230 gallon on first floor apt, is it safe? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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230 gallon on first floor apt, is it safe?

Hi guys,

So I recently purchased a 230 gallon aquarium.. I live on the first floor of a 3 family house, no basement or crawl space... Do you guys think it'll be safe? My backyard is concrete and the house is about 2-3 inches above concrete level.. The floor is wood so I'm a bit confused, any insight would be helpful, thanks!

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 05:38 PM
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What is under the wood floor? My house is on a concrete slab and a 24" tall 180 gallon tank is fine. I understand if a tank is too tall there would be too much weight on my particular slab per square inch and would need to reenforce the slab but other than that I know nothing.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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230 gallon on first floor apt, is it safe?

I have no idea what is under the wood floor... How can I tell without tearing a piece of flooring out?

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 05:59 PM
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I have no idea what is under the wood floor... How can I tell without tearing a piece of flooring out?

Drill it??? A small hole. You can fill it afterward.


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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 06:20 PM
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To be safe, I would want to know what the spacing is between joists underneath? What is the sub-floor itself--plywood, pressed board, advantec?

If you know any builders, they might be able to give an educated guess, depending on when the house was built, area, and what the practices were at that time.

If it were me, I'd be ripping up the footprint of the tank and reinforcing it. But I understand your renting and even asking your landlord...they might be like no way, if you did ask them about it.

It's like your putting a mini hot tub in there and liability/building codes, issues like that-the underneath need appropriate reinforcing.

Awesome size tank though!
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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230 gallon on first floor apt, is it safe?

Hmm I honestly don't know, I'm assuming that its plywood when you jump up and down there is no give and items around do not move... I'm trying to listen for joist in the floor but can't hear a difference anywhere I knock, am I doing this all wrong? Lol

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 09:54 PM
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With 230 gallons of water, your going to want to be 100% sure. I am not an engineer.

I'd really suggest getting in touch with someone in the know about the structural issues and what you must have to support that much weight.

I personally would want to know 110% that I wouldn't have a potential catastrophe waiting to happen!

Sorry, I can't be of more help!!!

Good luck!
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-18-2013, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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230 gallon on first floor apt, is it safe?

You're absolutely right, thank you!

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:17 AM
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Jumping up and down on the floor will not simulate 2000+ lbs that will be sitting on that footprint. I'd look for ANYWHERE in the house where you might be able to tear up the floor (like a closet) to get an idea of what's under neath.

If you have joists sitting on a concrete slab that are 16" on center I would say you're good to go, but anything less would be risky.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:29 AM
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the 230g will likely have at least 6 legs on the stand. use wooden planks to distribute the weight evenly across the floor. if the floor boards runs parallel to the length of the tank, be sure to extend the wood across several boards.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:37 AM
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My patio is about 4" below the kitchen floor. I bet your place is on a slab like mine.

Here in California it is either a crawl space with the floor on a joist system or a slab. Since I pulled the carpet and lino off I know the slab where the tank is was perfectly sound when I lay ceramic tile down 20 years ago. There are neighborhoods here with badly cracked slabs as the soil underneath contracts and expands when it goes through wet and dry cycles and the developers either didn't know or didn't care to take steps to keep that from happening. Just thought of that, wouldn't care to put a big tank on a slab in poor condition either.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 01:26 AM
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Try calling the city or county building department, they may have records from when the permit was issued.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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230 gallon on first floor apt, is it safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
Jumping up and down on the floor will not simulate 2000+ lbs that will be sitting on that footprint. I'd look for ANYWHERE in the house where you might be able to tear up the floor (like a closet) to get an idea of what's under neath.

If you have joists sitting on a concrete slab that are 16" on center I would say you're good to go, but anything less would be risky.
Thanks guys! What do you mean by 16" on center? I've pulled some concrete and found tile, will see if I can pull a tile up

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 03:40 AM
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Beat on the floor upstairs and then beat on the floor downstairs. If you are on a slab, there will be a noticeable difference. Upstairs will sound hollow. Downstairs will sound solid.

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
My patio is about 4" below the kitchen floor. I bet your place is on a slab like mine.

Here in California it is either a crawl space with the floor on a joist system or a slab. Since I pulled the carpet and lino off I know the slab where the tank is was perfectly sound when I lay ceramic tile down 20 years ago. There are neighborhoods here with badly cracked slabs as the soil underneath contracts and expands when it goes through wet and dry cycles and the developers either didn't know or didn't care to take steps to keep that from happening. Just thought of that, wouldn't care to put a big tank on a slab in poor condition either.
Kathyy makes a good point with the soil underneath contracting/expanding and the wet/dry cycles. The moisture issues with concrete are a known PITA when you want to finish a walk-out basement. It's not like you can just go lay down carpet on top of concrete! You have to raise up the sub-floor like they've done in your place & vapor barriers etc.

For over 20 years, many builders use pressed board/particle board for the sub-floor rather than plywood, to save $$. Which doesn't handle moisture well at all. Idiot builders did that in my home in the bathroom of all places and we had to replace rotted sub-floor because of all the natural moisture.

You could always run into the potential of those boards having some rot. Deep frosts/freezes, these can cause cracking of the slab. Hows the road around your house..got a lot of frost heaves and damage every winter...

How level are your floors? If you have some warping...then you definitely have issues with moisture & who knows the condition of the joists, with rot. How thick is the concrete slab to begin with?

Definitely talk to someone that is in the know with structural integrity issues.
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