How Much Tank Can My Floor Handle ?

Ryan McElhinney
  • #1
So I currently have a 55 gal aquarium in my living room in the center of a load bearing wall looking to upgrade to a 125 but I want to be sure my floor can handle the weight of that size aquarium being that it is an old house especially. My house is on a crawl space and my tank would be on the first floor. Looking for advice on the best way to measure how much load I can put down and of my floor can handle a 125gal or bigger

  • #2
Well a 125 gallon tank is probably going to weigh 1600 pounds full give or take a 100 pounds including all the decorations and substrate. I am no engineer so I do not have a definite answer but I do have a couple ideas you could look into.

My first recommendation is to acquire the blueprints of your home and consult an engineer. This is the most basic answer that should give you a definite answer. If this isn't possible there are other methods, but there could be consequences to "winging" it.

If an engineer is out of the question then you need to place it next to a load baring wall. I would look for a wall that also has footers supporting it underneath in the crawl space. You could crawl underneath your house and build your own extra support if you are able. Start by laying down cinder blocks and running a 6x6 piece of wood to the floor beam that the tank is sitting on. Alternatively you could use joist jacks in place of the wood and cinder block. They run about $50 dollars at home depot. You can also add additional wood support between the floor beams which should strengthen it as well. I have used this method personally in my parents home when they moved a 1500 hundred pound gun safe in their living room and they don't have any problems. You just have to take into consideration every home is different.

Overall I recommend having it evaluated by a qualified engineer. Doing things yourself could save money but prove disastrous and cost you more in the long run.

I forgot to mention that the type of stand determines the load distribution of the tank. If the stand has legs then the load will be concentrated on the individual legs. I would recommend looking for a stand that is flat across the bottom.

  • #3
I agree with getting an engineer to have a look at it, better to be safe then sorry.
  • #4
I would also have an engineer look at this but if this is out of the?
Maybe like a platform as well like a firplace or wood stove sits on if you have a flat bottomed stand and a decently flat base lager under that that will considerably spread the load out over a larger space...
I got lucky my fish room is a old garage converted into a living room so I have horibly level concrete floors in mine
  • #5
I read some threads on this as I'm wondering this same thing for my future tank plans.

A good point that fit brought up is that it's going to be hard to get a solid answer from an engineer. Someone posted that it's going to be difficult if not impossible to hire an engineer for a few hundred bucks to sign off on something like this tank that could cause thousands of tens of thousands of dollars in Dave if they get it wrong. The poster made a good argument ,in my opinion, that no firms is going to want to sign off on that.

Now, maybe you could get some advice. In that thread, someone recommended just using that money towards your tank.

I guess if you're completely clueless, like I am, then I guess it would be worth trying to get some info from a professional. My personal plan is to just ask a buddy who builds homes to advise me and I'll accept that he can't guarantee it.

125g is right around when people started to think there could be a problem. When people asked about smaller tanks, the answer was usually the it was almost certainly going to be fine.

If you do contact an engineer, please let us know what they say.
  • #6
I would believe that a general contractor could answer your question.

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