90 Gal Budget Tank - WIP
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View Poll Results: What should I do for the back of the tank?
Paint it Black 28 93.33%
Paint it Blue 1 3.33%
Paint it White 0 0%
Paint it Green 0 0%
Use a prefab background 1 3.33%
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
kal_daka87
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90 Gal Budget Tank - WIP


I've had this aquarium since mid november I think just waiting to get it started. I was finally able to make it to a TSC (the nearests is a 3 hour drive) to pick up some substrate and get the tank started cycling. Since my husband hates how much money I spend on my hobby this is going to be a fairly low budget tank.

There's currently not much to look at as I just started it cycling about 2 weeks ago, and I don't have any lighting to support plants.

Lighting is the next step. I'm planning on using dome lamps with CFL's.

oh, and don't mind the plastic wrap on the tank, it's just to reduce the evaporation.



Close up of my Green Man


I'll have better pictures later, I promise.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
Hoppy
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You can buy cheap poster board at many grocery stores, and cut a piece to fit the back, of any color you like (I use black), then tape or velcro it to the back of the tank.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:36 PM   #3
kal_daka87
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I might use the poster board idea, or I might use some fabric, just so I don't have to deal with hiding a seam.

On another note, I've been doing some research into lighting for the tank and I'm going to go with the reptile domes. Similar to how the ones in THIS THREAD are done.

The only thing is i'm not sure of how many to go with? The tank is 48" long, I was thinking of 5 Domes. I was planning on using the Zoo Med mini deep dome as long as the bulbs will fit in it and not stick out the bottom. I might have to go with the larger ones tho.

HERE is a link to the bulbs I plan on using. They may be overkill tho. 42watt, 2850 Mean lumens, and 6500K Spectrum. They'll be raised probably around 5" above the water surface, and there's likely going to be a sheet of acrylic or glass between them and the water.

Input appreciated.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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Sounds like a solid plan. I have two concerns over the domes, light spread and cost. I purchased a normal clamp light from a hardware store for $12 and this is NYC so it's most likely double what it would be elsewhere. As far as spread goes, the light might not cover the entire tank which would give more of a spotlight effect over the middle portions of the tank leaving the corners with relatively low levels of light. However, you can probably take care of that by adjusting the light's height, which you've already suggested. I suppose you would have to try and see.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:54 PM   #5
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I think painting the back of a tank is pretty inexpensive, and gives a really nice look. But that's best done before putting water in it. :/

As to the lights, why not just get the brooder reflectors from Home Depot/Lowes? I think they run something like ~$10.00 (smaller ones are less), and you can pick up some daylight CFLs for pretty cheap. You could spraypaint the outside black (or some other color), and even use the cords to hang them as pendants if you aren't going to be putting them right on the tank.

Also, with a 90 gallon tank, a flourescent shoplight will fit over it nicely, and that might give you more/cheaper bulb options (and at least less cords all over the place)

I'd avoid using acrylic to cover the tank, it warps/sags really easy (I've heard people say it's from the humidity or the heat-I don't know what it is, but I've had even small pieces warp significantly before)

I can't think of much else off the top of my head, you already have the tank, and that's a pretty big expense in of itself. I imagine stocking it will be the next most expensive thing. You could always understock on fish, and add more here and there (or let them populate the tank on their own). As to plants, if you have a local aquarium group, you could probably get quite a bit cheap/free at meetings. Otherwise, maybe go heavy with floaters (frogbit, water lettuce, etc.) to keep things in check while starting, and add a few scattered ones you like, and let them grow in and propagate.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:45 PM   #6
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Im gonna go the fabric route because 1. The tank is already filled, and I don't feel like draining and moving it just to paint it, and 2. If I decide to change the colour it's a heck of a lot easier to do.

As for the lights I'm going with the Zoo med reptile ones for a few reasons. One is I can actually get them pretty cheap because I work at a pet store, and I can negotiate with the owner or even our rep to get them direct from zoo med at cost. Plus they have a highly polished reflector on the inside, and when I'm trying to go through a sheet of acrylic/glass (issues with acrylic noted), plus 2 feet of water I want the power of reflection these things have. Another advantage they have over the brooders is that they are at least designed to handle some humidity safely. As for cleanliness with wires and such.... I'm a pro at hiding those :P I have a frame in mind to hang all the dome lights from, and contain the wires so there's only one thing comeing out the back of the tank. I also like this idea over the shop lights again for several reasons. To say the least I don't like the look of them, and it seems like I'd have to get a lot of them to match the power and intensity of the CFL's I plan on getting.

