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Earthquake preparedness for tanks--anyone bother?

1645 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  lauraleellbp
My geologist auntie says I'm doomed, living in the liquefaction zone of a major fault.

Anyone bother with trying to secure an aquarium against a major tremor? I'm thinking flipflops, a trash can of water, and a spare bucket is all one can do. That and not putting the tank by the TV or bed. What, if anything, have you done?
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i had a 30 gallon long setup during Loma Prieta in San Francisco in the second story of a house built in the 20's with no structural reinforcements for EQ's. The whole house shook like hell, windows broke, lots of stuff came out of shelves, the tank shook, lost some water, but other than that was just fine. Infact, its still in use today in the same room, on the same old rickity bookcase and has survived quite a few EQ's since then.

seriously though, if we get hit with an 8.0 in the bay area, my fish tank is the last thing ill be concerned with.
Something simple for smaller 'quakes would be to cover your tanks with glasses. Of course, there are other advantages and disadvantages, but it helps a lot by not spilling water when things start to shake.

Like Andrew said, if it shakes enough that tanks start to topple, you have probably other problems as well. :icon_eek:

I just bought some earthquake insurance... does that count??
I'd put blue foam between my tank bottom and the cabinet.
I'd have a shatter proof container to move the fish to, water
and a battery powered air pump. but honestly if a quake hit,
I'd probably have bigger things to worry about than my fish.
I'm not really worried about after. But if there's any way to minimize potential damage ahead of time, it might be nice. Lids to keep sloshing down, sure. But how do larger tanks handle back and forth shimmying? Does it stress seams? Would it be pointless to attach a tall stand with a tall tank to a stud like one is supposed to do with other top-heavy items? My tanks appear more susceptible to damage from prolonged shaking than anything else I have, and I wouldn't be surprised to have tank failure before anything else was damaged.

I'm not concerned about saving my tanks from a 7.0. It's the smaller ones where the world won't be ending, but I still won't want 200 gallons of water on my floor, along with my little girl's favorite pets and a lot of glass.
Everything I've seen suggests that tanks are built in such a way as to take tons of pressure and stress sideways and up and down.

I've seen videos on youtube of people's aquariums during an earthquake - things got wet, but otherwise the tank remained OK. The fish hid.

These were bigger aquariums, though I don't think I saw any that were 200 gallons... I wouldn't stress about it too much - and don't put anything that'll fall and hit your tank during an earthquake near your tank - Like a Ladder, for instance.

Who was it whose ladder fell and busted his tank?
It was someone with a cat...

Cats are tremendously evil, but you just can't do without!
I'm not concerned about saving my tanks from a 7.0. It's the smaller ones where the world won't be ending, but I still won't want 200 gallons of water on my floor, along with my little girl's favorite pets and a lot of glass.
i think we all worry about these kinds of things, but short of not having an aquarium, what can we really do?

if we brace the stand and not the tank; it just means the tank shakes more, and could shake right off the stand.

if you brace the actual tank to a wall, you better brace it all around and very evenly or else you will cause strong and weak points to develop which would lend themselves to uneven pushing etc= broken tank.

i truly believe if you are worried, a few wheels underneath the stand should take most of the side to side vibration out of the picture, and translate that motion into side to side rolling, but that will only protect against P waves, and you would still need to restrict the amount of rolling you would allow or else the tank could roll across the whole room!

now as for S waves... i think the more padding you put between the tank and the stand the better.

but, i live in EQ territory, have been through the worst one in a while and am not sure its really worth worrying about. the amount of damage my tank caused during the last shake was nothing compared to all the other stuff that went wrong. i dont even think i lost any fish and our power was out for at least 24hrs....not even any jumpers.
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Ehhhh ok.

If it breaks I'll go acrylic. :)
I don't mean to try and downplay what could be a HUGE problem, just trying to be pragmatic.
I lived in Cupertino, CA during that quake in 89. I had a 30 gallon tank sitting on a counter top in the kitchen. It sloshed back and forth and lost 20 % of the water, while I hung on to the door frame of my front door for dear life. The door frame rocked from side to side.I can not think of anything I could have done that would have made any difference. The only thing I would suggest is to make sure there is nothing next to the aquarium that could fall over and hit it. No book cases, china cabinets, whatever.
Does proofing your tanks for 8 and 9 year olds count?
How would a person go about bracing a 72 gallon tank and stand against an earthquake. My brother in law said that you can buy (~$19) some straps that have either velcro or glue back that attaches to the stand or tank and you nail/screw it to a wall stud. Other the the unsightly look this gives to the tank, would this work okay or is there an alternative..?
This is funny reading this after there was a earthquake yesterday for me. My tanks seemed to far well durning it.
I thought that letting things move with quakes tended to release the quake pressures in less damaging ways (ie- the tank that was sitting on a rickety shelf may actually have taken less stress than a tank secured to a wall)

Tanks full of water are pretty doggone heavy- that's alot of downward pressure. I'd think that a tank secured to the wall is more likely to be damaged by the restraints than if it were allowed to move along with the stand that it's on? Any engineers on here to chime in on this one?

I have no experience with earthquakes but tons with hurricanes- I just try to keep lots of extra buckets around and a few battery-operated air pumps with airstones, splitter valves and and tubing.

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