Step 1: Choosing a Tank - To Kit or Not to Kit? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Step 1: Choosing a Tank - To Kit or Not to Kit?

Hello everyone,

After reading up on the DW method and Tom Barr's low tech for the past several weeks, I've decided to finally take the plunge and set up one of these tanks. As stated in the title, I'm in the process of finding a good tank. I'm going to put the tank on my desktop, so I'm looking for something in the 5 to 9 gallon range. The inhabitants will be a single dwarf puffer and maybe some shrimp (if the puffer allows it). I haven't figured out what plants I'll be using, but since this is my first time trying this method, I'll probably stick with mostly easy plants and maybe some more difficult ones if I'm feeling adventurous.

At first I was considering getting an aquarium kit (like the Fluval Ebi) to save time and hassle, but I know the criticism is that the equipment included in these kits are usually cheap, and the person will end up replacing all the components anyways.

So that led me to ADA and Schuber-Wright. My understanding is that both brands are high clarity and look great, but I was wondering what other alternatives I have. I noticed that both styles are boxy and have sharp edges, whereas the Fluval Ebi has rounded edges. Is there a place that sells high clarity glass aquariums with rounded edges? Where are some good sites to go to start looking for nice tanks?

Victor
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 05:49 PM
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I'd go with one of these little bad boys, they come in 2.6 gal, 3.7 gal, or 5.3 gal. The filter is built right into the back of it, all you need is a small heater, substrate, and live stock.

I like them because of the price, and they look better than the ebi, flora, and the edge.




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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 09:40 PM
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i really like ADAs sharp edged cube gardens (in love with the 30C i bought from them), but to each his own.
however, i dont think high clarity glass is that important in nanos, as the glass is thinner anyway. the bigger tanks, with thick glass panes, is where getting high clarity glass becomes a more noticeable component of the overall appearance.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 10:08 PM
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For a puffer, a Fluval Ebi could be a great choice. Of course, you'd probably want to ditch the internal filter and use an HOB like an AquaClear instead. Or a small canister filter.

But everything else is great. Lighting is perfect for low light plants, substrate is great for planting, comes with a glass top to prevent jumpers, you can ditch the foam background to give you more room in the tank, includes a tank mat so it doesn't scoot around on your stand.

You could easily sell the internal filter online to make $10-$15 or you could keep it as a backup/turn it into a small pump/circulator.

If you don't want to go that route, you can definitely get a 5.5-10gal tank for $10 or less, a bag of good substrate for cheap and even get a decent light and filter for cheap. It's really up to the aesthetic you want to achieve.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 10:38 PM
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+1 on the cheap light.
for nanos its easy. just buy a desk lamp of the appropriate wattage and use a florescent bulb of the correct kelvin rating (home depot has 10000k and 6700k light bulbs).

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 10:53 PM
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Home Depot now carries PAR38 LED bulbs in 5600K for $20. You can go for a cube 7 gallon Mr Aqua for $50, desk lamp and bulb, and AC20 filter for less than $100 and have a nicer setup than most kits with better lighting.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
For a puffer, a Fluval Ebi could be a great choice. Of course, you'd probably want to ditch the internal filter and use an HOB like an AquaClear instead. Or a small canister filter.

But everything else is great. Lighting is perfect for low light plants, substrate is great for planting, comes with a glass top to prevent jumpers, you can ditch the foam background to give you more room in the tank, includes a tank mat so it doesn't scoot around on your stand.

You could easily sell the internal filter online to make $10-$15 or you could keep it as a backup/turn it into a small pump/circulator.

If you don't want to go that route, you can definitely get a 5.5-10gal tank for $10 or less, a bag of good substrate for cheap and even get a decent light and filter for cheap. It's really up to the aesthetic you want to achieve.
I agree. Puffers are all around messy fish. You will want some good filtration. If you feed live snails, you will need to remove dead ones to maintain water quality, otherwise you may have problems. The general rule of thumb is 5 gallons of water per puffer, but of course that doesn't consider tank dimensions.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwellag View Post
I agree. Puffers are all around messy fish. You will want some good filtration. If you feed live snails, you will need to remove dead ones to maintain water quality, otherwise you may have problems. The general rule of thumb is 5 gallons of water per puffer, but of course that doesn't consider tank dimensions.
What would be a good footprint for pea puffers?

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 06:37 PM
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I just bought a 36-L from GLA (Green Leaf Aquariums). It is roughly 6 gallon tank.. rimless. Their build quality is one of the best (similar to ADA). They are having a sale as well. With shipping, it came out to $59 to my house. I haven't received it yet, but from what I read, GLA is a top notch company. I just couldn't justify the $40+ price difference to get an ADA tank.

http://greenleafaquariums.com/glass-...aquariums.html
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the recommendations, guys! At this point, I'm leaning towards buying everything separately instead of getting a kit and then upgrading everything. I had never heard of GLA or Mr. Aqua, but I'm really glad I found out about them; it's always nice to have more choices. As a final question, does anyone know if there's a place selling aquariums with rounded edges? If not, I'll probably order something from ADA, Schuber, GLA, or Mr. Aqua sometime later this week and then get one of the suggested lights at Home Depot.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 10:38 PM
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Rounded edges.. do you mean glass? There are a few out there.. but mostly smaller tanks, like JBJ's Picotope.

I just ordered a Schuber Wright 4 gallon tank... if you order from aqua.vibrant you can choose your filter and light options, and their prices on ebay are cheaper than their web store.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sarahspins View Post
Rounded edges.. do you mean glass? There are a few out there.. but mostly smaller tanks, like JBJ's Picotope.

I just ordered a Schuber Wright 4 gallon tank... if you order from aqua.vibrant you can choose your filter and light options, and their prices on ebay are cheaper than their web store.
Yea, something like that. The Fluval Ebi has rounded edges too, but I was just wondering if there's a place out there that sells them as just tanks without all the accessories and supplies.

I was taking a good look at the Schuber Wright 6 and 9 on eBay too!
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