Has anyone actually had a tank crash through their floor?

poeticinjustices

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to put this question but I hope the mods can help me out if I'm in the wrong place...

I have a 29 gallon fancy goldfish aquarium that will be over-stocked in a few months when the fish in it grow. I've already made plans for the upgrade. I found a great deal on a used 75 gallon with stand from a friend of the aquatics guy at an LFS I actually trust. If it doesn't work out, I'll just get a new 55 but I'd really like the 75 if I can.

I'm just worried about the floor. The room the tank will be in was added on later. The room itself is at least 40 years old. It's on the first floor and there is no basement beneath it. Just a couple feet of crawlspace and that's it. The floor joists run perpendicular to the position the tank will be in and they range from probably about 16 inches apart to 10 inches apart being wider in the middle and narrower in the end. It''s up against a wall. The stand it's going on is wood, not particle board, and sits flush on the ground, no feet. I'm guessing the entire setup will weigh in the ballpark of a thousand pounds with decor, equipment and stand. The 75 is standard dimensions 48Lx18Dx21H.

Has anyone actually had a tank come through their floor? I know you all aren't architects and you can't tell me about my floor specifically but I'd be interested to hear if any of you actually had a tank come through the floor and what exactly happened.

I'm really worried about this. I really want the 75 gallon like REALLY want it but I don't want it coming through the floor.
 

TJBender

Think about it this way: your floors are designed to support you, all your furniture, and a large portion of the weight of your house. Unless they're made of cardboard (or so old and rotted that they might as well be), there's not a whole lot of chance that your aquarium, unless it's so big that it should really be an outdoor pond, is going to go through. Not saying it couldn't happen, just that it's unlikely.

What's more likely to happen is that your floor and floor joists could warp over time, which can slant the floor and require repairs before you can sell the house. But realistically speaking, just about anything can cause that.
 

poeticinjustices

This is what I think too. But my boyfriend keeps scaring me saying it's going to crash through. The furniture in the room is all along the wall and there are 2 bookshelves, each about 6 feet high, 2.5 feet wide and 12 inches deep stocked to the brI'm with enormous, old, hard-cover text books held in the same room. They've been there AGES with no problems. I'm sure they don't each weigh as much as the 75 will but they've gotta be pretty close. I THINK it'll be okay, but I keep worrying anyway haha.
 

TJBender

I'm not an architect, so I can't really be of much more help unfortunately. If you know where the blueprints for your house are, you might be able to take them to an architect for an educated opinion about your specific situation.
 

poeticinjustices

I'm not an architect, so I can't really be of much more help unfortunately. If you know where the blueprints for your house are, you might be able to take them to an architect for an educated opinion about your specific situation.

Yeah I know, and ultimately the floor wouldn't be that hard to reinforce anyway give that there's no basement or other floor beneath it. Put in some 4x4s and call it a day. But I guess I just wanted to know if anyone has had a tank crash through or seriously strain their floor and what the circumstances were behind it.

I guess I'll probably just get some reinforcement under there to be safe.
 

ryanr

Hi, here's the best article I've ever found regarding "will my floor hold gallon aquarium"

The short answer is, it depends on your house. If in doubt, get a structural or civil engineer to check it over.
 

poeticinjustices

Hi, here's the best article I've ever found regarding "will my floor hold gallon aquarium"

The short answer is, it depends on your house. If in doubt, get a structural or civil engineer to check it over.

Yep, read it haha. When I first heard about this 75 I immediately started looking into it. Ultimately, the answer is the same. Most likely, it'll support it

I guess I'm just looking for someone to tell me what I want to hear Shame on all of you for being all reasonable and not feeding me the validation I do desperately seek HAHA.

I'll just have to reinforce it. That's really the only thing that's going to lay rest to my worries.
 

TJBender

Hey, I'm not going to be the jerk who tells you, "Sure, no problem!", and then has to read about how your brand new 75 gallon living room tank is now in your crawlspace.
 

