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Old 08-09-2016, 11:20 AM   #1
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Load bearing capacity of concrete?


I'm trying to figure out how large of an aquarium I could safely have in my 3rd floor apartment.
I don't know how thick my floors are but they're concrete and the apartment was built sometime in the late 50's or or 60's.

Where I'll be placing the aquarium is against the wall on the opposite side of the apartment buildings hallway. I believe this is also a concrete wall with lath and plaster and is about 8" thick so I think it's probably a load bearing wall.

Is there anyway to determine how thick my floors are and if it would be safe to hold around 2000lbs across an area that's about 48"x20" ?
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:19 PM   #2
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


So assuming roughly a 200gal tank. My opinion and $2 gets you a coffee but I think you would be okay. The loading on the floor will be spread over the surface area of the base of the tank.

I don't know of a way to determine the thickness of your floor - others might - besides asking you property management. While you're at it you might want to ask if a big tankful of water is allowed. Many commercial rental properties put restrictions in leases after water beds became popular and several instances of leakage.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:05 AM   #3
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


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Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
So assuming roughly a 200gal tank. My opinion and $2 gets you a coffee but I think you would be okay. The loading on the floor will be spread over the surface area of the base of the tank.

I don't know of a way to determine the thickness of your floor - others might - besides asking you property management. While you're at it you might want to ask if a big tankful of water is allowed. Many commercial rental properties put restrictions in leases after water beds became popular and several instances of leakage.
I won't be going as big as 200 gallons, a 90 or 110 tall is all I could fit in the space where I'm putting it, anything longer would be too long.

I was just accounting for weight of the tank itself, my stand, water, substrate and any decorations/rocks.
I built the stand with a 5/8" piece of plywood across the bottom so the load is distributed down into a bottom frame that puts the load across the entire surface area instead of just like 4 legs pressing into the floor.

As f or whether or not I can have one, I don't think it's an issue since I've also got a washer/dryer in here that we aren't supposed to have.
I've had aquariums before and no one has said anything, HOWEVER, with a tank this big I think I'll be getting some renters insurance

I can only guess that the floors would be 4-6" and again I can only guess that they would be reinforced.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:14 PM   #4
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


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As f or whether or not I can have one, I don't think it's an issue since I've also got a washer/dryer in here that we aren't supposed to have.
I've had aquariums before and no one has said anything, HOWEVER, with a tank this big I think I'll be getting some renters insurance.
Large appliances that you know you're not supposed to have, plus a fish tank that may or may not be allowed. I don't think renter's insurance will be much help if they are the cause of damage.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:35 PM   #5
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


IF your floors are poured concrete which i doubt, they would be 4 inches thick, probably flexicore which is a precast concrete product.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:52 PM   #6
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


There's a good chance the floors are wooden just like a regular house with Gypcrete over th subfloor. Gypcrete is common in apartments and multi level condos.

Renter's insurance will not cover damage you cause to others. Liability insurance might, but then again you may be breaking the law/rules in witch case you lose. You pay for insurance, but they will probably not cover. (why should they)?

Let me understand your reasoning here....... You think that since you're already breaking the rules by having appliances that are not allowed, you should be able to break more and have an aquarium that may or may not also be prohibited.

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Old 08-11-2016, 08:47 AM   #7
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
Large appliances that you know you're not supposed to have, plus a fish tank that may or may not be allowed. I don't think renter's insurance will be much help if they are the cause of damage.
The landlord knows of our washer and dryer, and we aren't the only ones in the building to have a washer/dryer.... This includes the landlords.

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Originally Posted by Canarywood1 View Post
IF your floors are poured concrete which i doubt, they would be 4 inches thick, probably flexicore which is a precast concrete product.
I just looked up flexicore and I have my doubts that my floors are made of that stuff. When drilling into the floor (as mentioned below) I haven't encountered any open space.

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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
There's a good chance the floors are wooden just like a regular house with Gypcrete over th subfloor. Gypcrete is common in apartments and multi level condos.

Renter's insurance will not cover damage you cause to others. Liability insurance might, but then again you may be breaking the law/rules in witch case you lose. You pay for insurance, but they will probably not cover. (why should they)?

