will floor support a 220 gal???

rosalie68
  • #1
so I bought a 220 gallon. I have the aquarium and the stand so far. I didnt realize how heavy the aquarium alone would weigh as I have only had a 55 gal. I am in a town house that has a basement and I was wondering if my tank when set up will be supported by the floor. the house was built in the 1980's. I have the tank set up next to a main wall in the middle of the house. the wall goes from the basement up to the main floor and to the upstairs. my dad was saying that this would be a strong point in the house or an outside wall. I can't see the boards directly under the tank from the basement b/c that half is finished and has a ceiling but I can see the flooring in the other half of the basement if anyone needs to know how closely spaced the boards are. I figure that all together that tank will weigh about 2500 lbs. when all set up. I figured water at 8 lbs a gallon and that the tank alone weighs about 300 lbs and also averaged in the weight of gravel or sand. I really want the tank in my living room. if it absolutely will not hold then I might put it in the basement but I really don't want to do that because we don't really go down there and I want people to be able to see it. please help. thanks
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #2
I will leave the logistics to someone more versed on structural integrity. (I know that we have atleast one member who owns a construction company, so you will surely get an answer eventually.)

Is there no way you could reinforce that specific area of the floor just to be on the extra safe side?
 
Angela_96
  • #3
I know its not a 220 gallon tank, however when checking on whether or not we could get a 90-100g tank we found out we could get by with one that big. We live in double-wide, but ours is more heavily built than the others which plays a major role in what our floors will hold.
I say if our floors would hold a tank that large yours should hold one twice as big, I would still talk to a construction worker/design person to make sure.
 
rosalie68
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I was thinking I will probably need to put up a few posts in the basement right under the tank. although this still worries me. I thought it wouldnt have been more than 1000 lbs. we have only lived here about a month so I don't know much about this place. I know all the floors creak so that makes me queasy just thinkin of how much the tank weighs. I really wish I would have realized how much it would weigh so I could have thought this out better. I probably would have only gotten like a 150 or something. I do need a tank this big so I can keep my sharks though b/c they get pretty big. I have heard that if u measure the inside of the tank then it really doesn't hold as many gallons as it says. so I guess that lightens the load a bit and also the gravel takes away too. plus it weighs less b/c its in the water. but the water alone is what makes this so heavy. just that is over 1600 lbs. crazy!! well I guess if anyone has any ideas of how to reinforce it and if putting up posts in the basement will help please let me know. thank u so much!!
 
MagpieTear
  • #5
How much head space do you have down in the basement? Can you post some pics of the basement area in question? What are the floor joists where the tank is going to sit? 2x6? 2x10? How far from the nearest basement wall? Can you put support columns under there without interfering with the living space in the basement? How opposed are you to temporarily ripping out some of the finished ceiling to install the supports?

It could get expensive, or be relatively inexpensive depending on the situation. Biggest issue is you will need to spread the weight out across a few columns or a supporting wall. Don't concentrate it in one or two spots, as it will eventually fracture the basement floor. One option, if it it's not going to interfere too much with the current use of the basement area is to build a floor to ceiling pantry or linen closet underneath. That way it spreads the force out, and you get usable storage as opposed to two or three ugly support poles...
 
Angela_96
  • #6
How much head space do you have down in the basement? Can you post some pics of the basement area in question? What are the floor joists where the tank is going to sit? 2x6? 2x10? How far from the nearest basement wall? Can you put support columns under there without interfering with the living space in the basement? How opposed are you to temporarily ripping out some of the finished ceiling to install the supports?

It could get expensive, or be relatively inexpensive depending on the situation. Biggest issue is you will need to spread the weight out across a few columns or a supporting wall. Don't concentrate it in one or two spots, as it will eventually fracture the basement floor. One option, if it it's not going to interfere too much with the current use of the basement area is to build a floor to ceiling pantry or linen closet underneath. That way it spreads the force out, and you get usable storage as opposed to two or three ugly support poles...

