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. eenoo

    eenoo Member

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    Sorry that it double posted. So I did a bit of digging. My floor is 8in reinforced concrete. Would that hold? From my research ive basically concluded that structural engineering makes no sense.
     

  2. kalare

    kalare Active Member Partner Member 2018

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    if you have an 8" reinforced concrete floor, and knowing that some guy put a car on his floor, I wouldn't worry very much :)
     
  3. s2nhle

    s2nhle Valuable Member

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    +1. I have the same thought.
     
  4. kevensquint

    kevensquint Active Member

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    I built a stand for a 160 using these plans. I followed the instructions exactly. The stand looked great. But, it sagged in the middle just enough to be noticeable. Had to empty the tank and reinforce the stand. The stand would not have collapsed, but as I mentioned in a previous post. Tanks don't like to sag. So the stand must not.
     
  5. PAXpress

    PAXpress Active Member

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    I work with structural engineers (I do IT so I dont know jack about construction) and we calculated my 175g before I ordered it.
     
  6. jwwoodjr

    jwwoodjr Member

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    I'm in the process of building a house and know where the tank will go. I'm planning on a 6' tank but not sure on total volume. My only concern is that it's in the middle of an open floor plan parallel to the floor joists. My contractor said he can tie the joists together and it will be sitting on a triple laminate beam. Does this seem reasonable or should I drop back and punt? It's easier to add support now than later on once everything is closed up.
     
  7. kalare

    kalare Active Member Partner Member 2018

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    Unfortunately this is impossible to answer without knowing joist size, span & spacing, and proposed beam size and grade. Since this is a new home, I am assuming you have had a structural engineer design your home. I would strongly suggest getting that engineer to design for your largest possible tank size, and reinforce the floor (or confirm that it will work). Note that even if the floor is potentially STRONG enough, it may have a very large deflection, and you may notice a dip in the floor that can un-level your tank and create a noticeably sloped floor. A structural engineer should be able to account for this and provide the proper size joists/beams to support the tank.

    Another note. There are many many great contractors. I would never trust one to make structural decisions in any structure, no matter if they've have 40 years of experience. Granted, I am biased as a structural engineer, however I've seen way too many improperly modified buildings where a contractor, with good intentions, made bad advice and created unstable and/or dangerous conditions. Please get your floor checked by a licensed engineer.

    Good Luck!
     
  8. Debacle

    Debacle Member

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    Hopefully the experts are still following this thread, and if so can i get their opinion as to my tank placement. I am including a rough drawing of the floor. Solid dark blue is a metal beam. Light blue are floor joists. Red box is possible aquarium locations. not to scale and not actual floor joist locations. Just shown for directional placement only.

    Tank will be a 150g Glass Cages aquarium with measurements of 48"x24" Home was built in 2003. Floor joists are 16" on center and constructed of 2x10 beams resting on top of metal beam. Location 1 is against an outside wall. Location 2 is against an outside living area wall. Other side of the wall is the garage. I am assuming that is a load bearing wall. Full basement underneath both locations. Was planning on putting up two https://www.homedepot.com/p/Tiger-Brand-Super-S-Series-8-ft-4-in-Jack-Post-J-S-100/100022783 underneath the floor joists to help support the weight with a 2x6 or 8 header between them. Plumbing/Filtration room will be below the aquarium.

    I know position 1 will be ideal as it spans more joists, but not sure if I can make it work with the room being long and narrow. Position 2 is fall back placement. So will my floor support? floor.jpg
     
  9. Debacle

    Debacle Member

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    **Note.
    Not entirely certain if the final positioning of placement #2 will actually go across the metal beam.
     
  10. kalare

    kalare Active Member Partner Member 2018

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    What's the distance from outer wall (wall where position 1 is against) to the steel beam? If position 2 is not over the steel beam, how close is the southern (assuming the drawings is with the top to the north) edge of the tank to the steel beam, and is the tank situated more south or more north of the beam?
     