Kellye8498

Looking at your profile your tank is already highly overstocked. I'd switch as soon as possible if your floor can manage the weight! 2 goldfish MAX is the most your tank can handle. That's without all the other fish and shrimp you said you have in there on your profile.
 

poeticinjustices

shrimp are gone, sorry didn't update it, already realized that error. Only goldfish now which is still going to get to be a BIG problem fast, I'm aware. It was bad advice from someone who manages aquariums professionally but clearly knows nothing about goldfish keeping. Fortunately the biggest one is just about 2" long at the moment and she is the biggest by a good amount but that I realize is only temporary and won't be for much longer which is why I'm getting the 75 this week (it's used but a trusted seller but if it doesn't pass inspection I'm just going to get a new 55 kit. Then I just need to buy a new filter if it's the 75. Heater too but since they are temperate water and it's warmer out right now that can wait. I have everything else I need. Just need to go look at the tank and pick up the filter. Going to have to be a canister filter - any recommendations on which one?

Honestly though I'm starting to wonder if I should just get the 55. It'll come with another filter I can just run them side by side. The canister filter is a necessity for the 75 due to its dimensions and location. It needs to be nearly flush against the wall minus a couple inches.

Either way, I'm working on it as quickly as I possibly can, rest assured.
 

psalm18.2

I have read of several tanks breaking through the floor, some on this very site. So no, I don't think you're being over cautious.

Best thing about a crawl space is it can be reinforced. A few cinder blocks, jackstands, and wood will work fine.

Maybe the other half doesn't want the big tank? LOL
 

poeticinjustices

I have read of several tanks breaking through the floor, some on this very site. So no, I don't think you're being over cautious.

Best thing about a crawl space is it can be reinforced. A few cinder blocks, jackstands, and wood will work fine.

Maybe the other half doesn't want the big tank? LOL

HAHA it's possible but I'm not really giving him a choice. You should see the ridiculous size of his television and all the gaming consoles. And I deserve an award for not throwing them out and saying we were robbed the last few years. So he's going to get over the large tank.

He likes the tank well enough I think, he just doesn't LOVE it like I do. Which is unfortunate for him seeing as how I've recruited him to fish-sitting. Every morning it's a drill -

"Babe, remember to look out for the following behaviors today on the tank ... [rattles off long list of problem behaviors.]

And then, throughout the day, a series of text messages...

"How are the fish?"
"Fish look okay?"
"How do the fishies look"
"Fritz isn't at the surface again, is he?"
"Are they shredding the plants?"
"Can you check on the fish before you leave for work???"
"Don't forget to turn off the tank light while you're gone"

I've sworn that I'll settle down after the tank has been fully cycled for a few weeks but I don't think he really believes me And if I'm this way over a 29 gallon haha...

Cinderblocks - good idea, by the way.
 

Adam55

A 75 carries a lot of weight in a concentrated footprint, but so does a lot of furniture. I'd be shocked if it came through the floor. I would try and set it up over a floor joist to be safe, but I think you're fine.
 

Alex99

I have never known anybody that had a tank crash through the floor and I know some ppl with some huge tanks. I like the idea of reinforcing the floor with cement blocks. I really don't think that your tank will crash through fhe floor but if adding a little pile of cementinto your crawl space can give peace of mind then I think you should do. Managing aquariums can be so fun and relaxing but that is only if you know that your tank will still be where you left it each time you come back home!
 

brookekesler

I don't think your floor is going to be there one second and gone the next. IF it was to be too heavy for the floor, it would start to show cracks or weak spots before it altogether caved in.
 

Muhammad Talha

Well, there are many things that concern people. Firstly, water weights 8.35lbs per gallon; multiply that by whatever size your tank is and the weight increases significantly. Simply put even a 75gl tank will weigh 626.25lbs of water weight alone. Add the stand, the tank itself and other equipment the weight can get close to a tonne! All of which is concentrated into a 40sq foot area (and that is being generous, usually its a lot more concentrated than that).

With close to a tonne of weight in a concentrated area, problems start to occur. Simple understanding of engineering and physics explains this problem. Similar to surface tension of water where water bugs spread their weight out across their legs, thus remaining above due to the surface tension. If they were to just use one point to 'step' onto the water they would fall right into the water.

The same applies to your floor; since that weight is concentrated in a very small area [similar to a bug entering the water via putting all of their weight on one leg].

You need to make sure that the tank is not in the middle of the floor with no joists or weight baring walls. The best place to put it is against a wall that has joists that will support the weight and the plywood will help disburse the weight onto other floor joists in the house.

IF you are still paranoid, you can add bracing underneath your floor to make sure nothing happens.

