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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am remodeling my kitchen an want to put my 75 gallon tank in the wall which will be seen on both sides, it is a older house no concrete foundation so what would I have to put under to reinforce it. Also what type of filtration should I put so that I do not have emporer 400 hanging on the back. Has 75 lbs of sand 150 lbs of holey rock. Please help I do not want to regret this decision and want to make sure I do this right.
 

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I'm sure you'll get lots of helpful advice on here about managing the weight of the tank in your particular circumstance but it's good to have an understanding of the issues involved. This is a very detailed article on the subject but it's worth struggling through.

http://badmanstropicalfish.com/articles/article28.html

The issue isn't about the tank going through the floor (usually) as much as the floor shifting, causing stress on the seams of the tank and eventually causing a leak or complete collapse. Some people will say that you'll have lots of time to notice that something has gone amuck because you'll see that the water line in the tank is no longer level but I wouldn't risk it. The greatest danger isn't so much the tank no longer being level as the surface it's sitting on no longer being flat.

Based on the limited information provided, it sounds like you'll have the added challenge of not being able to have the majority of the tank's weight be against a weight-bearing wall (since you want the tank to be see through). One option might be to put some heavy plywood against the ceiling that the tank is above and support the plywood with a jack (see http://www.ehow.com/how_7589387_use-sup ... floor.html).

In terms of the filtration, I would go with a canister (or two) with some powerheads (or an UGJ system - http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ug_jets.php) to push the waste to the end where the intake tube is.

HTH
 

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You have not told us the important thing. What is under the spot in the wall where you want the tank? It is quite possible that the wall is a load bearing wall--or not. You will have to look at that first. Is it over a crawlspace with access or over a basement? Posts and beam type construction or masonry foundation? Not wanting to make this sound difficult but those are some of the questions that one has to know to tell what needs to be done. If you can get under that spot and it is not built as a loading bearing wall, support can be added. Not difficult or complicated but you need to know first if it is needed. You just need the benefit of some experience and that is where the internet can help lots. Loads of free info just for asking the right questions before making decisions. You have a good start by asking.

If you can see under the wall the group can go from there. :thumb:
.
 

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We renovated our house last year and since I knew I was putting a 125 gallon down I employed a structural engineer to reinforce my floor. We set it against two load-bearing walls and doubled up the joists - so I like to play it carefully:



But here's a link to another member's tank to give you some ideas on hiding your equipment on a two-sides visible tank: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... &&start=45
(scroll about halfway down the page)

Good luck!

kevin
 

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Maybe a drawing of a poor man's definition of load bearing walls will help?

Basicly if the weight (load) is carried through the structure to the ground or something truely solid.
The red and green circles indicate what makes them what they are. There are always a variety of things that also enter the picture but this is the simple view.



Tanks built into the green walls can be considered setting on the ground. In the red walls, more study is needed.
 

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PfunMo, that's a helpful diagram. I'm not a structural engineer but since the OP wants to build the tank into the wall, isn't it safe to say that it is not a good idea to set it up within a load bearing wall? I would think that doing so could compromise the building's structural integrity. I was making this assumption in my post and my point was that if the tank is built into a wall that is perpendicular, but immediately adjacent, to a load bearing wall (or within a non-load bearing wall even further away from a load bearing wall), a lot of the weight of a four foot tank is going to be, at best, away from the supporting wall (as you move away from the wall the support provided by the load bearing wall is reduced) or at worst, not supported from below at all.

Perhaps I'm mistaken though in assuming you should not build a tank within a load bearing wall. :?
 

