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Would there be a market for...


eodmike

Is this idea viable?  

59 members have voted

  1. 1. So would a AIO kit to convert standard tanks have a market

    • Yes
      32
    • No
      8
    • Only if you included all the hardware (ie pumps, lights, heaters)
      12
    • Only if you didn't include any hardware other than the divider (no pumps, lights, heaters)
      7


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I work at a machine builder. I have seen a ton of DIY AIO's and people modding the heck out of AIO tanks. Sicne I have access to the equipement and a degree in engineering and experience in the reef world my brain got to working. Do any of you think that there would be a market in AIO kits? Basic concept is I would make a website that has kits. These kits include tank dividers that work as your aio filter area. The kits could just be siliconed to a standard tank size. Lets say a 10 gallon. It would surface skim have a media basket a return area. Depending on options it could go all the way up to float switches and heaters and pumps and LED's included. Basically it could be packages from here is the acrylic all done for you all the way to buy this a box shows up you silicone it and put sand and rock in have fun.

 

So what do you think.

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Yankee Pete was doing this for a while already, started as frag racks and ended up swamped with people practically begging for anything he agreed to making. A few of us wanted him to make us full blown tanks. Definitely interests in it, but mostly for the AWESOME craftsmanship, AWESOME prices ( fragracks were ~a third of the cost of commercial sellers) and his genuine demeanor. When selling anything, keeping your customers happy and with more money in their pockets will either make or break you.

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I work at a machine builder. I have seen a ton of DIY AIO's and people modding the heck out of AIO tanks. Sicne I have access to the equipement and a degree in engineering and experience in the reef world my brain got to working. Do any of you think that there would be a market in AIO kits? Basic concept is I would make a website that has kits. These kits include tank dividers that work as your aio filter area. The kits could just be siliconed to a standard tank size. Lets say a 10 gallon. It would surface skim have a media basket a return area. Depending on options it could go all the way up to float switches and heaters and pumps and LED's included. Basically it could be packages from here is the acrylic all done for you all the way to buy this a box shows up you silicone it and put sand and rock in have fun.

 

So what do you think.

 

Pretty sure I saw someone selling something similar on ebay recently. You get the cut acrylic sheets to bond to the inside of a tank to create an overflow.

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I think you have something there. But, IMO, you'd have to make them almost plug and play. Something that could easily be put in your tank without much hassle. With great craftsmanship and at a good price point. I'm in marketing, so that's another part of the equation that would be critical. A great example is Stevie T at inTank. His site is great, looks great, works great and his customer service is top notch. 2 cents. W-

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Quality was where this thought started. Since I have access to mills, lathes, and bridgeports I could do a pretty quality job. I think the cost would be less than an AIO tank but a bit more than a DIY. Which is what I would expect if I was a customer. Take the work out for me and make it pretty than I'm likely to do it and the price will go up a bit but still be a bargain compared to a AIO on the market.

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Quality was where this thought started. Since I have access to mills, lathes, and bridgeports I could do a pretty quality job. I think the cost would be less than an AIO tank but a bit more than a DIY. Which is what I would expect if I was a customer. Take the work out for me and make it pretty than I'm likely to do it and the price will go up a bit but still be a bargain compared to a AIO on the market.

 

Sounds good. You'd then need a great web site and/or marketing materials to showcase and sell the quality. 2 cents.

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the only problem I see is with the limited consumer pool you have. the only way you have to advertise your product would be on here or similar site. most people that come here already purchased AIOs and come here to ask newbie questions, and the more experience person would rather just buid it them self and get exactly what they want. it is a good idea it just may be hard to market.

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Outside of dividers... autotopoff.com already sells the top-off parts

 

Good idea but frankly if I wanted a tank with a false wall then I'd probably just buy an off the shelf model. Now if I had a fully enclosed hood with some kind of HO lighting and a hidden overflow so that I can run all of my hardware in a sump... hmm... I love bells & whistles however wifey wants everything hidden. All she wants to see is the tank. The more you can hide the better but half the problem with AIOs is they are lacking in some aspect which is why people seek to DIY them.

