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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I went to the house I'm leasing in August today to make some measurements for a new fish tank and to see how many 30-gal's I could fit into my bedroom. What I've been planning is an AGA 155-bowfront, which is 72"lx18"w(24" in the middle, 18 on the ends)x25"h, 253 pounds empty and I've got just the right spot. Here are my two questions:
1. There are 2 places I could feasibly put it(both second floor):
a)external wall (higher heating bill, floor is probably stronger next to the external wall)
b)internal living room wall (lower heating bill, floor may not be quite as strong, although it feels as if the wall is a supporting wall, and not just cosmetic).
2. The stairwell is only 34" wide (w/ a banister that intrudes on the space by 3", making it really only about 31", and there is a 90 degree turn, with a 36"x34" landing. It is certainly feasible to get the tank up there by standing it on end on the landing and turning it(my buddies and I have grown rather adept at moving tanks up and down stairs, but only once have we moved one as big as this), but is it worth it? What would you do?

If it comes down to it, I could just get a tank with a smaller footprint and more leightweight.
My other options are: 125 gal: 72lx18wx23h, 177 pounds empty....
or, 120 gal: 48lx24wx25h, 191 pounds empty.
I would really like to have a tank that is 72x24, and 155 is the smallest non-custom tank with which I can do that. I want a tank that my frontosa can grow huge in, he's currently in a 75-gal, about 2 years old, and about 7", growing at a moderate rate. Tell me if you think its worth it to go through this trouble, and if not, which alternative you would go with. Thanks for your input!

120 and 125 weigh about 1400 pounds when full, 155 weighs about 1800 pounds when full.... is this gonna fall through the floor in a rental property that is about 60 years old? I've done some math, figuring out the pressure in psi and pressure per inch of tank length and I'm kind of on the fence.. I'm fairly certain in the structural strength of this house, but there's always a chance... :?
Thanks again for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
You don't have to have a physics or engineering degree to give me a respone. :D
Just let me know what you think... I want everybody's 2 cents... it'll get me closer to the $2000 this tank is gonna cost me.. haha. I won't hold you responsible for you advice if it turns out to be horribly wrong! I just want a few people's opinions..... I'd appreciate anyone's response.
 

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You could always ask the owner if he had a home inspection done when he purchased the house and find out that way. Maybe call an construction engineer and run it past him.....most professionals love to offer advice. He could probably give you a general idea about the stability of the house based on type, age, condition.
 

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i put a 90gal. against a support wall and an outside corner once, and drywall started to crack in the lower ceiling within the year, so your concerns are valid. that was an older home, converted to duplex, and the tank was installed in a bedroom. all buildings are different in load engineering, i suppose. but the safe assumption (IMO), would be that upper levels of residential buildings, were not expected to carry that type of load. i think narrow stairs were built simply to discourage this type of thing. :) of course, you can play with various methods of weight distribution, like installing the tank diagonal to floor joists. but the bottom line is, anything heavier than a tub, was not likely considered in the original plan.
that said: an acrylic tank would be much easier to bring up the stairs. and you will see plaster cracks, and hear the odd new creak and crack, long before the tank drops through the floor. but, if the floor already flexes enough, to agitate loose items on furniture, while jumping lightly in that same room? then i would kill the idea entirely.
 

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another good point of consideration, is that floor depths need to be consistent, in order to have similar ceiling heights throughout each house level. so the largest span, often determines the joist selection throughout, thereby making smaller rooms the 'strongest' floors to accept additional furniture load. HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot for that link, Malawi Lover. Basically, it just sort of added confusion... but I think what I'll do is move in before I buy the tank, and go in there with a stud-finder to determine the distance between studs. The article states that homes are required to be built with the stability to hold 40 pounds per square foot throughout each room. This room is 150 sq ft (12'6"x12'), so that would mean that the room can cumulatively hold 6000 pounds. However, that immense weight in one 12 square foot footprint will reduce the weight the floor can hold altogether (due to putting vertical stress, or shear stress, on the joists at their bases). My assumption, then, would be that the room could tolerate about 4500-5000 lbs, which, considering there will be three of us living there, 2 couches, a chair, a coffee table, and a modest entertainment center/TV, even if we have a few people over, there's no way we would even approach that weight(I'd say the most weight we'd ever have in the room would be about 3300 lbs, with 6 people, the three of us and a few friends, and a whole bunch of furniture, along with the aquarium). However, the article went on to state that it is not advisable to put >125-gal tank on a floor without giving some serious thought to reinforcing the floor. Since this is a second story flat, I have no way of looking at the floor joists as they are in-between my floor and the ceiling of the apartment below. Now, I don't think the 120 is a good idea, as it will only take up 4 ft of wall space, meaning it will come in contact with 4 floor joists at the most, the 125 is probably do-able, as its the same weight spread out over 6 feet, and the 155 still has a huge question mark over it. I'd love to have that tank, but I don't think its going to happen unless I build an extra, shallow, 8" stand underneath it to spread the weight out to about 10'. I would put the tank in there with confidence if the 155 gallons were spread out over 10 feet, but my concern is that this tank will probably only be in contact with 3-6 floor joists. 6 would be okay, 3 incredibly questionable, also depending on if they are 2x6 or 2x12, or somewhere in between.

When I went there on Friday, I tried the "jump test", but after reading that article, creaking, squeaking, or bouncing doesn't seem to be indicative of strengths or weaknesses in the floor, it just makes us nervous when it creaks. It made me feel pretty good though as it didn't creak! :lol:

One more thing: I don't know if anyone knows anything about this, but wouldn't a property management company reinforce the floors for a living room/kitchen (a kitchen in particular, because of heavy appliances), before turning the second story into an apartment?
 

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fishoverlivingspace said:
One more thing: I don't know if anyone knows anything about this, but wouldn't a property management company reinforce the floors for a living room/kitchen (a kitchen in particular, because of heavy appliances), before turning the second story into an apartment?
I wouldn't count on it. If it is not required by code, then I seriously doubt they did anything. And even it was required, whose to say they didn't skirt the isuue some how or bribe the inspector.

If you ever get a chance to watch that HGTV series Holmes on Homes, do. It is amazing what "licensed" contactors and builders will do to cut cost. Many are legit, but some aren't. Never assume.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks... I appreciate your advice... I'll get back to you on what I decide to do.... I don't know that I'm going to be able to resist getting that tank... I think I'm going to end up putting a 2x8 frame over the floor in a 2x10 area... that'll spread the weight out to around 100 pounds per square foot, assuming the weight is perfectly distributed (it'll be close, as the 2x8 frame should be pretty rigid, but not perfect).
 
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