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Rush3737 01-25-2013 12:52 AM

Nick's 75g first planted tank (algae help needed)
First post is for updating info, normal beginning post will come next!


Tank/Stand (Craigslist) - $125
Glass top (included) - $0
Foam/Duct Tape (Home Depot) - $12
Glass top pieces (Home Depot) - $3
Glass top pieces (Pet Solutions) - $13
Shims - $2 (Home Depot)

Safe T Sorb 60lbs (Tractor Supply) - $13

Fluval 406 (Amazon Seller) - $130

AquaTop GH200 (Amazon) - $17
Thermometer (Petco) - $3

Diamond Fixture (Home Depot) - $35
2 48" 32-watt 6500k fluorescent bulbs (Home Depot) - $10
3 prong timer (Home Depot) - $10
Hanging Stuff (Lowe's) - $14

Surge protector (Home Depot) - $13

Transplants - $0
New - $75 est.

New - $100 est.

Goal: Keep under $550 for all the stuff used exclusively for this tank.

Total so far: $400
Remaining estimate: $175
Total estimate: $575
Over/Under goal estimate: $(25)


Substrate (solved) -

Lighting (solved) -

Fertilizer (solved) -

Filter (solved) -


Rush3737 01-25-2013 01:25 AM

Okay, here we go! Basically I've had a 29g talk for several years and the fish big started biting a few months ago and I've been planning out a bigger tank that I want to be really nice, but I'm trying to be as economical as possible about it. As stated above I'm trying to keep the stuff exclusive to this tank under $500 including plants and fish.

I'll be asking for advice not only on this tank, but also on any advice for future tanks or any bad purchases I've already made because if this works well I'd like to do another in the future. The links I provided in the first post are for specific questions I've had, and some have been answered, but some have not, so please check them out and chime in if you can!

I don't actually have the tank/stand yet (I know, thread started before that... but I figure it doesn't hurt to have it ready) because as I said I'm budget conscious and one of the best ways to save money it a used stand/tank. I've been watching listings and making some offers and I'm fairly certain within the next month I can get a nice setup for under $200, perhaps as low as $100. I'm looking for something like this preferably:

And I'll be putting it here:
(Cat not amused by picture)

I plan on putting it about 2 feet in front of the heater. I think this would be okay but I could use your input. I figure that's enough space that if anything would go wrong with the heater the tank would be far enough out of the way that it could be serviced, and the tank will be far enough away that there won't be any issues with the tank getting too hot.

I'm kinda planning to have the tank as an island, so you can move all the way around it, but I'll be setting up my rocks/plans like a normal tank, only intended to be viewed from the front/sides.

So far I've ordered the filter from amazon, a unit that has damaged packaging but which should otherwise be fine (else I'll return), and the following from home depot:

Let me tell you, I wasn't ready for that light... thing is f%$%^ing bright!

mitchfish9 01-25-2013 04:03 AM

Yes, it is a bright light. Individual reflectors for each bulb make it almost into CO2 range for your tank. I would recommend raising it a few inches.

GMYukonon24s 01-25-2013 03:55 PM

Nice tank and cabinet.

Rush3737 01-25-2013 03:59 PM


Originally Posted by mitchfish9 (Post 2343602)
Yes, it is a bright light. Individual reflectors for each bulb make it almost into CO2 range for your tank. I would recommend raising it a few inches.

Thanks much, was reviewing this in my lighting thread and will figure out a way to do that. I will either put two hooks into my ceiling or perhaps spend a few bucks to get curved rods to screw into the back of the stand.

GMY, I don't have that tank/stand, that's just a general idea of what I'm looking to find on craigslist. Have seen a few of them so far, just not in my price range. Also might not be able to get one with that kind of top depending on how exactly it would work with my lighting.

Rush3737 01-25-2013 04:56 PM

Just had a though for this. Since I plan to be able to walk around the back side of the setup, but don't intend for heavy viewing from that side I think I'll install several hooks on the back side for my net, armed sponge, siphon tube, and anything else that needs to drip dry. Can always then put either a towel or install a long catch basin below that.

shiloh 01-25-2013 05:27 PM

A 55 from Craigslist should be far cheaper than that unless you're looking for a real furniture-quality stand/hood. It's one of the most common sizes. Or else there's always the 55 gallon for $55 at Petco...

Rush3737 01-25-2013 06:52 PM

Do you happen to know when Petco will do the 55g for $55 again? I've heard that they do that but my local store doesn't have anything like that right now.

Rush3737 01-26-2013 03:41 AM

I actually bought a 55g off of CL today for $45. It was really dirty, but I spent 30 minutes with some hot water really cleaning it up. Going to finish it up with some vinegar later in the weekend.

In any case I don't think this will be used for this project as it didn't come with a stand and it will likely take me some time to get a proper stand for it separate. However if nothing comes along in a week or two I might consider moving my (very heavy and sturdy) dresser over for the tank and using it, will have to see.

kwheeler91 01-26-2013 04:16 AM

CL tanks are pretty common. Just keep your eyes peeled for a deal. If you have access to a saw and a drill you can build a simple stand fairly cheap. Canopy would be a bit more of a challenge but still it can be done.

Rush3737 01-26-2013 04:23 AM

A friend and I *could* feasibly build a nice stand, but I figure a deal will come along that will end up being nicer than what we could do in a reasonable amount of time. Still, if I get a tank/stand combo like I hope for this project I'll have all the time in the world to worry about the other one and may just build one for the heck of it.

Rush3737 01-26-2013 02:41 PM

Just got a positive response on this:

So I may slightly up the budget for this project if I end up liking this tank and the single Fluval 405 isn't enough for a 75 gallon tank. Thankfully I don't think heating would be an issue for a 75 since I am only raising about 4 degrees from room temp, and the depth and width of the tank are the same so lighting can remain the same.

Rush3737 01-26-2013 10:09 PM

So in my running around today I was able to nail down some supplies:

Got 120lbs of SafeTSorb ($13) and a $3 thermometer for inside the tank. Not counting against the budget is some vinegar (for cleaning) and ammonia (for fishless cycling).

shiloh 01-27-2013 01:40 AM

Looks like you're on the right track. 55 is one of the more unique footprints in terms of finding a stand. Like you said, a dresser could be one solution. Building your own is a great option but remember that it may or may not be worthwhile economically if you decide you'd like to make it really nice. DIY is fun but it's not always the cheapest option...

Rush3737 01-27-2013 03:49 PM

My current plan should give me all the time in the world to worry about it thankfully. I'm going to set up and cycle/plant a tank in the bedroom, move the fish from the 29g in the living room into that tank, change the gravel in the 29g to SafeTSorb and plant that one, and move the barbs back to the 29g while leaving a catfish and shark in the 55/75g tank as the first permanent members of that tank.

At that point I'll be moving the gravel and any leftover SafeTSorb into the 55 gallon tank setup in the office and using it as a Pleco/Cichlid tank. So that's probably 6 months off at least.

Also, I'm heading over tomorrow night to look at the CL tank I posted, so I'm really hoping I like it!

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