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Saltwater Aquarium/125 gallon aquarium on 2nd floor - safe?


My son is bringing home a 125 gallon aquarium tank and he wants to put it in his room on the 2nd floor of our house. His room is directly above the garage and the only place he can put it is right above the garage door. Do you feel like that is safe or is there a possibility of it breaking through the floor? My husband is really concerned and I have no idea. We've heard that if you put on across the cross-beams (floor joists) that it should be fine, what is your expert opinion on the matter?


Hi Stephanie:

Great question:

The aquarium should be placed in a location where there is a load bearing wall. Use a stud finder to determine where these are located at in the parameter of the upstairs room. Stud finders can be found at any local hardware store, including: Lowe's, Home Depot, True Value, and Ace Hardware.

A typical load-bearing wall (or bearing wall) is a wall that bears a load resting upon it by conducting its weight to a home foundation structure. Load-bearing walls always run perpendicular to the joists.

Also, often times a 3/4" piece of plywood is laid down, to put the aquarium stand/aquarium on for extra support.

Also, you want to make sure there isn't any previous termite damage on your wooden load bearing wall-frame and joists, to make sure it will fully support the weight of the aquarium. Often times metal braces can be added to the homes load bearing walls to help further reinforce it.

To reduce the risk of an aquarium leak in a glass aquarium with silicone sealed walls, make sure the aquarium is fairly new, and not older than 5 year of age. Water seeks its lowest point, so if the aquarium should ever spring at leak, the final resting place of the water would be the room below.

I hope the above information is of some help and I wish you success with all your future saltwater aquarium endeavors.

For $5.00 of an order from our favorite online aquarium store ( - Orange County Reef Aquatics) use coupon code SUMMER5 during check-out.

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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

Publications,, and many others.

After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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