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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Previous build thread 2 years ago:

Stand: Basic stand with 2x6 as legs and 2x4 as the other pieces, ebony paint













This year's build thread:

so its been almost a year since I move back to Atlanta. Time to resurrect the thread. Lost 3 of the fish due to harsh winter because i was only able to put the fish in the garage. Don't ask...sad.
I'm doing the plumbing next week. Trying to make sure the structure will support the tank on the second floor. I will post pics of the structure for you guys' judgement on this.
I have someone building a new stand since mine was ugly.........
Hopefully I can get this done in about a month.

Tank dimensions is 72X24X29
Lighting: 2- Catalina 36 in light fixture. I went with this for longer bulb length instead of the 72 in and the bulbs are more easier to find. It will be 4 6700k bulbs and 2 10000k bulbs

Substrate: Aquasoil amazonia (does it need cover soil or can I use this by itself). I think 10 bags of 9 liters should cover it?

Filtration: Hard plumb into drain lines and water line. Going to attempt the beanimal sump.

Plants: Not sure yet

Fish: Mainly the 9 discus out of 12 since I lost 3 due to winter.
Here's one picture of them:


ok, so here are the pictures of the structure beneath the tank. Any concerns? I'm estimating about 2500 lbs.
This tank is going on second floor. Bottom floor is what most of the structure are, then there's the big concrete floor which covers the whole house.











 

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If the joists that the wires are running through is the floor that the tank will sit on, you'll need some added support. You'll need to block those joists every 8" or so at the very least. If it were my house, I'd probably add in some support struts to the concrete floor below. Something along the lines of the screwing floor jacks would be the best way. If that's not an option, a couple 4x4 posts could work. You'll want the tank to span as many floor joists as possible going perpendicular to the tank.

*edit*
After looking over the pictures again, I don't think I would put a tank on that floor in the current condition. Those spots where they cut the joist and added the metal bracing is a huge fail point. There's just no stability there. I bet your floor flexes if you jump on that spot. You would need some serious reinforcement around those cutouts to even consider putting a tank that big on that part of the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If the joists that the wires are running through is the floor that the tank will sit on, you'll need some added support. You'll need to block those joists every 8" or so at the very least. If it were my house, I'd probably add in some support struts to the concrete floor below. Something along the lines of the screwing floor jacks would be the best way. If that's not an option, a couple 4x4 posts could work. You'll want the tank to span as many floor joists as possible going perpendicular to the tank.

*edit*
After looking over the pictures again, I don't think I would put a tank on that floor in the current condition. Those spots where they cut the joist and added the metal bracing is a huge fail point. There's just no stability there. I bet your floor flexes if you jump on that spot. You would need some serious reinforcement around those cutouts to even consider putting a tank that big on that part of the floor.
Ok, I will buy a bunch of 4x4 and run from floor to the concrete floor for additional support.

edit: You think 8 4x4 running from the plywood ceiling to the concrete wall would be enough?
 

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I'm no engineer (structural or otherwise), but I think if you were to evenly space them out around the perimeter of where the tank is sitting you should be good. Just watch very carefully when you are filling the tank for any settling or movement. Maybe hang a plumb line from the joist to the floor and see how much sag you get when filling the tank.

Mate up the 4x4's on the joists, not the floor itself. And also block in the joists, that will tie them all together and help them support eachother.

Here is a good link that might help you even more
http://www.african-cichlid.com/Structure.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm no engineer (structural or otherwise), but I think if you were to evenly space them out around the perimeter of where the tank is sitting you should be good. Just watch very carefully when you are filling the tank for any settling or movement. Maybe hang a plumb line from the joist to the floor and see how much sag you get when filling the tank.

Mate up the 4x4's on the joists, not the floor itself. And also block in the joists, that will tie them all together and help them support eachother.

Here is a good link that might help you even more
http://www.african-cichlid.com/Structure.htm
yeah i was going to fill it 1/3 at a time and see what happens.
appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got the drain line ran and two water line ran. Ran into an issue where I'm not sure what method to use to run water into the tank... any ideas?
I was thinking hot and cold line into a Y connector which splits to the spray bar. How do people plumb water line into tank with sump?




