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View Full Version : How large of a tank can i get upstairs



j-lor
03-18-2009, 9:07 PM
I plan on upgradeing and i live in 2nd floor apartment. Im thinking about getting a 210gal. Will it be okay if not what is the largest tank that i can go with. Thanks

Luminescent
03-18-2009, 9:33 PM
It depends what the place is made of. Right now in my apartment, I am also on the 2nd floor. I have a 125 gallon, a 75 gallon, as well as a 90 gallon. I am about to put in another at 70 gallons. My building is made of concrete and I check every few weeks with a level to make sure nothing is sinking or bending. If your place is concrete, id say it SHOULD, and I stress SHOULD be safe, as long as the aquarium is long and not high, thus allowing the weight to spread over a long distance. If you do not have concrete, it is an absolute no-no. A friend of mine was in a 2nd floor building made of mostly wood, and after about 1 year of having his 125 gallon, the floor started to give beneath the tank. Eventually the floor just can't take it when its wood. There is not an exact guide on this, only recommendations. In the end however, whatever you decide on, make sure you purchase insurance. I have a million dollars insurance and it costs me around 150 dollars a year.

Hope this helps!

EDIT: For clarity

Sarin9390
03-20-2009, 12:39 AM
Man i dont know about that. I would be nervous about my 2000 pound tank sitting on a floor made of wood and nails. Maybe you should consider getting a very long tank just to be safe.

Hap3niz
03-20-2009, 12:41 AM
maan... now im nervous of putting my 150 gallon tank upstairs... and it's wood flooring (i think)
it's a tall tank too... 48Lx24dx30H ... well not too tall.. but yeah... would that hold well??

aldiaz33
03-20-2009, 1:29 AM
Get a professional opinion. Any structural engineer will be able to tell you whether or not your floor can handle the weight. But you will need to provide the specs of your floors.

I currently have a 270G with a 35G sump on wood floor joists. My floors are made out of 2x10s, so they're pretty beefy. I had a structural engineer run the numbers and they said I was fine...I could put over 3,000lbs without any problems. The tank has been set up for almost two years now without any problems.

Your floors may be totally different than mine, so don't think that just because I'm ok, you'll be fine too. My brother's apartment floors are so weak that he probably couldn't even set up a 55 gallon. But I think a lot of people on here underestimate the strength of wood. Just because it's wood, doesn't mean it won't be able to support the weight. Again, get a professional opinion even if you have to pay someone to run the numbers. If your floors fail, it could end up costing a lot more than paying for a professional opinion.

LouieV
03-20-2009, 6:41 AM
yup...I have a 150 on a 2nd Floor apt..6" Long and no problem..my 2 family brick home was built in the 1920"s and these floors are like steel..no bending no nothing...but I do agree a long tank is better for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th floor apt's than tall... some wood home's though I have seened personally are built weaker I guess; I went to a home once of this guy who had 12 tanks through out his 3rd floor apt and is was SCARY!! his living room was Bowed! I was freaked out..He was eventually thrown out by the landlord...

Dixon81
03-20-2009, 6:55 AM
This question is very hard to answer w/o structural notes. There will be certain walls in your place that are "load bearing" all outside walls and usually the walls down the middle of you apt are " load bearing" My suggestion would be to put the tank on an outside wall or a wall you know is loadbearing. You really need to know what your flor joists are made of 2x8 2x10 2x12 they probablyarent 2x12 most likely 2x10. Im not sure about the building codes in milwaukee.

weedamese
03-20-2009, 8:05 AM
I wouldnt do it that is very risky lol but i'm not really sure lets leave it for the expert because you will be standing around the tank + sometimes you have family around that is super heavy

stingraybob
03-20-2009, 10:05 AM
I plan on upgradeing and i live in 2nd floor apartment. Im thinking about getting a 210gal. Will it be okay if not what is the largest tank that i can go with. Thanks

I would recommend moving to a ground floor apartment unless you do your homework on the building. And get plenty of renters insurance, some buildings arent built that great and it would suck to come home to water flowin everywhere and your neighbors waiting to tar and feather you..just my 2 pennies...

j-lor
03-20-2009, 10:13 AM
What if i only fill the tank up half way?

mdb_talon
03-20-2009, 10:15 AM
Maybe it is just where I have lived, but I have never seen a rental agreement that did not prohibit large tanks (in some cases any tank at all). If you do break a rental agreement and your tank leaks (for any reason) you are open to a lot of liability from the apartmant owner as well as all the tenents under you. Insurance can help if you, but ensure they will still cover you even if you are breaking a rental agreement.

Anyway I obviously have not seen your lease, but that is one thing I would check and personally I would follow it.

Natural_Born_Killer
03-20-2009, 10:20 AM
Get a professional opinion. Any structural engineer will be able to tell you whether or not your floor can handle the weight. But you will need to provide the specs of your floors.

