75 gallon dirted tank on a budget...$300 - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 38
75 gallon dirted tank on a budget...$300

My mission was to put together a 75 gallon freshwater planted tank for under $300

Craigslist being the obvious choice, I checked every day for any new listings. Finally, one had pop-up right close to me for $300.

This included a 75 gallon Aqueon aquarium, single 48" T8 Aqueon light, , stand, canopy, 200W heater, Glass top with extra precut Plexiglass replacements pieces and two Penn-Plax 300gph hang on back filters.

I left with it all for $200.

That left me with $100 for substrate and lighting.

So, over the course of 2 weeks, I started cleaning everything. The previous owners ran a cichlid tank with the water low, so the hard water line at the surface was a real bear as well as a few scratches. I did use vinegar but I got the best results by using Miguires automotive clear coat scratch remover.

What to do with the stand and canopy was my toughest dilemma. I wanted to re-face the existing high gloss black Formica laminate, but that would blow my current budget... Sooo, I just painted it. I removed the doors, so I can cut them down and mount them flush.

The good news, is the whole stand and canopy is constructed of doubled up 3/4" plywood. Does not look home made, but I did not see a manufacturer anywhere.

Lighting: Triple T8 Diamond Plate shop light fixture from Home Depot

DIY CO2: 1 gallon jug with baboo chopstick diffuser

Substraight: MGOCPM with Black Diamond blasting media cap

Filtration: 2 - Penn-Plax Cascade 300gph HOB filter

Hardscape: Petrified wood, Sandstone, Driftwood

Plants: From local retention pond and planted fluval 12g edge

Fish: 10 Giant Danios, 9 headlight Tail Light Tetra, 3 Cory Cats.

I have stayed within my budget of $300 minus the fish.

The fish I added sooner than expected because of the $1 sale at petco.
Could not pass it up.


This is what it looked liked when I showed up to the seller. I saw the potential for the right price.


All cleaned up and filled and double checked for leaks, background painted and Stand/Canopy painted.




11 outlet power strip from Harbor Freight


MGOCPM installed


Black Diamond Cap






waiting to break down the 12 gallon tank for the rest of the plants


Most of the plants are in as well as the crazy school of Giant Danios












Cryptcoryn Wendtii



weekly updates to follow.
Pg6922 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 11:50 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
tattooedfool83's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 1,866
Wow man, looks awesome.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
tattooedfool83 is offline  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 02:14 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Middleton, WI
Posts: 213
Looks great!
Aquaticus is offline  
 
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 03:36 PM
Planted Member
 
aXio's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 270
I love that stand!

Jakub Lapinski - Premier Aquatics Retail Manager
aXiomatic: Self-evident, unquestionable, or taken for granted.
aXio is offline  
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 38
Thanks guys,
Im in the process of transferring the S.Repens from my 5.5 grow out tank. I have another clump of Crypt. Wendtii to transfer also.

Its been many years since I have had anything other than Nano fish and guppys. These Giant Danios eat like crazy. They swarm on the food like striped bass on a pod of bait. I also notice that the Headlight Taillight Tetra are nipping and stripping some Bacopa M.

Pg6922 is offline  
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 38
Update 11-17-13

The tank is coming along nicely. The first thing I did since last update was return the redeye tetra. It might have been OK, but I felt it was too much bioload for such a new tank. Im just now getting past the new tank syndrome. I had that slight white haze to the water for 2 weeks.

The next thing I did was add a second gallon jug of DIY Co2. Getting 2-3 BPS with this setup. PH drops from 7.6 to 6.8.

I was able to sell my Fluval Edge 12, which funded the purchase of the API Filstar XP-L. For $100 on Amazon, it was quite a deal, but they have really cut back on the accessories. There is no spray bar, only a powerhead type nozzle and only 2 pieces of foam and 5 biomedia stars.

I would not say its the easiest canister filter to setup and get running smoothly. (between the leaking and air bubbles). But, now i know all the little tricks to get it running smoothly. It filters great!
I made the spray bar using an 18" sprinkler riser and some pvc parts. Im very happy with this set up.

I recently added a beautiful Albino long fin bristle nose pleco.

I have been saving space for center piece plants and picked up an amazon sword and a 2 melon swords.

Ive been experimenting with the correct photo period, and I'm down to an 8 hour split photo period.

I had 48" of Ikea LED strip lights hanging around that i installed so I can still view the tank during siesta periods.

Im also still working on cutting down the cabinet doors... on the backburner for now.











Ikea LED


very hard to photo these guys










Pg6922 is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-17-2013, 01:28 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
xmas_one's Avatar
 
PTrader: (18/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 3,401
Nice! I dig budget builds. I like what you did with that stand!


