Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by Striike, Mar 5, 2010.

Do I Need Floor Supporting?!?

One of the questions that is inevitably asked in every aquarium chat room, newsgroup and bulletin board is "just how large an aquarium can my...
  1. mclevenger10

    mclevenger10 Well-Known Member

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    Very good read!
     

  2. shiftline

    shiftline Well-Known Member

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    I know this is a very old thread and an Awesome write up!

    Now after all that I have a question for my future build. I would like to replace the banister at their pong the stairs with a tank. It will be perpendicular to the joists and be about 100g+ sump and 6' long. Tank will be 15mm rimless and prob weigh 300lbs + Weight of a steel stand.

    Joists are 16" centre. I'm not 100% but I believe they were 8"

    Now is the floor where it meets the stairs considered a load bearing wall or Judt a floating. Wall?

    Here is an old pic back before the basement Was finished (if I only knew I was going to do a tank)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Do you guys think there would be any issues taking off the banister and putting a tank here?
     
  3. NubNub

    NubNub Member

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    I would say add some noging (bits that going other way) will stop bounce in floor.
     
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  4. Windy

    Windy Well-Known Member

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    ?????
     
  5. shiftline

    shiftline Well-Known Member

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    What' exactly do you mean by bits going the other way?
     
  6. kevensquint

    kevensquint Well-Known Member

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    ^(SantaMonica) This is the most likely problem. When your in the grey zone of the floor is "probably" strong enough. It won't likely break, but it might very well sag, so then the stand will sag, and then the tank will sag. Glass doesn't like to sag. I saw this exact phenomena in my home and might have emptied the tank just in time.
     
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  7. jakub

    jakub Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't it be the simplest to call your local structural engineer to advise you? Yes it will cost you some but you'll RIP that nothing bad will happen.
    Sure beats guesswork!
     
  8. kevensquint

    kevensquint Well-Known Member

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    A few months late , but the joists are not sitting on the wall, they are screwed to it with brackets. I'm not an engineer, but I wouldn't trust a stand built that way, so IMO I would put extra support under the floor. You can be creative and stain some 4x4's to blend with your basement decor
     
  9. shiftline

    shiftline Well-Known Member

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    Well it's not an option now.. At least on this half. Possibly on the other side of the wall


    [​IMG]

    May be able to get a few 2x4 up in the crack beside the fridge against the wall
     
  10. s2nhle

    s2nhle Well-Known Member

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    If you drill in the plywood underneath that span across multiple joints then it would be safe.
     
  11. shiftline

    shiftline Well-Known Member

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    Underneath the span? Could that work for doing it on top of the span? Or simply have a thick sheet of wood under the stand?
     
  12. fab

    fab Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Outstanding posts. Absolutely outstanding. Thank you , thank you, thank you. They are wonderfully written, clear, thorough and actually quite concise for the subject, not long winded at all.

    Now my 2 cents:
    1000 gallon system. Reinforced concrete slab floor. And took out a bearing wall.

    I had an architectural firm do the structural analysis of the floor and of my stand. I specified the dead weight at twice the actual weight for the analysis. I also specified a lateral dynamic load on the stand with the fully loaded tank equivalent to a 300 lb pro football lineman smashing into his opposite at a full run. I had them perform the analysis for both horizontal axes, hitting the front of the stand and the side.

    Then I had them design the removal and replacement of a 9 foot span of bearing wall on my bottommost floor in a 3 storey house. That wall supported two upper floors and attic.

    My display tank now sits in that opening that was created by replacing the bearing wall with a clear span supported by the steel I-beam that the architects designed and specified.

    So, even though I had the luxury of starting with a reinforced concrete slab, I still thought it was important to have professional structural engineers do the analyses to assure it was strong enough. I even doubled the weight for the analyses and put in highly improbable horizontal dynamic loads on the loaded stand for its structural analysis.

    I guarantee you that if I ever have to set up another aquarium system I will definitely have these analyses done for it before I buy the tank or the stand. I would do it for any tank of consequential size, particularly if it is to go on a wooden floor.

    Failure of a floor resulting in your tank crashing through to the floor below would be a full-blown catastrophe. But you don't have to have that happen to ruin the value of your home. Damage to your flooring system that compromises it's integrity may well be visible to the trained eye of a home inspector hired by a prospective buyer or an insurance adjustor. Your home appraisal value would drop about as fast as a tank crashing to the floor below. Or your insurance company would then know of the compromise. That information would be available to subsequent insurers and thereby to buyers.

    The few hundreds of dollars it costs to get competent advice from a professional structural engineer could save your home from these catastrophic outcomes.

    Having a member of this forum so generous with his knowledge and his time and energy to provide this excellent multiple-post tutorial on structural engineering as it relates to siting aquaria safely in our homes and businesses is really a stroke of great fortune to all of us.
     
  13. s2nhle

    s2nhle Well-Known Member

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    Underneath with crews is much stronger support than just a thick sheet of wood on top of your joints which it actually adds more wait to joints beneath it.
     
  14. acer

    acer Well-Known Member PMAS Member

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    Ha- great thread and perfect timing.

    Thinking about setting up a custom 180 ( 4 ' long x 2.5' x 2.5") on the main floor of a Brick house , with block outside basement walls and a block wall running down the middle of the basement, that was built early 1960's. the Main floor is hardwood ( red oak) , joists are 2 x 8 on 16 inch centers and run 12 feet from outside wall to the middle block wall in the basement. The sumps/refugium/etc. will all be in the basement - so no added weight for those.

    Anybody with any thoughts on the current floor being good to go or not? I read the thread- but it seems each situation is different. The tank will be next to the outside wall - but since it is a custom tank it will be nearly 36 inches out from the outside wall after installing a overflow system on the back of it.
     
  15. fab

    fab Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Upstairs, basement, wood floors on joists, concrete slab, reinforced concrete, not reinforced, crossing joists, parallel to joists? No useful help without these kind of details. Sketches?

    What will your system weigh?
     
  16. shoelaceike

    shoelaceike Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I think it would depend which way the joists were running....if they are running perpendicular, I think you should be ok.....I have a similar situation but mine is 6x2x2 so I'm using more joists
     
  17. acer

    acer Well-Known Member PMAS Member

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    The tank will be on main floor, against outside wall over basement with joists running under a hardwood floor that are (2 x 8 on 16 inch centers) . The joists run 12 feet long from the outside wall to an inside weight bearing middle wall in the basement that is made of block concrete.The tank will be perpendicular to the basement joists - but the tank is only 4 feet long and 30 inches high and 30 inches wide. So you figure the tank will be spread over just 3 joists.

    Weight of tank= 180 gallons of water = 1550 pounds (8.6 pounds x 180), plus 100 pounds of wood ( stand and canopy) , plus the weight of the tank itself = 250 pounds. Plus rock = 100 pounds. Total is appox. 2000 pounds . Not sure on the weight of the tank itself.
     
  18. shoelaceike

    shoelaceike Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Is the entire tank/stand sitting on the floor or is there only some areas that hold all the weight?
     
  19. acer

    acer Well-Known Member PMAS Member

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    Will be building a stand that will distribute it as evenly as possible. Any special ways to make the stand that will help? Due to the height of the tank - the stand will only be 2 feet high.
     
  20. shoelaceike

    shoelaceike Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Thats fine.....the more area that distributes the weight from tank to floor lessons the PSI. I should mention I am no expert but did a lot of research prior to setting mine up......if your concerned, definitely have an engineer take a look.
     
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