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Getting free 90G salt tank w/ the works, problem: no space but unheated garage

Discussion in 'General Marine / Newbie' started by Waltmark, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Waltmark

    Waltmark AC Members

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    I'm no novice to freshwater fish, I've had them for a while and have been somewhat successful.

    My friend is getting rid of his 90G satlwater tank with lights, skimmers, sumps, pumps, heaters, fans, and hood. Literally throwing in 'the works.' The problem is my house is small and I don't have any room and I'm sure the weight would crush my floor. I would need to put in some sort of support in the crawlspace.

    I DO however have a detached unheated garage with poured concrete floor. My garage is not insulated and not heated. I live in Southern New Jersey and although it's been a mild winter it's still cold outside. My question is, if i get this tank, can it be set up successfully in my garage? Will waterheaters keep it the right temperature is that a lost cause? Will insulating some of the garage help? Does the whole thing need to be insulated? Is there a small heater that could be added to the room that is safe? I don't want to leave a heater unattended that could cause a fire.

    I don't want to pass this tank up, and the price is right, but I need someone with experience in the un-heated uninsulated garage department to shed some light on this.
     
  2. XanAvaloni

    XanAvaloni AC Members

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    Set the tank up for colder-water species and this should resolve the problem. Until summer comes of course...

    The larger question though is why you would want to set up an aquarium in a grungy (well, making assumption that your garage is like any garage I've ever had) structure, that you have to go out in the cold to visit much less maintain. I doubt the garage has a water supply either, right? Major pita to do said maintenance especially on a tank that big. It would be a hassle and a chore and eventually a source of dread rather than enjoyment, no? Even if you could rig up sufficient heaters to keep it warm there would always be the worry about them going out and crashing the tank. ick.

    The bracing in the crawl space, while no doubt difficult, would really seem like the better way to go. At least it's a one-time deed after which the tank can be enjoyed on an ongoing basis. If it were me I would call a carpenter and get an expert opinion on what kind of bracing would be needed and what it would cost. Heck maybe just putting the tank in such a position that it crosses a couple of support beams, and placing it on a good sheet of plywood to spread out the weight, would be sufficient. But you are wise to consider the matter ahead of time. best of luck.... ;
     
  3. greech

    greech AC Moderators

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    I wouldn't. Never heard of anyone needing to brace a floor for a 90g. My house is built up with a plywood subfloor and I had a 180g cichlid tank for years. With water alone, a 90G is going to weigh about 750lbs so figure the entire system will weigh around 850-900 lbs.
     
  4. Bushkill

    Bushkill Registered Member

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    +1 You're overestimating what a 90G weighs. If you're really concerned, put it on a doulbed-up layer of 3/4 inch plywood to distribute the load some and locate it on a wall where the tank's front panel will be perpendicular to the orientation of the floor joists.

    Putting it in the garage would be a nightmare even in the warmest of winters. You couldn't possibly put enough heaters in there. Even if you did, the evaporation would be insane and form ice crystals literally everywhere in the garage on the coldest days.

    Some folks will put a sump, filter, etc. in a remote portion of the house, but that area's always heated and insulated. What you propose would only work in the most southerly states, not southerly NJ.
     
  5. andyjh

    andyjh AC Members

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    Another "No" to the garage idea for the above-stated reasons. I like the idea of calling in a contractor for a consult to see if the floor area in the house is structurally sound. Don't want to see you spending thousands in house renovation for a "free" tank. A "free" tank can be like a "free" dog. No such thing.
     
  6. tolawdjk

    tolawdjk AC Members

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  7. Waltmark

    Waltmark AC Members

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    thanks for all the input. I think I may have to pass on this tank after all, but it's so darn tempting. :-(
     
  8. ThatNewFishGuy

    ThatNewFishGuy AC Members

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    I think you're much better off passing it up. Like everyone said, it would just be a stress nightmare to keep temp constant and worrying about evaporation and the such. Not only that, unless you spend a lot of time in your garage you dont really get to enjoy the tank...

    If I were you, I would go for a smaller tank that will fit in the house and maybe see if he will sell you the other equipment (pumps, skimmer, light, etc.) at a good price.
     
  9. johnlarson66

    johnlarson66 These Pandas Rock

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    Do you have a couch, tv or book case that you could put in the garage to make room? Okay, seriously, I am sure you can make it fit in the house some way. Some deals are too good to turn down.
     

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