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  11. Debacle

    Debacle Member

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    Update to the drawing above. Please overlook my awesome drawing skills. I try not to show up the professionals but it is just so hard sometimes. Where I added the green box is actually a partition wall separating the living and kitchen areas. This wall is non structural. From Northern edge of the house to the wall is 129". Tank position 2 would be centered from partition wall to exterior northern wall. Hence 40.5, 48, 40.5.

    What's the distance from outer wall (wall where position 1 is against) to the steel beam? From northern end of the wall to the steel beam is 9'8". Assuming I put the tank 8" from the wall, and the tank is 24" wide, there will be aproximately 84", or 7', from the southern end of the tank to the steel beam.

    If position 2 is not over the steel beam, how close is the southern (assuming the drawings is with the top to the north) edge of the tank to the steel beam?. 27" from the Southern end of position 2 to the steel beam. 40.5" from the Northern end to the corner of the exterior wall.


    and is the tank situated more south or more north of the beam? Tank would not be situated over the beam as stated above.

    floor.jpg
     
  12. kalare

    kalare Active Member Partner Member 2018

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    You have relatively small spans and relatively deep joists (normal size for newly constructed homes, but older homes have MUCH smaller stuff). You joists are at 16" O.C. so I see no issue with placing the tank in either orientation.

    Note that in option 2, while walking around in the other room (below the green wall) or in the area around the tank, your tank might slightly bounce and you may notice water movement (it shouldn't be much at all) at the top rim.
     
  13. Fritzhamer

    Fritzhamer Active Member

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    This is really great info.
     
  14. Debacle

    Debacle Member

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    Thanks. Would you recommend placing floor jack w/ header under the locations?
     
  15. junkycosmos

    junkycosmos Member

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    In depth info.
     
  16. akopley

    akopley Member

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    I have an engineer coming next Tuesday to see about putting a 240 along the railing pictured. I think the tank is parallel to joist but hoping that by partially sitting directly on top of a load bearing wall i can get away with minimal additions. Maybe a few additional joist. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    tank dims 96"x24"x25"

    IMG_0090.jpg

    IMG_0089.jpg
     
  17. kalare

    kalare Active Member Partner Member 2018

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    Sorry but it's impossible for me to tell anything from photos alone that don't show framing members. I'd wait till the engineer you have coming out takes a look. Assuming that wall is a bearing wall, and that the floor joists run perpendicular to it...it shouldn't be a problem. There are however many other factors that could make or break your situation, you made a good call by having someone come out to give you peace of mind.
     
  18. akopley

    akopley Member

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    It’s a super funky house layout as the architect originally designed it for himself. I’m curious to see what the report is Tuesday. Thanks for the reply.
     
  19. Huff747

    Huff747 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I've read this thread a couple times now and I feel pretty confident that I should be good but thought I'd post some pictures and info and get some second opinions. I have a 6ft 125 gallon tank that I plan on running a 30-40 gallon sump on. Here's what the joists look like. 2 inches (on the ends) by 12 inches and 16 inch centers.
    IMG_4859.jpg

    And under the room where the tank may go was finished before we moved in but I can see the metal beam in the unfinished part running across and so would assume that's a floor jack.
    IMG_4857.jpg

    Pardon my awesome drawing skills but here's where the tank may sit. It would be perpendicular to the joists and based on my measurements the beam runs ~9 inches in front of that wall.
    IMG_4858.png

    And once again based on my measurements X should mark the spot above where the floor jack is located.
    IMG_4860.png

    Tank may still end up in the basement as I can't decide if I want to risk the wood floors or if I like it being right by those cabinets and want to move the pictures but would like to know I'm covered if it does end up here.

    Thanks for any input.

     
  20. akopley

    akopley Member

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    Everyone will say to get an engineer to come look but you seem very safe being right under that beam. I had a 180 on the 2nd floor with no issues. I had an engineer come out for my upcoming 240 gallon. He suggested supporting jacks and beams in my garage which I am adding.
     
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