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Old 11-11-2012, 12:15 PM   #1
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Im building a fairly large aquarium. 100 gallons. Lets figure a very safe weight of 1200lbs loaded. (likely 20% over actual weight). Its a 60"x18" footprint.

Ive attached pictures of where the tank and stand are going. Im going to buld the tank partially over the stair partition wall, partially over a homemade stand. I will reinforce the partition wall itself.

In the basement, I added (3) additional 2x10s. Two of these were laminated to the existing joists with liquid nails and screws. The third was going into a section directly over the partition wall areadlly and had 3 joists there already. I used liquid nails and (6) 6" lag bolts.

Im going parallel to the joists which isnt ideal I know, anything else to worry about? Should be able to support the weight?

Thank you so much, I look forward to helping out in these forums where my knowledge will shine in different areas!








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Old 11-11-2012, 05:35 PM   #2
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Your cat seems ready and waiting for the fresh fish lunch.

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:11 AM   #3
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Welcome to the forums!

Could you post another picture of the other end of those joists, are they also carrying the stair header floor opening?
Why was the one notched (compromising) rather than drilled for the wiring?


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Old 11-12-2012, 02:03 AM   #4
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


can you put two or three 2x4 or 2x6's, nailed to the existing wall, under the joists that carry the aquarium? a 2x6x9', braced laterally, will carry about 7,000 lbs, and a 2x4x9' about 3600 lbs, according to a builder/teacher i know. it won't take much to support an extra 1200 lbs.

Last edited by jklingel; 11-12-2012 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:07 AM   #5
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by atljar View Post
Im building a fairly large aquarium. 100 gallons. Lets figure a very safe weight of 1200lbs loaded. (likely 20% over actual weight). Its a 60"x18" footprint.
The aquarium will have 830# of water. anything put in the aquarium will displace that volume of water and it's associated weight and add the weight of the object back in. So, unless you are adding something to the tank that is by volume, heavier than the water I doubt you will get much over the 830# + the weight of the tank and stand (about 150-200#)Lets figure on 1000# of weight. Got any big friends? Invite them over and have them stand in the area.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:19 AM   #6
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


could you install a jack post under the joists? I'd be more worried about the tank moving laterally (someone falling into it and the whole shebang going into the stairs). Could you run some 2x4s from the floor to the ceiling?
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:45 AM   #7
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


You show it going over top, but is the tank going to rest at all on the half-wall? If so, you can bulk up all you want underneath so the floor won't move but I don't think the partition can take that weight without being reinforced internally as well
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Cool location for a tank.

Hopefully that half wall along the stairs goes all the way to the basement floor.

Two concerns. Its always best to place aquariums perpendicular to the joists to spread the load across multiple members. Since you can't do that, then sistering the existing joists is the right thing to do.

I am concerned that one of the joists appears to be notched from the bottom. That's a big no-no. Did the joists that you sistered run the entire span and bear the same as the original joist?

Also... good luck with the tank. I am into reef tanks, here is my 150 gallon:

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Old 11-12-2012, 10:13 AM   #9
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
You show it going over top, but is the tank going to rest at all on the half-wall? If so, you can bulk up all you want underneath so the floor won't move but I don't think the partition can take that weight without being reinforced internally as well

If the wall is mechanically fastened to the floor joist adjacent to the wall, the floor acts as a diaphragm and braces the wall from lateral loading.

If there isn't a solid connection between the wall framing and that floor joist, they should be added.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:13 AM   #10
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by tony.g View Post
Your cat seems ready and waiting for the fresh fish lunch.
Im going to have to build quite the aqaurium top to keep them (2 bengals which get into everything) out of the water.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jklingel View Post
can you put two or three 2x4 or 2x6's, nailed to the existing wall, under the joists that carry the aquarium? a 2x6x9', braced laterally, will carry about 7,000 lbs, and a 2x4x9' about 3600 lbs, according to a builder/teacher i know. it won't take much to support an extra 1200 lbs.
I believe thats what I have already done? I added (3) 2x10x12' to the existing floor joists and braced laterally


Quote:
Originally Posted by danpik View Post
The aquarium will have 830# of water. anything put in the aquarium will displace that volume of water and it's associated weight and add the weight of the object back in. So, unless you are adding something to the tank that is by volume, heavier than the water I doubt you will get much over the 830# + the weight of the tank and stand (about 150-200#)Lets figure on 1000# of weight. Got any big friends? Invite them over and have them stand in the area.
Agree on the weight, I rather over engineer which is why I said 1200#. I have zero doubt it will hold that weight, Im more worried about long term effects (floor bowing/sinking)



Quote:
Originally Posted by shazapple View Post
could you install a jack post under the joists? I'd be more worried about the tank moving laterally (someone falling into it and the whole shebang going into the stairs). Could you run some 2x4s from the floor to the ceiling?
Ive thought the same. It wil take a fairly large crash to shove it over the edge, but its possible. I was planning on building a strong lip around the outside of the aquarium, so you couldnt just shove it, but would have to tip it over too. The ceiling is vaulted, no good way to suspend anything. Dont want to use jack posts as I am going to finish the basement eventually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
You show it going over top, but is the tank going to rest at all on the half-wall? If so, you can bulk up all you want underneath so the floor won't move but I don't think the partition can take that weight without being reinforced internally as well
Agreed, that was in my first post but you may have missed it. Im going to redo the partition so that it can carry the verticle load. Thanks for the very valid suggestion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
Welcome to the forums!

