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danator

11:11AM | 06/06/05
Member Since: 06/01/05
3 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
Hi, there.

We live in an apartment building built in 1899, and the flooring in our apartment is actually just subflooring in the bedrooms and living room (tile and linoleum elsewhere). It is very old wide wood planking that is not level in general.

Up until now, we have had a 35 gal aquarium that we keep half to 2/3 filled for our two turtles, but they are getting too big for it. We want to get a 70 - 100 gal aquarium, but we know that even if it is only half full it will greatly increase the weight could be up to 500-600 lbs, not including the stand, I'd imagine). We have been told that if we get a cabinet style stand, place it on a thick particle board or plywood sheet and make sure to place the aquarium perpendicular to the floor joists and next to a bearing wall all should be fine, but we are nervous, as we live on the 4th floor of the building (our downstairs neighbours don't need a tank crashing onto their heads, much less the landlords).

So, my questions are:

1. Should the above precautions be enough? Too much? Any recommendations?

2. How do I determine which are load bearing walls, and how do I find the floor joists? I know I can buy a stud finder, but I am a total novice at this.

Thanks for any suggestions!


Piffin

01:52PM | 06/11/05
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
fifty gallons of water weighs only four hundred pounds. The space it takes up would be comparable to two 200# people standing on the floor shaking hands or giving each other a hug. Have you seen anyone fall through the floor doing that? My bookcases probably weiogh even more and they don't fall over when I go get a book out...

a sheet of plywood - minimum 3/4" would help spread the load out even further.

Normally a fllor system is designed for about a 40# per sq ft live load. A 400# aquarium in a 2' x 5' space meets that, but the actual area sharing the load is the width of the aquarium times the total span of the floor joists.

Excellence is its own reward!


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