180g In Living Room - Can My Floor Support The Weights ?

Goldfishgirlgirl
  • #1
My dad got me worried today . He said my floor cannot support the weights of my 6-ft/length 180g tank . My tank is located against the wall besides the backyard on ground floor ( with basement below ) .

Should I worry !??
 

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max h
  • #2
Is the tank running perpendicular to the Joists or parallel, also the type of stand you have for weight distribution. The best thing to do is find the drawing of the house and have an architect look at the drawing and the basement. You maybe able to put some support jacks in the basement to reinforce the area. Lucky me where I live we have very few basements or else they would be an indoor pool because the water table is so high.
 

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RSababady
  • #3
That is a darn good question!!!!!
max h is on the right track.
If you don't have access to that information, you will need some kind of stand that will spread the load out based on your floor type and house construction.
I had the same dilemma and therefore got a construction engineer to come into my house a choose the right place for my 125g based on the house construction AND the floor heating installation. Turns out that there is only one right place for my tank in the sitting room of my house other than the basement!
So ..... take a while to think it through...... the repercussions could be disastrous!
 
max h
  • #4
I'm no engineer, but my brother and father are engineers so I have a basic understanding.
 
Plecodreams
  • #5
If it is on your ground floor it should be fine
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Here is where my tank is
 

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Fashooga
  • #7
If it makes you feel better you should call an structural engineer to look at it. Nobody here can tell you if it will work or not.

If it collapses you can tell your parents to claim damage on the home insurance.
 
max h
  • #8
180 gallon is a nice size tank, gives you a lot of options. When I built my 150 we modified an 72" x 18" stand to take tanks from 60" x 18" to 72" x 24" footprints. What kills me is having to pass up a 7' 265 gallon setup for a steal. I don't have room in the house for a 7' tank.
 
PonzLL
  • #9
Here is where my tank is

Can you go into the basement and take a pic standing in the same exact place facing the same way? Make sure the ceiling is included in the pic.

If the basement is finished we won't be able to see the joists anyway though
 
coralbandit
  • #10
I have a 180 in my livingroom. You will love it !
Look in basement as others have mentioned ,but if it is finished then look at your bathtub if you have one on the same floor.
Most tubs are run perpendicular to joist and should be helpful in knowing the way the floor supports go .
 

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Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Can you go into the basement and take a pic standing in the same exact place facing the same way? Make sure the ceiling is included in the pic.

If the basement is finished we won't be able to see the joists anyway though
Not finished . I will take a pic when I’m home . Thanks!

I
 

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PonzLL
  • #12
That's what I was afraid of, those beams are going the same direction as your tank, so you're essentially putting an extra ~2,000 pounds onto 1, maybe 2 joists. As others said, you can look into putting a jack under that area, but as it is now, I'd worry that over time you will sag the floor and damage your joist.

One possibility might be to add a second joist against the first one, but that would require draining the tank first, and you'd still need a structural engineer to assess.
 
DuaneV
  • #13
You have just over 1500 pounds of water weight alone, so with the weight of the tank, substrate, stand, etc., you're going to be over 2K. More than likely you'll be okay as modern construction (like your house with engineered beams) should be able to hold that, but if you can, Id put some extra support under it OR run the tank perpendicular to the joists. Running it across the joists, I wouldnt even blink.

Thing is, floors will support 2 thousand pounds no problem, BUT, when you have the small footprint of a fish tank sitting in one spot over a long period of time, its not like having a group of adults standing in the kitchen at a party.
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Sigh ! will it solve the problem if I just fill 3/4 of the tank ??

For now hiring someone to do the construction work won’t happen It means extra $$$ to spend

I already got enough complaints about me getting this huge tank
 

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Dawn Michele
  • #15
Hope it all works out for you!!!!
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Can I wait a year before I add support to the basement ???
 
Lh 90 gallon
  • #17
Can you put the tank against a wall that the floor hoist run perpendicular to the dank so you spread the wight across more joist.
 