All in all, our houses aren't built the way they used to. They are strong enough to support the weight of things a lot higher then what we think they can handle.
 

Jim

Have 5 200 pound guys stand where the tank will go and see what happens!
 

Beeker

I have a 75 gallon tank with 5 goldfish, gravel, ornaments, on a stand filled with stuff, with a canister filter and a HOB filter. It is on the first floor, but I do have a basement.
I was also concerned with this at first. You are basically adding a bathtub to the area. If you look, usually the floor joists are reinforced under a bathtub.
After looking at the joists and measuring the area, etc. we decided that it would be ok as long as the tank was placed over 4 joists. I haven't had any trouble. See if you can do the same. Keep the joists perpendicular and try to spread the weight of the tank over 4 of them. It will be hit or miss, I can't see or be sure that I have it over 4, but so far so good.
 

Fishy Friends

Yep, read it haha. When I first heard about this 75 I immediately started looking into it. Ultimately, the answer is the same. Most likely, it'll support it

I guess I'm just looking for someone to tell me what I want to hear Shame on all of you for being all reasonable and not feeding me the validation I do desperately seek HAHA.

I'll just have to reinforce it. That's really the only thing that's going to lay rest to my worries.

I think you are wise to go with your last sentence - "That's really the only......." My husband & I went back & forth with a similiar situation in Jan when getting ready to set up our 180gal. Our home is only 8 years old on a crawl space - we had the blueprints & were advised by friends on the forum as well as locally that it should be OK. We ultimately decided why chance it? The damages and the loss of life weren't worth it.

We were able to place cinder blocks; 4 x 4 & 2 x 6 pressure treated wood to support floor joists & no worries☺

IMO you should go for the 75 gal - give your babies some space☺
 

Adam55

Have 5 200 pound guys stand where the tank will go and see what happens!

Perfect. They should probably dress up as fish, too.
 

poeticinjustices

I think you are wise to go with your last sentence - "That's really the only......." My husband & I went back & forth with a similiar situation in Jan when getting ready to set up our 180gal. Our home is only 8 years old on a crawl space - we had the blueprints & were advised by friends on the forum as well as locally that it should be OK. We ultimately decided why chance it? The damages and the loss of life weren't worth it.

We were able to place cinder blocks; 4 x 4 & 2 x 6 pressure treated wood to support floor joists & no worries☺

IMO you should go for the 75 gal - give your babies some space☺

I do WANT that 75 and with a crawl space, the reinforcing shouldn't be too hard it just might delay the setting up a couple weeks but the fish are still small enough at this precise moment in time so might as well just do it right the first time before I end up buying a 55...then a 75. Already wish I'd just bought the 55 to start with haha.

Multi-tank syndrome early warning signs?
 

Fishy Friends

No warning signs ☺ full-on addition!
 

fishlover25

I do WANT that 75 and with a crawl space, the reinforcing shouldn't be too hard it just might delay the setting up a couple weeks but the fish are still small enough at this precise moment in time so might as well just do it right the first time before I end up buying a 55...then a 75. Already wish I'd just bought the 55 to start with haha.

Multi-tank syndrome early warning signs?

MTS hits hard. In the course of less than a year, I'm up to 5 tanks. First a 29g, then a 5g, then found a great deal on a 56g that I just couldn't pass up but didn't setup the tank until a couple of months after buying, then got a 5.5g and finally a 20 gallon that I'm using as a planted tank. There goes one of my weekend days while I do water changes! Lol
 

poeticinjustices

MTS hits hard. In the course of less than a year, I'm up to 5 tanks. First a 29g, then a 5g, then found a great deal on a 56g that I just couldn't pass up but didn't setup the tank until a couple of months after buying, then got a 5.5g and finally a 20 gallon that I'm using as a planted tank. There goes one of my weekend days while I do water changes! Lol

Haha yep I was planning to get the 55, I knew I would have to when I realized I had trusted the wrong "professional' on stocking my tank. But by then, I was just too attached to these fish to let any of them go so I decided I'd go ahead and spend more money I don't truly have on a bigger tank.

Then, the aquatics guy at an LPS (individually owned, this particular store got lucky and hired someone who actually knows what he's doing), mentioned a friend of his who has a glass top 75 gallon WITH a flat, wood stand, black silica and background, for only $200.

