A Captivating New PVC + Acrylic Hybrid Frag Tank

24 May, 2019

Constructed of both PVC and acrylic, these new hybrid frag tanks from Advanced Acrylics, Inc., have a lot to offer.

Constructed of both PVC and acrylic, these new hybrid frag tanks from Advanced Acrylics, in Anaheim, California, have a lot to offer.

“Well, I want one for sure.” -The gut reaction of an anonymous CORAL Editor

CORAL Magazine staff was surprised by these aesthetically pleasing frag tanks recently shared on Facebook, so we decided to get the inside scoop from the man who manufactures them, John Hoang of Advanced Acrylics, Inc.

An overview of the PVC + Acrylic Hybrid Frag Tank from Advanced Acrylic, Inc.

An overview of the PVC + Acrylic Hybrid Frag Tank from Advanced Acrylics, Inc.

 

Hybrid Frag Tank Features

Here are the highlights from the current product page.

  • Material: 3/8″-thick industrial grade PVC (white is standard; other options are available)
  • Hot weld color options: red, grey, aqua blue, navy blue, orange, and black (custom colors are also available for an additional fee)
  • Coast-to-coast internal overflow box
  • 1″ drain hole and 1/2″ return hole
  • Plumbing included: 1/2″ bulkhead, 1″ bulkhead, mini loc-line with a flare nozzle, and a 90-degree barb fitting
  • Large clear domestic cast acrylic for the front, left side, and right side viewing windows
  • Footprint of tank sizes include 1/2″ lip for welding purpose
  • Two-tiered frag racks are included. Racks will match the color of the weld of your choice except for grey and aqua blue. Black frag racks will be included with the grey weld, and white racks will be included with the aqua blue weld.
  • 10 standard sizes include: 20″ x 20″x 8″ (14 gal.), 20″ x 20″ x 10″ (17 gal.), 20″ x 20″ x 12″ (21 gal.), 20″ x 20″ x 14″ (24 gal.), 20″ x 20″ x 16″ (27 gal.), 24″ x 24″ x 8″ (20 gal.), 24″ x 24″ x 10″ (25 gal.), 24″ x 24″ x 12″ (30 gal.), 24″ x 24″ x 14″ (35 gal.), 24″ x 24″ x 16″ (40 gal.)
  • Custom sizes are also available
  • Free shipping anywhere within the Continental U.S. (Must ship to our carrier’s terminal for pickup, or to any commercial address. Residential delivery and international shipment are available at additional cost.)
  • Hybrid frag tank prices range from $390 to $815, shipped (per above) for standard options and sizes.
A birdseye view of the hybrid frag tank showing the full-width overflow box and default location of the bulkheads. Since each aquarium is built to order, holes for bulkheads and other options could be configured to your exact specifications. PVC is far easier to drill than glass, so , hypothetically you could even request an undrilled tank to complete your final configuration as a DIY project. Customization options are high at Advanced Acrylics, Inc.

A birdseye view of the hybrid frag tank showing the full-width overflow box and default location of the bulkheads. Since each aquarium is built to order, holes for bulkheads and other options could be configured to your exact specifications. PVC is far easier to drill than glass, so hypothetically you could even request an undrilled tank to complete your final configuration as a DIY project. Customization options are numerous at Advanced Acrylics, Inc.

 

Hybrid Aquarium Benefits

Hoang highlighted a few details of beefed-up construction and materials that go into these hybrid aquariums.

These hybrid frag tanks are potentially an ideal aquarium style for the aquarists and small business who sell corals as vendors who travel to frag swaps and conventions. Succinctly, these tanks are designed to be rugged. The 3/8″ PVC construction is very forgiving and solid; these tanks are less likely to crack compared to something comparable made out of acrylic.  An accidental bump or nick that could spell disaster for most aquariums might not damage a tank like this.

“We weld inside windows as well, with extra support on top of the adhesive/solvent used in tank construction,” said Hoang. “Our frag racks incorporate 3/4″ rods. These are heavier duty than others, which usually use 1/2″ inch. In applications where we need a lid, we use flush-fitting polycarbonate lids, which won’t warp like acrylic lids do.”

Customization is the name of the game. “The PVC material comes in three colors: black, white, and gray. In addition to the standard options of weld colors, we can even have custom color-matched welds blended by our adhesives supplier to make a perfect match to any color [there is an $85 charge for this in most applications -Ed.]”

 

We asked Hoang if there are any other manufacturers making hybrid PVC and Acrylic aquariums like this. “The only other company I’m aware of making similar products is Royal Exclusiv in Germany, specifically their Dreamboxes sumps and water tanks. We manufacture not only hybrid sumps and top off tanks, but these frag aquariums too. Of course, we offer a wide range of non-hybrid products as well.”

About Advanced Acrylics, Inc.

Hoang has been unofficially in the business of fabricating acrylic aquariums and components for the past 16 years, originally starting in his parents’ garage. Formally established in 2009, he was inundated with projects, and he got his first table saw and set up 900 square feet of warehouse space in Buena Park, California. The business was mainly local, serving local reefkeepers and advertising through web forums in Southern California.

Now, Advanced Acrylics is based in Anaheim, California. It has grown to a total of eight employees, including a warehouse manager, office manager, and fabrication specialists. The day-to-day customer base has grown nationally, and the company has shipped internationally, even receiving inquiries from as far away as Iraq.

Built to Order

Most products offered by Advanced Acrylics are built to order, according to Hoang. “Some items we do have in stock, but 90% of it is made to order. So many different customers have their own ways of building their tank and connecting to the sump…some people want 1″ drains, others 1.5″ drains, different placements of key sump features…”

Hoang believes a key to his company’s success is that everything is tailored to the customer’s needs and desires. Personal attention is key. “What’s good about this company is that whoever calls and asks for a custom order, if they have a specific job, I always offer suggestions to make it better. I’ve personally built over 1000 sumps, and I know what will work and what won’t.”

Because the tanks are mostly built to order, things take a little bit longer to arrive. “Turnaround on custom work, a regular size 30-gallon frag tank–that takes 2-3 weeks of manufacturing time, so 4 weeks total turnaround when you include shipping time. Larger volumes, for example a 200-gallon sump, 72 X 24 X 24 including sump–that typically takes 5-8 weeks.”

All Advanced Acrylics products are fully insured when shipped and include a 1-year warranty covering manufacturing defects.

For More Information:

Visit Advanced Acrylics at https://advancedacrylics.com

View the PVC hybrid frag tank at https://advancedacrylics.com/collections/frag-tanks-1/products/pvc-hybrid-frag-tank-w-coast-to-coast-internal-overflow-box

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About the author

Matt Pedersen
Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC, including AMAZONAS & CORAL Magazines. Matt has kept aquariums for 36 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

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