Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to take a closer look in my crawlspace to assess how weight will be distributed and if my 150 gallon will be safe.

My house is 100 years old (newly renovated), long and wide (shotgun style) at about 24' wide. There are supports of cinder block or brick every 8 feet, using 3 joists from end to end. Joists are spaced about every 12 inches. There are some newer ones, and much older ones as well.

What do y'all experts think? My 150g will be over 6 joists resting on brick, against an outside wall. Stand is 77" long and 20" wide, and has a flat bottom (not just perimeter of the walls) Thank you!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
I am not a structural engineer, and I suspect if someone here is, they're not likely to render a professional opinion without personal examination. FWIW, I've not known anyone in a pier & beam home with a tank as large as you're proposing (knew one with a 75, but only briefly so can't even say if there may have been a long-term issue or not). Just from walking through the few I have, most I would not have trusted with even a 75. That's not to say it can't/won't work, just a suggestion to be careful, and to reiterate my statement that having a professional take a look is probably well worth the money that it would cost. I'm especially suspicious of that brick. What does it rest on? What load is it capable of handling? Remember, any chain is only as good as its weakest link. Which is yours?

On a completely unrelated note, it looks like some of the gaps between joists are insulated, and some are not. Not sure about general practice in Atlanta (where moisture especially might be a concern), but in more northerly climes, you can often save quite a bit of money insulating under the floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
I have a 75 gallon tank in my home which has a full basement; I was worried about the weight at the time so I did some quick calculations. The tank is on a stand which I built and has a solid plywood bottom for even weight distribution; the foot print is 48"x18" which comes to 864 square inches. The stand and tank weighs about 100 pounds and the water about 600 pounds equaling 700 pounds. That works out to 1.234 pounds per square inch which I decided was not unreasonable. The tank has been set up for several years with no deflection of the floor joists.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
783 Posts
Are all the joists resting on supports ? (ie. a sill or plate, and not end-nailed)

Are any joists end-nailed ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
wryan said:
Are all the joists resting on supports ? (ie. a sill or plate, and not end-nailed)

Are any joists end-nailed ?
I dont believe so. They all seem to rest on top of the brick foundation (which a home inspector was in good shape for being a century old - that the old ones are typically pretty sturdy). I haven't been up close to the joists that would be under the tank yet, but was about 20 feet away and from what I could tell they were sitting on/resting on top of the brick for foundation.

In the middle of the house, there are brick or cinder blocks every 8 feet that the joists also rest on.

I'm going to have to crawl up under there again and get a closer look :(

I'm willing to dig and put in some concrete posts and get a couple floor jacks if I have to. I'll have to report back with more info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
awanderingmoose said:
I am not a structural engineer, and I suspect if someone here is, they're not likely to render a professional opinion without personal examination. FWIW, I've not known anyone in a pier & beam home with a tank as large as you're proposing (knew one with a 75, but only briefly so can't even say if there may have been a long-term issue or not). Just from walking through the few I have, most I would not have trusted with even a 75. That's not to say it can't/won't work, just a suggestion to be careful, and to reiterate my statement that having a professional take a look is probably well worth the money that it would cost. I'm especially suspicious of that brick. What does it rest on? What load is it capable of handling? Remember, any chain is only as good as its weakest link. Which is yours?

On a completely unrelated note, it looks like some of the gaps between joists are insulated, and some are not. Not sure about general practice in Atlanta (where moisture especially might be a concern), but in more northerly climes, you can often save quite a bit of money insulating under the floor.
The bricks around the house all sit on an old 100 year old slab of concrete foundation. The more I think of it, as awful as it seems, I need to crawl under there and prop up the joists underneath. I just remembered that I have the contact info of the guy who inspected the home before buying and I will reach out to him.