Fashooga
  • #18
Can I wait a year before I add support to the basement ???

You can do that but remember you’re carrying risk by doing this. If this something that worries you perhaps you should relocate the tank to the basement or scrap it and set it up when you have your own place.
 

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Hunter1
  • #19
So in simple terms you want your tank spread over 4 joists. The joists are strongest next to the wall. Can you site it on another wall, 90 degrees from where you want to put it.

My home is like yours, unfinished basement with 2” X 12” joists. My rental is a modular. I want to put a 90 in. I’m going to have to remove skirting and look to see which direction the joists run. In my case I have options to use either wall. I just don’t like black widows so i’ve procrastinated.
 
RSababady
  • #20
Can I wait a year before I add support to the basement ???
I wouldn't. Any movement that makes the floor uneven will lead to stress on the bottom glass in the tank..... most likely place for the tank to crack if the stand becomes unstable and no longer provides a flat surface for the tank to be seated on.
I would move the tank to a different location in the house, up against the wall and 90 degrees to the joists..... or swap the tank for a smaller one - 1/3 to 1/2 the size.

Sigh ! will it solve the problem if I just fill 3/4 of the tank ??

For now hiring someone to do the construction work won’t happen It means extra $$$ to spend

I already got enough complaints about me getting this huge tank
Just a thought - with a tank that size, you may as well look at a sump instead of other filter forms.
Due to the construction restraints, one option would be to have the sump in the basement and bring the pipes with water through the floor to the tank. Worth while thinking about when you make modifications to the house construction
 
coralbandit
  • #21
Home Depot or lowes sell Lally columns that are easily installed by anyone.

2 or 3 placed under the tank on the joist will make all well for many years.
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
For now can I fill only 2/3 of water to reduce the risks??

This is the only location I can place my 180g
 

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max h
  • #23
Home Depot or lowes sell Lally columns that are easily installed by anyone.

2 or 3 placed under the tank on the joist will make all well for many years.

Goldfishgirlgirl here's the solution for the problem
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Goldfishgirlgirl here's the solution for the problem
Thank u . My dad cannnot do this for me . Can I ask any contractor without structural engineering license ??

Also , when this is installed , do I need to move the tank somewhere else ??

Actually , my dad was senior engineer himself . He didn’t know abt my new tank until he came visiting me this week .

But he can’t fix the problem Cos he is old and has back pain
 
PonzLL
  • #25
Here's the deal

I wouldn't put it there for a year before addressing it, because in that time the floor could sag, the base could warp, etc. When they go to fix it, the floor will already be sagged, so they won't be bracing it at the correct place. You'll also need to completely drain the tank and possibly even temporarily move it before doing the work.

If you fill it 3/4, that only takes off maybe 20% of the overall weight. It's something, but it's not gonna make the problem go away.

Just my two cents, not trying to sound rude, and I understand how excited you are to set this thing up. I just worry about it, that's a whole lot of weight!
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Here's the deal

I wouldn't put it there for a year before addressing it, because in that time the floor could sag, the base could warp, etc. When they go to fix it, the floor will already be sagged, so they won't be bracing it at the correct place. You'll also need to completely drain the tank and possibly even temporarily move it before doing the work.

If you fill it 3/4, that only takes off maybe 20% of the overall weight. It's something, but it's not gonna make the problem go away.

Just my two cents, not trying to sound rude, and I understand how excited you are to set this thing up. I just worry about it, that's a whole lot of weight!
 

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max h
  • #27
The contractor that built the house should have an idea about the load bearing capacities of the floor the tank is on. If you have an idea of the weight of the tank empty, substrate added, stand, canopy, filters full of water, and water weight in the tank. That would give you an overall total weight of the system I would probably say it close to 2000 lbs if not more. the foot print of the tank alone is 1728 square inches. If you measure the dimensions of the base of the stand, just length and width and times them together that would give you the real foot print of the stand and it's load bearing on the floor.
 
