Basement Aquarium

TheFishGirl
  • #1
I just picked up a 55 gallon tank w/ stand and my mom is a little worried about putting that big of a tank up on the second floor in my bedroom. She said I could put it in the basement. I already have a 37 gallon upstairs so I understand her concern not to mention with the weight of the water in the 55 gallon it could weigh up to 440 and toss in maybe 30 pounds for the stand and maybe any possible large rock decor ... I could be pushing 500 pounds. Okay, now hears the basement problem. I wouldn't call our basement finished. It's cement walls / floors and it can get pretty cold down there in the winter ( the fish going in the tank are goldfish ) but the fish don't worry me it's the cold temperature vs the glass ... does anyone keep their tanks in a basement or even a garage? What are your thoughts?
 

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James17
  • #2
Well, goldfish don't need a heater, but, I probably would heat it some, the colder it gets the less active the goldfish will be.
 

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TheFishGirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Well, goldfish don't need a heater, but, I probably would heat it some, the colder it gets the less active the goldfish will be.
In the winter I would definitely toss in a heater, I'm just worried about the cold and the glass
 
2211Nighthawk
  • #4
I had my 45 on a second level with no problems. It was a massive wooden stand so the whole thing probably weighed a good 600 lbs. what you have to think about is your foot print. My stand was 6x2 feet so that spread out over a 12ft square area. Not that much weight if you think about having 3 250lbs guys on a 100 lbs couch watching football. I now have a 60 gallonon a second floor as well, probably hitting the 800lbs mark easily.
Floors are a lot strong then they seem. Put the tank against a load bearing wall, an outside wall is a load bearing wall and if you know which way the floor struts go, put it across them so that the tank is straddling them. It will be fine.

Now if there is no way to convince having it upstairs, I've seen cases where people have their home made 10' long aquariums in the garage for a total lack of space. Biggest thing in be worried about is temperature change. A basement won't be as bad, but would be on the cooler side. Fancy goldfish like warmer water (compared to comets/common) so depending on how cold it is, you just might need a temperature. I think they like low 70's ish.

The glass will be fine. I live where it gets -35 in winter and the glass on buildings don't shatter every winter. it's a rapid change in temperature that will shatter glass. (And something hitting it) so don't put a propain heater directly in front of the glass, that might go bad.
Good luck.
 
TheFishGirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I had my 45 on a second level with no problems. It was a massive wooden stand so the whole thing probably weighed a good 600 lbs. what you have to think about is your foot print. My stand was 6x2 feet so that spread out over a 12ft square area. Not that much weight if you think about having 3 250lbs guys on a 100 lbs couch watching football. I now have a 60 gallonon a second floor as well, probably hitting the 800lbs mark easily.
Floors are a lot strong then they seem. Put the tank against a load bearing wall, an outside wall is a load bearing wall and if you know which way the floor struts go, put it across them so that the tank is straddling them. It will be fine.

Now if there is no way to convince having it upstairs, I've seen cases where people have their home made 10' long aquariums in the garage for a total lack of space. Biggest thing in be worried about is temperature change. A basement won't be as bad, but would be on the cooler side. Fancy goldfish like warmer water (compared to comets/common) so depending on how cold it is, you just might need a temperature. I think they like low 70's ish.

The glass will be fine. I live where it gets -35 in winter and the glass on buildings don't shatter every winter. it's a rapid change in temperature that will shatter glass. (And something hitting it) so don't put a proposal. heater directly in front of the glass, that might go bad.
Good luck.

Yeah my 37 gallon is on an outside wall but in the other room there is no space for this tank on an outside wall, and well tbh I'm not sure we have a sturdy floor-strut-filled second layer. I know the first floor is sturdy and loaded with struts cause you can see them in the basement ceiling. We have one long thick beam that goes across the center of the ceiling ... that's pretty much the support hahaha

So if I put a heater in the tank during the winter the glass would be ok? It doesn't get that cold here maybe the worst part of winter would be a couple days of -15 but other than that it stays pretty much 0-20 most of the winter season.
 
