Just had a thought - what about using LED flood lights with the TC420 as a poor man's pendant lighting? Would the color temperature look bad, or do you guys know of floods that would work well for this?
I tried to post a few longer replies (one of them over 3 hours ago, I think), but they both said they required mod approval. Weird that I could post the thread, but not the replies to my own thread... I suspect this won't go through right away either.
Edit: What...? I'm confused why this would post, but my others wouldn't.
My first response was long enough that I typed it in word, so here's that one:
Wow, can't believe how many responses I got. Thank you everyone, this forum is great!
I think it all comes down to your need for fancy light features
Personally i would do the following
Filter: cheaper Sunsun or some variant
Tank: Get the nice rimless
Lights: go for a much cheaper option at the cost of features
CO2: full pressurised setup, DIY isn't an option for good results here
Another option is to get the Petco tank, nice lighting as well as a few bags of Aquasoil or some other good substrate
Thanks for the advice. If CO2 is essential, I'll add that to the mix and start running some numbers. Any specific brand/model suggestions?
I'll have my aquarium upstairs, and I'm really afraid of it leaking. I'd heard the Sunsun filters had a tendency to leak, at least more so than the Eheims.
I know Aquasoil is the absolute best, but I've read on here that lots of people have had good luck with montmorillonite clay substrate (Safe T Sorb). I would need two 9L bags of Aquasoil, and at $53 a pop
that's $100 more than the Safe T Sorb. Is that really worth it?
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked
For me, I'd prioritize the filter, lighting, substrate and if you're set on CO2, a good regulator - no cheaping out on regulators. Even if you're hiding it in a cabinet, it's just not something worth risking.
Thanks! Whatís the risk with a cheap regulator Ė that it dumps tons of CO2 into the water? Also, any recommendations there, or a ballpark cost?
Are you sure the 2217 wouldnít be enough? I did a fair amount of research, and I got the impression that it was on the verge of being too big for a 40. It does 250gal/hr; the next size up jumps all the way to 600gal/hr.
As I mentioned above, Aquasoil would cost me about $100 more. I donít know a whole lot about substrates, but my research indicated the clay was a pretty competitive option, with a CEC over 30. Is Aquasoil that much better? I do really like the look of the Amazonia Aquasoil, although I like the Safe T Sorb too.
Fair point on the auto-doser. I just had that in the budget in case I felt like a project (I made my dad an auto-doser for his reef tank, and I thought it would be fun to try to improve on that). But come to think of it, I really donít even remotely mind dosing stuff weekly, and youíre right about making you feel more connected! Iíll scratch that off the budget for now.
Iíve had all my lighting on timers forÖ a decade? It works, but Iím just to a point where I really want the soft-on/soft-off functionality an automated, dimmable light brings.
Iíve looked at Deep Blue, but I donít recall seeing a 40B listed. Iíll go back and give it another look. How do they compare to Glass Cages? Iíll be driving right by Glass Cagesí facility, so Iíd save on shipping by buying from them.
Huh, I never knew black was better. The huge white seams are pretty distracting though Ė maybe a fancier rimmed tank would be a good compromise between PetCo and the rimless one.
Welcome to TPT.
Low iron rimless tanks in the 90P class (~ 36x18x18) are ~ $500 new.
For such tank you will need x2 Current/Fluval/AI Prime lights: ~$400+
A decent co2 setup ~$250+
A 200-300w heater $30-70
Heater controller $30
Cannister filter ~350 gph ~$175
Substrate $20 - $150
Stand? Petco's metal stands suck (I have 2 and they wobble)
I appreciate you breaking it down for me.
Man, those 90P tanks look so nice. Thanks, I wasnít even aware of ADA tanks. I think $500 is out of my budget, but maybe I can find one used or something.
So youíre saying even if I went with the Satellite, Iíd need two fixtures? I definitely wouldnít want to have two of those over the tank, so that makes me inclined toward the AIs.
How do you feel about inline heaters? And is a controller necessary even with a newer digital heater? (Iíve had the thermostat stick on an old-style heater, but thereís no element to stick on a digital one.)
Lastly, do you have any suggestions for the stand? I wasnít hot on the metal stand either, but I couldnít find anything else within my budget. I could always build my own, but I wonít have easy access to woodworking tools.
