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Old 12-01-2008, 07:27 PM   #1
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How to properly support joists for a large fishtank


Hello Everyone!

I have a large 150gal saltwater tank that I want to put in my living room. Unfortunatley it will be running parallel to the floor joists.

Questions:
- What do I need todo properly support this wieght. I want to TRY not to put a post underneth as my basement is semi finished and used.

- If I add some lateral 2x10 support with hangers will that be sufficent?


Attached are two pics at the bottom.

Here are the specs:
Tank Total Weight: max 2000lbs ( with rocks/equipment this is a generous figure )

Size 6'x2'

Joists 2x10x14

Hard Wood Floor

And the tank is sitting on a nice Spruce 1/2" peice of plywood that is 6'x2' to help distrubute the load.

I have also added two more 2x10 joists directly under the tank sistered to two existing ones by through bolting them. ( does through bolting weaken the joists? )

The second picture shows the joists where the tank is sitting. The center joist is about center of the tank.




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Old 12-01-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
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How to properly support joists for a large fishtank


No good news for you.

Adding the sistered joists certainly wasn't a bad idea.

Your existing joists are notched at the bearing point, which effectively and significantly reduces their ability to carry the imposed loads. 14' is certainly not overspanned for an unmodified 2x10, but around 15-16' is the maximum span for a floor joist with a 40psf live load...Your fish tank is a 2000 pound load, which if evenly distributed at the base, equates to about 166psf. Even with the addition of the sistered joists, your floor can't take that.

Blocks between the joists will help distribute the loads to adjacent joists, but in my professional opinion it isn't near enough.

Honestly, I think your best bet is a post or two supporting a beam perpindicular to the underside of the joists. It would of course need a small footing under the slab as well.

If headroom or posts are an issue, a steel beam (or some LVL's) spanning the full 14' directly under the floor sheathing between the joists (right under the tank) would be another option. It would be slid in by temporarily removing a small section of the rim joist.

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Old 12-01-2008, 11:20 PM   #3
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How to properly support joists for a large fishtank


those aren't even considered 2x10 anymore. they are less because it is only as strong as where it is bearing, granted there are more picking up the load at this time. i don't think it is going to collapse but i think some lvl action is in order especially when it's right in the middle of the floor. support posts on the side.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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How to properly support joists for a large fishtank


You could bolt a ledger to the foundation wall to support the bottoms of those notched ends to take care of that issue. I'd have to defer to an engineer as to whether the doubled 2x10s are enough.
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:17 AM   #5
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How to properly support joists for a large fishtank


I don't see a problem with what you have done. Adding the additional flooring to distribute the weight is an excellent idea and your understanding of weight distribution makes me very comfortable in your decision making processes.

Water beds are common and have more weight than your fish tank without any additional support. Of course the weight is distributed over a larger area they are still a lot heavier.

One thing you could do is measure the distance between the joist and the floor and write that info on the joists. Then measure it in 3 months at again at one year and see if there is any sagging.
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:02 AM   #6
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How to properly support joists for a large fishtank


The bolts you used are spaced really, really far apart.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:35 PM   #7
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How to properly support joists for a large fishtank


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelbarron View Post
Hello Everyone!

I have a large 150gal saltwater tank that I want to put in my living room. Unfortunatley it will be running parallel to the floor joists.

Questions:
- What do I need todo properly support this wieght. I want to TRY not to put a post underneth as my basement is semi finished and used.

- If I add some lateral 2x10 support with hangers will that be sufficent?


Attached are two pics at the bottom.

Here are the specs:
Tank Total Weight: max 2000lbs ( with rocks/equipment this is a generous figure )

Size 6'x2'

Joists 2x10x14

Hard Wood Floor

And the tank is sitting on a nice Spruce 1/2" peice of plywood that is 6'x2' to help distrubute the load.

I have also added two more 2x10 joists directly under the tank sistered to two existing ones by through bolting them. ( does through bolting weaken the joists? )

The second picture shows the joists where the tank is sitting. The center joist is about center of the tank.



My $.02 USD worth would be to install more joists in the center (8" o/c) supported by ledger boards at both ends.
Placing them should not be a problem as it appear to be clear of wiring etc.
As was previously mentioned, the ledgers would support the existing joists also!
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:17 PM   #8
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How to properly support joists for a large fishtank


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Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
My $.02 USD
You $.02 USD is now worth $.015. It is tied to the stock market. In a week or so it could be worth $.01.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:21 AM   #9
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How to properly support joists for a large fishtank


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Gardens View Post
You $.02 USD is now worth $.015. It is tied to the stock market. In a week or so it could be worth $.01.
Geez! I dunno if I kin afford the price of the ticket anymore!

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