I really want to upgrade my 20 gal to at least a 55 gal tank. My biggest fear, and what is holding me back, is that I don't know how much weight the floor of my main living area can support. I don't want to risk my tank falling through to the basement!
Any way to estimate what can be supported without calling a contractor? What is typically safe?
My basement is not finished and is not usable living space, so though weight bearing would not be a concern there, it would be a wasted investment.
I don't know how accurate this is but if you want to pull out the tape measure and calculator then check this out, How to Calculate Floor Load Capacity | eHow.com you'll want the load per sq foot. I live in california where basements don't exist so never had to do it myself.
Someone put it to me like this once..a 55g is going to weigh 500-600lbs filled and stocked. Could three 200lb people sit on a couch on your floor? 55g is usually fine on most floors. A fish tank that is properly leveled is going to evenly distribute the weight as well, more so than the couch with people on it. :)
A 55 should be fine on a 2nd floor. One good practice though is that the tank should run perpendicular or across the floor joists so the weight is more spread out. Since your basement is unfinished it should be easy to determine what way these joists are running.
The idea that 3 large people can stand on a floor does not necessarily mean a fish tank of the same weight can. The people are not going to stay there for very long, while with the fish tank your talking about a continuous large force. A fish tank is not going to fall through your floor, this would be very difficult to achieve. Its more concern about the floor bowing or sagging over time. A 55 though should not cause this. Another trick if you are still concerned is to place the tank against a load bearing wall.
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