Plant tank size, economies of scale - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-27-2004, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Plant tank size, economies of scale

Hi all,

You know you've thought about it. You've dreamt it. You've even planned it. And maybe even some of you have done it. I'm talking about the reeeeally big plant tank. The monster. The one that dominates a room or gets its own. I'm talking 500 gallons and up, maybe into the thousands.

I'm obsessed with planning one of these beasts, and at this point I'm still in the theoretical stage. I'm looking at, among other aspects, economics.

1.) Are there economies of scale?
On this point, it would seem that most consumables could be gotten somewhat cheaper. Buying ferts in large lots *has* to be cheaper, right? Seen in a similar way, large-scale DIY filters/sumps/pumps/etc are probably advantageous too. I haven't looked into it, but I reckon materials and overhead for building the tank itself are a better and better deal the more you need. One's own time, too, probably scales: I'm pretty sure maintaining a 750-gal tank won't take 10x the time of a 75-gal.


2.)Un-economies of scale?
My 10-gal tank needed no special installation of plumbing, electricity, no shoring up of floors, etc. A particularly large tank, I should think, would require these sorts of support infrastructure.


3.)What costs scale linearly?
I'm guessing that power consumption, lighting, fish foods, certain other consumables.

4.) So, where's the "sweet spot"?
I have no idea how best to analyze this. Cost-per-volume? Set-up-cost amortized over such-and-such a lifespan, plus expected daily operating costs?


Well I reckon this'll get the ball rolling. Enjoy! This should be a fun one.



--Trapper

75g planted: flourite, XP3, 5lb CO2, pinpoint controller, DIY reactor,Amiracle skimmer box, 10g sump with 2 x 300w RENA heaters, 9W jebo UV, rio 1700 pump, 4 x 65W 10k/6.7k.

"It is a mitzvah to be joyous always." -- R' Nachman of Breslov
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 12:04 AM
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Ummm , are you serious or are you drunk and bored ?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 12:05 AM
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...and that is a legitimate question.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck
Ummm , are you serious or are you drunk and bored ?
Let's call it a serious gedanken-experiment at this point. :-D

75g planted: flourite, XP3, 5lb CO2, pinpoint controller, DIY reactor,Amiracle skimmer box, 10g sump with 2 x 300w RENA heaters, 9W jebo UV, rio 1700 pump, 4 x 65W 10k/6.7k.

"It is a mitzvah to be joyous always." -- R' Nachman of Breslov
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 12:12 AM
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What does that mean ? Let's call it a serious gedanken-experiment Before I waste my time and energy on any thoughts I want to be sure that you have the 1000's of dollars to spend and the place to put this "dream tank ".
And dont tell me that you live in an apartment and the landlord said its OK.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 12:15 AM
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The LFS has an All-Glass 210 gallon tank that I would kill to own. But then I come back to reality and figure that it would tank at a minimum of $5K to set that tank up, depending on how much structural work the house needed to support the beast.

And IMHO there really are no economy of scale. Sure you can buy KNO3 and K2SO4 in 50 lb bags. And you can buy Plantex CSM by the case (20 lbs) at a time. But the on going costs of nutrients are going to be dwarfed by the cost of the hardware and the cost of keeping the tank going.

The only way you could actually have a tank in the range you are talking about would be on a 6" minimum concrete slab. And then I would guess that your insurance company might have a say in it also.

You could build your own large tank. There are a lot of DIY plans on some of the reef boards for large tanks. They are basically wood covered in fiberglass with a glass or acrylic front.

Then you have to sit down and actually figure out how you are going to work in the thing. Mask and snorkel?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 12:49 AM
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You might want to check out reef central, they have a large tank only forum. I have no idea about the costs though, and of course salt water is generally more expensive there. But it might be a good place for you to ask, as there are quite a few people on those boards that have 500g tanks or more. Other then a few amano tanks that I'm not sure how large they are, are there even any freshwater nuts that go that large? I've never seen anything. Anything that's seriously planted i mean, there's always gonna be a few giant tanks that are empty save a few gigantic fishies.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 02:42 AM
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When I first started planing a planted tank about this time least year I started thinking I was going to get a 210 and I priced out all the hardware to do so. As I looked I found I could afford more. Then I started pricing larger. However this took me into the realm of a custom built tank. That about doubled the tank price. Everything else alse went up pricewise to the point that it busted the budget. I decided to start with a small tank to get my bearings on doing plants first, then move to a larger one once I was more confident in my abilities. I am glad I decided to start with a 120. I still want larger and one day will assemble a 12' tank, just be aware there is no real economy of scale in hardware and your long term costs will be much greater to.
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