I currently have a 270G with a 35G sump on wood floor joists. My floors are made out of 2x10s, so they're pretty beefy. I had a structural engineer run the numbers and they said I was fine...I could put over 3,000lbs without any problems. The tank has been set up for almost two years now without any problems.

Your floors may be totally different than mine, so don't think that just because I'm ok, you'll be fine too. My brother's apartment floors are so weak that he probably couldn't even set up a 55 gallon. But I think a lot of people on here underestimate the strength of wood. Just because it's wood, doesn't mean it won't be able to support the weight. Again, get a professional opinion even if you have to pay someone to run the numbers. If your floors fail, it could end up costing a lot more than paying for a professional opinion.

:iagree: better be safe than sorry! And get the insurance!

shelbyzman
03-20-2009, 10:28 AM
You may be able to get away with a larger tank, but I wouldn't go any bigger than a 55 just to be safe. It would be different if it was in your home, not an apartment.

malawi mayhem
03-20-2009, 12:07 PM
STOP - Call a structural engineer!

Here is a story entitled...

"No Good Deed Goes Unpunished!"

I set up a 110G AG for my 73 year old mom in 2007. She liked my 125G and she said "one day I should set one up....!"

Being a life insurance agent... I said some day was yesterday...!

After losing the fierce battle for a larger tank she beat me down to a 110G... I had everything ordered within a week...!

Then one day I was over there getting ready for the arrival of the tank and I said....

OH F%$K....!!!!

The tank is going to be in the den and directly over the garage... specifically... over the windsheild of her lexus in the garage...!!!! The tank would be running paralle to the joists... I freaked...!!! There really wasn't going to be anything "Load bearing" underneath it....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

110G High AG 18" x 48" tank 250+ lbs, about 900lbs of water, about 400+ lbs of TX holey rock, ($900.00), minimal gravel 10lbs, 4 fluval 405s (aprox 20lbs each when fully loaded) = 80lbs, AG modern stand, (no hood) all total it weighs more than 1500lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Luckily, I have a long time client Nic Cuoco, of Cuoco Structural Engineering and in 2007 he was a very very busy SE! I called Nic and he said for a house of that age... circa 1930s here in CT the "normal" working load for the floor would be 40lbs per sqft with an absolute max of 100lbs per sqft.

I was at...

8 sqft divided by 1500 lbs = 187.5 lbs per sqft!!!!!!! Minimum!!!!!!!

Note: The footprint of the the stand is actually less than 8 sqft*****

I asked what would happen if I did it the way it is....?

He said the floor would at somepoint, start to buckle, the joists would start to deflect, (twist) and that would just be the beginning... it would NOT get better or level out at some point. In fact, he said worst case... it "could" at some point, depending on the stand, cause the stand to fail because it would be on a "potentially" shifting sagging surface which it was definetly not designed for. Which could lead to point oading the tank and cause t to blowout somewhere.....



Then he said the unthinkable...!!!




Nic- John, why don't you just go with a tank half the size that you want...?

John- Nic... I ALREADY AM GOING WITH THE SMALLER TANK...!!!! I WANTED TO PUT IN A 180G!!!!!!!!!

Nic- Oh...

So Nic designed a simple engineered beam support system on special hangers connected to the crte block with Hilti bolts epoxied into the block.... Plus it was made so I can add the 180G in the future!!!

End result....

Structural design work = $500.00

Additional cost (including labor) of support = $2,500.00

Peace of mind knowing that the Lexus and African Cichlids will never ever meet...

Priceless!!!!!!!

Lastly, I was in Nic's office the other day and saw an old rusted stand for a 55G that one of his guys is bringing from his house to set up. I reminded him that he was in an older commercial building and that he could put in a much larger tank with no worries.....

He said this one is free... and I said and your fish will be too...!

Can you say Malawi...?

John

stingraybob
03-20-2009, 12:49 PM
What if i only fill the tank up half way?

your tank is 150 gallons...im guessin that weighs in th neighborhood of 350-400 pounds, just a guesstimate, water weighs 8-8.5 pounds per gallon(depending on who you ask), times that by 75 gallons(half way), thats another 630-637.5 pounds of water, so your already up to about 1000 pounds, now add in substrate, stand, filter(s), and you walking around it....I would think that would be a recipe for disaster, IMO

12 Volt Man
03-20-2009, 2:10 PM
you are better off getting a 75 rather than filling up a 150 gallon half way. it will look dumb filled half way (unless you do a pladarium type setup with plants above).

no point in investing the extra cost of a 150 (which costs about 3x the price of a 75 gallon new) if you are only putting in half the volume anyway.

aldiaz33
03-20-2009, 5:00 PM
OP stated that he was looking into upgrading to a 210, not a 150.

Running some numbers through the boonedocks calculator the total weight of a glass 210G is over 2,200lbs. Keep in mind, I don't think that includes the weight of a stand. Check it out at http://boonedocks.net/fishtank/ftweb.php

As others have said, before you do anything you should read your lease and find out if you are even allowed to have an aquarium...especially one that size. If you've signed a contract/lease that states that you are not allowed to set one up, then you are taking on a HUGE amount of liability. You could get evicted, or potentially even worse, if something bad does happen you could be liable for the damage.

