Aquarium tank on wooden floor

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by DrSahl, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. DrSahlValued MemberMember

    Hi there.

    As some of you might have noticed, I am getting a new tank. There are wooden floor (planks) in the room where I want to place the tank, I've never had trouble with it before (had a larger tank on wooden floor in the old apartment) but I still wanna know if I should take any care. Its a 50 gallon tank.

    I have used a "Spirit level/buuble level" to measure if its even and it is most of the places. But one of the places where the tank puts weight goes abit out of the stribes on the tool (its almost not visible but its just visible beyond the right marker)

    Should I be worried about any of that ? Should I put something on the floor under the tank (to stabilize and make it even) or should I don't think about it.

    Again in my old apartment I didnt have any trouble, I was pretty much a beginner back then and didnt worry since the spirit leven showed it was even... I didnt think one bit about squeaking floor planks etc.. one of my smaller tanks would even move abit when you walked past it or went towards it.

    Picture below
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  2. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I'm assuming this is a four legged stand. I would say it should be fine, unless the stand rocks. If that is the case,you could put some wood shims under the "short" legs.
  3. LittlebuddaWell Known MemberMember

    The levelling should be fine I always worry about weight on wooden floors especially if the weight is going down on legged stands.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  4. DrSahlValued MemberMember

    Its actually 8 pads under the stand that holds it. 4 each side (2 outer and 2 inner)
    Its in "vater" when I use my tool on the stand by itself. the floor is massive planks, I doubt they will break. What I am worried about is the glass on the tank cracking.

    It does not tip or seem unstable, I can move it abit forward and backwards if I try to pull etc (nothing out of the ordinary) but the floor under is not 100% even.. seems like the stand helps alot.

    Here is a picture of the stand
  5. ricmccWell Known MemberMember

    Looking at your photo of the stand, I can't see any reason why you could not put shims beneath the 'pads' that you speak of. Btw, are the pads adjustable, by chance? Some are, so you might wish to check that.
    I think that shimming might be the way to go, until you get to the point where the mild pull that you describe will not slightly rock the tank. Good luck, rick
  6. DrSahlValued MemberMember

    They are not adjustable sadly :S its not rocking or tipping or anything. when I say I can move it its the same as when I push a table or desktop. So maybe its stable enough. But I think I will use the shimming just to be 100% sure.

    Ty for the advice.
  7. Snowy85New MemberMember

    For most modern houses the timber floors are designed for an imposed load of 1.5kN/m^2 which is around 150kg. So the check if your floor would sufficient calculate the weight of your tank when full and the cabinet in kg, this will be the total load of the tank on your floor. Then you would divide this by the length of your tank which will give you the weight per metre run of your tank kg/m, multiply this by 10 and then divide the answer by 1000 to get the loaded area in kN/m^2 if this is greater then 1.5 you need a structural engineer.

    Density of water is 999.97kg/m^3 which is about 1kg per litre.
    Density of wet sand is 1922kg/m^3, typical depth in a tank would be 50mm (2") so that's 96kg/m^2

    So for a 1500x600x600 tank we would have a load of:
    (1500x600x600)*0.000001=540 litres x 1kg = 540kg

    Sand = 1.5*0.6*96=87kg

    Glass = 2400kg/m^3, work out the surface area of all of the glass and multiply it by it's thickness. I will use 110kg for this.

    So total load of tank when full = 737kg

    Area load on floor = 737x10/1000 = 7.37kNx(1.5x0.9)=6.633kN/m^2
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  8. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Whats the size of your tank?

    Another way of looking at it: calculate the lbs per square inch. Weight of your set up tank and stand divided by the area of what's in contact with the ground. You'd be amazed by how low the number is. The majority of the time, floors can handle it.

    It worked for me. I live on the second flood of an apartment building. I have a 55 gal, and with sand, water, and driftwood, it's around 650 lbs. I have this on a homemade stand of plywood, so around 750 lbs for the entire thing.

    My stand doesn't contact the floor for the entire area of the stand. (It touches more than I'm calculating in the worst case scenario though!)

    Best case scenario: The stand is around 4 1/2 ft x 2 ft, or 54 in x 24 in or 1292 in^2. If the entire area of the stand were touching the ground: the weight of my tank on the floor is 750 lbs per 1292 in^2, or 0.58 lbs per square inch.
    Worst case scenario: The stand only contacts the ground for a strip of plywood on each side (48 in x 1 in on the long sides, 24 in x 1 in on the short ends). This gives me a contact area of 144 in^2. 750 lbs divided by 144 square inches is 5.2 lbs per square inch.

