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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We took out the fireplace (long story but in short, it would have cost $5K to make it safe). My wife has agreed to let me move the wall out 36" to build an in wall tank 96x36x24 with plumbing at both ends and closets at both ends for maintenance and access.

My dilema is this: Where the hearth was is a 4' x 2' slab of concrete level with the floor. I am wondering if this will cause issues with not settling in the middle at the same rate as the ends.

The house is on a crawl space and the concrete/brick goes all the way to the ground on this portion. My thoughts were to build the base of the stand out of 2x8s so it will distribute the load better and put supports under the joists on either end.

Thoughts? Concerns?

I am looking for input from those who have done large tanks on a crawl space or those with structural engineering experience, please.

Thanks,
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh! BTW, not to put extra pressure on this (pun intended) but, I have to start framing in the wall this week so we can finish getting the room painted in two weeks. That was the concession I had to make to get this tank was to meet her deadlines.
 

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spaceman spiff
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Any chance you could put together a drawing of the idea? Google sketch-up is a neat tool to use and it's free, though it will require a little overhead in learning the basics. A hand sketch is better than nothing.

Generally the plans sound ok, but I'm a little hazy on your overall concept.
 

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r e e f e r 4 l i f e
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It sounds like, structurally, it should work. Agreed though, a drawing would help. I very much like google sketch-up.
 

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Sounds like a pretty major project. Honestly, with all the weight, with the house sitting on top of a crawl space, I would have a licensed engineer draw up the plans. I would also want to get a building permit for the project. The benefit is that a city/county licensed building inspector will give it a final inspection to ensure it's done right. Also, if you don't get a building permit for something this intense and it collapses, your home owner's insurane may not cover any damages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Where I live, there is no permit for such a thing. Basically, as long as you don't breech an outside wall, add a second story or add another electrical box, there are no permits. It's basically a small town without the resources to inspect this kind of thing. I called first to see if I had to have a permit and they told me the above.

I called a friend of mine who does house inspecting on the side and is an architect for his day job a little while ago and he told me that the best thing to do would be to support the joists with concrete based screw jacks.

I will probably go one step further by sistering to the joists with extra 2x8s and then put in the jacks and call it done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BTW, the home owners won't cover damage caused by an aquarium unless I use a licensed contractor to install it. They claim this is the fine print on all home owner's policies unless you specifically pay extra for it to be insured. There is no such thing within 90 miles of this place so that's out. I will have to be darn sure of the installation before I fill it up.
 

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It sounds like your friend who is an architect will be of great assistance! My friend many, many years ago once had an ENORMOUS tank that housed several large specimens and a ray. From what I remember, it was about seven feet long and about three feet in height. It was on a stand and not built into the wall though. Of course, he was only 21 at the time, renting the house he was in. so, being a young bachelor party animal, he wasn't concerned about the weight of this thing in his second floor living area! He never did have any problems with it, except for the occasional house party, and the next morning fishing Cheetos and a beer can or two out of the tank.
 
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