 

I think an AIO should have a sweet top with powerful lighting and be drilled for a sump that fits in the matching stand. Let the consumer choose what he wants to put in the sump. If a person requires the so called plug & play setup then they probably don't have the expertise for a reef tank. Float switches? Just mount dual sensors in the lid.

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I guess in my mind what I see is almost a build your own that gets built and bought for you. To clarify that statement I see a website with a bunch of drop down selectors.

 

You would pick the tank divider height x width.

 

Then pick the divider style. (I see three or four models ex. Refigum, Skimmer spot, Media Rack, ect.).

 

After this point all the drop downs would have a none option so you could just order the tank.

 

Then pick a return pump. Two or three different pumps and flow rates.

 

Then pick a heater. Maybe a few models I know works and a few different wattages.

 

Then pick ATO. This could be anything from switches to a whole setup.

 

Then pick lighting. This option is up in the air on how involved I want to let people get. I think I'll just prebuild 2 or 3 options.

 

Each drop down choice would have a (+ $xxx) next to it to tell you how it will change the base price.

 

The benifit of this product I see is that your getting a DIY with less work. You get to control a lot of the choices this isn't something I see with most AIO. I'm not trying to retire from my job or anything just like have side projects and extra money is good.

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Just an idea, but maybe consider a giant hob sump/fuge thing that could fit on most any tank that would have all the functions of an AIO. That way you'd only have to make a few sizes, like one for a 10, 20 and of course a 40B!

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HecticDialectics

There's tremendous size variability in "standard" 10 gallon tanks. You can literally have a half-inch width difference between the top and the bottom of the tank in those mass produced piles of crap.

 

Also most standard tank dimensions are poorly suited to hacking off 3 inches on the side or the back, which severely limits the viewing area and creates really awkward-sized displays.

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There's tremendous size variability in "standard" 10 gallon tanks. You can literally have a half-inch width difference between the top and the bottom of the tank in those mass produced piles of crap.

 

Also most standard tank dimensions are poorly suited to hacking off 3 inches on the side or the back, which severely limits the viewing area and creates really awkward-sized displays.

 

Shipping a tank would be costly. Not worth it in my opinion. The use can get the tank & u just ship the hood.

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Thanks for the feedback people. HecticDialectics I appriciate the thoughts as well. Its nice to see both sides of any idea. I agree that there are tons of tanks out there and they all vary to one degree or another. I believe that I would start with some standard AGA tank dimensions. These tanks in my experience have repeatable dimensions. I know a ton of people are doing similar mods on their own. So I believe a market exsists. I mean I can think of 3 AIO companies that build some sort of "reef" tank. This means the market for AIO is there. I also know that AGA's are available just about anywhere in the US. So that manufacturer is a good one to start with. I agree that for some of us cutting a few inches off a 10 gallon makes it look weird. Others are quite happy with the results. I think Longs would really be a great place to look. and I personally would turn the divided area towards a wall and look at it that way.

 

Anyways I think I'll continue moving on with the idea. I think that it will give reefers a happy medium that isn't specifically addressed yet in the industry. The ease of an AIO and not all the costs. Some of the flexibility of DIY but not all the hassle. In my mind an ultimate package bought this way would have a box sent to the buyer. They would open it up. Take out a tube of silicone seam in the wall. Let it dry and put in the rock and sand and be ready to go. They of course would need to plug in the pumps and heaters and such but they would have what they wanted without having to mod and source parts.

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I'm the type of person that would be interested in something like this. Mostly for the customization you'd be able to do. I am not a DIY-oriented person.

 

If this was marketed well it could likely get more people interested in more advanced reefkeeping imo.

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To do this model for retail sales though I think would be tough. Wholesale to distributors would be a better route in my opinion.