Originally Posted by livebearerlove
Substrate $7? Depending on what you are using- I would assume that will increase as im sure you will want hardscape stones and manzanita (or likewise). And your ferts the first year need to be accounted for if you dont already have them.
For my tanks- lets say a 10 gal. It cost me upwards to 450.00
(10 gallon tank, canister filter, CO2 unit with regulator, etc, substrate, plants, hardscape, lighting (chiros) and wonderful lily pipes that broke on first water change *angry face. Ferts I had on hand from my other 6 tanks.... but it was an expensive little tank)
Good catch on the hardscape stuff. That will probably add another $100 or so (just a guess; been awhile since I bought any of that stuff).
I still have some fertilizer left over from my current tank, so Iím not considering that for now. The $1000 isnít an absolute limit, itís just an arbitrary amount I want to limit myself to for the up-front costs.
Cheap, dimmable, controllable lighting? You can go pretty cheap here, unless you want to be able to control the color temperature of the lights.
Two Beamswork DA FSpecs (or other budget LED strip) both hooked up to a TC420 controller (or each hooked up to their own S2-Pro controller, which are less flexible than the TC420 but the wiring is easier) is what I'd do. If you want to go with a single light fixture for a cleaner look (not a bad idea if you go for a fancy rimless tank), look into a Chihiros LED or other higher-par strip, and attach a controller to it. Make sure you research that the controller you choose is compatible with the fixture you choose. I have tested the TC420 and the S2-Pro with both a beamswork da-fspec and a nicrew tricolor and they work great.
I'm a fan of separating the LED control aspect from the light fixture. That way you can replace either component separately.
For a 40 gallon tank, pressurized CO2 will end up being easier and cleaner looking, because you can do an inline atomizer/diffuser, and it is convenient to be able to easily change the CO2 rate to meet your needs. But I still do DIY CO2 on a 20 gal, and for a 40 you could do two 2-liter bottles, refill one each week staggered.
I would de-prioritize the auto-doser.
Thanks for the info! Changing the color temp would be nice, but it isnít a must. Iíd actually considered doing something with Beamswork lights, but I thought it took some DIY Arduino work to dim and automate them.
Iím fairly handy, so Iím sure I could make that TC420 work. How easy is it to program? Do you notice any flickering when the lights are dimmed? How low can it dim the fixtures Ė can it go all the way down to moonlight level?
I donít think Iíd want two fixtures (although if it would save me a few hundred bucks Ė maybe), so itís good to know that the controller works with other fixtures. I was thinking the Finnex Ray 2, but it looks like thatís been discontinued?
I think I might stick with DIY in the beginning at least. I use two 2-liters on my 20, but I only change one a month Ė I use brewerís yeast, so they last longer.
If I were you I'd do:
Red Sea Reefer 250
Used reg from TPT
Eheim Jšger heater in sump
Inkbird Temp controller
After digging in the reef world, I've realized the freshwater tanks are crap. Even the high clarity tanks, none have an overflow, so you end up getting a big filter and paying 150-200 for glass lily pipes and clear tubing that you have to clean constantly. You have to buy the inline heater to hide it from the tank, if you have a sump, just buy a normal heater and throw it in the sump. Plus you can more easily run an ATO. Look at what Tom Barr runs. He has a custom star fire tank with an overflow. I believe he's using the Mame.
Sumps are nice (especially for a reef tank), but I donít think I want to go that way.
I hadnít thought about the ATO. (How do you do that without a sump Ė does the float have to be up top on the side of your tank?) I'll probably do a DIY ATO with an Arduino, so I guess I just need to find a really unobtrusive float switch.
All Iím finding for the Red Sea Reefer 250 is an entire system thatís $1350. Can you get just the tank?
Would a single 60W fixture be enough to grow carpeting plants in that 250?
Originally Posted by Vadim Shevchuk
I have set up a 40B for cheap before. Bought one during the dollar per gallon sale and I ordered a stand when it was on sale and I used a gift card purchased through gift card resellers to get an additional 25% off. Since you are used to the reef world. I would keep an eye out and try to find an ELOS 70 for sale used on a forum. I had an elos tank before and I just took out the overflow and siliconed a piece of glass to cover the the drilled holes.
What stand did you get?
Wow, that ELOS is crazy expensive.