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
xmas_one is offline  
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 38
Update 11-24-13

Howdy Yall,

Everything seems to be stable and running smoothly. Had to freeze one white tip tetra due to his bottom lip being ripped off. Those white tips can be feisty little buggers. I find the Giant Danios keep them in check.

One surprising observation is how well the red cherry shrimp and Pygmy Cory's are doing. They come out in the open and forage as if nothing will eat them. And so far, none of the fish mess with them.

I've heard Giant Danios called the bimbos of the aquarium world and I would agree. It's like a constant game of flag football with these guys.

The bottom part of the water column was in need of some fish, so I found the last 3 GBRs on sale at LFS. These guys are a breath of fresh air from all the manic fish actives in the tank.

Maintaining a 20% weekly water change.
8 hour split photo period.
Temp 80 deg Celsius

10 Giant Danios
9 White Tip Tetras
3 Corydora Trilineatus
3 Corydora Pygmaeus
3 German blue rams
1 Long Fin Albino bristle nose pleco
10+ Red cherry shrimp















Pg6922 is offline  
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2013, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 38
12-1-13 Update...Florida Flag Fish

So, I got tired of the aggressiveness nippiness of the white tip tetras and returned them to the LFS. Took about an hour to catch them. I stopped by a newly opened LFS and saw nearly a whole tank full of the Florida Flag fish. What an amazing looking fish. I bought 2 pair. They make my German blue rams look dull.

So far so good. They have definitely staked out their perspective corners of the tank. They are fascinating to watch. The 3 female GBR are holding their own.

I am so glad my little pygmy corys are doing well in this tank. Whats amazing, is they like to school with the Giant Danios. Its like they dont know they are small. It truly is amazing.

My GBR females went on a RCS search and destroy mission. Once they decided they liked RCS, they made sure their were none left. Lol. I have more I will be feeding them. Once the GBRs immobilized the shrimp, the Giant Danios would usually finsh them off, swallowing one in one bite. Although the shrimp just fit in the Danios mouth.

I also added 3 Panda Corys too.
I wam observing these Florida flags to see how well they get along with everyone.

Its easy to see why they got their name. Its uncanny how much they look like the American Flag with read stripes and blue stars.

10 Giant Danios
4 Florida Flag Fish
3 Corydora Trilineatus
3 Panda Corys
3 Corydora Pygmaeus
3 German blue rams
1 Long Fin Albino bristle nose pleco
0 Cherry shrimp















Pg6922 is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 38
Finally getting around to updating my journal. Still really enjoying this tank too. quite a few changes though. Fish stock is where most of the changes happened. For some reason my cory cats started to die off. All the other fish were fine. i could not figure it out. Thats 9 cory cats that died off one at a time. So with the fish stock shrinking, i wanted to go another direction with fish. Im still running 2 gallons of diy co2. Im letting the sunset hygrophilia grow some for some shade.

25% water change every week.

new fish list

11 serpae tetra
4 german blue ram
1 albino bristlenose long fin pleco
1 oto
2 florida flag fish
10 black neons
6 pristella tetra
20 neon tetra
5 glass catfish











Pg6922 is offline  
post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 01:52 PM
Planted Tanker
 
burr740's Avatar
 
PTrader: (131/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bama
Posts: 5,849
Nice looking tank.
burr740 is offline  
post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 03:18 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
HybridHerp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 3,890
I really like the tank

ever considered having a carpeting plant on the bare open part or nah?

My 75 gallon High Tech Tank:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

My 10 gallon High Tech Tank:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

My 5.5 gallon nano College Dorm Tank:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Mom's Spec V:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
HybridHerp is offline  
post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 38
Thank you.
Yes, I have considered it but I don't have quite enough light for carpeting plants

The staurogens repens barely grows and the fish loved eating the pogostemon helferi I had.
I would need to upgrade to t5HO.
Also the Cabomba also struggles a bit keeping lower leaves.

I run a split photoperiod 5am-10:30am and 5:00pm-8:30pm. (9hrs )Running longer just increased algae. My next change is replacing the Cabomba with an amazon sword.

The telanthera cardinalis is is growning, albeit very slowly




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Pg6922 is offline  
post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 10:45 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Blackheart's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Posts: 3,038
Heyy any updates? Awesome looking tank!
Blackheart is offline  
post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 08:15 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Patriot's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Spokane, Washington
Posts: 1,348
Send a message via Skype™ to Patriot
Tank looks great!! I love the rocks.

Proudly Served in the United States Armed Forces, 2009-2017
SUNSUN PIMP #41
Nikon Club Member #35
Patriot is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome