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ShaggyRS6

Any Contractors or House Builders or Anyone In the Know Able To Help With Weight Question?

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I am looking to get an aquarium. I want it upstairs though in my man cave. It will be 60 gallons of water 500lbs plus another 130 - 150 lbs for cabinet rock sand etc.  The cabinet dimensions are 24 x 24, its square. I will locate it in the corner of the room on angle (so not flat against a wall) this will be in a corner with 2 outside walls.  The front of the house and the side. The house was built in 2010.

Will the weight be ok?

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You might want to check out "The package" from these guys if you want to go all live. 

https://tbsaltwater.com/thepackage/contents.html

I am not sure on weight, but I have always had an aversion to having aquariums upstairs. Eventually something always happens to have a leak. We have had many, just never salt water. The wife always wanted, but money and time commitment made us hold off 

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There are a ton of things to take into consideration.  General rule of thumb is that you don't need to do anything structurally up to 55 gallons.  It's all relative though.  What kind of shape is the house in structurally?  How long do the joists run? (The longer they are, the more deflection they will have) Assuming that your joists are on 16" centers I would figure out where they are and certainly center the aquarium over two of them.  Actually, as a guy who has had many aquariums, I would find a nice video of an aquarium, stick a nice TV in that corner, and loop the video. 

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31 minutes ago, Ronald_55 said:

You might want to check out "The package" from these guys if you want to go all live. 

https://tbsaltwater.com/thepackage/contents.html

I am not sure on weight, but I have always had an aversion to having aquariums upstairs. Eventually something always happens to have a leak. We have had many, just never salt water. The wife always wanted, but money and time commitment made us hold off 

Yeah I know what your saying about downstairs. Problem is though I am always upstairs.  I could go with the 45 Gallon version I guess! 10 Ring, I dont know any of that stuff, its beyond me!

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Found this https://www.hunker.com/13400811/how-to-calculate-floor-load-capacity

The dead load on a floor is determined by the materials used in the floor's construction. A typical wood-frame floor covered with carpet or vinyl flooring has a dead load of about 8 pounds per square foot; if there's wall-board covered ceiling suspended from the underside of that floor, the dead load increases to about 10 pounds per square foot. Heavier flooring materials increase the dead load even more.

 

Building Codes and Limits

Local building codes specify the minimum live load that floors must be able to bear. The International Residential Code, on which most local building codes are based, requires that floors in non-sleeping rooms must support a minimum live load of 40 pounds per square foot, and floors in sleeping rooms must be able to handle a live load of 30 pounds per square foot.

 

 

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One other thought is you could put a piece of 3/4 plywood down to sit it on to help distribute the weight. For looks, you could always put a area rug on top of plywood to cover it. 

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2 hours ago, RED333 said:

Found this https://www.hunker.com/13400811/how-to-calculate-floor-load-capacity

The dead load on a floor is determined by the materials used in the floor's construction. A typical wood-frame floor covered with carpet or vinyl flooring has a dead load of about 8 pounds per square foot; if there's wall-board covered ceiling suspended from the underside of that floor, the dead load increases to about 10 pounds per square foot. Heavier flooring materials increase the dead load even more.

 

Building Codes and Limits

Local building codes specify the minimum live load that floors must be able to bear. The International Residential Code, on which most local building codes are based, requires that floors in non-sleeping rooms must support a minimum live load of 40 pounds per square foot, and floors in sleeping rooms must be able to handle a live load of 30 pounds per square foot.

 

 

So am I good ? :) or no? 

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3 minutes ago, ShaggyRS6 said:

So am I good ? :) or no? 

I wouldn't do it without being able to determine what kind of shape and arrangement your joists are in.  You are on the fringe of a safe weight.  Also consider that when you determine the total weight it won't be as much as you think, if it's a 60 gallon tank you will not be putting 60 gallons of water in it.  You want to subtract the water weight from area consumed by your rock and whatnot.  The fact that you are placing it in a corner with both walls being load bearing helps, but if it's a long run on those joists I wouldn't do it.  Figure out the dimensions of the upper level of your house, your joists will almost always run the shorter of those two numbers.  What's the floor covering in the area?  Can you remove a bit of it to look at the subfloor?  You should be able to see nails in the subfloor where it is attached to the joists.  

