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Is my tank too heavy for my apartment?


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So i purchased a 500L aquarium (after using aquarium calc its actually 540L) with a steel tubing type stand, it is crazy heavy (took 3 of us to carry it up 2 flights of stairs and barely made it) once i fill it with water i estimate it to be roughly 3/4 of a ton, my apartment is an old 1950s building made from solid concrete and from what i saw as a plumber lifted boards in my bathroom a few years back my floor is also concrete with beams across it and floorboards fitted to that. My question is basically should i continue to fill and stock this monster tank, i cannot find any blueprints or floor plans for these apartments anywhere so have no max load to go on.

Edited by PheonixBlayne81
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If you're renting, you might want to check with your landlord (maybe you can just say you have a "very heavy piece of furniture" and are a considerate tenant, so you wanted to clear it with them first). If your lease has any language like "no large bookshelves or waterbeds," that might be an indication that the floors don't have a lot of support.

I'm not sure where you are, but if the tank is spread out over a wide area, and it sounds like it is, you might be okay if you set it up against an exterior wall where the support's probably more firm.

Here's an article on heavy bookshelves (the heaviest other piece of furniture I could think of) that seems to be pretty optimistic about it: https://homesteady.com/info-12043297-heavy-bookcases-make-floor-sag.html

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2 minutes ago, Kirsten said:

If you're renting, you might want to check with your landlord (maybe you can just say you have a "very heavy piece of furniture" and are a considerate tenant, so you wanted to clear it with them first). If your lease has any language like "no large bookshelves or waterbeds," that might be an indication that the floors don't have a lot of support.

I'm not sure where you are, but if the tank is spread out over a wide area, and it sounds like it is, you might be okay if you set it up against an exterior wall where the support's probably more firm.

Here's an article on heavy bookshelves (the heaviest other piece of furniture I could think of) that seems to be pretty optimistic about it: https://homesteady.com/info-12043297-heavy-bookcases-make-floor-sag.html

I live in Scotland, up until the mid 70s houses were built purely with stone, stell and concrete. The only thing ive found out about this building so far is that in the late 50s it was used as a paper factory, i may go to the national archive when it reopens in a few weeks and ask there for some information as asking our local council is usually not advised (they are awful). I will read up on the link you sent as any help is very much appreciated, ill be devastated if i cant go ahead with it, so looking forward to finally owning Oscars and other large Cichlids.

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I would ask your land lord about a king size water bed since that should be heavier than the tank (I use gallons and asked Siri so I’m not sure how accurate that is) but the average king water bed holds about 235 gallons or 890l (I believe) also what is the foot print of the stand 

Edited by Angelfishlover
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Just now, DSH OUTDOORS said:

If it used to be a paper factory I'm sure it's built like a brick 💩 house. I personally would do it. Against a wall of course but other than that have at it!

Yeh like i mentioned from what ive seen these flats/apartments are basically concrete boxes with floors built ontop of them, was just panicking abit when i did a weigh calculation and it can back with 3/4 of a tonne lol

Im going to contact my local council tomorrow and just ask for info as itll put my mind at ease, tho looking through my rental agreement it makes no mention of no waterbeds etc in it at all so at least thats something.

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1 minute ago, Brian said:

Also,   You might want to ask your insurance company if they offer a policy for such thing.   If something was to happen- for a few dollars a month piece of mind.

Im mainly just scared that if it did go through the floor it would kill either my neighbour or her daughter :/ i'll find out more from the landlord in the morning.

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So that is what a 125-150 gallon?  So maybe 2,000 plus pounds?  
Would also depend if near outside or load baring wall?  
I would talk with the landlord and or owner of the building.  This tank does not compare to a water bed.  A bed displacement would be much better.   Total weight spread out over a much larger area.  
But if this is an apartment building it should be able to handle load- even older building codes wanted a solid fire block between tenants in apartment buildings.   
I would check.     Better to be safe.

Good Luck 

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Hey all the suggestions here are great. If your landlord is so willing they can even give you a carbon copy of the blueprints for your specific unit. This was the case when I had for a time had a 128 gallon acrylic tank. The tank and stand alone weighed 450 pounds and in total wet weight was around 2000 pounds. Which is 1 U.S ton. We set it up against a structural piece of concrete on the second floor. My apartments were built in the 1970's.

