90 gallon on the second floor

KelchB

Hello, first time poster so forgive me if I do something wrong or didn't put this topic in the right spot. I currently rent an apartment on the second story of an older house. I have a 90 gallon that I usually keep about 70% full and a 40 gallon. The 40 has 3 otos and 7 gold dojo loaches, all about 3 inches long, and the 90 has a 12 inch common pleco, 3 2 inch Siamese algae eaters, and an 8 inch featherfin catfish. Recently I have noticed the floor is starting to sag, So I have decided to combine the two tanks into the 90, but I am anxious about where I should place it. I have looked into it a decent amount online, but most of the information I can find has been based on more recent construction practices and modern joist spacing.

The floor is bare wood, and seems to basically be solid 5x3's laid side by side supported underneath by I beams about 10 ft apart.


90 gal.jpg
This is the 90 gallon, it is parallel to the 5x3's sitting on a 6x2 piece of plywood, with shims in an attempt to keep it level. It is also directly above and perpendicular to one of the I beams

Ibeam.jpg
under90.jpg
This is the room underneath. The I beam is in the middle of the where the 90 is, perpendicularly.
In the first of these pictures, the 40 gallon would be in the back right corner above the small room with the electric box, alongside the wall with the window.

Another factor adding to my dilemma is there are two columns that rise to the ceiling on both sides of the tank that I took to be load bearing, when I initially set up the tank, but which I now am doubting.

columns1.jpg
column 2.jpg

Here is where the 40 is placed

40gal.jpg

So, essentially, I am asking for advice. I know I'm going to be putting the two tanks together, but the question is where? Do you think the 90's current position is stupid or ill advised? Should I move it to where the 40 is? It'd be a huge endeavor to break down and move two tanks, all the pothos etc, and then to rebuild it all in one day... and the 40 is already having algae problems with its close proximity to the window (obviously not as big a deal as 80-90 gallons of water crashing through the floor though lol).

Could I rotate the 90 gallon 90 degrees so that it runs along the I beam and perpendicular to the 5x3's? Would that be better than the way it is set up now? or would that be too much weight smack in the middle of the room? What would you all do in my shoes? I'm likely to be here for another 6 months.

Thanks in advance!
 

Mhamilton0911

Disclaimer: I'm not an engineer. I have many sources for my understanding of weight distribution and have discussed this in depth for my own questions about this in my own home.


Probably well over 1000lbs, your strongest floor will be an outside wall, and you'll want to spread the weight evenly along as many floor joists you can, not parallel with a single joist.

In my area, old houses are over built with full dimension rough cut lumber, and in many layers. I'm in an old house, built in the 20's, and did an extensive renovation, the floor joists are over size for todays codes, plus there was a layer of 1" thick x 8" wide wood boards as underlay on top of joists, then plywood on that. I know not every old house will be just like this, I just added my experience. The walls are layered with the same boards with sheetrock on top.

So in my situation, I can place a modest tank anywhere, but for the 'biggens, I pay attention to the direction of joists.
 
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KelchB

Thanks for such a fast response! I guess part of my problem might be terminology, are what I am referring to as I beams actually the joists? That would be a big help in being able to google more accurate information. I had assumed that each of the 5x3's were acting as joists resting on the I beam.

Another question,will all outside walls generally be load bearing?
 
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GlacialMold

Load bearing walls are tricky. No, not all outside walls are load bearing. IDK how to help though sry.
 
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Mhamilton0911

Exterior walls are almost always load-bearing. Where there are windows and doors, the walls include beams, or headers, spanning across the tops of the openings. Posts on either side of the openings support the beams. A house will rarely have an entire stretch of an exterior wall that is non-load-bearing

edited to add source: Clues That a Wall Is Load-Bearing or Not Load-Bearing
 
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ImpairedFish

I would say the outside wall as well
 
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KelchB

Thanks again!

How would I go about determining joist spacing and direction? From what I can tell there is 0 subflooring of any kind, I can slide a piece of paper straight through the space between 5x3's, and can even see the light from the room below at night.

If I am to move it to somewhere on the outside wall, should I align it perpendicular to the 5x3's, assuming they are acting as joists just without any spacing? Or should I place it somewhere the large I beam is perpendicular, which would make the tank parallel to the 5x3's
 
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Mhamilton0911

joists and beams are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is a difference.
 