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27 minutes ago, ShaggyRS6 said:

So am I good ? :) or no? 

No. 

500lbs + 150lbs = 650 lbs total weight. 2' x 2' = 4 sqft. 

650/4 = 162.5 lb/sqft.   Just a bit beyond the 40 lb/sqft load rating. 

As @10-Ring says, there are a lot of things to consider, and there are things that can be done to make it work, but your best option is to consult a structural engineer. 

Im a mechanical engineer and I have a 50 gallon aquarium. It sits about a foot from an exterior wall. I have a crawl space and so I installed supports from the ground to the joists directly underneath it. 

.... and the idea of the tv on continuous loop does sound appealing some days. ;) 

Edited by peejman

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A 50 gallon aquarium is not big. Set it up and enjoy it.

Millions of people have 50 gallon aquariums (and waterbeds). How many have you heard of falling through the floor? The answer is none. However someone is about to post their amazing example of how someone they knew had their aquarium go busting through the floor. :)

The important question is fresh water or salt water? Do you have some fish picked out you want?

Quote

Aquariums up to 55 gallons can be placed almost anywhere without much worry at all. Many tanks larger than 55 gallons and no more than 125 gallons will be okay, if they are placed in a good structural location and your floor framing is free from significant defects.

Quote

 

For example, a properly designed office floor can support 50 pounds per square foot. This may seem light, but this is 50 pounds over each and every square foot of floor space.

It does not mean that a 300 lb. lineman standing on one leg will fall through the floor.

A uniform load rating on a beam can easily be translated into what an equivalent maximum point load can be.

For example, a floor joist at 16” spacing’s that can carry 53 pounds per linear foot would translate into a 318 pound single point load at its center.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

A 50 gallon aquarium is not big. Set it up and enjoy it.

Millions of people have 50 gallon aquariums (and waterbeds). How many have you heard of falling through the floor? The answer is none. However someone is about to post their amazing example of how someone they knew had their aquarium go busting through the floor. :)

The important question is fresh water or salt water? Do you have some fish picked out you want?

 

Waterbeds and aquariums aren't comparable. Waterbeds may weigh 3x as much but they cover 10x the area. A 7x5 bed that weighs 1500 lbs is 42lb/sqft.  Aquariums are comparable to big gun safes.  

The failure mode isn't punching a hole and falling through the floor.  The failure mode is sag over time.  Wood will continue to stretch and bend over time.  Eventually, cracks will appear in Sheetrock, adjacent windows won't open, and doors won't close properly because the weight has caused things to move.  Given the typically shoddy nature of modern home construction, I think it's an important consideration.  But I'm anal like that.  

Most people get tired of all the maintenance that goes into an aquarium and get rid of it before anything really bad happens anyway. 

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2 minutes ago, peejman said:

Waterbeds and aquariums aren't comparable. Waterbeds may weigh 3x as much but they cover 10x the area. A 7x5 bed that weighs 1500 lbs is 42lb/sqft.  Aquariums are comparable to big gun safes.  

The failure mode isn't punching a hole and falling through the floor.  The failure mode is sag over time.  Wood will continue to stretch and bend over time.  Eventually, cracks will appear in Sheetrock, adjacent windows won't open, and doors won't close properly because the weight has caused things to move.  Given the typically shoddy nature of modern home construction, I think it's an important consideration.  But I'm anal like that.  

I know, I worked with ME's and EE's for many years. :)

2 minutes ago, peejman said:

Most people get tired of all the maintenance that goes into an aquarium and get rid of it before anything really bad happens anyway. 