2211Nighthawk
  • #6
Usually the second floor is just as supported as the first. I guess it depends if you have a really old house. I'm no construction pro though.

The heater from the tank won't damage the glass. The only thing to watch for is if the heater is big enough. I have a 300w heater in my 60 but it doesn't get cool enough. A 200w would probably work for me but it only needs to bring it up 5 degrees or so. If you need to bring it up 10 (for example) you might need a 300 or 2 200w heaters. I don't know how cold your basement is. My old place a 300w would work in my 60 because it was always so freaking cold down there.

To be honest and not to freak you out, there are a hundred and one more likely ways for your tank to fail then the heater warming the glass to the point of it breaking. The only thing I worry about my heater is if my goldy runs into it hard enough is he going to break it. Like I said, it's the sudden change in temp that will do it. My friend's grandpa killed the windshield on his car because he poured cold hose water on a very hot car and the windshield cracked right acros end to end. BUT it was already cracked to begin with.
 

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TheFishGirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Usually the second floor is just as supported as the first. I guess it depends if you have a really old house. I'm no construction pro though.

The heater from the tank won't damage the glass. The only thing to watch for is if the heater is big enough. I have a 300w heater in my 60 but it doesn't get cool enough. A 200w would probably work for me but it only needs to bring it up 5 degrees or so. If you need to bring it up 10 (for example) you might need a 300 or 2 200w heaters. I don't know how cold your basement is. My old place a 300w would work in my 60 because it was always so freaking cold down there.

To be honest and not to freak you out, there are a hundred and one more likely ways for your tank to fail then the heater warming the glass to the point of it breaking. The only thing I worry about my heater is if my goldy runs into it hard enough is he going to break it. Like I said, it's the sudden change in temp that will do it. My friend's grandpa killed the windshield on his car because he poured cold hose water on a very hot car and the windshield cracked right acros end to end. BUT it was already cracked to begin with.
My parents built this house themselves, eh, 20-something years ago. I'm not sure if that's considered "new" in todays market but it's not some ancient farm house
I'm going over my options cause honestly in the basement it would be super easy to fill it and clean cause no wood floors and our water cleaner pump thing has a spout off it that a hose can connect to and go right into the tank. I would have to do a lot of 5 gallon bucket trips to fill this tank if I put it anywhere else in the house haha
Yeah I'm probably just over-worrying about it. Honestly I feel like I'm outcasting them to the basement or something even tho I know I'll still see them just as much as I would if they were in the upstairs bedroom.
 
2211Nighthawk
  • #8
What about draining the tank? That's what I miss most about my old place. I drained it into the tub downstairs (one heck of a powerful suction) but then could fill it from the kitchen tap on the same level as the tank. A python is a life saver for a big tank. My 30 I used to have I still did the bucket change but when I got a 45 I said no way and bought one. Best thing I ever did.
 
OnTheFly
  • #9
Usually the second floor is just as supported as the first. I guess it depends if you have a really old house. I'm no construction pro though.

Modern codes generally do require people that live on the second floor to be just as safe as those on the main floor. A 55G running perpendicular to the floor joists is a not a problem. Mine is not running perpendicular or on an outside wall and it still isn't a problem. A leaking tank is another matter. You are repairing plaster/drywall if you spring a major leak on an upper floor. That's rare, but it is a risk worth considering.

And a million people have heated tanks in their basement. It's a non-issue.
 
TheFishGirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Modern codes generally do require people that live on the second floor to be just as safe as those on the main floor. A 55G running perpendicular to the floor joists is a not a problem. Mine is not running perpendicular or on an outside wall and it still isn't a problem. A leaking tank is another matter. You are repairing plaster/drywall if you spring a major leak on an upper floor. That's rare, but it is a risk worth considering.

And a million people have heated tanks in their basement. It's a non-issue.

Yeah I'm nervous about having it upstairs if it does leak or burst the entire house except for the bathrooms are wood floor ... 55 gallons would do some major and costly damage. My mom said I could put it in the living room but at night I would have to turn the filter off at night cause she can't sleep with the sound, and I don't blame her cause it's suppose to be "silent" but it's not very silent.