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KelchB

So.... should it be perpendicular to the 5x3s or the large joist/beam thing, or at least, which way would you do it if you were in my shoes? I am leaning towards perp to the 5x3's, but just want to make sure I don't misinterpret and do the opposite of what is suggested lol...
 
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Wrench

Hi, in regards to your tank I would say find a load bearing beam and put it under that.
As far as your loaches I have one as well and he is not doing too well, hes at the top of the tank gasping and will not eat and looks like his face is rotting off...have you ever experienced this with any of your loaches?
 
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KelchB

Thanks, just trying to figure out which is actually load bearing/ which is the joist

And I'm sorry no, none of my loaches have done that. Is there any bloating? I know they're prone to constipation issues. Any recent changes in environment or diet? Do you have a quarantine tank you can put him/her in?
 
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Wrench

Thanks, just trying to figure out which is actually load bearing/ which is the joist

And I'm sorry no, none of my loaches have done that. Is there any bloating? I know they're prone to constipation issues. Any recent changes in environment or diet? Do you have a quarantine tank you can put him/her in?
Load bearing is gonna be a beam that runs the entire length of the ceiling below your second story.

No new changes, no bloating or anything.
I think it may be some type of bacteria infection.
He poops but will not eat
It may be time to euthanize him but am seeking any means to help him recover instead of the latter of the two
 
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KelchB

Load bearing is gonna be a beam that runs the entire length of the ceiling below your second story.

No new changes, no bloating or anything.
I think it may be some type of bacteria infection.
He poops but will not eat
It may be time to euthanize him but am seeking any means to help him recover instead of the latter of the two


Hmm that would be what I refer to as I beams, which seems to be different from what I think Mhamilton was suggesting... I could put it against the outside wall directly opposite where it currently sits, thus staying perp to the I-beam. It would mean redoing my entire bedroom basically but it'd be doable.

How long has he been like that? When my loaches show problems I put them in a quarantine tank and do 50% daily water changes on it. If its bacterial a quarantine tank will let you dose antibiotics without killing your beneficial bacteria
 
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Wrench

Hmm that would be what I refer to as I beams, which seems to be different from what I think Mhamilton was suggesting... I could put it against the outside wall directly opposite where it currently sits, thus staying perp to the I-beam. It would mean redoing my entire bedroom basically but it'd be doable.

How long has he been like that? When my loaches show problems I put them in a quarantine tank and do 50% daily water changes on it. If its bacterial a quarantine tank will let you dose antibiotics without killing your beneficial bacteria
Looks like your gonna be moving some furniture around then hahaha, I beam, load bearing...think it's the same thing.
Hes been like this for quite a while, I have him in my smaller 28 gallon tank which is well established and have done 50 % exchanges every other day for the last 3 weeks in this tank and he is showing zero improvement.

Look at this poor dudes cheek I mean geesh he is suffering and I cannot help him which bums me out.
 

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KelchB

Looks like your gonna be moving some furniture around then hahaha, I beam, load bearing...think it's the same thing.
Hes been like this for quite a while, I have him in my smaller 28 gallon tank which is well established and have done 50 % exchanges every other day for the last 3 weeks in this tank and he is showing zero improvement.

Look at this poor dudes cheek I mean geesh he is suffering and I cannot help him which bums me out.

so sad. They have such great personalities its hard seeing them like that. Seeing that did remind me off a time one of my loaches got what looked like a large bubble on the back of his neck, at one point almost the size of a dime. Over a couple month period it eventually thickened, discolored to a more brown speckling, and eventually completely healed except for the discoloration that remains. I don't specifically recall any gasping though.
 
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Wrench

so sad. They have such great personalities its hard seeing them like that. Seeing that did remind me off a time one of my loaches got what looked like a large bubble on the back of his neck, at one point almost the size of a dime. Over a couple month period it eventually thickened, discolored to a more brown speckling, and eventually completely healed except for the discoloration that remains. I don't specifically recall any gasping though.
I know , I'm perplexed as to what brought this on and since you have had loaches long eeeeerrrrr r than I have I had to ask.
All the other fish are doing well save for him...he is my daughters favorite fish she is bummed out.
 
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Danny002

I'd go with the outside wall as well and ask whoever owns the building if they know where the strongest point might be. Here's to hoping you can move soon!
 
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