That sounds like a great idea for extra support!!
My husband is going to re-enforce under our home for the 90 just in case, but we do not have a basement... it will be concrete and blocks spread out across an area.
 
rosalie68
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
sorry I didnt get back sooner but my computer was having problems the last few days. I put the pictures of the basement and the tank in my gallery. u just click on the camara. there is about 14- 16 inches between the wood and they are about 2 inches thick and 7 inches wide. I can't build a closet bc it would be right in the middle of the basement along the wall and its a duplex that were renting. I do have to say that it was a great idea!! I think I wouldnt mind so much putting up the posts. I'm thinking of putting up 2 or 3 4x4s. as long as I can find where the floor boards are does it matter if I just brace them against the ceiling? I can't pull the ceiling apart. I don't have the tools and I don't really know how to do it. do u think that without them my floor would collapse? I'm figuring this tank is about 200 pounds a square foot. ive heard that the standard weight a floor can hold is usually around 40 psf but that ussually houses can hold more than that. do u think 200 lbs is too much? I know I am asking so many questions but I have had some people tell me its ok and some that say no its not. I really really want this tank! thanks for all of your help!!!
 
MagpieTear
  • #8
After looking at your pics, to be perfectly honest, I'd be leery of filling the 220 without additional bracing. It could be done safely, but not without some work.

Bear in mind, those 40 psf are worst case scenarios, double that is within the realm of reality. but almost triple the static load without a bearing wall or support directly underneath is questionable at best. And even if you shored it up with posts or beams, to do it properly, they would need to be in direct contact with joists they are supporting. The drywall would crumble as the weight of the tank deflected the jpoist downward until the joists rested on the braces.
 
rosalie68
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
thank u so much for taking the time to help me out. I really appreciate it. I'm really considering just putting the tank in the basement. I'm too worried about it. I can always put my 55 gal in my living room. thanks again!!!
kim
 
rosalie68
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
so I talked to my husband and we put the tank in the basement. he joked and said instead of waiting for it to fall to the basement we'd better just put it down there. lol. I didnt want to be worried everyday that it could collapse. we have 2 little boys and I just don't think that would have been the safe thing. I guess I learned a lot about floor structures this week I already feel better with it down there and I'm ready to start setting it up. thanks again!!
kim
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #11
The tank going in the basement could be the motivation you were needing...

If it were me I would, when money permitted, set the basement up as a lounge/entertainment area. Have the large tank setup so that friends could be invited over to lounge in the basement to play cards, have drinks, watch the game, etc with the tank as a soothing backdrop or main focal point.

There are lots of designing ideas that could be incorporated so that the tank didn't get forgotten about, and to maximize the use of your sq. footage.
 
rosalie68
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
when we moved here last month we were making it a playroom for the kids. now we will keep the toys there and put a couch and tv there also. I was thinking of painting it so its not so dreary. it is finished on that side though so that's a plus. it did look awesome in the living room but so will the 55 gal. I'll get used to the idea as soon as I start setting it up. I have been stalling b/c I was so unsure of how it would hold. u guys have been great. I'm really glad I found this site!!
 
MagpieTear
  • #13
Just think of it this way. Set the 55 up nicely and when the guests compliment you on it, you can blow them away with the statement, "oh, this is the little tank. the good one is downstairs..."
 
susitna-flower
  • #14
Jumping in late, but I am SO glad you are putting it in the basement! You were wise, and all the folks here gave good advice, columns under the 2X8's would have worked, IF you could spread the weight evenly and they were in direct contact with the floor joists..ie, a 4x6 beam across the posts and in contact with the 2x8's....this would be the only solution to keep it upstairs safely, but it sounds like you have a better plan....NOW you can look for an even bigger tank to go with it! Good Luck
 
rosalie68
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
thanks u are all wonderful. I like the idea "this is the little tank"
yay I'm excited now!!!
 
Salvatore
  • #16
Now you got me thinking if my floor is strong enough for mine!!
 
rosalie68
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
how big is your tank?
 
Salvatore
  • #18
Not as big as your's, 120gal. I know it is fine but the thought does cross my mind. I don't think the lady that lives under me would like that much. Just happy that she did not see me as the tank was delivered.HaHA
 
rosalie68
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
LOL that's funny! I felt that way about this apt and the manager. I bet he would flip out! although now he prob wouldnt care that its in the basement. I think my floor wouldve caved in and I would be in deep u know what!! it doesn't say they aren't allowed on our lease though.
I never realized how much an aquarium actually weighed. I'm glad I figured it out before I filled this one!
 

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