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Thread: How much rock weight do you have in your tank?

  1. #1

    Default How much rock weight do you have in your tank?

    After the 15 years that I have been doing fish tanks, I had never thought about this before but, how strong really is my all glass tank? Last month my 55 gallon broke the middle support beam on top (still don't know why it broke) and the glass bowed out about 2 inches! Very alarming to say the least, I am leary about putting to many rocks and stuff in there now. I am wondering how much rock weight can you really put in a tank? I know that my sister had like 40 pounds and alot of it leaning on the back glass and she has never had a problem. Maybe im just a little gun shy? I just don't want to break out the bottom and have 55 gallons of water all over my living room! I have an oak table like stand, I know that some stands don't support as much weight as others. So anyone who has any advice or info that may help please let me know.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Partly Cloudy Florida
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    Default

    A commercial tank can hold more rock than you can get into it, without fear of the bottom not holding.
    Now the stand????
    Plastic rims get old and brittle. They develop small cracks that go unseen, until that day you notice a bow.
    Pretty easily replaced, but one of those jobs where the set up/prep work is harder than the job.
    People have done a number of workarounds with a homemade brace glued to the existing rim.
    I don`t set my rockwork any closer to the glass than the easy use of my algae scraper allows.
    Others have rock resting against the glass with no problem.
    -*-John-*-
    55G of
    All Malawi,All Mbuna,All Action,All the Time

  3. #3

    Default

    I have over 400 pounds in my tank and an ugly diy 2x4 center brace.
    The photocontest, like everything else is behind schedule. You get some links back today.

  4. #4

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    I have about 65 lbs of gravel, another 50+ pounds of rock and driftwood and never feared i want to put more rock in, and new gravel i can get some sparkling limestone locally for cheap, 2 5gal buckets for 20 bucks, and they say the colors are amazing, blues, purples, greens, greys..i live right outside a gorge, so i go there from time to time for nice slate rock to build caves with..as far as rocks resting on glass, thats crazy i would never do that, i put egg crate under my slate just incase something falls with these crazy africans and there digging, i cant tell you how many times a week i have to put my plants back because the fish dug them up lol..how old was your tank? was it setting on a level stand? do you move the tank while it has water, or anything for that matter in it?

  5. #5

    Default

    I have "Cichlid Stones" in my tank. They are hollow and ceramic. Also have holes in them for cichlids to go in. Saves a lot on the weight and also takes up less water room since they fill with water. So far my cichlids love them. I have the 15 stone kit in my 30 gallon long. And may get another 15 stone kit. Well see.
    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...3&pcatid=21383

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Partly Cloudy Florida
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    Default

    as far as rocks resting on glass, thats crazy i would never do that
    Why not?
    Exactly what do you feel is "crazy" about it.
    Just curious as to why you feel that way.
    Have you had any bad experiences with a tank and rocks?
    -*-John-*-
    55G of
    All Malawi,All Mbuna,All Action,All the Time

  7. #7

    Default

    I agree. I wouldnt rest any rocks against the glass. All you need is a rock to shift or slide and hits the glass and cracks it. And it does happen, Cichlids love to tunnel and dig. Especially if your not home. Would hate to come home and see a soaked floor, with an empty tank with dead fish. Even if it didnt leak and just cracked. Just think you would have to get a new tank and transfer everything over.

  8. #8

    Default

    My tank is about as close to level as one can get, the load bearing portion of the stand is a flat 4 piece 2x4 deal with ~2 foot 2x4s carrying the load straight to the floor which is carpet, padding and slab on grade. I guesstimate over 420 pounds of rock, 50+ pounds of sand, more like 60-70 and about 380 pounds of water. I disburse the weight with egg crate. The pressure of my rock wall on the galls is negligible.
    The photocontest, like everything else is behind schedule. You get some links back today.

  9. #9

    Default

    Forgot to add my tank is over 20 years old. I attached a picture somewhere else but here is the picture for this thread. The aspect ratio is off because I stitched a couple images.

    The photocontest, like everything else is behind schedule. You get some links back today.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Taylorsville, KY
    Posts
    44

    Default

    I'm glad someone asked this question, because I was curious too. I've recently purchased 575 lbs of assorted flagstone, and other rocks for my new 125 aquarium, but have decided not to put some of the rocks in due to their looks, but will still have probably 400-450lbs. My stand is a commercially made solid pine (planks) with no center brace. Anyone suggest this would be ok, or should I reinforce the middle...I really don't want to because it would involve nailing/screwing into the outside of the stand.

  11. #11

    Default

    well i haven't personally, but i know a couple people who have. and as stated all it takes is a small shift in that rock to crack the glass then you've got a mess, and a loss of money on your hands.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
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    I don't see the difference if the rocks are resting on the glass or not. Even rock set up in the middle of the tank can shift and roll into the glass. I don't personally set rock against the glass, but only becuase I want to be able to get my python back there to vacuum and I don't want to chance scratching the glass either...
    Last edited by sheamurai; 01-13-2010 at 07:29 PM.
    77gal African Cichlids - 50gal Mixed Reef - 10gal FW Community (at work, lol)

  13. #13

    Default

    I'm not sure exactly how much rock your tank can hold, I would seriously consider a new one. But I do know that when I wanted to convert my 120 gallon to saltwater, I was told I needed 1 Pound of live rock per gallon...Which would be 120 pounds of rock. So I would say a safe bet would be pretty much the same, so 55 pounds of rock would be safe. With a bowed out tank, I wouldn't know. I also work in a glass factory and know alot about how tempered glass works...stress points in the glass (a small chip even) could blow your whole tank if in the right spot. It sounds like your tank is stressed and I know I would not want to come home to a water damaged room, shattered glass all over and dead fish. I also have seen my oscars push a 10 pound castle from one end of the tank to the other like it was nothing just to lay eggs. I wouldn't go past 200 pounds, actually, I would get a new tank but thats not always a possibility. Hope you find the answers u need!! Good luck.
    Last edited by cjandjd; 01-13-2010 at 08:01 PM.

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