 

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Instead of 4x4 posts, why not just build a load-bearing wall perpendicular to the joists. Where the joists sit on the concrete foundation you have a huge amount of strength, just need to run a wall directly under the inside edge of the tank.

That area could then be turned into a fish stuff storage closet or something.

Also note that 4x4s are prone to warping/twisting, and are not meant/necessary for this kind of design. Supporting decks outside, sure. Supporting your house with zero tolerance for movement...not so much. I am sure it would work, but it's the wrong way to do it, and you are asking for issues.

I am not a structural engineer, but there's lots of floor loading info out there. I once had to look into the storage of fireproof filing cabinets on a second storey. Near the outside walls you have a ton of strength.

Consult a structural engineer to be safe. Over time you run the risk of seriously expensive/hassle-some damage if you overload the floor joists.


Beautiful fish! Looking forward to seeing this progress...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Instead of 4x4 posts, why not just build a load-bearing wall perpendicular to the joists. Where the joists sit on the concrete foundation you have a huge amount of strength, just need to run a wall directly under the inside edge of the tank.

That area could then be turned into a fish stuff storage closet or something.

Also note that 4x4s are prone to warping/twisting, and are not meant/necessary for this kind of design. Supporting decks outside, sure. Supporting your house with zero tolerance for movement...not so much. I am sure it would work, but it's the wrong way to do it, and you are asking for issues.

I am not a structural engineer, but there's lots of floor loading info out there. I once had to look into the storage of fireproof filing cabinets on a second storey. Near the outside walls you have a ton of strength.

Consult a structural engineer to be safe. Over time you run the risk of seriously expensive/hassle-some damage if you overload the floor joists.


Beautiful fish! Looking forward to seeing this progress...
so I ran 6 2x4 under that floor that span across the tank underneath. The 2x4 was screw to other 2x4s that was nail to concrete on the floor. The top part of the 2x4 was screw onto the roof of the basement. I'll take a picture of it when I get home. The house was cover by 2x10 BTW.
 

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Those spots where they cut the joist and added the metal bracing is a huge fail point.
I'm no expert, but that would be a huge concern for me even without the tank. The integrity of those joists has been completely compromised. I wont quote code, but to pass wires through a joist like that there are very specific allowances in terms of hole size etc, none of which include notching it like that.
 

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From what I can see, that is not metal bracing. That is what's (IIRC) called nail strips. Prevents you from nailing/screwing into power cabling.

Holes drilled for cabling would have an effect on structure, but I don't think to the level people are thinking. We are not structural engineers, so let's not jump to conclusions.


Andy, if you did what I think you did...that'll work, but doesn't sound like it's to code, so could be an issue when it comes time to sell the house. Pretty sure code would require an actual framed wall. Sounds like you're just missing the bottom plate of a wall...? :)

Further, what you did won't prevent twisting of the 2x4s...you need cross-pieces (forget the technical term) between each vertical 2x4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
From what I can see, that is not metal bracing. That is what's (IIRC) called nail strips. Prevents you from nailing/screwing into power cabling.

Holes drilled for cabling would have an effect on structure, but I don't think to the level people are thinking. We are not structural engineers, so let's not jump to conclusions.


Andy, if you did what I think you did...that'll work, but doesn't sound like it's to code, so could be an issue when it comes time to sell the house. Pretty sure code would require an actual framed wall. Sounds like you're just missing the bottom plate of a wall...? :)

Further, what you did won't prevent twisting of the 2x4s...you need cross-pieces (forget the technical term) between each vertical 2x4.
Y'all made me paranoid now. When I get home I'll finish the 2x4 stud wall parallel to the the concrete side.
 

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Don't get me wrong...it'll 'work'...but you have the opportunity to do it right, it won't cost much, and you'll remove some liability on your end.

The term I was thinking of was 'blocking'. Basically 2x4 pieces placed horizontally (staggered up/down) along the middle of the 2x4 stud wall. Eliminates issues relating to 2x4s twisting, adds some lateral stability, etc.