What about draining the tank? That's what I miss most about my old place. I drained it into the tub downstairs (one heck of a powerful suction) but then could fill it from the kitchen tap on the same level as the tank. A python is a life saver for a big tank. My 30 I used to have I still did the bucket change but when I got a 45 I said no way and bought one. Best thing I ever did.

Well right now I drain it out the window and out onto the bushes below. If I put it in the living room I can still drain it out the window, in the basement I'd have to do buckets or attempt out the window.
 

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OnTheFly
  • #11
Yeah I'm nervous about having it upstairs if it does leak or burst the entire house except for the bathrooms are wood floor ... 55 gallons would do some major and costly damage. My mom said I could put it in the living room but at night I would have to turn the filter off at night cause she can't sleep with the sound, and I don't blame her cause it's suppose to be "silent" but it's not very silent.
I would consider a largish sponge filter and a smallish air pump with an adjustable valve inline.. That doesn't have to be noisy.
 
2211Nighthawk
  • #12
I would consider a largish sponge filter and a smallish air pump with an adjustable valve inline.. That doesn't have to be noisy.
And I'm the opposite. I have a tiny HOB dropping water directly over my canister filter output so that there's lots of bubbles blown around the tank and because there's a 2" drop from the HOB is pretty loud. I've gotten so used it it I can't sleep without hearing it running.
 
TheFishGirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I would consider a largish sponge filter and a smallish air pump with an adjustable valve inline.. That doesn't have to be noisy.
well six hours of no filter won't hurt them, they went longer when we lost power in the winter, so I'm not too worried about it.

And I'm the opposite. I have a tiny HOB dropping water directly over my canister filter output so that there's lots of bubbles blown around the tank and because there's a 2" drop from the HOB is pretty loud. I've gotten so used it it I can't sleep without hearing it running.
So where it is going is right next to the front door that we don't use, it's "for looks" so I can just feed the hose right out the door and ta-da drained tank. The only fun is filling it with buckets ... the kitchen faucet doesn't have a spout that you can connect a hose to
 
2211Nighthawk
  • #14
So where it is going is right next to the front door that we don't use, it's "for looks" so I can just feed the hose right out the door and ta-da drained tank. The only fun is filling it with buckets ... the kitchen faucet doesn't have a spout that you can connect a hose to
Ouch. Does any other the bathroom ones work?
 

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KinsKicks
  • #15
Tbh, if your family is big enough, or invite some friends, so it adds up to about 600lbs. Then go stand in the area where you would want the tank. This is what we would do for my uncles tank he had on his second floor; his was a 75g, so we all stood there, shuffled around a bit and gave teeny jumps. It's still up there today
 
TheFishGirl
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Tbh, if your family is big enough, or invite some friends, so it adds up to about 600lbs. Then go stand in the area where you would want the tank. This is what we would do for my uncles tank he had on his second floor; his was a 75g, so we all stood there, shuffled around a bit and gave teeny jumps. It's still up there today

as a small family of 3 I would need a few extra people xD
my mom is just worried about over the long period of time that the floor would weaken and sag

Ouch. Does any other the bathroom ones work?

sadly no ... took an hour to fill the 37 gallon by myself so with my dad's help hopefully this one will fill a lot quicker.
 
2211Nighthawk
  • #17
sadly no ... took an hour to fill the 37 gallon by myself so with my dad's help hopefully this one will fill a lot quicker.
First thing I checked when I moved was if the bathroom tap would work because the kitchen has one of those pull out ones. I even told landlord/dad I'd buy a new tap. upgrade?
 
NavigatorBlack
  • #18
The basement should be fine. How cold does it get?

Goldfish are fine to 3c/28f, and at that point, your pipes would be a worry. I had fish in a basement that reached 13c/55f on cold days, and there was no problem. Tanks themselves will be affected if the water freezes, but that is the point you worry. Anything above is just fine.

I have stored dry tanks in my unheated back shed and they have reached -35c/-31f. They are full of water now, just fine.
 

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