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I don't know that building a tank into a load bearing wall is a bad idea. You probably just need some kind of advice as to what size beam you will need to support the span. Exterior walls are generally considered load bearing and yet you have many large spans for doors and windows that would far exceed the length of this tank. These are supported by headers and or beams. Actually a pretty easy process, just make sure you consult a pro for exact dimensions of said headers. my .02
 

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Not a problem to build into the load bearing wall other than it does need a support (header) over the space you would cut out. Think of it as a bridge over the gap. For 75, I don't really think of it as much of a question usually but it pays to check when one mentions it being older and not the normal house. Headers are not too much more than a couple 2X of the right width laid on edge. Usually fastened together with a piece of 1/2 plywood between them to make them the same width as the 2X4 studs used for the rest of the wall. Normal wall is built of 2X4 which is really 31/2 inches so 11/2+1/2+11/2 equals the normal size. For a four foot opening I would use 2X6 to make a header. All doors and windows should have headers over them. The beefier headers are over places like room entries where the opening is much wider. Wider the opening the stronger the header needed. I'm not an engineer either and when I get into unusual things I do some checking before I do the cutting!
 

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All our talk about headers may be running way too far out as I think of building from the ground up. If he can't get the bottom solid, there is no reason to build the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the info I'm going to look at those things yall asked, also since I'm remodeling the floor I'll be putting extra support on the part.

Other question was how can I hide the filter and what type of filter would be best for this.
 

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Canister filter! Have a look at that thread I linked and see how people hide the equipment behind a back ground. Aquaterra/Back to Nature BGs are expensive and hard to find, but the DIY forum has lots of threads on home made BGs if money is an object.

You can even turn the BG itself into a filter and just use pumps:
http://www.gillsnfins.ca/3d_install.php

kevin
 

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Odds are good that the tank will be wider than the wall so there will be some tank overhanging into at least one room. With that in mind I would look at putting the canister below the tank at one end with some type of decor item to hide it. A tall shelf with an open back with flowers on top ? Something to set over the can but easy to lift off for maintenance, maybe. With the input line on one tank end and the output on the other, the canister will work well. Rather than a background maybe place the intake pipe at the center of the tank end where it is not viewed from either side quite so much?
 

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newcichlidiot said:
Exterior walls are generally considered load bearing and yet you have many large spans for doors and windows that would far exceed the length of this tank.
Good thing I'm not designing houses. You wouldn't be able to get in or out. :D
 

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You could actually build the wall out to match the tank dimensions for the bottom, this way you take care of the tank support and have a nice little cubby, closet, hide away for all your equipment. If a load bearing wall, it will support the tank with no issues. Esp. since the tank will be right on top of the load bearing area.
 

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Don't forget if you have a tank say 48 inches wide your headers will need to be 54 inches wide as you will have to have 2 2x4 supports under each end of the header going all the way to the floor or floor plate to bear the load of the header. And I like the idea of putting your output and input on the short ends of the tank close the middle to hide 'em.
 

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Newcichlid has that right about needing longer headers than four foot. Maybe that's how I come up with all that scrap left over from cuttting and then thinking? I doodle on paper for days before picking up the tools, just so I can sleep on it for a while. :oops:
 

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Before we get all tied up in worry about the load bearing wall, let's talk about what if it isn't. Just a bit more trouble maybe but doable still.



If you have to crawl under to look, do some more looking and figure whether this is needed. The screw jacks are pretty cheap and simple to use. A basic pipe that extends and then has a large screw at the end to press the beam tight up against the floor to support it. Twenty dollar lifesavers to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok so the floor beems fund this way from east to west I'm going to put the tank north to south over 2 beams would that be good?
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Normally that is true. It does still need to be close to a spot where the beams have some support from underneath. These colored tank outlines show some of the thinking about which locations might be best. All this depends on the floor joists being the same type size and condition in all parts of the house. The floor joists are shown supported at the ends by the foundation and at the middle by another main beam.



I think this is the correct general idea but it's getting late and there may be errors --- So feel free to point them out if you see them. I think of this as mental exercise and a discussion not a lecture. :zz:
 

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When pfunMo says screw jacks to solid ground he means. You should have something solid underneath the screw jacks. Like a concrete pad (doesn't need to be real large) Or like an 8x16 concrete block under each screw jack. Just a little something to spread out the weight and to keep the screw jack from digging into the ground and shifting causing a loss of support. Oh and Baz11 it still depends on what is directly beneath the wall you are proposing to install the tank in. What is supporting the joist?
 
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