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Thread: Tank weight

  1. #1
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Tank weight

    Hello all,

    I'm a new forum member getting into the saltwater hobby after years as a freshwater enthusiast. I happened across this site during my research. An excellent local resource. I look forward to sifting through posts and discovering useful and practical tips!

    My current tank is a 72 gallon glass Oceanic bowfront. I'm leaning towards a reefwater setup with live rock and corals and clams and all sorts of splendid saltwater creatures. Right now, I'm in the 'reading' phase.

    I have a question - perhaps a little naive - but a question nonetheless. I'm concerned about the weight of my tank when it is filled with 50 - 100 pounds of live rock. What stresses does this produce on the stand? The floor? Is there 'light' live rock available? Live Rock Lite?

    Regards,

    Nighty

  2. #2
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    I have the same excat set-up without a problem.
    I you got the stand with the tank (as i did), one, it will look nicer as it is curved in the front just like the tank, and two, it was built to sustain the weight of a full tank (probably close to 1000lbs). otherwise, its better to get a stand that has 4 walls (or 3 walls and a cabinet door in front) and a full bottom. This will distribute the weight of the tank over a larger surface area rather than the full weight divided up on only four thin legs.
    good luck,
    -Albert

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Albert,

    Thanks for replying! I do indeed have that curved stand.

    A full tank is one thousand pounds? I hope the floor can take the weight ...

    Out of curiosity, do you have a liner or underpad in between your stand and tank? I read somewhere that Oceanic discourages this with their tanks as they have built them with full support in mind and liners may contribute to stress on the tank. Or something.

    Can anyone confirm this?

    Regards,

    Nighty

  4. #4
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    i dont have any such liner under the tank. why would you even want one? just put it straight on the stand.
    I know its heavy, and i at first also questioned whether my floor could support it. then i figured it about the weight of 5-6 people standing there. most likely your tank is against a wall which is supporting the floor (as opposed to the middle of the room). If you have 5 people standing against the wall, do you think it would fall through? when i thought of it that way, i was able to sleep better at night. but i have heard of people who had really heavy tanks (250 gal) in the center of the room. this i would not be able to sleep with, but they had put in support beams in the basement under where the tank is along with pillars to hold it up. i guess if they are doing all that work, they must know what they are doing.
    To get your weight, if i remember correctly, saltwater is close to 10lbs/gal.
    75 gal = 750 lbs.
    +100lbs live sand
    +100 lbs live rock
    +50 lbs Stand/filters/etc.
    ---------------
    1000lbs (roughly)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Boy, am I glad this particular forum is dedicated to newbie questions.

    I was asking about the liner because I've seen it suggested in some forums on the Net (e.g., http://saltaquarium.about.com) for ensuring that tanks are completely level on the stand. But I've never needed a foam liner with my Oceanic aquarium when it was in its former incarnation as a freshwater fish tank.

    I think I'm at that dodgy stage where I've read so much on the subject I'm in danger of becoming easily paranoid about things!

    Thanks again,

    Nighty

  6. #6
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    The reason some people put "liners" between the tank and stand is to prevent the tank from cracking if the stand is not perfectly flat. Lets say for example that the stand has a small hump in the middle, or one of the legs is slightly higher than one of the other legs. If you put the tank on the stand with any one of these deficiencies, the tank will not be sitting flush on the stand. Fill the tank with 1000 lbs of water and rock, and your tank will crack because it will not bend to form the same contour as the stand . If you put a 1/2" layer of styrofoam between the tank and stand, the bottom of the styrofoam will contour to the shape of the stand. I have 1/2" thick styrofoam between my tank and stand. I am confident that I built my stand almost perfectly flush, but just to be on the safe side I added a 1/2" layer of styrofoam. :bananadan (I love these Smilies!!) .

    Hope this help.

    Terry

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Terry,

    That's reassuring! I don't think I'll need extra cushioning then, since my Oceanic tank and stand were pretty much made for each other and are under warranty, etc.

    :thanx:

    Nighty (who was a non-smilie person for years. They kind of grow on you)

  8. #8
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    Nighty,
    :waasup:
    O.k. now for my reply. In the SW hobby, lots of people use styrofoam more for it's insulating properties then weight distribution, although the tank is still not actually sitting on the foam. On lots of tanks, around the bottom there is a rim and the bottom of the tank is actually not touching the stand underneath. What people do is cut a piece of foam to fit snugly in this space as insulation. You have to be sure though that the thickness of the foam is equal to or less than the space it has to fit in. Actually, it's better if it IS a bit thinner. This way you have a bit of a margin for error just in case!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nighty's Avatar
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    Toutouche,

    :wave: (good grief, it's addictive)

    I've heard about that insulation technique. Is it worthwhile? How much heat is lost without it?


    Nighty

  10. #10
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    Since heat rises I would be impressed if the insulation at the bottom of the tank did anything at all. Also since glass is a great conductor of heat/cold the remaining pains of glass would be so significant a draw on the insulating value of the tank water that a few inches of styrofoam on the bottom would do nothing.
    Also with 2-3 inches of gravel, and those that still believe in DSB the 5-6 inches of gravel at the bottom of the tank would minimize heat loss through that pane of glass anyway.

    After speaking with InterAmerican Tanks in Alberta the only reason for putting foam of any sort under a tank is to keep it level. True the tank sits on the outer trim of plastic and not truely on the glass bottom but that outer rim of plastic sits on the styrofoam which compresses even if just millimeters to keep the tank level.
    If you have a perfectly level stand, 99% chance that your floor to your house is not perfectly level under the footprint that your stand sits on.
    ________
    Tanks: 400 gal Reef, 180 gal FOWLR, 300 gal Sump, 40 gal Frag Tray plumbed as one system - 900 gal total water volume.
    DIY Calcium Reactor, Nielson Reactor and Skimmer

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