 

The tank got downsized almost immediately though as I had an emergency bearded dragon adoption 🙃

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I don’t know, 30 plus years ago I had a king size water bed.  It held around 225 gallons of water.  I’ll never forget the display when I purchased it. .. they had a water bed set up and not on the frame, but on Dixie cups stacked on each other.  The information provided for apartment dwellers had verification that the weight displacement was less per square foot than a standard refrigerated fully stocked.  
But that doesn’t help them with current situation....    lol.   Always better to be safe than sorry...

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52 minutes ago, PheonixBlayne81 said:

I live in the Capital city and do not know any caber tossers as thats not really a thing anybody does here, slightly offensive and stereotyping there.

I suspect you are kidding as that was about the most innocuous joke I can think of.  Functionally equivalent of you telling me to have bunch of linebackers stand in the spot.  That said, by virtue of the fact I am responding like this, if you are pulling my leg, you have gotten me.  I'll admit it, and concede. 

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52 minutes ago, OnlyGenusCaps said:

I suspect you are kidding as that was about the most innocuous joke I can think of.  Functionally equivalent of you telling me to have bunch of linebackers stand in the spot.  That said, by virtue of the fact I am responding like this, if you are pulling my leg, you have gotten me.  I'll admit it, and concede. 

Bazinga! lol

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I agree with the previous suggestion of putting it on an exterior wall. If you also know which way the floor joists/beans run, I believe it's better to put the tank perpendicular instead of parallel to them. Unfortunately your dimensions are not the best for the volume, a longer tank would spread the weight across more of the floor structure. If the floor is concrete and steel beam construction, and was originally designed for industrial use, then you should/could be fine?

Here's the best article I know of specifically about placing aquariums and weight, it's long and basically the answer is "it depends" but it addresses a lot of common misconceptions on the issue. Also it's more focused on wood framing than concrete, but I imagine some of the same issues apply to a different degree: https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/aquarium_weight.php

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Everyone worries about this but in all my years of messing with aquariums, I have never heard of anyone actually having a tank crash through the floor. I would be interested to know if anyone on this forum has first hand knowledge of this happening.

 Mark Twain said, “I am an old man and have had many worries...most of which never happened “.

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Crashing through the floor is a mode of failure, but more likely you'd have excessive deflection seen in walls or ceiling cracks. Concrete is typically designed for the reinforcement to yield and as it does it deflects a lot and the load is given a chance to spread out before failure.

And if it helps, in the US, residential floor live loads are typically 40psf and a deflection criteria, whichever governs. And 40psf is about 7.5in or 19cm of water deep if you could fill the room with it. But rooms can typically hold more since heavy things are nearly always placed against walls.

I've heard stories and seen videos of floors failing because the room was filled with people who are dancing in rhythm, but overloading against a wall is pretty rare.

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So just alittle update, cannot get hold of my landlord so have asked a few neighbours, one of which mentioned they have a fish tank also and have done for 20 years. They asked me in and i took a look, its a 4ft breeder sat on a custom made wooden bench in the same place i plan to put mine. They have confirmed the main floor is concrete with a floor build ontop and my best plan of action is to put a thick piece of wood down with an extra 1 inch diameter to help with load but also said due to the shape of the stand it would be fine on its own if i chose to go that route and that the tank should be fine either way due to the concrete floor. Still waiting on another neighbour coming home who has the actual blueprint of the building for further confirmation.

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So after alot of conversations and deliberations, it is with sadness ive decided to sell the tank as its just not worth the risk at the end of it all, therefor put it up for sale and ill be looking to get something lighter, perhaps 300L or something. Truely heartbroken by this because it wouldve been an awesome tank to use. Keep you all posted, thanks for all your help and input over the last few days.

 

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20 hours ago, PheonixBlayne81 said:

So after alot of conversations and deliberations, it is with sadness ive decided to sell the tank as its just not worth the risk at the end of it all, therefor put it up for sale and ill be looking to get something lighter, perhaps 300L or something. Truely heartbroken by this because it wouldve been an awesome tank to use. Keep you all posted, thanks for all your help and input over the last few days.

 

Did you get a hold of the blueprints from your neighbor?

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