I wasn’t going to post that and put a damper on his excitement, but that’s what I was thinking. He’ll get tired of messing with it before it damages anything. That's what happened with me. :)

 

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I have had 55 gallon aquariums in the past and also had a king size waterbed at the same time but they were on seperate ends of the house and not on the second level. Never had issues with the fish tank but in a 2 year period the water bed caused the outside wall of the house to seperate from the floor and had to have AFS come out and put the house back together and add re-enforcement to the flooring where the water bed was. I sure do miss my water bed these days but don't need one that big. Been looking at getting another Super single one for this house as it is an all concrete floor so will not have a problem with weight. As far as putting your big fish tank on second floor I would definately have a structural engineer look at it and let him make the decision on if it will be safe or not.............JMHO

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15 minutes ago, ShaggyRS6 said:

Some good info and advice here. Still non the wiser :) the floor covering is wood. Are your right about the water it won’t be 60 gallons . I’ll prob displace 10 gallons with rock and sand. 

FWIW i was looking at the Waterbox 60.2 

https://www.waterboxaquariums.com/product/waterbox-silver-marine-60-2/

$1100 for a empty 60 gal aquarium and stand?!?! Dude that’s crazy. :panic:

Man, this is one item you need to push away from the internet on and visit some local fish stores. :)

 

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I’ve got a 120 gallon, stand, rock, 29 gallon sump all resting on 8 wheels in a modular home that has 3/4” hardwood floors.  I had an extra pillar put under the floor simply because on the same wall in the next room is a safe that weighs 1250lbs empty. 

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18 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

$1100 for a empty 60 gal aquarium and stand?!?! Dude that’s crazy. :panic:

Man, this is one item you need to push away from the internet on and visit some local fish stores. :)

 

Never said it was cheap :) I know would not touch a local fish store tank. I’m not knocking them. Just not my thing.

Anyhoo, it’s either downstairs I think or nothing . That’s what it’s looking like . 

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27 minutes ago, ShaggyRS6 said:

Never said it was cheap :) I know would not touch a local fish store tank. I’m not knocking them. Just not my thing. 

Not sure why that is…but okay.:confused: Sorry if my comment about price pizzed you off.

You will find that reputable shops will be experts on your local water, what you need and the amounts of chemicals for set-up, temperatures and required equipment, etc. But that's simply a suggestion from someones that been through it.

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Was not the price I was concerned with, these big retailers have make it so easy for you these days and put a lot of design effort into the sump. Plus the tanks look amazing, which most of the cost, Star fire glass etc.

I have been keeping marine fish on and off for a long while. Done the LFS custom tanks, done the off the shelf tanks and each have their pros and cons. I had 250 UK gallon custom built and I loved it! But the hassle is taken out of all that these days with companies like Redsea, Deltec, Waterbox etc.  I am just fortunate enough to be able to go that route. And having a great looking tank makes it easier getting it past the wife.

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I have two 800 lb safes fully loaded, opposite of each other, around 1K weight of different ammo in cans and all my reloading stuff in my gun room above a half basement. All on a 7" concrete slab.

Bill

Edited by BCR#1

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What is under the floor where you are putting the tank?

Can you build up some support to help hold up the floor?

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Just put the aquarium wherever you want.  

Making sure it spans floor joists might be a good idea rather that it being parallel to them.  

In today’s plump society can you imagine the weight a couple in a nice bed puts on an upstairs floor?  :lol:

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I am always puzzled by load calculations regarding safes/aquariums etc. When it is presented as (for example) 500 lbs in a 4'x4' footprint, I immediately imagine two 250 lb guys standing in the middle of the room back to back and wondering whether or not the floor is going to cave in.

I keep coming up with no.

But what do I know?

I'm not a structural engineer with a degree and a computer.

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39 minutes ago, beebee233 said:

I am always puzzled by load calculations regarding safes/aquariums etc. When it is presented as (for example) 500 lbs in a 4'x4' footprint, I immediately imagine two 250 lb guys standing in the middle of the room back to back and wondering whether or not the floor is going to cave in.

I keep coming up with no.

But what do I know?

I'm not a structural engineer with a degree and a computer.

That;s exactly what I am thinking! But then I also think they don't stay there 24 hours a day :)  I'm not sure this is going to happen now. Wifey is not keen on me having it downstairs, so we may have to call this one a non starter unless I got really small, which I dont want to do.

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