Let me understand your reasoning here....... You think that since you're already breaking the rules by having appliances that are not allowed, you should be able to break more and have an aquarium that may or may not also be prohibited.

Jaz
I've drilled into the floor at least 2" deep to bolt down our dishwasher, so there's at least 2" of concrete, not to mention our floors don't bounce at all which they would if they were wood. I'm 250Lbs and have jumped very hard in the middle of our floors (unrelated to this) and there is no bounce at all.

Was gypcrete widely used in the 60's ?

And no, my reasoning has nothing to do with "already breaking the rules", there are no rules against owning pets or fish, it is allowed, and isn't the first fish tank I've had here.

My reasoning is "I would like to have a large fish tank, but want to make certain that it won't damage the floors or cause any structural weakness', as such I want to do my research and determine if this floor is able to safely hold the amount of weight I would like it to bear"
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:49 AM   #8
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


We know your floor is not bare wood like a house, we just don't know how it's built or its capacities.

Gypcrete has been around for many years. It's gypsum as you probably know. It's used mainly cuz it's light in weight.

90-100 gallons of water spread out over 3 joists is nothing if the owner of the building says it's ok.

Jaz
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:49 AM   #9
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


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Originally Posted by Killavolt View Post
The landlord knows of our washer and dryer, and we aren't the only ones in the building to have a washer/dryer.... This includes the landlords.



I just looked up flexicore and I have my doubts that my floors are made of that stuff. When drilling into the floor (as mentioned below) I haven't encountered any open space.



I've drilled into the floor at least 2" deep to bolt down our dishwasher, so there's at least 2" of concrete, not to mention our floors don't bounce at all which they would if they were wood. I'm 250Lbs and have jumped very hard in the middle of our floors (unrelated to this) and there is no bounce at all.

Was gypcrete widely used in the 60's ?

And no, my reasoning has nothing to do with "already breaking the rules", there are no rules against owning pets or fish, it is allowed, and isn't the first fish tank I've had here.

My reasoning is "I would like to have a large fish tank, but want to make certain that it won't damage the floors or cause any structural weakness', as such I want to do my research and determine if this floor is able to safely hold the amount of weight I would like it to bear"


Was it fairly easy when you drilled the holes for the dishwasher??
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:39 PM   #10
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
We know your floor is not bare wood like a house, we just don't know how it's built or its capacities.

Gypcrete has been around for many years. It's gypsum as you probably know. It's used mainly cuz it's light in weight.

90-100 gallons of water spread out over 3 joists is nothing if the owner of the building says it's ok.

Jaz
I know it's not bare wood floors, but I really don't think they used gypcrete here. I could see it MAYBE being flexicore but again, I've drilled a few spots in the floors and never encountered any open spaces below.

Gypcrete would be softer to drill into would it not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarywood1 View Post
Was it fairly easy when you drilled the holes for the dishwasher??
no, not in the least, way harder to drill into than brick would be and pretty much felt the same as drilling into any other solid concrete. it required a hammer drill. Tapcons had no problems biting either.
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:46 PM   #11
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Re: Load bearing capacity of concrete?


They had our toilet out a while ago to do some repairs, and when they removed the piping I could see into the below neighbors bathroom, however I wasn't paying the greatest of attention to what was between floors there.

I don't recall seeing any wood, but I know our toilet isn't fully secured because of something to do with there not being anywhere to secure the flange or some weird bull$**

The bathroom is surrounded by load bearing walls though, and the living room is a fairly wide open space at about 20'x12', except there are no load bearing walls between the end of the living room, and the furthest bedroom wall between us and the neighbours apartment. so the floor itself spans an area of around 20'x 30-40' with a load bearing(I presume) wall running along the 30-40' wall. The opposite living room wall being the exterior wall and definitely load bearing.

There is only a 2x4 wall that separates the living room from the kitchen and it only runs a length of about 8' in the middle of the living room... it's where my tv is mounted.

the other walls separating the bedrooms are entirely lath and plaster using a gypsum lath and expanded steel in corners and such. These walls are only about 2" thick
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