Getting back into the hobby - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-04-2013, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Getting back into the hobby

Hello, I am looking to get back into the planted tank hobby after 3 years of college. I used to have two 10 gallon planted tanks with cherry shrimp. Now, I am looking to get a nano tank about 5 gallons. I am looking at the ADA M as the tank and the Eheim 2211 as the filter. I am not sure how much I want to spend overall, but I do want a solid good looking setup. Does anyone have recommendations? Would I be better off going for an all in one system?

55 gallon - Oscar named Ajax
29 gallon - 15 breeding multifasciatus shell dwellers, 1 or 2? bushy nose plecos
10 gallon - Planted tank, 8 tetra, 2 amano shrimp, 5 otocinclus
10 gallon - Breeding tank, 1 fan shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp soon
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 12:50 AM
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I haven't seen an all in one that competes with ADA or other quality rimless tanks. Some say Aquatop tanks are close to ADA, I personally think they are not quite as good but that is all in the finest of details. I do think something like an Aquatop tank would be a place you could save some money and still be really happy.

An Eheim 2211 would be a great choice but their are cheaper options. I like the Zoo Med 501 and the Finnex PX-360 offers more flow for the same price. Both are supposed to be at the same level as the tank, not below the stand however. I am not up on Fluval but I think they offer a similar sized canister to the Eheim for a bit cheaper as well.

The biggest expense of most tanks is the lighting and no exception to ADA tanks if you want something off the shelf that looks as good as the tank. You can do a DIY CFL light on the cheap and I don't think it would look bad at all if you picked the right fixture and painted it up or took the time to make it look nice.

Just a few ways to save some costs. I love ADA stuff but now you have so many companies offering quality products for quite a bit less that have comparable quality. I don't want to knock ADA and would like to go with a full ADA setup (not nano though) when I can afford to do so but now is not the right time for me and I find myself being impressed with other things that are out there. I would go full ADA or choose the products you feel are the most quality but don't be afraid to look into other options.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 03:59 AM
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I completely agree with the above, there is no AIO (all in one) that completes with an ADA setup. That said I do believe that it really depends on what your goals are. If you are looking for something that you can scape to perfection and master the art of aquascape then ADA is the only way to go because it will offer the perfect dimensions and when complete the simplicity of the tank itself will reward the scape withing. However, if you are going to really leverage the ADA tank lilies, glass co2 components and an inline heater (if required) are almost mandatory IMHO, and those things really add up. Sure you can do it without these things but in the end the total aesthetic is lost. On the otherhand you can pick up an evolve 8 for 75 bucks and have a perfectly working planted tank setup with co2 for under $250. HTH.
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