Could you post another picture of the other end of those joists, are they also carrying the stair header floor opening?
Why was the one notched (compromising) rather than drilled for the wiring?


Gary
Thanks for the welcome Gary (and everyone else!). All the joists I installed were knotched. All the existing were drilled. The wiring is burried at both ends (on side goes up the wall, through the upstairs closet, and to a light switch on exterior. Other end carries through the stairwell) There was no way to take it out without ripping out lots and lots of drywall. I am a believer in less junction points the better, so I didnt cut it. The other two were knotched on the top side, and then i tightly wedged another piece of wood in the knotch afterwards. So if the beam bows, the wedge is compressed. The one you noted would have had to be knotched most of the board height to do that way, so I added the 2x6 on top of the notch for additional support.

Heres a few more pics


My notch and support above it



The foundation side of the joists



The I beam side of the joists. Looks to me like the stair header is all being carried by the joists/hangers on the opposite side of the beam. Honestly I have no idea why there was a triple joist there to start with?


Opposite view of the stairwell header
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #11
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Unfortunately, all of the joists notched from the bottom and halfway up the depth, are effectively useless when calculating load bearing capacity or even supplemental capacity to the existing drilled joists.

Most of the strength of a joist framing member comes from the bottom fibers of the lumber (in tension), with a smaller amount of strength coming from the top fibers (in compression).

The center of a joist is basically neutral and doesn't experience any load, which is why they drill through the center.

I think at this point, the best thing to do would be to frame a wall under the triple joists to the basement floor and call it done.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:28 AM   #12
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by jcarlilesiu View Post
Cool location for a tank.

Hopefully that half wall along the stairs goes all the way to the basement floor.

Two concerns. Its always best to place aquariums perpendicular to the joists to spread the load across multiple members. Since you can't do that, then sistering the existing joists is the right thing to do.

I am concerned that one of the joists appears to be notched from the bottom. That's a big no-no. Did the joists that you sistered run the entire span and bear the same as the original joist?

Also... good luck with the tank. I am into reef tanks, here is my 150 gallon:
From what I can tell the partition looks to carry all the load directly to the basement floor.

I explained my knotch in the above post after you responded. Is the 2x6 I added insufficient for covereage? On the other two, the knotch was made in compression and then wedge filled.




Yes, the joists I sistered ran the exact same and beared the same way as the originals. Both ends supported over foundation or the I beam.

Gorgeous tank, I really want to do a Reef tank someday, but starting off with some cichlids for now

Last edited by atljar; 11-12-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #13
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by atljar View Post
On the other two, the knotch was made in compression and then wedge filled.
To be honest, in practicality, the wedges would probably work, but in order to comply with the code, this is not sufficient. What is holding the wedge in? If a torsion load is applied, that wedge could pop right out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by atljar View Post
Yes, the joists I sistered ran the exact same and beared the same way as the originals. Both ends supported over foundation or the I beam.
Good.

I would still consider simply framing a wall below the quadruple "beam" you created out of a joist. With all of those notches and wedges and holes in one place on the composite beam, I would worry about a weak point.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:23 AM   #14
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by jcarlilesiu View Post
To be honest, in practicality, the wedges would probably work, but in order to comply with the code, this is not sufficient. What is holding the wedge in? If a torsion load is applied, that wedge could pop right out.




Good.

I would still consider simply framing a wall below the quadruple "beam" you created out of a joist. With all of those notches and wedges and holes in one place on the composite beam, I would worry about a weak point.
The wedges are coated in liquid nails, but I doubt that would hold torsional load.

Frame the wall from 2x6? And I guess the other thing is this is all done for an addtional 1000# Nothing was compromised during the install so how overkill are we going here? How many people would have even attemped the joists to start with and never had an issue?? lol

Last edited by atljar; 11-12-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:09 PM   #15
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Large aquarium dead load on floor


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Originally Posted by atljar View Post
Frame the wall from 2x6? And I guess the other thing is this is all done for an addtional 1000# Nothing was compromised during the install so how overkill are we going here? How many people would have even attemped the joists to start with and never had an issue?? lol
Valid points.

Only part of the aquarium load is going to come down on that first joist that you reinforced. A large part of it will come down the framed wall.

Lets assume a 50/50 split, we are only talking about 500 pounds coming down on that one joist. That's two heavy guys standing right there.

Obviously, that isn't too much to be concerned about. Fatigue on that one joist over time of constant load though is an issue, and I think your reinforcing as it stands now probably addresses that.

Judgement call at this point.

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