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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys,

The goal of what I’m trying to accomplish is to keep a 90-125 gallon fish tank on a second floor, of a townhouse. (Built in the early 80’s) There is no basement to be able to view the direction of the floor joist, which leaves me a little bit in the dark here.

The tank I want figure is 850lbs for a 90 gallon + a wooden stand (4FT Long)
1400 lbs for a 125 gallon + a wooden stand (6 FT Long)

The room, more specifically the wall that the tank and stand will be against, where it will be kept is directly on top of where the fireplace is on the lower floor. So in turn the chimney should be directly behind the wall.
If I go up into the attic I may be able to see which way the joist run and get a better picture of what to look for, but I’m no contractor. I don’t know what to look for.
This is a quick thing I drew up of the set-up of the 3 floors/rooms. Maybe this will help in determining if this is an supporting/load bearing wall.



Any help is greatly appreciated. I wouldn’t want this crashing through my floor into the living room. Better safe then sorry.
When I get home I will take a video of the attic and see which way the joist run up there if its any help.

Thanks again guys.
 

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Joice run the shortest length. I would say that the wall is load bearing, yes. A townhouse built in the 1980's worries me. I would have a local person check everything out for you to be safe. I had a 100 gallon tank in three different places and never had a problem. Except my oscar jumped out and my dog ate him. Make sure you have a good lid. Oh and people will come over and of course put their fingers in the tank. People would see how far out of the tank they could pull the oscar.
 

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hmm

If you are worried about such things maybe you need your townhouse inspected for overall structural integrity. If you stand in that spot yourself, do you not feel safe and worry about floor giving way? I would think that any structure built towards the end of the 20th century legally in the US would be able to support furniture and objects sold to mass public....
 

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I noticed that you have forced air heat. Pull a register and see which direction the duct work runs. If the duct work enters the boot with a 90 or comes in from one of the sides then the direction the duct work runs is most likely the direction the floor joists run. Not a failsafe method but if you know what you are looking at it can be a good indicator. Also, check and see if there is an access panel behind the bathtub shower valve. This is a good way to see down into the floor structure sometimes.

Floor creeks generaly have nothing to do with bad framing. They are more likely from two floor boards rubbing together if they were not fastened properly.

This question comes up a quite a bit on this forum as well as an aquarium forum I am on. Unless your house was built with really substandard practices you should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I noticed that you have forced air heat. Pull a register and see which direction the duct work runs. If the duct work enters the boot with a 90 or comes in from one of the sides then the direction the duct work runs is most likely the direction the floor joists run. Not a failsafe method but if you know what you are looking at it can be a good indicator.

Floor creeks generaly have nothing to do with bad framing. They are more likely from two floor boards rubbing together if they were not fastened properly.

This question comes up a quite a bit on this forum as well as an aquarium forum I am on. Unless your house was built with really substandard practices you should be fine.
Duct runs along the wall the tank is against. Ive seen it from the floor below
 

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Duct runs along the wall the tank is against. Ive seen it from the floor below
Do they turn and run right under the floor or do they drop down 8-10 inches and then turn to run under the floor. If they run right under the floor (down an inch or so) then the floor joists most likely runn that way. If the drop down the 8-10 inches then they are dropped down to get under the floor joists and run perpendicular to the joists. There would also be a soffit in the downstairs ceiling. Either way I would not worry too much about it. If you are still concerned, have about 6 or 7 friends come over and stand in the space the tank would be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do they turn and run right under the floor or do they drop down 8-10 inches and then turn to run under the floor. If they run right under the floor (down an inch or so) then the floor joists most likely runn that way. If the drop down the 8-10 inches then they are dropped down to get under the floor joists and run perpendicular to the joists. There would also be a soffit in the downstairs ceiling
Drop down and run long
 
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