As sloppy as it looks underneath the house, the upper part is quite nice and modern now. There's still a lot of improvement that needs to be done and fixing that insulation will get done before next winter. Luckily, it's only cold here for 2 or 3 months at most
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,462 Posts
What is under that black cloth that's on the ground? If it's a concrete slab, I would build a knee wall up against the back wall and another one 2' out from the wall.
Both walls would support whichever joists the tank will be sitting on. Even if it's not concrete I would still build knee walls on top of some wider lumber (2x12") to distribute the weight.
I must say, I've been building houses and renovating old houses for many years and I have never seen construction like that before (mainly the blocks supporting the joists).
The joists usually sit on a mud sill which is embedded in the top of the concrete on top of a block wall. If they have nothing at the ends to be nailed to, they should have solid blocking between them to stop them "rolling". If the connection at the end of the joists is solid, then a knee wall 2' out (supporting the front of the tank) should do the trick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
noddy said:
What is under that black cloth that's on the ground? If it's a concrete slab, I would build a knee wall up against the back wall and another one 2' out from the wall.
Both walls would support whichever joists the tank will be sitting on. Even if it's not concrete I would still build knee walls on top of some wider lumber (2x12") to distribute the weight.
I must say, I've been building houses and renovating old houses for many years and I have never seen construction like that before (mainly the blocks supporting the joists).
The joists usually sit on a mud sill which is embedded in the top of the concrete on top of a block wall. If they have nothing at the ends to be nailed to, they should have solid blocking between them to stop them "rolling". If the connection at the end of the joists is solid, then a knee wall 2' out (supporting the front of the tank) should do the trick.
Appreciate the info! This house was a flip in a very, very poor inner-city neighborhood in downtown Atlanta (it cost 100k less than similar homes the next neighborhood over). Many of my neighbors have habitat for humanity houses, one across the street is vacant with no door and squatters living inside. There are some prostitutes in street corners... 1/4 of the homes are under construction and bought up by flippers with multi million dollar construction ventures less than 1 mile away so this was an investment- my home inspector says it's always interesting to see homes here (neighborhood called Pittsburgh, Atlanta) but that our foundation was in really good shape for a 100 year old house and just has a few things that need attention in the near future.

I've been doing a lot of reading and watching videos on this. This weekend I crawl all the way to the other side of the house and evaluate, and formulate a plan! I'll post back with photo update.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I mention the state of the neighborhood only to paint a picture of some of the weird shortcuts that must've been used over the decades. It's historically one of the poorest neighborhoods in Atlanta since 1880s.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,856 Posts
Thanks for the additional info on the house and the area it's located.

It is always difficult to figure out what a previous owner has done to a home especially when repairs or remodeling are hidden in walls such as electrical and plumbing or in structural repairs where most people don't have access to under floor areas or don't want to crawl around in these areas. I'm never really surprised anymore when dealing with a new to me house!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I picked this up from Home Depot today... time to get serious.

4x6 8 foot beam and two jacks. Digging down to concrete to rest the jacks, or creating my own with concrete just in case. Will rest below supporting 8 joists (resting on brick foundation) 2.5' out from the wall. Should be able to park a car on this.

And yes, it's spider town down there so 2 cans of spider death.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Floor is supported! Two big 18" holes dug down into hard GA red clay, poured a bag of cement in each and added water. After cured, added floor jacks to support an 8 foot 4x6 beam over 8 joists, 1.5 feet out from the wall. Could park a tank on it. Well maybe not a tank...

Still a lot to do- I refinished the stand from wood grain to a beautiful white (need to cut and make 2 new doors still), painted the back, and make a canopy. Added eggcrate today, some sand (need to get another 100lbs), and 4 big granite boulders. Want to keep it minimal.

Hardware:
-Fluval FX6, and an old Fluval 404 until I decide on a 2nd canister (will fill with aragonite and lava rock).
-Hitop 300w heater. I keep my place in mid 70s, will add a 2nd heater if need be.
-Zacro digital thermometer
-Beamswork 72" LED

Water chemistry:
Atlanta water is neutral 7.0 and super soft - KH/GH around 1.
-Caribsea Aragonite in filter media trays and some mixed with sand
-Epsom Salt, baking soda, and Instant Ocean for PH/KH/GH buffering
-Prime conditioner

Stock list:
Hope to buy a colony of 8 WC Zaire gibberosa from a shop near me- they're around 5-7". If that falls through I want some nice F1 adult mpimbwe or something.
Maybe some altolamps if I find some nice big ones.
Will set up a 55 for any future holding females.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Really nice! I like the big stones. Can't wait to see the stand and canopy when done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tank is running and fishless cycling. Just ordered 9 wild caught C. gibberosa Zaire Moba juveniles around 4-5"! Can't wait for the cycle to finish. A friend is going to give me some gravel to put in my canister to speed this up. I added Tetra Safestart as well as Seachem Stability but my ammonia is holding steady at 2 ppm. Below are a few pics of the setup. I am building new doors for the stand and eventually a canopy.
 

Attachments

1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top