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
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
weekly updates to follow.