A study is made on the hydrodynamic effect caused by seismic ground motions on the design of cylindrical on-ground liquid-storage tanks. The current techniques for determining the design base shear and overturning moment of the tank are reviewed, first treating the tank wall as rigid and then including the wall flexibility effect. By means of examples, these calculations are compared with those suggested by the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC). In addition, theoretically predicted values are compared with experimental data.It was found that in the case of tanks of high height to radius ratio and small wall thickness to radius ratio, the interaction of the fluid and wall flexibility can cause responses as high as two to three times those calculated based on rigid tank wall assumptions. The range of tank geometries under which the tank can be considered rigid is given. It is shown that the NBCC formula to establish seismic loads for tanks on ground is in general conservative, provided the acceleration ratio in the NBCC formulae takes on the value of maximum peak ground acceleration of the site. Key words: seismic, earthquake, hydrodynamic force, response, cylindrical tanks, design code.