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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to put a 175g tank on the second floor of my house, in my bedroom.lol:D I want to know if my house could support the weight. The want to put it where I have a 90g right now. Underneath where I want to put the tank there is a wall, so I think there would be extra support from the wall underneath. The water weight is around 1,460pounds, plus the tank is glass, and there is a bit and sand and rock etc... I'm thinking it would come around to 2000pounds. Could this work? Is there anyway I could make sure this would work?
 

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it's difficult to give advice on structural integrity without a diagram and details on floor construction (joist size and spacing and subfloor thickness and materials) also what the partition wall below bears on etc.

The wall that is supporting the floor under your tank is not likely to be load bearing. You could potentially deflect your first and second floors with that much weight. Technically your house will handle static loads of 200 pounds per square foot (which is roughly what that tank is), but practically when you load one spot that much the floor joists will over time sag.

If the wall under your tank bears on a basement slab then you should be good. just make sure the stand distributes the weight evenly over the whole foot-print of the tank.

If the wall rests on a wood ground level floor with a basement below then you will need to re-shore that spot with a couple of posts or screw jacks all the way to the ground.
 

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If I were you I wouldn't risk it. No matter what conclusion you come up with, it'll still be a rough guess if it'll hold or not.
 

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The wall underneath rest on a concrete slab I think, they is no floor underneath the wall.
Don't think, only be sure, we're talking about a whole house collapsing! ;)

Thanks for the input. I'm still going to leave it open though, I want to hear other opinions.
Anyways, I've done my research, and I'm going to put another tank in the third floor on my town house complex!
Because there is no floor plans for me as well, I can only take general rules and precaution!
Hope i can help you with what I've learnt!

Weight can only be spread evenly if you use a flat wooden stand, even if you have the four joist stand with a plywood underneath, weight is still distributed around the area, but still not evenly!
A regular household usualy holds 40lb/sqft, if it's near the joist or the main support walls that goes from top to the very bottom of the household, it usually doubles the weight to 80lb/sqft, still, this isn't exact, only a general rule and an approximate!
Lets say for me... I'm planning on doing 2 x 4ft tank
Take will be on flat base wooden stand, so with two, it will be 2ft x 4 ft stands, I do a guess on the tank now, 60 gallons per tank, 120 gallon, 100lb's per gallon, then i add 100lb's per tank for gravel, another 50lb's per stand!
This is rougly 750lb's per tank!
Spread across a foot spring of 16 sq ft, so weight would be estimated at around 90lb's per square foot!
Okay, so I have it on the third floor, where the main support's are, and it is known that it's only 80lb's per sqft, but doesn't mean I can't put it there!
Reason being, I will never know exactly how much weight that area can support, and I say that it's 16sq ft area, but is weight really spread like that? or can more weight push through the floor across the floor? I'll never know unless someone with crazy expertise can calculate! Also, the floor is around 800 sqft, so if I times that by 40lbs, that's 32000lb's my floor is suppose to support, so after some hard hard thinking, 1500lb's on one area doesn't seem to be too bad for me!
But two things people have asked me that pushed me to try this:
People have baby grand pianos in there house for years... I dun hear collapse floors?
How often do you hear a collapse floor?

Ofcourse, I'm also not telling you to put a 500 gallon tank, and NO, i'm not telling you that 180gallon is safe! I am only giving you what I've learnt, a long decision with friends and experts to find what I can do and what I can't do!

At the end, it all depends on how big of a tank are you planning on? And how much weight can your house support?

Anyways, good luck!
And if i'm wrong in any way people, please correct me!
 

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Btw... you might also want to calculate the weight of your stand, as that will take a part for a big tank like yours!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well the tank is 175g. The wall underneath go right into the floor. I found out yes there is a concrete slab under the wall. Hondas3000 had a 180g tank on his second floor of his house last summer, I remember b/c I got some fish from him, his house looked liked mine in a way. I thnik I will ask him if he had any problems.
As for the stand, I'm not sure. I'm going to take a look at the tank on Sunday. I have not bought it but it's on hold for me, I will buy this tank no matter what. If I really can't put it on the second floor I'll have to find room on the main but I would really like that tank in my room. The tank is a big cube tank, the whole syetem was professionally made, it looks like it was made by IPU back when it was big als, same style of stand and what not.
 

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Good luck! As i'm troubled in the process as well, but I finally got it figured too!

Anyways, good luck with everythin, will wait till you post pics!
 

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Some people with very large tanks on upper stories have had modifications done to their house. If there is indeed a wall just under your tank then it would be fairly easy to open up that wall and rebuild it, making it load bearing.

