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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

I have a 55g in my 2nd floor, 1970's brick apartment. I am replacing it with a 75g. This 75g will have far more rockwork and plants. I am a bit worried about the weight (I don't want to kill my underling neighbors). Where should I put it in this room? Any furniture can be moved. Please advise. and please disregard the state of disorder both in and outside that tank, I am mid-project and a big change is about to occur... :)

Any help appreciated. And my neighbors appreciate it more,even though they don't know it. :icon_roll





 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd rather not ask the landlord (University Apartments). They say "No Pets, but aquariums OK." I think they have in mind little gold fish tanks, not a slice of Lake Malawi.

I had thought about the floor beams and joists, the only problem is that the outside wall is right blocking that big window and this is a planted tank, so I don't want the sunlight.

hmmmm dilemma
 

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I think, I believe you should place it perpendicular to the floor joists so that it sits on as many floor joists as possible to help distribute the weight. Typically floor joists go the same direction as the trusses in the roof.

Does that help any?

kara
 

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The rules to my knowledge are:

1. Place the tank cross the beams like pittiepride says.
2. On a load bearing wall.

In my opinion, you only really need to observe one of those rules, but that's me...always breaking rules.
 

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both rules must be folowed as they go hand in hand. i would suggest the wall opisite of your window as it is your best canidate. To be sure of what direction your floor joists run. pop your head into your attic or crawl space and see what way the beams are running.

I notice your 55 gal is on a metal stand with 4 points of floor contact. I would suggest for your 75 gal you use a wooden stand with a flat bottom so that you can be sure that you are crossing the supporting beams and more evenly spread the weight of the tank across the whole of the tank footprint.
 

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IMHO Place it anywhere you want. I had a 75g, a 58g, a 55g and a 29g all in the same room of a 2nd story apartment and had no issues what so ever...I say that except for the fact I left my RO/DI unit on a little to long and over flowed my bucket, which then somehow manage to into the downstairs apartment. The maintenance came by my apartment thinking we had a busted pipe somewhere...

Anyway, no problems what so ever on placing the tanks on the 2nd story floor..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
both rules must be folowed as they go hand in hand. i would suggest the wall opisite of your window as it is your best canidate. To be sure of what direction your floor joists run. pop your head into your attic or crawl space and see what way the beams are running.

I notice your 55 gal is on a metal stand with 4 points of floor contact. I would suggest for your 75 gal you use a wooden stand with a flat bottom so that you can be sure that you are crossing the supporting beams and more evenly spread the weight of the tank across the whole of the tank footprint.
The wall opposite my window is not a load bearing wall.

The stand for the 75g is wood with a flat bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
as an unhappy compromise, I am going to place the aquarium at a 45 degree angle in the corner to the right of the where the 55g is now (to be removed). Both walls it would be touching are load bearing, so that is good.

Also, I am pretty sure that the joists are going parallel to the current tank, not perpendicular (given the room dimensions, it makes structural sense), so the load will be over 3 or more joists.

Finally, it is out of the direct path of the window, so less sunlight problems.

Final comments? lol I'm pouring water in about 5 hours...I'll make sure my underling neighbors aren't home. hehe
 

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I dont personally know if worrying about natural light is valid or not, but I have seen nice planted tanks that recieved lots of real daylight. If you need to place it by a window you could always paint the back of the tank black or something. Without knowing more specifics about the building its hard to say about placement, or even if its a concern.
 

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As far as the floor joists...does your building have a ridge line on the rood? Floor joists will run perpendicular to the ridge in most instances.

Against the outside walls are always the best place to put your tank.

And as far as the two rules mentioned above...you forgot the third and fourth rules.

3. if it starts creaking and groaning. I would stop and rethink the placement.
4. if it falls threw the floor...start looking for a new apartment.

lol.
 

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aye. Also, make sure to have something on hand to level it out after you've filled it about an inch. I think that was the most annoying part of my 45gl. I filled it so slowly, and had to stuff cardboard under the front of the stand to make it level, my apartment is built on this horrible hill and I swear the builders must have lost their levels somewhere as the apartment is sloped up on both ends but down in the middle like we're living in some kind of bowl... gah... I was more concerned with my stand than with the floor, but nothing's groaned or creaked or moaned or anything, so I think I'm good. :)

Technically, since I believe labor was more expensive than materials in the 70s (and anytime past the 30s, if we believe my dad) you probably have a very well-built apartment, so it can probably take a lot more than your average house floor. I'm pretty sure the floors have to be rated for about 200lbs/squarefoot, but I wouldn't quote me on that. Personally, since I'm paranoid about that, too, I'd just make sure and listen to how the building is taking the gradual buildup of extra weight... and like, make sure you don't have termites or wood rot or something horrible like that.

:-D Hopefully that didn't freak you out too much. hehe...

Good Luck!

(And remember, if you DO spill water all over the floor, you are just making it more likely to develop wood rot in the support beams!)
 

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Flat bottom or no (and I have yet to see a flat bottomed stand) almost all the pressure will be on the edges of the stand since they bear the weight (unless the stand is a solid block).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update: I asked a maintenance guy on the side which way the joists are going, and it is as I hoped.

So, I slowly filled the tank with water.....

And...

(gasp)

Absolutely
nothing
happened.
phew.


Downstairs is a Chinese couple, where it is now, worst case is I'd smash their TV. It isn't over a bedroom or anything, so it won't fall through the earth and smash them to death.
 

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The crucial next test is to walk around the floor near the filled tank and see if it bounces or starts to lean towards you. My 45 gallon, second floor tank just barely passes this test.
 

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it depends what direction your window is facing...north & south windows are good and you can place your tank next to the window. Some use this strategy. It saves on the energy bill.

oh, and put those 'easy glide' plastic disc things under your stand for an easy move if needed.
 

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oh, and put those 'easy glide' plastic disc things under your stand for an easy move if needed.
Terrible idea. Moving tanks full of water is perhaps the worst thing you can do.


However, I will agree on the sunlight. Cichlids love algae covered rocks. They often don't get enough vegetation in their diets. Then, they can comfortably browse on tufts of algae. Besides, with only rockwork, the effect will be naturalizing.
 

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Downstairs is a Chinese couple, where it is now, worst case is I'd smash their TV. It isn't over a bedroom or anything, so it won't fall through the earth and smash them to death.
Dont forget that the tank falling through the floor right away is something thats not likely to happen. Thats something your more likely to see on a cartoon perhaps. What normally happens is damage that may take years to show up. I guess if its a rental then you probably not to worried, but for a homeowner, even a problem that may take over 10 years to show itself could be very costly. Just a slight deflection can cause severe problems in the long run, even stress the tank enough to cause a failure. The folks below are much more likely to get really wet than to have a whole tank crash down upon them. So a more likely 'worse case' is that lots of water dump, either do to a floor failure or the tank simply breaking, causing an electric fire starting with thier wet TV and resulting in your building going up in flames...
 
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