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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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New Tank

So I've had the good fortune (no pun intended) to come into some money. Not a lot but enough for me to invest in new tank up to about 30 gallons. I've checked out various brands of tank kits, such as the Fluval Fresh tanks but I see mixed reviews for every brand. So my question is, which are the most reputable, hassle-free brands?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 05:49 PM
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Just a suggestion, this thread may do beter in "General Planted Tank Disscussion" forum or the "Equipment" section.

As for tanks..I' not a fan of the pre-done kits, but I'll give you my list for usual tank/equipment buying.
If you have access to Petco they will have a $ per a gallon sale.. Dec 26 through mid January I believe? You can get a 20g long or tall for $20 + tax, or a 40g breeder (which I've been told is actually 43g) for $40+ tax.
For heater.. well its more expensive but I trust Eheim Jagar and use those in all my tanks except the picos, 75-125 watt heaters are about $25-30.
For filtration I've used a few things, AquaClear HOB filters, sponge filters with tetra whisper 10 air pump, and canister filters (sunsun (cheap but loud) and eheim (expensive but silent-you forget its there). Price range for these can be $30-100 depending on what you want.
If you plan on adding plants you can get cfl 6500k bulbs (9-14 watt) at a grocery or home improvement store for cheaper than "grow lights" (about $4-6 a bulb, and clamp on work lamps/reflectors for about $8-10 (2-4 lights and lamps depending on tank length). And either put lamps clamped to a shelf above the tank or get some cheap chain and a hook to hang them from the ceiling (makes it much easier to adjust height for lighting needs).
If you want a lid, I use Lexan polycarbonate from Home Depot (the thing acrylic they sell bows horribly, lexan does not), price varies depending on you tank dimensions probably $20-40 roughly. It can be cut with just about any saw (higher tooth count makes a better cut) or a razor or utility knife.
Substrate.. I use Tractor Supply co.s Black diamond blasting 'sand' 20/40 grit or -60 grit. Its $8 for a 50lb bag, 3 bags ($24) have filled: 2g, 3g, 6g, 7g, 12g long, 20g long, and 55g. If you want light colored sand substrate look at play or pool filter sands.

The petco sale is for tetra tanks which don't have the most seller silicone work. If you are willing to spend a few extra $ and about an hour you can get: rubbing alcohol, a straight razor, and GE I door and window clear silicone and scrape off old silicone with razor, ru down area with the alcohol, then re-silicone the tank. Did with with a 10g and 20g long, had and no issues with the tank. You can read up or find videos about redoing silicone or setting up tanks from scratch (the tetra tank has rim/trim so you don't need tape to keep glass pieces together as you would with a completely DIY rimless glass tank siliconing).

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 03:17 AM
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Before you go to the stores check out a local club. They may have used aquariums etc for sale. Mine has mini auctions after the meetings. Also a good place to get plants. For filters I get Eheim on no ebay links allowed

The Brooklyn Aquarium Association is having a meeting in Jan. at the New York Aquarium Educational Hall.

For plants first get your light. Then buy according to it. Fern, mosses, and anubias can live with just light from a sunny south window. Also they don't require substrate. If I knew what I know now I would have just stuck with ferns, mosses and anubias. Then make a rock background as can be seen on cichlid forums. Living in the city I have to constantly fertilize my plants to keep algae under control. For my city water has no minerals.

Beware this is a hobby that you can forever spend on. I started with a 29g. After spending $500 on it I stopped keeping track of the grand total.
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