I hope there wasn't too much mess in the microwave! During the reduction in popularity of darkroom work (and it was very popular at one time) I visited junkshops and house-clearances to buy tanks and reels for minimal cost. I now have enough to keep me in dry reels all day.

Umpteen people use each sort of tank successfully, so one can just stick with what works for you (apart from in the microwave of course). It's true that the steel tanks and Jobo plastic ones take slightly less chemistry per reel than the Patersons, but the Paterson tanks fill and empty much quicker and are easier to clean. The famous "gain on the swings but lose on the roundabouts" thing.