Aquariums on 2nd floor - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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My fish are starting to get a little crowded in my 29 gallon so I am hoping to upgrade to a 55 or 75 gallon. The only issue is that I live in an apartment complex on the 3rd floor. I will be asking my apartment how large a tank I can have. My building is new (about 3 years old) and it seems very well build (I don't think it is made out of wood) so I don't think a 75 will be a problem. I wanted to get everyones experiences and/or options about having aquariums on the 2nd, 3rd, etc. floor of thier house/apartment.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 10:33 PM
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I don't have anything that big, but from what I understand it is usually not an issue for the floor to support something that heavy. It is good practice to make sure that you try to cross a couple of supports in your floor to spread the load out.

If I did my math right (which is doubtful) on a 75 gallon tank you would be running somwhere around 1 lbs per sq inch.

By contrast I have very roughly 60 inches of surface area in my feet and I weigh 170 lbs. So I'm putting 2.8 lbs per sq inch on the floor with both feet on the floor.

I'm in a hurry so check my numbers before you take them to the bank.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 01:19 AM
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I haven't had a problem with 75 or 55 on the second floor.

One thing to consider (although it may be difficult to find out in an appartment building) is which way the joists run. If the tank is positioned so the joists run "across" it (ie front to back rather than side to side) you will be supporting the weight across a higher number of joists.

Also - remember, it isn't just the wwight of the water, it's substrate etc. too.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 01:31 AM
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I have a 100g, 85g, and a 40g on the 2nd floor with no problem at all. I run the tanks across as many beams as possible like RogerL suggested.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 07:26 AM
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The larger the surface area, the safer you are...
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 12:57 PM
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if the doors stop closing properly, drain it a little bit!

a new building should be fine for a 75g, but it's hard to imagine an apartment manager actually agreeing to it. they tend to worry about the tank breaking more than the weight.

if they say NO, ask them if an acrylic would be ok because they're unbreakable (you say they're unbreakable--i'm not claiming they are!).
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 01:07 PM
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I lived in the 2nd floor of a fairly old apartment building in Caldwell, NJ a few years back and I had a 55g against a wall. I don't know which way the joists were running, though. The landlord didn't have a problem with it.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 03:38 PM
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My buddy was authorized to put a 125gallon in their second story townhouse.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think my landlord will have a problem with it. When we moved in I told him I had an aquarium and he asked how large it was. I told him a 29 gallon and he said anything over 30 gallons requires renters insurance (which I have). I don't know how they would react to a 75 gallon (or a 125 gallon :shock: ). Also my fiance might want to move in a year. If that's the case I don't want to have to move a 75 gallon from the 3rd floor after just one year :evil:
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 02:56 AM
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I've got a 75 w/ a 20 gallon sump in a 2nd story. You'll be fine. You could probably go up to a 90, but I wouldn't worry at all about the 75.

But do make sure it's sitting on several joists, not one or two. You'd be best off asking someone who knows something about construction about that - or asking someone who knows something about the apartments being built.

Moving a 75 sucks. I haven't done it yet, and I'm not looking forward to it. Every time I move any tank over a 5.5 gallon, I think about not setting it back up again.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 04:23 PM
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I know a guy who had 3 33's stacked on a custom stand. That is a 100 gallons worth of water over roughly 3 feet. This was in a 2nd story of a wood frame building. He had no problems.

got CO2?
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 05:08 PM
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You could always call it a sump/shower installation if they look at you funny after ther leak.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 06:51 PM
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Just think about a big sofa that has just a few legs (6-8) with 3 big fat guys (let's just say 275 lbs each) sitting on it (that comes to 825 lbs, plus the weight of the sofa). And that weight would be heavy on pounds per square inch on those legs of the sofa, but do you think it would collapse the floor? I doubt it. If you have a wooden stand, the weight will be much more evenly distributed pounds per square inch. A 75 gallon tank is going to run about 900 lbs? (8lbs per gallon of water, plus gravel, rocks, tank itself, stand, canopy, lights, etc.)

John 3:16 Romans 10:9
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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I think I am going to try to get the 75 (must clear it with the landlord). I estimated the 75 would be about 1000 lbs total. Yes it is true that a couple of large guys on a sofa would be the same or more pounds per square inch load on the floor, it is not accurate to compare that to a fish tank. One is a live load the other is a static load. While the floor will support 1000 lbs of people on a couch, it might not be able to support 1000 lbs of aquarium in the same spot for years. I don't think I will have a problem but I guess I just have to wait to see what the landlord says. Thanks for all the replies.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 08:19 PM
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if it helps, i've moved my 75gallon a few times. two people can do it without too much pain (assuming you have a vehicle that can hold it). the bucket of wet gravel is the worst part!

no, that's not right...moving the fish is still the worst part.

go for it!
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