As far as stocking and what not my biggest issue at this point is deciding wether I want angels or discus Because I work at a pet store i can get most of my stuff relatively cheap. I'm trying to do a moderate to high light tank on a really tiny budget. Definitely no/very little floating plants. Plus I've already aquired a madsagascar lace plant that I'm in love with. So far it's doing well in one of my smaller tanks. I've also got 4 amazon swords, a banana plant, some anubias, wisteria, rotella, and some others I can't think off the top of my head lol. I'm just waiting to get the light on the 90G before moving everything.

Last edited by kal_daka87; 02-07-2013 at 02:30 AM.. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:01 PM   #7
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It is possible that the 42 watt bulbs will overheat in those domes. I'm pretty sure the 23-25 watt ones will work. If there are ventilation holes at the top of those domes, to allow for some cooling, then the 42 watt ones should work fine.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
It is possible that the 42 watt bulbs will overheat in those domes. I'm pretty sure the 23-25 watt ones will work. If there are ventilation holes at the top of those domes, to allow for some cooling, then the 42 watt ones should work fine.
These domes are specifically designed for running high temp bulbs, and CFLs. The UVB bulbs for reptiles are CFL's (the one's I carry at my store are 26watt) They do have holes at the top for ventilation tho. I'll err on the side of caution and test with one first. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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Finally picked up my first pair of lights. My boss actually sold them to me at less than cost! She loves me :P I decided to go with a 23 watt bulb, instead of the big 42w one, to save on costs, and because the big one was HUGE! lol I've improvised a temporary stand for the lights out of bamboo plant stakes. So far so good. I've got plans in the works for a full canopy. I've also attached a piece of fabric to the back of the tank now. Looks pretty good. I'll get it to look even better once I've got a proper canopy done. Can't wait to get rid of the damned plastic wrap. Oh yeah, and on close inspection of the aquarium glass I've got micro-fauna moving around in there. Good sign. They probably hitched a ride on the Java Fern from my other tank.
Anyways, here's some more pics.



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Old 02-10-2013, 12:05 AM   #10
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Looks good.

I missed the bit about you working in a pet store earlier, which is why I had suggested the clamp-on workshop lights. The lights you have do look nicer then a clamp light (even if it's painted), I just think they are too expensive at full retail. Sounds like you got a pretty good deal.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
Looks good.

I missed the bit about you working in a pet store earlier, which is why I had suggested the clamp-on workshop lights. The lights you have do look nicer then a clamp light (even if it's painted), I just think they are too expensive at full retail. Sounds like you got a pretty good deal.
Actually the full retail price (at my store at least)for these ones is only $21.99 CN. The shop clamp lights from the hardware store are $15.88, and the brooders are $20.88. So at least for me the Zoo Med lights are a much better option for just a few dollars more. Even without my discount.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:45 PM   #12
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Ok now that I've got the lights in the works, I'm starting to think about CO2. Obviously I'm not planning on hooking it up yet (there's not enough plants in the tank to make use of it), but I'd like some imput.

I have read Darkblade's thread on pressurized DIY Pressurized CO2 setups, HERE. This is kinda what I was thinking to go with, but I have yet to check out how much this setup would cost.

The other option, wich I've been using with my 20g planted tank, is API's liquid CO2. The only thing is I think I'd be going through a ton of the stuff for a 90G. Again trying to keep as low budget as possible. It would end up costing me $0.36/day to use. Wich I know doesn't seem like much, but it'll add up over the life of the tank. Wheras using the pressurized co2 systems its an expensive 1 time purchase, but the gas would last longer and is a cheaper refill? (I'm assuming lol)

Definitely don't want to do the yeast CO2. I don't even think it would be able to produce enough for my 90G.

Also if anyone has suggestions on a premade CO2 unit capable of handling a 90G, please share.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:36 PM   #13
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Just playing around with ideas. It's obviously not real, just getting a feel for what it might look like. Input Appreciated.

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:42 AM   #14
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You'll need to switch to canister filters if you don't want to outgas CO2.

The alternative is to just stick with a more standard low light setup and not need CO2.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
You'll need to switch to canister filters if you don't want to outgas CO2.
I'm sorry but I disagree. When comparing the two there would definitely be more CO2 outgassed with a HOB vs. a Canister. That doesn't meen I "need" to switch to canister to use CO2 effectively.

CO2 outgassing is determined by the turbulence of the surface water, not necessarily what kind of filter you are using. I used a DIY CO2 System in my 29 Gallon planted with a HOB Filter with great success.
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