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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Lowest Cost Possible

Hey everyone

My friend wants a fish for her birthday (strict parents, never had a pet). Me and another bud of mine wanna see if we can get her a setup for her birthday. I'm thinking around 2.5-5 gallons will do. Can you guys help me out together a list of equipment that ill need to get her?

I know there's the tank, lighting, substrate (already have some leftover Eco complete), filter, decor, fish food She wants low maintenance as possible. I'm thinking probably a few male guppies and call it a day.

Any help? Thanks
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 03:36 AM
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I think a betta would do the job, they're extremely hardy & depending on how hot the house stays I don't run a heater for them
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 03:42 AM
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I think that that would be a great gift! Your pretty much covered. I do recommend some plants or moss just to make it natural looking. Possibly you start her up with a java moss wall?

Last edited by jake10; 01-22-2013 at 03:43 AM. Reason: Spelling
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 03:44 AM
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Did you want a specific list of equipment with prices also?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 04:02 AM
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Here's what I have running on my 4g desktop (college budget friendly) tank:

Lighting: desk lamp
filter: azoo mignon hob
Substrate: sand from petsmart
Heater: aqueon mini (2-5gall version, under 10 watts I think?)
Plants: bacopa monnieri, banana plant, micro sword, java fern, crypts
all the plants are doing well with just light from the desk lamp and a bottle of seachem comprehensive for a few drops of ferts every water change.
Fish/snails: 4 male guppies and three nerites

I would say add a 2.5 tank from petsmart and you're good to go. tank was a gift, but the rest of it probably cost me about 40-50$ total.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 05:08 AM
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I would see if there are any deals at petco/petsmart for an all in one tank. Actually, the Petco bookshelf tank may be the best deal but it's 6.6 gallons. Then you have something that works, all in one, good for low maintenance.

Or you could buy a 2.5 gallon tank or whatever size. Azoo nano filter (forget the name), it's HOB, about $10-15. Then get a reptile light fixture or shop light, add a CFL bulb.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 04:01 PM
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I did something similar with a girl I was conversation partner to last semester. The thread where I had everyone's advice is here if you want to take a look.

I can post a scan of the breakdown we did in a notebook, too, but that will have to wait until I get home and dig it up, haha.

Edit: From the thread I posted right there, the final breakdown of what we wound up getting was as such:

Coming up to about $31

$15 Tank
$5 Water treatment
$5 Substrate
$2 Net
$3 Fish (Female veiltail betta)
$1 Water-change bucket

Then I gave her:

A measure of my betta food (Otherwise $4ish)
A length of airline hose for water changes (Otherwise $5ish)
A thermometer ($4 Petco glass one with suction cup)
Some plants (Gifted to us by another forum member)
A plastic rock and plant decoration (Which had been un-used since I started with the real stuff)

"Aquariums are like science, art, and hypno-therapy, all rolled into one," I insisted.
"You're not putting a hundred gallon tank in the living room," my roommate replied.

10g "Community" of nothing but Danios - 2g (barely) planted Betta - 2.5g Betta - 1g Pond Snail Repository

My aquascape style tends towards 'tall in the back, short in the front, lots and lots of green and stuff. And maybe a rock somewhere...'

Last edited by Silmarwen; 01-22-2013 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Adding on now that I'm less busy :)
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