If you are allowed under the terms of the leave to set up a tank that size, then you should contact a structural engineering firm. There's a science to this...don't take some randrom internet blogger's opinion, because if something goes wrong, it's your butt, not his/hers. Oh yeah, and also don't ask the opinion of the person selling you the tank. Their opinion tends to be pretty biased/uninformed.

greenearthlawns
03-20-2009, 5:14 PM
I live in a manufactured home and I have 12 tanks in one room for a total of 700 gal. I bought floor jacks and landscape timbers and completely supported the floor underneath. cost about 500$ and my husband did the work. definately worth it for the peace of mind. Also, this post reminds me to also get insurance asap.

malawi mayhem
03-21-2009, 12:08 PM
aldiaz33 is so right on the mark when he said...

"Oh yeah, and also don't ask the opinion of the person selling you the tank. Their opinion tends to be pretty biased/uninformed."

My local guy, who has been in the business for 25+ years honestly thought that the 110G would be fine... He was very surprized by the real scoop on the working load of most residential floors. Also, I ran into an architect that I know last night and was talking to him about it... he said the working load would 45 lbs per sqft. and he painted the same picture as my engineer... he put it this way.

"From the moment the tank was filled with water, the tank stand would be on a surface that is in a progressive state of downward movement..."

This is a really important thread.... I am going to direct Nic my engineer and soon to be African Cichlids keeper to it and see if he would make a general professional comment.

John

12 Volt Man
03-21-2009, 7:03 PM
this is a good read on the subject:

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/aquarium_weight.php

see what the engineer says about this article. it was written by an engineer.

Ryan_R
04-15-2009, 2:43 PM
What if i only fill the tank up half way?

I've thought about this myself.... but I know myself too well. I'd start filling it only half way for a while. Then the tank would get a little more filled.... then a little more.... but within a year, I guarantee that I'd be filling that tank to the brim. :grinyes:

As for the big tank, I really think the answer is going to be a solid "no". It's a bad idea to just do it without knowing how the building was built, and to get that knowledge, you'll probably have to go through the landlord.... who'll almost definitely shoot you right down.

-Ryan

Steveo1987
04-16-2009, 2:51 PM
My mate is an engineer and i asked him a similar question before and he told me that here in Ireland, upstairs levels can safely hold roughly 4 16 stone guys on 1m2 area?! That would be design spec and i dont think that would ever quite happen ha? That equates to roughly 408kg per metre squared?! As said before you'd need to know what your home is made of and what your load bearing capacity is before id attempt it?!

A 210 gallon = roughly 955 litres

So your tank would weigh in the region of:

Tank = 150kg (guess)
Stand = 80kg (guess again)
Water = 955kg
Stones and other decorations = 100kg+

Total = 1285kg+

You standing beside it? Other furniture in your room? It may be safe if it was super long! Try it and let us know how you get on?!

12 Volt Man
04-16-2009, 4:48 PM
but those four guys would have to stand in the same spot and not move for 15 years :)

then you could tell if the floor was sagging and or damaged :)

timeneverfreezes
04-16-2009, 4:54 PM
Some of you guys are forgetting that when adding decorations, stones, etc. there is an equal volume of water displaced. So its not strictly 1000lbs of water + 200lbs of stones.

I have a 120g and a 75g that I am putting upstairs in a single room. I am pretty nervous about it but I realize that the tanks wont just shear right through the floor. Like a poster above said, first the joints will start to sag and the tank begin to lean. So I think that if I check the level every month and make sure everything is okay I can anticipate anything before it happens.

12 Volt Man
04-16-2009, 5:03 PM
Some of you guys are forgetting that when adding decorations, stones, etc. there is an equal volume of water displaced. So its not strictly 1000lbs of water + 200lbs of stones.


agreed.

when I estimated the weight of my 150 for example, I have 150 pounds of gravel that probably displaces 15 gallons of water..assuming a 2 inch even depth if I flattened all the gravel out..

malawi mayhem
04-16-2009, 5:31 PM
bump....

What was that noise...?

It was your floor being slowly destroyed...

mm

Steveo1987
04-16-2009, 5:41 PM
Some of you guys are forgetting that when adding decorations, stones, etc. there is an equal volume of water displaced. So its not strictly 1000lbs of water + 200lbs of stones.

I have a 120g and a 75g that I am putting upstairs in a single room. I am pretty nervous about it but I realize that the tanks wont just shear right through the floor. Like a poster above said, first the joints will start to sag and the tank begin to lean. So I think that if I check the level every month and make sure everything is okay I can anticipate anything before it happens.

Yeah forgot about that but either way its gona be a very heavy load? You'd really wana know whether or not the floor can actually hold the weight before you go ahead with it?! Saying all that imo i tink it would hold it but id research it in more detail just to make sure!!