Aquariums and apartments - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Question Aquariums and apartments

I'm about to move into an apartment and would like to get my 93 gal tank set up for the first time. However all the apartments that I'm seeing that are available are those on the second floor. I'm afraid that the tank and everything will be too much for the floor to take. The last thing I want to happen is to have my tank wind up on my downstairs neighbors apartment floor.

So, I'd like to find out who's in an apartment and what size tank you have.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 02:31 AM
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Also take into effect the age/maintenance of the apartment. One we lived in on the east side had "Remodeled" our apartment prior to our move in. They cut in a nice little opening between the kitchen and living room for a little bar. Sadly, they didnt seem to understand the importance of load bearing walls.

Biggest ive had on the second floor of an apartment was a 125, but it was a 8' long one, so the PSI was spread out across the beams pretty well.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 02:34 AM
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Find out which direction the floor supports run. Make sure it straddles two or three. Other than that you should be fine.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 02:35 AM
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I'm lucky enough to live on the first floor on my apartment complex so there is a solid concrete slab to put tanks on. We have a 60 and a 30 gallon tank. I would not trust anything more then my 30 if I lived on the second or third floor as the floors up there are not good at all. You can feel them flex a bit if you take a heavy step.

Is the apartment you're moving into all concrete or wood construction?
Also, ask the management again what apartments they have available. When my girlfriend moved into my complex they told her they only had 2 units open. An obvious lie as more then half the complex was vacant. Right before signing the lease another unit just happened to "open up"....right.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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I really hate it but I think I may have to downgrade the aquarium to maybe a 55 or 60 with a 75 really stretching it. The apartments I'm looking at are older ones on the south side of Indy. I'm not too sure about the structure of the flooring.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 04:04 AM
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Also make sure your stand has a flat bottom to distribute the weight evenly throughout (iron stands with pointy legs are a no-no)
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 04:13 AM
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If the apartment allows water beds you should be fine. The important question is the age of the building. If it was built to current building code you won't have any issues, unless you let it leak long enough to rot the floor. If the building is old and possibly remodeled by the landlord, all bets are off.
If you are in doubt and still want your large aquarium, build a false floor for it to redistribute the weight. Make a sandwich of two layers of 3/8" or thicker exterior grade plywood or exterior grade oriented strand board and 2x4s. Use glue and screws or glue and a pneumatic staple gun for assembly. Wrap it in carpet for appearance or sand and paint. If you should need shims, they would go between the stand and this new 'floor'.
post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
If you are in doubt and still want your large aquarium, build a false floor for it to redistribute the weight. Make a sandwich of two layers of 3/8" or thicker exterior grade plywood or exterior grade oriented strand board and 2x4s. Use glue and screws or glue and a pneumatic staple gun for assembly. Wrap it in carpet for appearance or sand and paint. If you should need shims, they would go between the stand and this new 'floor'.

I never thought of that. I may be able to keep the large aquarium afterall.

I will check to see if the apartment complex allows for waterbeds as well.

As far as iron stands... they were a no to begin with. I don't like the looks of the openness. I like things to have a nice clean look without many (if any at all) to be seen.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 11:40 AM
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This is such a "touchy" topic. Please be aware that you are responsible for your aquarium. Getting structural advice over a forum is probably not the wisest of choices.

The water in a 93 gallon is 776 lbs alone. Add in the substrate, tank stand and acessories and you're probably pushing 1000 lbs. Not one person here can definitively help you or give advice whether your tank will fall through the floor.


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 12:26 PM
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While I agree no one can offer advice as to whether any person's specific tank is safe or unsafe for their specific location, it is possible to offer things that go into the consideration that the OP may not have thought of.

In my case, I have a 75g in a 3rd story apartment. This doesn't include the other 9 tanks, ranging from 29g to 2.5g. The tanks area all over the place, some placed directly on the floor (used for holding plants, Q/T, etc.).

In my case, the apartments are new and have concrete construction. Plus, I have my tank along an outside wall which is definitely load bearing.

I was required to receive written approval for my tanks from the apartment management. This is true for anyone having pets. What they were most concerned about is that I have proper insurance to cover any damage that may be caused. Once my insurance was confirmed, I received approval.

However, even with insurance, you must use your own judgement because in the end, you are responsible for any damage or injuries caused by your tanks. If the flooring is wood and "squishy" as another person posted, I wouldn't do it, personally. Even if the flooring held the weight of the tank, it's possible that the weight would warp the flooring to the point of making the tank unlevel which can cause a tank to crack or break a seal.

Consider the ramifications if your tank or a canister leaked while you weren't home. Are you prepared to pay for the structural damage and any damage to the contents of the apartment below you (if insured, make sure they cover these things and determine if you can afford the deductible). I had a 29g suddenly burst open one night, spilling all the contents in less than a minute. That's a lot of water. Fortunately, I was able to catch some of the water and had a steam cleaner available to suck up the water from the carpet. With a concrete base flooring, there was no damage to the apartment below, but that's with a 29g. If my 75g cracks like that, I'm sure the damage would be much greater.

Further, consider fire damage since we're mixing water with electricity. You should do it anyway, but be extra sure to use proper drip loops and all. You're not only concerned for your apartment, but what damage could be caused to the building and other people's contents. Even insurance cannot prevent others from filing a civil suit against you.

All in all, there is always a risk with all tanks of all sizes. The question is how much of a risk the tank poses and whether you are willing and able to take responsibility for those risks should something go wrong.

I think most of all to consider is the construction of the flooring. Personally, I would not do it with a wooden based flooring, but am willing with a concrete based flooring. Only you can determine if you are willing to take the risks for your specific situation.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 12:42 PM
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Well said, Vicki.

I have a shrimp rack, well multiple, actually, sitting in a 10x12' foot room on the second floor of an apartment. There's four racks in the room, with each holding an average of seven 10 gallon tanks, plus two 40 gallon breeder tanks; that's about 360 gallons total in that one room alone, and it's holding up fine. Not to mention that each rack itself is approximately 120 pounds with the metal frames and 3/4" oak ply.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 12:56 PM
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Well put Vicki..

I live on a second floor apt. largest tank is 75g (I wouldn't go bigger than this in a 4' tank personally). I've got a total of 230g of water in 7 tanks in the apt at the moment. Concrete floor.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 02:06 PM
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Me living on the bottom floor with concrete floors is probably the indirect reason i went from a 29 gallon to a 55, 45, and 75 within 2 years.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 02:10 PM
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I have a 40G breeder with a matching 40g right below on the third story and I sleep just fine. My apartment was built to the fine specifications for college students i.e. as long as theres no big holes, no repairs. I figure if my floor can take take eight big guys jumping off the couch during a football game it can take a little ole fish tank. just my .02.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 02:22 PM
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I agree, well said Vicki. My point was driven more towards the "liability" of relying on what someone tells you over the internet as opposed to what is practical in a real life setting.

Do what you will with the info here, but take it for what its worth. OTHER peoples successes may be not be exactly beneficial for you!


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