As for the comment with the piano.... a piano is MUCH LESS of a load on the house than a fish tank. I have a full sized concert grand on my second floor and it only weights about 700-800 lbs.. it is spread over an area of about 7ft by 6ft...... my 75 gal tank on the other had is much heavier than it on a much smaller foot print.

As for the weight of the stand... defently get that confirmed. I built a stand for a 100 gal tank last year (3ft x 2ft x 2ft tank) and it was almost 150 lbs when all said and done. Gravel is not light either (150 - 200lbs of gravel in my 75 gal tank).
 

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Some people with very large tanks on upper stories have had modifications done to their house. If there is indeed a wall just under your tank then it would be fairly easy to open up that wall and rebuild it, making it load bearing.

As for the comment with the piano.... a piano is MUCH LESS of a load on the house than a fish tank. I have a full sized concert grand on my second floor and it only weights about 700-800 lbs.. it is spread over an area of about 7ft by 6ft...... my 75 gal tank on the other had is much heavier than it on a much smaller foot print.

As for the weight of the stand... defently get that confirmed. I built a stand for a 100 gal tank last year (3ft x 2ft x 2ft tank) and it was almost 150 lbs when all said and done. Gravel is not light either (150 - 200lbs of gravel in my 75 gal tank).
My piano if I'm not wrong, just guestimating since it's gone, wuz in a 5x2 foot print with 1000 lbs~ I recall that because we had 3 different companies that came in to check on how to move it!
Anyways, I'm fine, so figure it out for him! LOL!
 

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Honestly I think a LOT of it just depends on the structural integrity of the house. Our current house, for instance, cannot hold a large tank in my bedroom because both me and my brother's bedrooms, both above the 3 car garage, are held up by only 1 flimsy pillar. Likewise, my uncle had an antique bathtub fall through a poorly supported bathroom floor.

Think about the stuff underneath where you will be putting the tank. Will there be a foundational wall situated under it or is it smack in the middle of a poorly supported floor?
 

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Are you able to reinforce the structure? I've seen people do it, but if you have a finished basement and if the tank isn't going right under an crawlspace, it might be tough
 

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The two most important considerations are placing the tank against a load bearing wall (all outside walls are load bearing) and perpendicular to the floor joists. Take a look at what's below where you want the tank to go. Note which way the joists are oriented, the condition of the joists and the size of the joists.

If you've got 2x10 joists in good condition, perpendicular to the length of the tank and against an outside wall (and use a proper stand), you should have a fair amount of confidence that the floor will hold. If you really want to be safe, you can always add jackposts or sister the joists as pistolpete.

A builder or home inspector should be able to give you a good idea of how strength and quality of the structure is if you don't know any structural engineers.

After you've place and filled the tank. Keep a close eye on things like sagging and shifting.

Lastly, have you ever heard of an aquarium crashing through a floor? Neither have I.

Oh, and grand pianos cause point-loading at three spots rather than spreading their weight. In this regard, upright pianos are better for your floor than grands much like how stiletto high heels are more likely to damage your floors than flats.
 

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it's too bad I'm not living in Burnaby anymore. I could have helped you out. I am a carpenter, though I mostly do tile setting these days. Like I said before, a bit more info would be good.

With a wall supporting the floor right under your tank you should be ok. You should understand that the load bearing walls of your house rest on footings ( 6 inch thick reinforced concrete bands in the ground). The laundry room wall (called a partition wall) is very unlikely to be load bearing, which means that it rests on top of a concrete slab which could be from 2 to 4 inches of non reinforced concrete.
2 things could cause you problems ( and by problems I mean a noticeable sag in your upstairs floor) The slab that the laundry wall rests on could have voids under it if the ground was not properly compacted during construction, leading to cracked concrete once you weigh it with a couple of thousand pounds. The other thing is that the partition wall is not framed right tight to the floor joists (this is not all that rare in the fast and sloppy framing in Surrey) and the floor could sag a bit before it makes contact with the top plate of the partition.

This is what I would suggest you do: in the laundry room directly below your tank build a heavy duty shelving unit that extends from the concrete slab to the ceiling. It will act as a pillar to support your tank. If you like this idea contact me for suggestions on how to build it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I'm not really sure what to do here. It seems all the replies are 50/50. I looked into it today and asked my dad. He says the wall under it is not a load bearing wall and re-doing to wall is not an option right now. Since the tank will be around 2000LBS I guess I won't risk it. I'll have to put it down stairs. The tank is 52"L so I can put it where my 90g that I'm planning to sell is. If the tank goes here the door that is right beside the spot will just be able to open,lol. Also I saw the tank today, it's up and running but I looked at the stand and I have never seen such a heavy duty stand in my life, even 500g tank stands are not built with the amount of wood that this stand has.
 

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Definitely won't risk it =) It's a shame... but hey.. at least you get a giant tank in your house right?
 
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