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Old 05-03-2009, 07:15 PM   #1
GaFishman1181
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30g Tank Journal (pics & prices) first planted tank!


Since this is my first planted tank i thought i would make a journal of it with pics of the tank and also the prices for all the items i had to purchase. Hopefully this will help out someone else who is planning on starting a tank. I am sure there are plenty of areas that you could cut some cost, but i was exicted to get this tank started and didnt shop around as much as i could of. Tank size 30g (36"x12"Wx17"H). Goal of tank---> low light silent bedroom set-up with no initial plans for co2.

Parts list and cost


30g tank $65
glass hood $30
aquarium stand $120
eheim 2213 $80
heater $20
coralife dual t5 (42watts) $55
40lbs eco-complete $48
20lb flourite black sand $22
shipping $15

total = $455 thats more than i had planned to spend but i am really happy with the set-up so far so i am not complaining to much. If i did it again i would build my own stand. Even though the stand i have is probably the best pre fab stand i have ever used. Also $70 for the substrate seems really expensive. If you could cut cost on the stand and substrate you could get the price down to about $300-$350. If you already had an aquarium or found one on craigslist then you could get the price down to under $300 which isnt that bad at all.



Time for some current pics of my silent bedroom set-up









Later tonight i will be adding a piece of driftwood in the tank. If the water doesnt turn too brown or cloudy from adding the driftwood i will post pics tonight. If it is cloudy i will probably wait a day or so to see if it clears up.

i am placing an order tonight for plants which should be in by the end of this week. i plan on getting some pretty common low light plants. I really would like a tiger lotus but dont know if i will have enough space or light.

I have no solid idea of what fish i will put in the tank. i am open to suggestions as well. My water is hard and around 8.2 in ph.

Well that is it for now but more pics will be up very soon.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:21 PM   #2
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:14 PM   #3
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Love the tank and stand. WHere did you get them from?
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:24 AM   #4
GaFishman1181
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i bought the tank from pet supermarket and i bought the stand from drsfostersmith.com item # CD-26677 . The stand is actually for a 50/65 gallon aquarium. The dimensions are great (40g breeder fits on this stand too). I like how with a 30g you have a nice lip at the front to sit things while testing water or feeding or what not. Also it is rated at a higher weight which is always good with pre fab stands.



Here are the pictures with the driftwood as promised.





the wood is not necessarly in its final spot. Just what looked best to me as of today. ALso i didnt realize how bad i needed to clean the glass until i took a picture with that flash.

The next update will be pictures of the plants in a couple of days.

Last edited by GaFishman1181; 05-04-2009 at 01:37 AM.. Reason: added pictures
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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It looks as if i didnt soak my driftwood long enough before placing it in the tank. I didnt realize after you boil it you should let it soak in a water bath for a coulple of days.

So i have some pretty dark discoloration going on. I did some research and supposly the water is turning dark from tannic acids. Not sure how accurate the information is but it also says it might be discolored for 3-14 days.

Would it help to add some water clarifier? (the type i have came in the bag of ecocomplete and its called bio-magnet clarifier)

I believe my plants will be coming in on thursday and would like to see it cleared by then.

I also have a bristlenose in my tank that i rescued from my African cichlid tank. I didnt realize the cichlids would kill them and i went from 3 down to 1. This guy is injured but only a superficial wound on the mouth and his fins are missing. I am glad i got him out in time. I tried to get a pic of him but it was too hard to get a decent shot. I will have to add a picture of him later.


Here is a pic of the tank color as of this morning.


SHould i add the clarifier? And is the clarifier safe for the bristlenose? how long will it last for?
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:45 AM   #6
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Default i cant go to the petstore without buying something

so i went to the store just to get some dechlorinator and passed by some dwarf gouramis that i couldnt pass up. I ended up getting 1 dwarf blue gourami. I think he was right at $5. i also bought 2 bundles of anacharis at $2 a piece (each bundle had 4 stalks) and one water wisteria at $5. This brings my grand total to $470 spent so far.

Here is a current pic of my two new plants and a close up of my dwarf gourami.





i did about a 60% water change earlier today which helped with the dark color from the driftwood. I also found taking pictures without the flash makes the tank look less murky and dark.

I also have my order list for plants i got off the internet. Here it is.

petite nana
nana
tiger lotus
crypt walkerii
dwarf subulata
crypt wendtii
wendtii bronze
four leaf clover
bacopa australis

for a total with shipping of $50. (i got 2nd day air so i hope they survive the trip)

so far my grand total spent on this tank is $520. I am already about $200 over my original budget but i am hooked on the planted tanks now. It is a refreshing change from my two mbuna tanks.

now i need to decide what type of fish i am going to get. I would like a nice school of smaller fish but am not sure which to choose. i also would like some cory cats but i am going to wait until my plants take root and get comfortable before i have all those little cats at the bottom. Let me know if you have any recommendations for a small schooling fish.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:48 PM   #7
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Alot has happened in the last few days. I have rearranged my tank 3 times in the last 2 days. I decided on leaving it the way it was the 3 time because i dont want to damage the plants from moving them around too much.

Here is the most current pic. if you look close you can see my dwarf blue gourami. He is hiding in the back left corner because he's camera shy.



i put most of my larger plants on the left to block the filter intake. Also in the back right corner is a bulb with a little tiger lotus coming out (its about 1 1/2" long right now). Hopefully that will grow quickly and make the right side fill in some. Also i am waiting on my crypts on the right side to grow some before i put them in their final place.



here is an alternate angle of the tank.



i dont really view the tank from that angle much but i thought it looked kind of cool.

also here is a picture of my water coming out of the tank and then the water that goes in to the tank. (those are little ghost shrimp in the bag) Got about a dozen of them. They are really cool but i am glad i got as many as i did because they are hard to see in the tank. At any one time i see 1-2 of them swimming around.



that was only 3-4 inches of the water. you should see how dark it looks when i have a full bucket of the tank water. dang driftwood. That is the biggest thing i would of done differntly. After i boiled my driftwood i should of placed it in a container of water for a couple of days. make sure you do that if you use driftwood because i put that piece in there about a week ago and have changed the water 4 times since then. Everytime i change about 40-50%.

Next update will be when i add more fish or when my lotus starts growing really well. Also i didnt realize i ordered 10 of the dwarf grass so i jsut put all my extras behind the driftwood.

a big P.S. i have a new respect for anyone with a planted tank because i totally underestimated how challenging it would be to pick plants and figure out how you are going to place them. I am not trying to discourage anyone from starting one; i am just saying for me it was alot harder setting it up then i had expected.

i really like the pay off though. The whole tank is alive and not just the fish.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:46 PM   #8
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Sweet. I love the ghost shrimp, too! They're great little scavengers!
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:26 AM   #9
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yeah they are pretty neat. now that they know my gourami isnt going to eat them; they seem to be swimming around alot more. only thing i am worried about is one of the smaller ones getting sucked into the intake of the canister.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:38 AM   #10
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My Australian rainbow swallowed one whole. Your gourami may take suite.
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:04 PM   #11
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my gourami decided that he wold start killing off the smaller ones. He cannot fit them in his mouth but has attacked several of them and they died later. So, i dont know what it is with my gourami but he is not peaceful. He is actually pretty agressive. He even tries to attack my bristlenose on occasion.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:32 AM   #12
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i am thinking of taking out the 4 leaf clover. it is already shooting out 3 inch long arms in 5-6 directions. it is going to take over my whole tank with in a month.
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