    When I stand on my tiptoes, I'm putting 130 lbs on 2 square inches - much more weight per square inch than my tank, even in the worst case scenario.
  9. ricmccWell Known MemberMember

    Ah, wouldn't the weight of the tank and contents be distributed solely to the 8 pads supporting the stand?, a much smaller area?
    And why weren't you sitting beside me in math class:), rick
  10. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Calculate the area of the pads then :) What size is OP's tank?
  11. Snowy85New MemberMember

    If you have pads you are then imposing (based on my example) 737kg/8=92.13kg per pad onto your floor. My example is pretty heavy to be honest that's like a 143Gallon (US) tank.

    Obviously everyones tanks are different and so are floor construction do it's all dependant really. I agree with TexasDomer we really need OP tank sizes to make a proper estimate.
  12. DrSahlValued MemberMember

    I am not really scared about the floor not being able to hold. I am worried about the vater (its not 100% even its like 2-4mm higher out from the wall than near it) else its perfectly even. Its massive plants with logs under it all.

    Its a 50 gallon tank.   this one with the same stand.

    The stand rest on 8 small feets.. If I jump on the planks just right of where the tank needs to be. it does move a little bot "this is without the tank, I am uncertain if it even would with the tank"
  13. DrSahlValued MemberMember

    Its in the first post :D but I guess you want all the measurements as well.

    The measurements of the tank are 50 gallon and 101 x 41 x 50 cm I think thats around 40 -16-19.5 inches. 49.5 kgs without water.

    Hope that helps

    Ohh and ty all for helping me out. it's much appreciated
  14. LittlebuddaWell Known MemberMember

    If it's slight depression in the floor you could try placing a piece of ply under the whole stand this should even out the levels and distribute the weight. I had to that with my 150gal. When I installed the 330gal that was a different story (reinforcing floors setting the tank over the building peers etc. but that's heading towards 1.5-2 tonne when set up)

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  15. ricmccWell Known MemberMember

    Honest guys, I was just kidding.
    I believe that the OP's tank is 50g, which are commonly kept on wooden floors.
    His concern was about leveling the tank, I believe( or rather the tank and stand that is).
    I only posted because my brother is an engineer, and speaks in the manner of your post. No malice was intended at all.
    Best to ya, rick
  16. Snowy85New MemberMember

    Lol no worries rick

    In terms of the tank yes level it because glass is brittle your gonna want to limit any deflection to span/500. This in your case is 1010/500=2mm, so it is crucial you level it.

    Oh and fyi the load your tank imparts to the floor is 1.56kN/m^2 which should cause you no problems.
  17. LittlebuddaWell Known MemberMember

    I suggested ply as an easy way to level as opposed to trying to get one leg up and put the others out of level.
    A solid piece of ply should be level and will evenly distribute water weight and not put pressure on glass. I just threw in that it had an added advantage of disturbing weight better as well.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  18. DrSahlValued MemberMember

    Thats good to hear. I also placed the small feet of the stand on some of the very stable planks to avoid any weird stuff. I will level it with some small wood pieces or whatever you call it on English.

    As I said earlier its almost leven when I use the "bubble level" tool. Its only just outside the two I I marks, from inside the wall and out in the width is perfect. So well when I try to get it perfect on the other one its like 2mm I need to raise. on top of my stand its all even no matter where I try to measure with the tool. Don't know if thats enough and I don't even need to fix the floor.

    But again ty all for all the advice.. I remember my first tank, I didnt have a clue and I just looked at the stand if it was even and it was and it was a larger tank than this and much worse planks :D so well.
  19. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Out of level will not cause the glass to crack. For the glass to crack the tank would have to be twisting rather than leaning. If it were me, I wouldn't worry about it. I think it will be fine.
  20. DrSahlValued MemberMember

    As I said :D I might be over cautious because now I know the dangers, when I was new to the hoppy 8 years ago I didnt blink an eye about this. But I am scared that when weight comes on and if I put pressure on the weak planks close to the tank that they might affect it (so it will jerk back and forth abit) but maybe its just me worrying to much.

    I guess if the stand is even on top it does not matter if the floor planks are not ?