Additional Floor Support for HUGE Aquarium

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  #1  
Old 07-05-04, 10:45 AM
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Tervman
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Additional Support Needed for 6000 lb weight on Floor Above Crawl Space

I am looking to purchase a 300 Gallon Aquarium, and put it in my family room. My house is built on a sloping crawl space, so there is no concrete pad on which to put the aquarium. The area in the family room, where the aquarium would sit, is about 5-6 feet from the floor of the family room to the ground of the crawl space.

The aquarium, when fully loaded, will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 6000 pounds, in an area 8' x 2'. I'm sure my floor is not rated for a weight of this size, in such a small space.

Somebody told me about telescopic floor jacks...they would go under the floor, in the crawl space, and could be used to support the weight of the tank.

So, I was hoping the forum participants could help me with some questions. Please note that I am NOT mechanically inclined, and would need a professional to do any type of installation:
1. Does anyone have any experience with these types of jacks?
2. Where would I find such an item.
3. What type of professional would I need to install it for me.
4. Where would I find this person to do the install?
5. Are these telelscopic floor jacks intended to be left in place, or are they only for temporary usage. Obviously, I need a permanent support solution.
6. How are they installed?
7. Should I have a structrual engineer come to home and inspect the floor? I have never used one, and am not certain if they could tell me much more than that I needed the extra support for the aquarium.

Thank you very much!
 

Last edited by Tervman; 07-05-04 at 11:27 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-06-04, 10:21 PM
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Hello & welcome to the forums.

3 tons sitting on 16 s/f of area is quite a load & the screw type jacks very well maybe in order to support that kind of weight. You would have to get in the crawlspace and take a look at the floor joists to determine the size, spacing, and span of them to determine what they could safely hold. Since you have already stated your preference to locate a reliable contractor in your area I would suggest first taking a look at the pre-screened contactors that available through the link located at the top of the page. I you live somewhere in northcentral Missouri I'd be glad to give you a bid myself, but odds are you're not so the link at the top of the page is probably your best bet. Or asks neighbors or associates, etc locally about references of quality contractors & handymen in your area. Try to get at least 2-3 quotes from reputable guys in your area to ensure you don't get taken for a ride.

If you can't find such a person in your area go under the house into the crawlspace with a flashlight & tape measure & measure the width & thichness of the floor joist, how far apart they are spaced, and how long the span is between the supports under them. Also try to determine what the subflooring is made of & the thickness, (IOW is there plywood or osb sheeting, 1"x3" or 4" planks etc sitting on top of the floor joists) Also when you're looking at the framing, look for defects in any of them, cracks, warpage, twisting) Get back to us wityh that info and we can help you out.
 
  #3  
Old 07-12-04, 10:32 AM
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Tervman
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Dell,

Thanks for the response. I will get in the crawlspace and see what I have....maybe shoot some photos so you can see for yourself.

Tervman
 
  #4  
Old 07-12-04, 10:37 AM
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Tervman
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Originally Posted by awesomedell
I would suggest first taking a look at the pre-screened contactors that available through the link located at the top of the page.
What type of contractor would do this type of work?

Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 07-13-04, 06:50 AM
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not to argue...but if i figured correctly the water alone would weigh about 2500 pounds....making the aquarium empty weighing 3500 pounds...is that correct??...needless to say 2500 pounds is still alot of weight for a floor, and it will need to be supported....but maybe not as much as you think....just a thought....anyone else see a problem with my calculations...300 gallons equals 1,135,620 ml...equals cc's...equals grams(approximately)...equals 1356.62 KG...equals more or less 2500 pounds......if this is not correct pleaseeeeeee dont hesitate to say so...dont want to give mis-information
 
  #6  
Old 07-13-04, 07:49 AM
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Tervman
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Originally Posted by jproffer
not to argue...but if i figured correctly the water alone would weigh about 2500 pounds....making the aquarium empty weighing 3500 pounds...is that correct??...needless to say 2500 pounds is still alot of weight for a floor, and it will need to be supported....but maybe not as much as you think....just a thought....anyone else see a problem with my calculations...300 gallons equals 1,135,620 ml...equals cc's...equals grams(approximately)...equals 1356.62 KG...equals more or less 2500 pounds......if this is not correct pleaseeeeeee dont hesitate to say so...dont want to give mis-information
Jproffer....thanks for the input!

Most calculations I have seen say to figure about 10 lbs for each gallon of SALT water. So, in rough figures, that's 3000lbs. Of course, the tank will not have just water, as the items inside the tank will take up some of the water space. So your figure of 2500 may be closer to the true water weight.

Add to that:
Weight of the aquarium itself - 200-500lbs, depending on acrylic or glass (these weights are straight from the tank manufacturer)
Live Rock - 500 lbs
Live Sand - 700 lbs
Sump (additional, smaller tank used for filtration, etc) - 750-1000 lbs
Tank Stand and Top - 200-300 lbs
Additional Equipment (pumps, skimmer, etc) - 50 lbs
Fish - couple of lbs

As you can see...it adds up fast, and you can hit that 6000 lb figure before you know it!
 
  #7  
Old 07-13-04, 10:13 AM
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salt water....ok...that would add some....and for all i knew at the time of original posting, the aquarium could very well weigh 3500#, wasnt trying to argue...but also hated to see u add support(read DOLLARS) that wasn't needed, at least to that extent....but when in doubt...well u know the rest ...better safe than sorry...and I do do mean SORRRRRY (with a crashed in floor )...either way u do be safe and have fun
 
  #8  
Old 07-13-04, 02:36 PM
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Tervman
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Originally Posted by jproffer
salt water....ok...that would add some....and for all i knew at the time of original posting, the aquarium could very well weigh 3500#, wasnt trying to argue...but also hated to see u add support(read DOLLARS) that wasn't needed, at least to that extent....but when in doubt...well u know the rest ...better safe than sorry...and I do do mean SORRRRRY (with a crashed in floor )...either way u do be safe and have fun
I saw no argument at all....just one person trying to help out another person

Considering this tank would run anywhere from 2K (used) to around 5K (new setup) I would definitely not mind adding an investment in additional support. My hope is it will not add a substantial amount to the overall cost!

Thanks again!!!!
 
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