PonzLL
  • #28
Impatient me would probably go under there and wedge a couple of 4x4s under the joist to bear some of the load, then do it anyway. lol

I'd put some 2x6" or 2x8" going perpendicular across several joists before doing it though.

It's a long article, but I found it extremely helpful when I was looking into this a few months back. It's a quick and interesting read though.

 
Kalyke
  • #29
A builder (handyman) can double the studs in the basement, and put in a load bearing wall of some kind right under the fish tank area. I am not an engineer, but it is all about building a box right beneath your aquarium. You would have to look into your local codes. Certainly, you will not get this information on an online forum.
 
DuaneV
  • #30
Anyone who knows how to frame a wall with 2x4's can go into the basement and build a temporary wall with $50 bucks worth of lumber and an hours time. Its super simple.

In the meantime, I personally wouldnt risk it just because adding extra support in the basement is so cheap and simple there's no point in setting up a tank that big and expensive without doing it right.
 

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coralbandit
  • #31
If you can pick up aprox 30lbs you can put these post in yourself [really].
Just measure the height from floor to the bottom of your joist and get correct size post. They are adjustable and you just turn them like a screw till it is tight[then no sagging and you are done ].

I actually built a load bearing wall in the middle of mine as that is where the joist were nested on a beam. My tank hasn't moved in years and my floor joist are dimensional lumber not the engineered beams you have which are much stronger .
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
Does my tank in living room has to be moved when the contractor fixes the beams underneath at basement ??

Most likely I will have to hire someone to do it for me . No one around me knows how to do it

I regret I have bought such a huge tank now .. I should have thought about the weight issue
 
PonzLL
  • #33
At least you can cry about it now and then when you're ready to brace the floor, you'll already have your crying about the cost of the big tank out of the way!
 
Kalyke
  • #34
I totally agree that it is not a huge job to get the floor studs right. I would not risk a huge repair bill if the tank crashes through the floor. Right now, do you know if your tank is parallel or perpendicular to the floor studs? It needs to be perpendicular.

You can wait for a year if you keep it empty. It weighs 338 empty, then add the weight of the stand (100?) that is 438, full of water it is 2,100 and that is just the tank. so add the 100. 2,200. Now, 1/2 of that sum for 1/2 full, and that is 1,100 lbs. That could be more possible for your floor. I am not an engineer so I would not know.
 

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max h
  • #35
I regret I have bought such a huge tank now .. I should have thought about the weight issue

You will be glad in the long run you got you're big tank right away. Gold fish need a lot of room. Putting the supports in the basement may not cost you that much in reality. Call some of the handyman guys in your area.
 
BRDrew
  • #36
Architect here (soon to be engeneer to0). I'm sorry I didnt get to the thread earlier but I hope I can still help.

My honest opinion is that your floor can actually support the weight but without propper calculations I wouldnt risk ruining both my floors and my tank.

As for supporting the tank from underneath PonzLL actually has the process right. Just get someone to put a wood frame like he described under the joists (tight fitting would be ideal). It should be pretty cheap and verry effective too. Ive done it with steel in some designs but wood would do the job just fine.

You don't need to move the tank at all beacause it won't be moving, the supports will just hold it in place allong with the floor.
 
max h
  • #37
Architect here (soon to be engeneer to0). I'm sorry I didnt get to the thread earlier but I hope I can still help.

My honest opinion is that your floor can actually support the weight but without propper calculations I wouldnt risk ruining both my floors and my tank.

As for supporting the tank from underneath PonzLL actually has the process right. Just get someone to put a wood frame like he described under the joists (tight fitting would be ideal). It should be pretty cheap and verry effective too. Ive done it with steel in some designs but wood would do the job just fine.

You don't need to move the tank at all beacause it won't be moving, the supports will just hold it in place allong with the floor.

I knew there was an architect on here somewhere. I would have made the same mistake she did. Where I live all the ground floors for the most part are concrete slab. I haven't lived somewhere that there's a basement for 40 years.
 
