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.
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