One of the Rubbermaid stock tanks with calcium carbonate substrate at Tidal Gardens. In 2016, the systems at Tidal Gardens are a mix of custom glass aquariums and Rubbermaid stock tanks.

Back in 2002, all the tanks were some combination of 300-gallon and 150-gallon stock tanks because they were by far the most cost-effective containers that were truly rugged. After all, anything that was built to be strong enough to get kicked by a horse or cow should hold up to the sort of beating we dish out here. Just starting out, hundreds of gallons worth of custom glass was not in the budget, so it was important to find containers that were both rugged and economical. For that purpose, Rubbermaid stock tanks were wonderful because they were robust and cost less than $1 per gallon. Over time, though, we incorporated more glass aquariums because we found that neglect is the number-one killer of corals, and just being able to see the corals made a huge difference in their health. MORE

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