 foot down to the ground I have a 500 gal hot tub and ran into the same problem with my elevated deck ill post a pic asap for and example
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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While you are at it put a drain on the back up and slope the floor a bit. So if u have a spill or leak water goes out.

Saltwater or freshwater??
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:14 PM   #6
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I have a 75 gallon in a 1907 house, on the first floor with a basement underneath. The basement has a concrete floor. The tank runs along an exterior wall, but runs parallel to the joists. I bought a four foot long piece of steel I-beam from a scrap yard, and put it across the 3 joists under it. Then I held the I-beam up against those joists with a heavy duty pole jack. This is possibly a bit of over kill, but no one can say it is not doing the job.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:15 PM   #7
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If I put a beam under the boards that will be under the tank and make a supporting wall, will that work? It's a dirt floor that has been dug out by hand over time. Half[where the tank will be] has not been dug out and it's more like a crawl space.

I will get a picture for you tomorrow, paulweck.

It's for a freshwater setup.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:59 PM   #8
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I would imagine a "supporting wall" would do the same job as an I-beam and a pole jack. I went with steel for the extra strength, however. And if you are doing a 210 gallon tank, you might want to consider steel as well.

However, a pole jack puts all the weight down onto one spot, and I am not sure how well that will work with a dirt floor. Lots of variables there. I have no experience with dirt floors, so I cannot be of much help with that.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:46 PM   #9
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:29 PM   #10
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imo u should double them 2x8 with new wood and try to build a small bearing wall underneath the tank. it looks like quite a job being in such a tight crawl space be sure to use lag bolts to connect the the doubled up joist together. good luck i hope this helps
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:20 PM   #11
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if you are going to put a support structure below, doubling the joists would be a waste of time, effort, and money. A 2 x 4 bearing wall that runs beneath the edge of the tank, sitting on a small poured concrete footing would use very little lumber, and cost very little including a few bags of premixed concrete. You would then have the advantage of the floor not shaking the tank every time you walked by it.
This is of course assuming the floor joists are not damaged from moisture rising from the uncovered ground below them.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:21 AM   #12
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did u look at the picture bill?
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:28 AM   #13
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double up those 2x8 u will sleep better at night
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:29 PM   #14
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Yes I looked at the picture, and unless the house is falling down, and the floor joists are rotten, a support wall beneath will do what is required and then some.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:11 PM   #15
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ok if you take in account the water, mold stains and im sure if you clear out that dirt on top the foundation u will find some rot. Im sure the house wont fall down but a 210 gallon fish tank fully loaded will stress out those joist out and over time they will begin to weaken. Doubling up the joist might not be needed but having them will help you in the long run and insure an nice solid footprint for the tank. also remember hes also building the bearing wall on top of dirt foundation so thats gonna settle and lower and start to bow the floor overtime. Having them doubled up and lag bolted together will help to insure the floor dosnt start to bow over time.

This is Just in my honest professional opinion im not trying to start a argument of any kind. no hard feelings i hope
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #16
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It's concrete foundation, looks as if they dug out for the walls then refilled it. The past owners dug out part of it to store stuff, did a horrible job of it.
New q, what about a 125-150g?
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:54 PM   #17
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any size tank will work. like bill said it will hold it but the bigger the tank the more sure u want to be when it comes to the load bearing of the floor. just be sure to whichever size u pick u reinforce properly. i just feel like no matter what size tank u go with if it was my house i would spend the extra 30 bucks and about a hour of work to be 100% sure u will not overload those 2x8

Again i will express this is just my opinion and everybody is entitled to there own

good luck and go big or go home
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:03 AM   #18
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I don't disagree with you Paul, in that if the joists are in need of reinforcing, due to rot or any other deterioration doubling up is the way to go. Still, I would want to have the support wall to stiffen the joists and prevent the tank shaking every time someone walked by. If the soil is undisturbed there should not be any significant settling beneath a decent size footing. No reason for any hard feelings.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:20 AM   #19
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I understand bill trust me I do but even with minimal settling that will transfer to the floor and overtime the floor will start to bow if he dosnt double up the 2x8 he should atleast build the bearing wall out of 2x6's like u said the more footprint for not only the bottom plate it will help a lot for the top plate being able to span more of the bottom of the floor joist. All I can say for the op is that no matter what tank he has chosen I'm sure we can come to some kinda agreement to help him out with his big tank build that's what were here for

Also I never said he shouldn't build a bearing wall underneath the tank that's what I said to do in the first place u can triple up the 2x8's and it wouldn't do anything without a bearing wall underneath to support it
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:29 AM   #20
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dig out enough room for a weight-bearing wall, the 2x8's can more than handle the weight (between them). the only problem is long-term sagging, which the weight-bearing wall will handle

and i second the go big or go home remark
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