BRDrew
  • #38
I knew there was an architect on here somewhere. I would have made the same mistake she did. Where I live all the ground floors for the most part are concrete slab. I haven't lived somewhere that there's a basement for 40 years.

Here in Brazil nearly all construction is full concrete and the minimum dimensions required by code can sustain a ridiculous ammount of weight. The only time I had to worry about weight limitations was because of the stand (actually shelf) and not the floors.
 

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max h
  • #39
I was in Rio in 1990 when I was in the Navy, we made a 4 day port visit. I loved the place.
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #40
Aww thanks ! U guys r awesome !

Ok I consulted with 2 guys . 1st Guy is specialized in structural work but he is not an structural engineer himself . The other guy is a engineer himself and he is also a contractor

The first guy ( free estimate ) gave me 2 options :

1st option - add 2 more parallel joists under my tank ( 2000-3000$ work )
2nd option - 2 wood columns will be installed so the load can be transferred to the basement floor ( 800$). ( my only concern is if it will look ugly if we decide to finish the basement next couple years ?)

The second guy ( I only talked to him on phone . He charges 200$ consultation fee if I need him to visit my house ) suggested below
- it can be temporary supported by jacks with some steel and wood to shore it. Because my tank will not stay there Forever. It will be there for only 5 years ( we will most likely sale the house within 5 years ) 1000$

Pls give me some ideas and directions which option I should go for . Thank u guys again ops:
 
PonzLL
  • #41
Those prices seems way too high for the work being done.
 
max h
  • #42
If money is a concern you could go with the first guy and option #2. If you decided to finish out the basement, the columns could get some molding around the top and bottom, stained and finished to where they appear more decorative rather then just supportive.
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #43
If money is a concern you could go with the first guy and option #2. If you decided to finish out the basement, the columns could get some molding around the top and bottom, stained and finished to where they appear more decorative rather then just supportive.

So if I choose first guy’s second option , my 2000lb tank can be safely located there without having to be relocated ? The first guy looks very young . He doesn’t look too experienced but he is specialized in structural area . The second guy ( engineer ) looks above 50 yrs old .. He has been contractor for over 20 years

Those prices seems way too high for the work being done.
What can I do ? Have to hire someone

If money is a concern you could go with the first guy and option #2. If you decided to finish out the basement, the columns could get some molding around the top and bottom, stained and finished to where they appear more decorative rather then just supportive.
Which option sounds the safest to u ?
 
HORNET1
  • #44
If you can pick up aprox 30lbs you can put these post in yourself [really].
Just measure the height from floor to the bottom of your joist and get correct size post. They are adjustable and you just turn them like a screw till it is tight[then no sagging and you are done ].
I agree .
Easy Fix ... Problem Solved
A Caveman could do it
 
PonzLL
  • #45
tie a couple helium balloons to the tank
 
Goldfishgirlgirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #46
I agree .
Easy Fix ... Problem Solved
A Caveman could do it
I don’t trust myself doing this
 
HORNET1
  • #47
I don’t trust myself doing this
You can do it !!!
Go to Home Depot and take a look at their jack posts.
Talk to one of the associates.
You will see just how easy it will be.
 
max h
  • #48
Looks can be deceiving, the young guy may have a whole bunch of knowledge in modern construction practices. With a couple of support jacks he maybe able to create just enough clearance to slide the support columns into place and secure the posts. I wouldn't take but about a 1/32th" clearance to position a post in the desired location. I haven't lived in a place with basements before.
 
HORNET1
  • #49
I don’t trust myself doing this
As pretty as you are...
My bet is that there are a lot of nice guys who would be happy to do the work for free.
 
DuaneV
  • #50
Seriously, THOUSANDS of dollars!?!?! Punch that guy in the face.

Then go buy a couple of jack studs and spend an hour putting them up. You're making a WAY bigger deal out of this than it needs to be. You don't need to hire Jeff Gordons engine builder to change the air filter in your Prius.
 

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