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Old 03/26/2019, 06:10 AM   #1
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IBC tote for frag tank?

Anyone ever make a frag tank out of an IBC tote?

I'm just getting into fragging, and looking for the most economical way possible to get a dedicated frag tank going. I often see those 275 gallon IBC tanks for sale used $50-$100. My thought would be to buy one of those, and cut the tank down and only use the bottom 12-14 inches or so as a frag tank. This would give me a 48" by 40" tank for frags. Would just need light, filtration, and a stand.

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Old 03/26/2019, 07:21 AM   #2
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Sure you could certainly use one if you wanted..
It can make for a cheap "tub" but will lose a good chunk of its strength once you chop the top and will bow out even more.

The exoskeleton would need to be kept/modified also.

A Rubbermaid type stock tank would potentially be better in the long run.

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Old 03/26/2019, 10:26 AM   #3
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If you cut it down and keep the water level to 12"-14" it should be fine without the bracing. I seriously doubt that any rubbermaid tub would be more durable as a frag tank considering the materials (given that it's not allowed to flex beyond reason).

All of the totes that I've encountered were 1/2" HDPE, but I know there are ones with thinner wall thicknesses, if it's possible I'd make sure that you go with the 1/2", I have one cut to 14 inches and it doesn't really flex unless you fill it to the brim.

33L → 55 Shallow
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Old 03/26/2019, 10:44 AM   #4
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These are used all the time for aquaponic setups. I would say you'd be just fine if you're only looking to use 12-14 inches of it, but you will need the aluminum frame to support the sides. I ran aquaponics with 4 of these with the top of the tank cut off and draining into the bottom of the tank as a sort of sump, only it was backwards. The fish were in the bottom tank and the plants grew in the top tank. You could do something similar setting up the top as the frag tank and using the bottom as a large sump. As long as looks don't matter this should be a very practical setup. That said, if you do use the bottom as a sump, I'd get something to seal off the drain that is built into these like a rubber cover with a clamp (you can get them at Home Depot I believe). The drains are supposedly not very reliable and can start leaking if you don't seal them off. Mine were plumbed together with a similar rubber seal. Here is my aquaponics build. Not a ton there, but some at least.!

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Old 03/26/2019, 11:21 AM   #5
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One of the best and most economical solutions for a frag tank I have found since I got into the hobby in 2001 is 50 gallon Poly cattle trough containers you get at the feed store. They are about 54 inches by about 24 oval shaped and right at about 12 inches deep. Super easy to plumb with PVC fittings. They also lend themselves to being used is a rack type system with three levels which allows you to have the capacity to grow out a gang of frags in a small foot print. The shallow depth on these allows for a lot of options on lighting. A 2 bulb 48 inch VHO fixture is what I started out with at the time and then moved to a 4 bulb T5HO set up for SPS and LPS corals. For softies, I resorted to the cheap 15 dollar 2 x 40 watt NO shop light which worked well. I had mine set up in a three tier rack style system with the bottom one being used as a sump/filtration, the top two being used for frags. has a article on such a system that was modded to accomadate the poly troughs instead of the plexiglass system they used which will give you a much clear idea of what I am talking about.

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Old 03/26/2019, 11:48 AM   #6
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For reference..
Rubbermaid stock tanks

Poly feed tanks that I believe is similar to what Imaexpat2 is talking about
and others..

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Old 03/26/2019, 12:34 PM   #7
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Yup that would easily work. But if used make sure to get the food grade ones and ask what was in them.

Rubbermaid stock tanks are also great. Hell, big storage tupperware containers work too.

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