Liquid Storage & Transport

Liquid Storage: Cone Bottom Tanks vs Flat Bottom Tanks

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[fa icon="calendar"] May 31, 2019 9:44:54 AM / by Matthew Firth


When setting up a tank storage yard, the number one question asked is, do you choose cone bottom or flat bottom tanks? Both options have pros and cons. However, based on the liquids you are storing, the wrong decision can cause you a lot of pain and money. In this article, I compare both options and explain how to make this decision right the first time.

Flat & Cone Bottom Storage Tank Basics:

Q: What is a Flat Bottom Storage Tank?
A: This type of tank is a round cylinder structure with a flat base. Click here to learn more.


Q: What is a Cone Bottom Storage Tank?
A: This type of tank is a round cylinder structure with a 15° cone base. These type of tanks must sit on a purpose-built stand to work. Click here to learn more.


Q: What are these tanks usually used for?
A: Flat bottom and cone bottom storage tanks are usually used to store water, liquid fertilizer, liquid feed, salt brine and other liquids and chemicals. However, some of these liquids are heavy and can put a lot of stress on the tank. Ensure your tank is strong enough.


Q: What sizes do they come in?
A: These tanks start small at about 50 gallons and can get as big as 10,000 gallons.


Q: What are the most common materials?
A: Flat bottom storage tanks come in 3 common materials. Polyethylene, fiberglass and stainless steel. To learn more about this, read these two articles.


Hand-picked Content for You:
5 Key Differences: Poly vs Fiberglass Chemical Storage Tanks
Poly Storage Tanks vs. Stainless Steel: 3 Facts Revealed

The Comparison: Cone vs Flat Bottom Tank

Here is a quick comparison that explains the pros and cons of cone bottom and flat bottom tanks.
Tank Type Pros Cons
Cone Bottom Tanks

1) 15° sloped base = 100% drainage

2) Easy to bottom-fill.

1) Extra cost. Have to purchase a stand and hardware.

2) Not as easy to manage and move.

3) Must be installed on concrete. This adds cost.

Flat Bottom Tanks

1) Quick to install.

2) Can be moved easily.

3) Less cost (no stand needed)

4) Can be installed on pea gravel

1) Some liquid will stay in the tank and not drain.


Although both cone and flat bottom tanks have benefits, the real decision is made when you decide what type of liquid you will be storing and how big your budget will be. If you have any further questions or comments, please add them below. I would be happy to help.


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Topics: Buying a Vertical Storage Tank

Matthew Firth

Written by Matthew Firth

I really enjoy teaching people about topics that I am passionate about.