Experiences with a tank in an unfinished basement? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Experiences with a tank in an unfinished basement?

I'm currently throwing around the idea of setting up a 120 gallon in my unfinished basement mainly because maintenance/water changes would be a breeze in the basement and I'd like to remove my 75g from the upstairs bedroom it sits in to free up some space.

The 2 concerns I have are:

1. Basement floor is slanted in towards the drain... slightly... but still slight enough to not provide a completely level base. Is shimming feasible under that much weight? Other options?

2. It's an unfinished basement with an open ceiling with hardware floors in the 1st floor room above it. Would any possible moisture issues nix this? Obviously, a covered aquarium would help, but covering isn't an option as I prefer open top and, if I'm going to set up a larger tank, I'll be making sure I only do it if it's exactly what I want.

Interested in everyone's thoughts.

Thanks.


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 05:33 PM
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you wont have a moisture problem,no worries there. however you do NEED to level the tank. A 125 gal tank weighs well over half a ton, and if it breaks due to imbalance the water will cover likelly your whole floor. Shimming is entirly possible, a tank is basicly like a really heavy fridge and the weight is displaced.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 05:35 PM
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I don't think it would be a problem. I have had a 110 gallon pond in the unfinished part of my basement for about 6-8 months and everything is fine. I do run a dehumidifier in the summer months. Shimming would be needed though for sure.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies. the dehumidifier is a moisture control option i didn't even think about, if it's even needed.

building off of this, although it probably warrants a separate thread, i plan on using a sump (sealed) but am sort of confused or want to get ideas on when/where to introduce co2.

i.e. i imagine, in lieu of an external reactor, i could just use the sump as a giant reactor as i currently do with my fx5 by injecting the co2 right into the input line. is this the way to go or would there be a more efficient way of doing it?

i'm not opposed to an external reactor but i personally enjoy it more when it's as simple as it can get with as few separate parts as possible.

again, just in the planning stages. i took a new job recently and my mind immediately went to building my ideal tank with some of the extra disposable income.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 05:12 PM
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Basements are humid to begin with,whats an extra 120 gallons!! But seriously,shouldn't be an issue.The real question is,why setup an awesome tank in an unfinished basement where no one can see it.Move the couch.Priorities my friend
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Adding on to this again... any problems with my plans for the stand for this 120 gallon?

Doors on, doors off and parts list... 1.5" plywood panels and everything glued, biscuit joined and screwed together...




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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 03:04 AM
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Glue and buicuit is real strong but Id go with a 2x3 frame on edge with a 1/2" plywood skin.Itwill probably cost less.If your plywood only stand delaminates....your done
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Glue and buicuit is real strong but Id go with a 2x3 frame on edge with a 1/2" plywood skin.Itwill probably cost less.If your plywood only stand delaminates....your done

i'm not too worried about the cost since it won't that that big of a difference... i just really like the lines an ada style stand gives you.

how about additional 2x2 framing like...



...2x2's screwed in to the panels. i was also planning on driving a few screws, from both directions, into the glued 3/4" panels for a little extra hold.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 02:13 PM
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Only because I don't like screwing into the edge of plywood, I'd go with your second design. Regardless, you'll likely be fine with the first, and the second one would hold 2 x 120's on top of each other. An inch and a half of plywood is amazingly strong. Glue-Lam beams are inherently stronger than a single piece of wood in the same dimension. If I were to build my 180 stand again, I'd likely do it with more plywood, and less 2x4's. Carry on, as you were.
EDIT: And I'd use 2x3's instead of 2x2's, usually cheaper and straighter.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 02:18 PM
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And as Jonny Rotten mentioned, put it where you'll enjoy it the most. The single biggest regret I have with mine is that I only see it at bed time. I really wish I had done it up in the main living area.

4/26/2012, lost the finest man. Rest easy Pops...
<--Great Danes are people too!
180g, Fluval FX5, 404, 128watts t-8, low tech, heavily planted, with Albino and reg bristlenose plecs, Congo tetras, Amanos, a herd of Corydoras Sterbai, Boesmanis, a big old common plec, & Otos.
32g tall eclipse3, fluval403, with a handful of bristlenose plecs.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 02:30 PM
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If you're going to be happy sitting down there enjoying it...go for it. My grow-out tanks & Tonic-Ten experiment tank is in an unfinished basement. i tend not to spend that much time there. That is mostly because the basement is more storage than comfort designed.

I've been thinking of building a large plywood tank down there 200-300 gal size. If so I'll move a comfortable chair down there.

Back to the OP's stand. If you build that be sure to seal the wood(poly or paint) very well, better that yu might do for the normal living area in your home. It's a damper environment to begin with and now your adding more water via the tank.

Last edited by DogFish; 03-10-2012 at 01:21 PM.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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And as Jonny Rotten mentioned, put it where you'll enjoy it the most. The single biggest regret I have with mine is that I only see it at bed time. I really wish I had done it up in the main living area.
problem is that my house is fairly small (ww2 era colonial style) so there really isn't any good placement available in any of the first floor rooms. i currently have my 75g in an upstairs bedroom which really isn't ideal either since it isn't my bedroom.

although the basement may seem a little out of the way to most (i.e. i won't be able to enjoy the tank while watching tv) i do spend a lot of time down there since i'm usually tinkering with something and my basement is level with my back yard and I'm always coming in the house that way. plus, as mentioned, it would be a great place since maintenance and cleanup down there will be a breeze since the water lines and drain is right there--although, python makes it fairly easy upstairs as well but it'll just go faster in the basement since the water pressure is increased. it also has the added bonus of a concrete floor so little spills here and there won't be a worry.

but, appreciate the comments. i'm just a hobbyist, not an engineer, so my opinion on sound structure is just as good as what i hear.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Back to the OP's stand. If you build that be sure to seal the wood(poly or paint) very well, better that yu might do for the normal living area in your home. It's a damper environment to begin with and now your adding more water via the tank.
yep... i was going to put formica on the outside and throw a few coats of white paint on the inside and bottom. luckily i haven't seen water in my basement in the few years i've been in the house but i'm sure it'll happen some day.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 03:14 PM
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plus, as mentioned, it would be a great place since maintenance and cleanup down there will be a breeze since the water lines and drain is right there-
Really the greatest benefit in my case also. Easy to plumb for water changes with an open ceiling and a laundry room nearby.

4/26/2012, lost the finest man. Rest easy Pops...
<--Great Danes are people too!
180g, Fluval FX5, 404, 128watts t-8, low tech, heavily planted, with Albino and reg bristlenose plecs, Congo tetras, Amanos, a herd of Corydoras Sterbai, Boesmanis, a big old common plec, & Otos.
32g tall eclipse3, fluval403, with a handful of bristlenose plecs.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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i think this is the final drawing... with a cpr cr1000 in the cabinet...



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