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AbsolutelyGuaranteed

Tank Support (Physically)

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Hello seasoned reefers!

I've been looking for housing in the Beaverton/Hillsboro area and they all have conventional crawlspace foundations. I'm concerned with the pressure from the weight of an aquarium, more specifically in an old house I am likely to move into. What are the types of things I need to determine before moving ahead with a 90 or 120 gallon aquarium with a decent size sump? Would it be wise to use some screw jacks for additional support? How would you go about doing this, would you span multiple joists with a header and then support that with the jacks? Any tips would be helpful here.

Thanks guys.

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I did a little reading and it seems that blocking the joists together so that don't buckle due to lateral-torsional and then some form of beam and post underneath for extra support is a prudent measure.

Also, apparently old homes were constructed with better quality hard woods than today's homes. So the joists are less likely to bend.

Edited by AbsolutelyGuaranteed
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I ran a 4x4 the length of the tank along the  beams in about the middle of the tank and used 2x 2ton screw floor jacks sitting on 12"x12"concrete blocks my house was built in '82 and I have a 180 with about a 50 gallon sump or so

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You could do something like in this thread, scroll down some and you will see the pressure treated 4x4 and cement blocks. I would say if you go 120 or bigger you may want some support, all the water and rocks make for a heavy load in a small area for a long time.

 

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I went the 4x4 with pyramid blocks route, worked out fine for my 210. 

 

I dont know how true it is but I always heard that at the 180 gal mark you need to reinforce otherwise it's ok. Obviously it's a pretty loose rule but if your worried about it, it's a cheap investment for the piece of mind. I literally just used 1x 4x4 8ft and 2 pyramid blocks and some shims. Total cost was under $25. A lot depends on how your house is supported as well, mine has TGIs instead of traditional joysts. 

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with a 120 you will be fine with absolutely nothing. If you just have to do something... and your tank runs parallel with the floor joists... then simply blocking them together with 2x8 is more than enough to spread the load. (blocking between the joists).

without a footing, pyramid blocks don't offer a lot of structural support unless you have a lot of them

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Thanks! I'll take a crawl and see which direction the floor joists are running, the separation, and how long they span. I'd like to see if there is any dry rot or decay, since the house was build in the 1930's, and how they were hung. Ideally I would place the tank across multiple joist and right up against the foundation wall. I would then probably add some blocking between those joists. If it looks like there is rotting I would probably think about the beam and screw jacks with the concrete blocks.

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Also look at what sub floor you have. Newer houses use 1 1/8th 4x8 sheets to cover the floors. A lot of the older houses have tongue and groove 2xs and well you can park a tank on those things.........

If you are worried a few pier blocks a couple of screw jacks and a 4x4 and all will be good.

My 100 gallon is parked on newer 1 1/8th car decking and I am not to worried about it. I am not an engineer but have worked construction for over 25 years so I know just enough to get myself in trouble :laugh:

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