Floor Load

You must also make certain the floor can carry the weight. Water itself weighs 8 pounds per gallon. Water to fill the 210-gallon tank in our example, therefore, weighs almost 1700 pounds. Substrate will add more weight, not to mention the tank itself, especially if it is made of glass. You should assume the completed aquarium weighs a ton. Dividing by the tank's footprint of twelve square feet yields a load on the floor of 167 pounds per square foot. Typical building code requirements for a load-bearing residential floor call for it to support 100 pounds per square foot when the flooring is supported by wooden joists. Your floor may need shoring up to support the weight of a large tank. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to do using steel posts, cinder block columns, or similar means. Here again, you will need a contractor unless you fully comprehend the nature of the work involved.

The tank itself will need to be supported at a convenient viewing height. Space should be provided beneath the tank for installing the filter equipment. Sturdy construction using framing lumber works best. The wood can be given several coats of an exterior-grade paint to prevent water absorption.

80 Saltwater Aquarium Models

80 Saltwater Aquarium Models

The opening in the wall should be approximately A to 'A inch larger than the outside dimensions of the tank. This ensures no undue stress will be placed on the glass as a result of a fit that is too tight. Molding frames the tank on the other side of the wall, hiding the gap. The aquarium should fit snugly against the molding all the way around. Any gaps should be filled with painter's caulk or silicone before applying finish to the molding. This step prevents dirt from accumulating between the glass and the molding. Generally, the trim on the room side of the aquarium should match the other woodwork in the room.

Apartment dwellers should limit themselves to smaller aquariums, or have the entire project overseen by a professional. Improper installation could result in great risk of damage to the levels underneath the apartment.

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