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The Railcraft Tank is an expandable multiblock structure that holds a large amount of liquid. The dimensions of its base can be 3x3, 5x5, 7x7 or 9x9, and it can be 4 to 8 blocks tall, with larger tanks having greater capacity. Railcraft Tanks come in two varieties, Iron and Steel, with Steel tanks having twice the capacity of the same sized Iron tank.
Types of Railcraft Tank
The difference between Iron and Steel Railcraft tanks is their capacity and construction materials. Iron tanks are made of Iron Tank Walls, Iron Tank Gauges and Iron Tank Valves, and can hold 16,000 millibuckets of liquid for each block in the structure. Steel tanks are constructed from Steel Tank Walls, Steel Tank Gauges, and Steel Tank Valves, and can hold 32,000 millibuckets. Steel Tanks are thus much more efficient, but Steel is harder to obtain and requires a Blast Furnace.
Constructing a Railcraft Tank
The outer frame of a Railcraft Tank, that is the corners and edges, must be constructed of Tank Wall blocks. The non-corner pieces of the tank can be made from walls, gauges or valves. Gauges are transparent blocks that allow players to see a visual representation of the tank's liquid level. Valves allow the tank to interact with other machines, Fluid Pipes, and Liquiducts. The tank will form into a single structure once all the outer walls are complete, and nothing is inside, including players, blocks and floating entities.
It is recommended that the player place a Valve somewhere at the bottom two layers of the tank to allow liquids to be pumped out; putting a Valve higher up will prevent all the liquid from being accessible (see below).
Adding and Removing Liquids
Liquid is pumped into and out of the Railcraft Tank through valve blocks, using pipes, tubes, or other machines with powered liquid outputs (such as the Aqueous Accumulator). Liquid can be pumped in from any valve on the sides or the top, while extracting all liquid from a tank requires it to be drawn from a valve on the bottom.
Tanks can be manually filled as well. Right-click to open the UI; the contents Buckets, Cells, Glass Bottles, Tin Cans and other liquid containers can be added by dropping them into the top right side of the UI. All containers but Buckets will be destroyed, however.
Right-clicking an Railcraft Tank with a Bucket or liquid container will fill the Bucket if there is enough liquid in the tank, and right-clicking with a full container will add its liquid to the tank (destroying any liquid containers other than buckets).
Rebuilding Railcraft Tanks
The bottom center block of the structure stores the record of the tank's contents. Railcraft Tanks can be mostly dismantled, rebuilt, or built to a different size but breaking, or logically relocating, the center block of the "floor" will cause the contents to vanish. An example of logically relocating the center block of the floor would be to expand a 3x3 tank's floor to a 5x5 floor by only adding tank components to two of the four sides instead of equally to each side (the former approach to expanding the tank logically shifts the center of the floor diagonally). Breaking and replacing any other block maintains the contents.
As the size of the tank increases, so does its efficiency in terms of materials required. The capacity of an Iron Tank is 16 Buckets (16,000 mB) per block of volume, including the empty space inside, while the cost is 1 Iron Plate per block of frame and siding. A 3x3 tank built 4 high has a capacity of 576,000 mB and costs 34 iron plates, for ~16.94 buckets per plate, while a 7x7 tank built 8 high has a capacity of 6,272,000 mB and costs 242 iron plates, for ~25.92 buckets per plate.
Larger tanks also offer more places for Railcraft Tank Valves, offering higher output.
The following table lists the capacity of the various tank sizes in units of buckets. Units are given in number of buckets of liquid the tank can hold.
number of tank blocks
The following table lists the number of blocks that the various tank sizes need to be constructed. Blocks can be Walls,Valves or Gauges, except the edges, which have to be walls.
Tanks may be colored by placing eight blocks of the same type around any vanilla dye in the crafting table, or by right-clicking on a block in the world with an IndustrialCraft 2 painter. All blocks in a single tank need not be the same color. Breaking a tank block removes its color.