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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
Many plants...little time
 
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I've been asked...

I was asked by a local business to plan and possibly set up a planted tank. They have seen the tank in my office over the past year and it would work well in their spa. The undertaking would also include maintaining their tank. We have discussed tank sizes, and very briefly plants.
IF THIS HAPPENS...
Tank size would most likely be...
-75,120,135? gallons
-I would need to mineralize soil and cap with something purdy. I like working with MS and I'm familiar with it.
-"higher" tech.
- I've looked at glasscages because I like the variety of tanks. Really like the starfire glass tanks.


Does anyone have any thoughts as to what the cost of setting up a tank would be? Would you charge per hour or a flat fee?
What about weekly or 2x/month maintenance fee?
I did tank maintenance in college but I was the gopher...lol
ideas?


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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 12:45 PM
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I would charge a monthly maintenance fee.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 01:53 PM
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I really don't know much about doing this kind of business, and I also don't know what the nature of your relationship with the spa ownership is, but my advice would be to first reach an agreement on liability. No matter what you charge for the service performed, I don't think you would want to be held responsible for any mishaps, equipment failure, operator error, etc. Just my $.02.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comatoast View Post
I really don't know much about doing this kind of business, and I also don't know what the nature of your relationship with the spa ownership is, but my advice would be to first reach an agreement on liability. No matter what you charge for the service performed, I don't think you would want to be held responsible for any mishaps, equipment failure, operator error, etc. Just my $.02.

Good point for sure!
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 02:03 PM
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I would maybe try pm'ing Tom Barr(plantbrain) as I believe he has tons of experience in this line of work. Other than that, just wish I had something to add myself, good luck!

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 02:09 PM
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Here's what I would do for a 120:

Fluval fx5
Eheim 2217( for heating and co2)
4x54w Catalina retrofit
Hydor inline 300w heater
Rex or other co2 reactor
Regulator+ 10lb tank
Mineralized ts
Ada as 1 as a cap

Other stuff
And live stock



You are looking at 1000+ bucks

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currently looking for a co2 system,i have plants,shrimp and live food cultures to trade
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 02:16 PM
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Isn't glass cages the one that doesn't always deliver on schedule? If so I wouldn't want to be the person in the middle of that transaction. You really have nothing to gain by being frugal.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 02:35 PM
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Unless somebody there wants to stay on top of things on almost a daily basis, you're gonna want to stay away from both high lighting and pressurized CO2. That's just more that can go wrong. You won't be there but occasionally. Think about a lowlight setup, and MTS is unnecessary. If they're interested in a good-looking tank, they might be upset at "dirt" spreading around every time you uproot something. As long as you have root tabs, there shouldn't be much (if any) difference in growth between MTS and just plain sand, especially in a low-light tank.

Anyway, that's my input. Unless somebody (like you) is there very often to fertilize, trim, clean, check for leaks, and generally look for potential problems before they happen, you want as low maintenance as possible.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 02:46 PM
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you could get an electronic solenoid and an auto fert doser....

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currently looking for a co2 system,i have plants,shrimp and live food cultures to trade
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
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you could get an electronic solenoid and an auto fert doser....
I doubt he would have co2 without a solenoid...

The auto fert doser can become un-reliable, although there are lots of SW guys that use it. Go medium tech, pump bottle ferts every now and then, maybe paintball co2, and use root tabs. More importantly, ask what their budget is, although you might have the time for high tech, do they have the $$$?


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Coltonorr View Post
Tank size would most likely be...
-75,120,135? gallons
Paintball CO2?
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comatoast View Post
I really don't know much about doing this kind of business, and I also don't know what the nature of your relationship with the spa ownership is, but my advice would be to first reach an agreement on liability. No matter what you charge for the service performed, I don't think you would want to be held responsible for any mishaps, equipment failure, operator error, etc. Just my $.02.
Good point. You can also educate some1 from spa to dose Fert and water change weekly...if you are going to do EI dosing, but if no1 there wants to do water change than you can do PPS-Pro. Regarding cost, when I set up my tank approximately it costed me $1600 for 100+ gal.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 03:43 PM
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Sorry meant electronic regulator

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currently looking for a co2 system,i have plants,shrimp and live food cultures to trade
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 04:05 PM
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First things first, I think you need to find out what they will give you for a startup budget, and talk to tom to see how to charge for upkeep properly. Then you can see what kind of tank they should have and your maintainance schedule. You have to be willing to do the work, and they need to pay for it. Once you figure that put you can start planning the setup.


