EL is short for Express Lane. The idea behind our Express Lane Tanks is simple. By applying certain limitations (discussed below), we can make some sizes with short turnaround times -- while also generating savings!
Custom aquarium manufacturers are known for lengthy lead times: from 3-4 weeks to almost a year. We are somewhere in the middle, with the average wait being 3-4 months. For us, this wait time is composed of the production queue (we handle orders in the succession in which they were received) and the complexity of the build (carpentry work or adding system components and plumbing take a lot extra time!).
We realized that the "simplest" versions of our tanks (i.e. those that don't involve cabinetry or third-party components) can be channeled into a separate, express production pipeline. For these tanks, will be able to offer much faster turnaround times (shipping out 28 days* from date of order), AND cost savings which result from lighter overhead and optimization of sizes and design features.
*(order date is submission of online order or the signature date on your Build Order, if ordering through email; penalty for violating the 28-day shipping guarantee is a $100 rebate)
What Are the Limitations?
As of yet, we are only offering our 4 most common sizes in the Express Lane section: 100 gallon, 120 gallon, 150 gallon, and 180 gallon. The panels required for the assembly of these tanks are pre-cut and ready to go on the build tables within 3-4 days of your order. There are also some limitations which affect our capacity to fabricate these tanks quickly and economically:
- You cannot change the above dimensions; however, we can cut the prepared panels DOWN, if needed (please note: panels can be cut down by a minimum of 3"; we cannot cut down by only 1" or 2").
- The pre-cut tank panels are for 3-side Starphire, standard-layout tanks only. Based on availability, we might be able to offer an EL build in clear glass or 3-side Starphire peninsula layout; however, this is not guaranteed and it is understood that the 28-day shipping promise may not be applicable.
- All EL tanks are made with a standard set of features: bottom perimeter brace, reinforced vertical seams, overlapping double top brace (other than rimless tanks), and holes drilled for external overflow of your choice (overflow not included). If you wish to change these features (e.g., add a reinforced Starboard bottom or opt for an internal overflow), these features can be accommodated but the strict 28-day shipping guarantee will be voided. You can expect an additional 1-2 week turnaround on your tank in this case.
- We do not offer our EL tanks with any add-ons, such as stand, canopy, or turnkey pre-plumbed system. The only stand that you can order with your EL tank is an epoxy-coated steel frame. The steel frame will disqualify the order from the 28-day shipping guarantee (an additional lead time of 3-4 weeks or more will be added to the ETA) -- however, you will get to enjoy the Express Lane discount AND the 5-year warranty provided by the steel stand!
The Discounts... Did We Mention the Discounts?
On average, you can expect our EL tanks to be 10% less compared to the same sized tanks sold in different categories on our website. The EL discount is always active and applied automatically, rain or shine, on any day of the year. What's more, when a site-wide promotion rolls around, the EL discount will be combinable with that promotion, resulting in even more savings. Just apply the current promotion code to your EL product.
Is the Quality of the Build Different from the Tanks in the Standard Pipeline?
The Express Lane tanks are built on the same assembly tables, by the same builders, using the same materials, practices and attention to detail. The only difference is the pre-cut glass and the common sense limitations (expressly described above) that allow us to make the assembly process fast and efficient.