Because this will need an external filter and a new heater to guard against sudden drops, the price will work out the same as the 55 kit plus the stand I'd have to buy, so why not get an extra 20 gallons of space for it, right? The space the 55 and 75 take up are almost identical in length and height, just a few extra inches in depth haha.

To make it even better, he'll bring it to me once i've inspected it in person. The guy basically has too many tanks and is just trying to free up some space. The only snafu is that it was a marine aquarium, so it's going to require a little extra cleaning before I put Freshwater fish in it, but for the price, it's definitely work a look.

I had told myself that I would be replacing this 29 and maybe use it as a QT tank instead (I have an old 29 but CLR was used on it and I just don't trust it to ever be safe again). Now I'm already at the point where it's like...well...I do really LOVE celestial eyes and I could turn this tank into a celestial eye aquarium built to meet their special needs haha. But I do need a QT tank, so I have to reign it in a little. At least until the 75 is completely and entirely stable.
 

poeticinjustices

Well, there are many things that concern people. Firstly, water weights 8.35lbs per gallon; multiply that by whatever size your tank is and the weight increases significantly. Simply put even a 75gl tank will weigh 626.25lbs of water weight alone. Add the stand, the tank itself and other equipment the weight can get close to a tonne! All of which is concentrated into a 40sq foot area (and that is being generous, usually its a lot more concentrated than that).

With close to a tonne of weight in a concentrated area, problems start to occur. Simple understanding of engineering and physics explains this problem. Similar to surface tension of water where water bugs spread their weight out across their legs, thus remaining above due to the surface tension. If they were to just use one point to 'step' onto the water they would fall right into the water.

The same applies to your floor; since that weight is concentrated in a very small area [similar to a bug entering the water via putting all of their weight on one leg].

You need to make sure that the tank is not in the middle of the floor with no joists or weight baring walls. The best place to put it is against a wall that has joists that will support the weight and the plywood will help disburse the weight onto other floor joists in the house.

IF you are still paranoid, you can add bracing underneath your floor to make sure nothing happens.

All in all, our houses aren't built the way they used to. They are strong enough to support the weight of things a lot higher then what we think they can handle.

This was good information and I missed your comment before. I already checked the direction of the joists when I first considered the tank, it would be perpendicular and sitting over AT LEAST 4 joists, maybe a little more. It's against a wall that has 2 floors above it. I, too, did the math as well on the tank, the water, the equipment, the stand, etc awhile ago. The only thing I'm not sure of is how much water will be displaced by gravel and decor and which of those weigh more. In the end the difference will be small but it's still something I tried to consider.

At the end of it all, it'll probably be fine. But I'm a nervous person and I probably won't be fully able to enjoy it until the floors are reinforced. So, I'll be reinforcing the floor haha.
 

Ben3721

Woah woah woah... Crash through what?.... Clear that up you say it has a crawlspace under it? If the home was built in the last 50 years to code (could be different in your state) the first layer of flooring is build on concrete that's like a foot or two deep........ Then the worse you'll have is wood framing ontop of concrete that can be like max 3 feet up. So unless the home wasn't built to code or has some weird issue. you should be fine for a 75 gallon tank... Just make sure the floor is solid somehow or look up your homes building specs as most home owners have that laying around somewhere or the builder has it. Mine is build in 1990 on concrete with carpet over. So I could put a 1000 gallon tank down if I wanted in my basement.

Still not sure if you meant that the home floor has space under the floor or not, just a bit confused.
 

jdhef

I have to repectfully disagree with the above post.

Assuming modern construction:

A house build with "slab on grade" construction almost always has a concrete foundation (usually 16" wide & 8" thick, but could be 24" wide & 12" thick). The distance below grade the bottom of this footing is at varies depending on the regions frost line.

It then usually has 8" block walls (foundation walls) coming up to grade (actually a bit above grade, but how much above varies), and this walled in area is filled in with soil and usually a layer of crushed stone. Then a 4" concrete slab is poured across the entire area. Then the wood framing starts.

A crawlspace is similar, except the walled in area is not filled, and the slab is poured (when there is a slab) just above the top of the footing. These slabs can be 4" thick, but sometimes the slab is a 2" thick "mud slab". Then on top of the foundation wall, the wood framing starts.

A house with a basement is similar, except the foundation walls are taller.

Note that foundations walls can be either block or concrete
 

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