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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
Many plants...little time
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikazi View Post
I would charge a monthly maintenance fee.
Yes I was thinking $50/2x a month.
Then every week I could run over and top off if no one else could.

Quote:
Originally Posted by comatoast View Post
I really don't know much about doing this kind of business, and I also don't know what the nature of your relationship with the spa ownership is, but my advice would be to first reach an agreement on liability. No matter what you charge for the service performed, I don't think you would want to be held responsible for any mishaps, equipment failure, operator error, etc. Just my $.02.
Agreed! And I'm thinking this one over. Have some ideas already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyAngel View Post
I would maybe try pm'ing Tom Barr(plantbrain) as I believe he has tons of experience in this line of work. Other than that, just wish I had something to add myself, good luck!
Good point. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHockey View Post
Here's what I would do for a 120:

Fluval fx5
Eheim 2217( for heating and co2)
4x54w Catalina retrofit
Hydor inline 300w heater
Rex or other co2 reactor
Regulator+ 10lb tank
Mineralized ts
Ada as 1 as a cap

Other stuff
And live stock



You are looking at 1000+ bucks
James,
This spa is really nice. its called the Urban Muse. I'm not doing anything with retrofits.
Filtration is up for debate. FX5 would be nice.
I'm pushing them toward a tek fixture right off the bat.
In line heater...done.
Regulator will be a SUMO with tank
MTS capped with something...but most likely not ADA. I'm sticking with what I know how to work with. This wouldn't be the time to "try something new".


Quote:
Originally Posted by fresh.salty View Post
Isn't glass cages the one that doesn't always deliver on schedule? If so I wouldn't want to be the person in the middle of that transaction. You really have nothing to gain by being frugal.
Not so worried about delivery. This setup is on my time schedule. I am leaning this way simply because of the vast tank sizes and shapes. If a standard tank size is picked it doesn't have to be Glasscages, however that Starfire glass is nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
Unless somebody there wants to stay on top of things on almost a daily basis, you're gonna want to stay away from both high lighting and pressurized CO2. That's just more that can go wrong. You won't be there but occasionally. Think about a lowlight setup, and MTS is unnecessary. If they're interested in a good-looking tank, they might be upset at "dirt" spreading around every time you uproot something. As long as you have root tabs, there shouldn't be much (if any) difference in growth between MTS and just plain sand, especially in a low-light tank.

Anyway, that's my input. Unless somebody (like you) is there very often to fertilize, trim, clean, check for leaks, and generally look for potential problems before they happen, you want as low maintenance as possible.
kevmo,
I can definitely be there a few times a week. They are literally in my backyard.
MS in my opinion is very easy to work with and once a scape is setup, I just run with it. I have never had problems uprooting anything in an of my MS tanks. I'd also avoid stems that grow rapidly unless they will pay for me to be there 1x a week to trim.
MS also allows me to avoid dosing for the most part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHockey View Post
you could get an electronic solenoid and an auto fert doser....
MTS...no dosing needed really. I dose non of my MTS tanks. A little K after 6-8months...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Plant Man View Post
I doubt he would have co2 without a solenoid...

The auto fert doser can become un-reliable, although there are lots of SW guys that use it. Go medium tech, pump bottle ferts every now and then, maybe paintball co2, and use root tabs. More importantly, ask what their budget is, although you might have the time for high tech, do they have the $$$?
Definitely will have a solenoid on the rig.
again, no dosing with MTS.
Budget shouldn't be a problem...unless of course they want a huge tank, but they don't have room for a massive tank. IMO a 75 or 90 would be fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fresh.salty View Post
Paintball CO2?
Never, tank would be too large.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joraan View Post
Good point. You can also educate some1 from spa to dose Fert and water change weekly...if you are going to do EI dosing, but if no1 there wants to do water change than you can do PPS-Pro. Regarding cost, when I set up my tank approximately it costed me $1600 for 100+ gal.
Again no dosing needed. I guess if I wanted to dose I could 3x a week but like I said I've never dosed any of my MTS tanks and I've never had a problem. Tanks for the $$$figure. Thats good to know.


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