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People are already doing this. Have been for years. Most people like my self just built an acrylic wall and made an AIO out of a 10 Gallons. Good luck with the sales if you do go thru with this

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Yes I am aware that people are doing this.

 

That is where the idea comes from. If some people are doing it then others would like to but don't have access to tools need or skills required. Also there is always that portion of the market that could do it on their own but have decided that they would rather pay to have it done for them.

 

I believe I'm going forward with this idea. I'm working on a prototype. I believe that the standard AGA aquariums have standard enough dimensions and are available pretty much anywhere in the USA. I think I could get all the components for turning that into a full AIO in a single box.

 

So here is the fun part. Lets decide what options we should have!

 

I'm thinking 3 styles of false walls. Media basket, Refigum, and a combo.

 

I'm thinking a penguin pump, a mini or maxi jet pump option.

 

For lights a MakersLED 12" heatsink with either 3 3-UP RB NW stars or a pair of T5's

 

I think I will include a tube of silicone to seal the wall to the tank.

 

I think I will include a CPRUSA algea scraper (super secret tip. The corners can be used to make the silicone seal look great.

 

Anything else?

 

Lets asume this kit is for a 10 gallon.

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I just had a AIO kit made by a known tank builder.. I designed it to be 12inLx5inWx12inH to fit into by 24x24x12..

 

Simple surface skimmer that falls into a filter sock... next section is chaeto/carbon, then the return pump..

 

I believe the key to the whole thing, as already said, is for it to be "plug and play". No silicone, no bonding... Attached to the tank using magnets, meaning the box has all four sides and a bottom.. Sure this may up the cost a bit, but people are all about simplicity and craftsmanship

 

Good luck with things

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I could do a 1/4" thick vacuum formed box made of acrylic or some other plastic. Then I would have to cut the teeth out drill a return and glue in the baffles. This would make a "leak proof" enclosure since on the outside there would be no seams. Think filter box.

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I could do a 1/4" thick vacuum formed box made of acrylic or some other plastic. Then I would have to cut the teeth out drill a return and glue in the baffles. This would make a "leak proof" enclosure since on the outside there would be no seams. Think filter box.

 

 

:D SICK

 

Keep me updated with the process

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Care to throw out some ball park costs (general estimates) for what you're envisioning for a finished kit ?

Just curious. W-

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It is going to depend greatly on a few factors.

 

I have to narrow down a few things and was wishing I might get some feedback on these boards.

 

Even the price is going to vary even once the product is finished.

 

If I give the options for lights, heaters, pumps, and so on but don't require them you can see that there would be a large variable.

 

Anyways the box is going to depend if I do a vacuum formed box that goes inside the tank, just a false wall, or a box that is external that works like a HOB filter(someone suggested that and I think there is merit to it).

 

But I think just the box with basic componets would be very reasonable.

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I could do a 1/4" thick vacuum formed box made of acrylic or some other plastic. Then I would have to cut the teeth out drill a return and glue in the baffles. This would make a "leak proof" enclosure since on the outside there would be no seams. Think filter box.

 

I really like this idea. In fact, I would order two of them this very moment: one for my 30 gallon and one for my 33 gallon. But, I would want them for the ends of the tanks, not the rear walls. These are just QT/HT tanks. I'm presently QTing an expensive nuisance of a fish: who keeps hiding in amongst all of the hardware and wires in the tank. He actually got himself trapped to the point where he may have died had I not removed everything to get him "unstuck." I took him several hours to recover. I have to check on him regularly.

 

The box you're thinking about would protect my investment in this fish, and make things much neater and tidier.

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Enigma I'm glad your excited and honestly I am planning the box to go on one of the sides of the tank. Anyways since you are interested what would you hope to be inlcuded in this falsewall box? How many gph? A heater? Media rack? Media? Reigum area? Anything else? What price would be good to you?Thanks.

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