Don't forget to abide by proper bottom plate install procedures on the concrete floor - wood directly on concrete = recipe for failure. Check local code, usually just some thin foam laid in a strip below the plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
220 Gallon of procrastination (its coming together finally after 2 years)

Don't get me wrong...it'll 'work'...but you have the opportunity to do it right, it won't cost much, and you'll remove some liability on your end.

The term I was thinking of was 'blocking'. Basically 2x4 pieces placed horizontally (staggered up/down) along the middle of the 2x4 stud wall. Eliminates issues relating to 2x4s twisting, adds some lateral stability, etc.

Don't forget to abide by proper bottom plate install procedures on the concrete floor - wood directly on concrete = recipe for failure. Check local code, usually just some thin foam laid in a strip below the plate.
Yeah the pieces are like connector.
I didn't see any padding beneath the other 2x4. I'll check again when I get home.
Thanks guys.
Better to be safe than sorry.
 

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Some real quick notes:
  • 30G is too small, will barely keep up with a power outage. My understanding is sump = 1/3 the size of your display, ideally.
  • If your overflow is designed correctly, you only need to make sure your drains can keep up with the pump flow rate. Depending on pump power, I'd for sure do 1.5" drains for a 220.
  • Your sump doesn't appear to have any filtration? (maybe not drawn?)
  • Look up auto top-off stuff re: refill/drain
  • Your drain system only has two drains - for a tank that size, you'll want a full Beananimal drain system (3) - this is, again, dependant on your flow rates, if high, a single 1.5" drain might not be enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Some real quick notes:
  • 30G is too small, will barely keep up with a power outage. My understanding is sump = 1/3 the size of your display, ideally.
  • If your overflow is designed correctly, you only need to make sure your drains can keep up with the pump flow rate. Depending on pump power, I'd for sure do 1.5" drains for a 220.
  • Your sump doesn't appear to have any filtration? (maybe not drawn?)
  • Look up auto top-off stuff re: refill/drain
  • Your drain system only has two drains - for a tank that size, you'll want a full Beananimal drain system (3) - this is, again, dependant on your flow rates, if high, a single 1.5" drain might not be enough.
yeah, its going to be full beananimal system, forgot to include all the pipes. I already built the stand, it'll be hard to fit any bigger sump...I can leave the 90G sump in the basement, but the max head is huge, you're talking about 12 ft. Already pre-drill with 1 in bulkheads, but can use 1.5 pvc if that makes a difference. For sump, i was thinking it'll drain down to socks, then run threw eggcrates layer with filter media, etc..., then back to return pump.
 

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Ya, that sump design sounds fine, although my experience with filter socks is they are pretty high maintenance. There are flow rate calculators for weir/overflow drain size/etc, 1" 'should' be ok, but I'd double-check.

I completely sympathize with fitting the sump inside the stand...but I was easily able to fit a 50G under my 125G tank... Go get a cheap used 50 or something at least...doesn't need to be pretty, just needs to hold water. It's the volume you need.

Dunno, maybe I'm way off, but I'd do my darndest to get something bigger.
 

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I agree with crazymittens, your sump is too small. You need to account for the change in volume from when the tank is running to when it's not. Estimating 1 inch of rise in the tank with the pump running, plus what's in the plumbing you're going to have at least 8 gallons running in your system, but not in your reservoir at any given time. That's approximately 1848 cubic inches, or a little more than 12"Lx12"Wx12.75"H inches of water. Meaning, if your reservoir section is 12x12 in area you'll have a drop of almost 13 inches just by turning your pump on. If your pump's in the reservoir you're going to have to have at least 1.5" of water over it at all times to keep it from drawing air. That's a lot of water to have to account for at all times.

If you make your filter section to 12" long (not big enough) that'll leave you with a 24"L x 12"W x 16" H, or 19 gallon MAX volume for a reservoir. Estimate needing to maintain 6" to cover the pump plus another 6.5" to account for water in the system and that leaves you with 3.5", or 4.4 gallons of extra volume. That's hardly anything. Even with an auto top-off you're playing with fire.

How's the stand designed and why can't you fit anything larger than a 30gal in there?
 
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