best aquarium to buy with $55? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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Cool best aquarium to buy with $55?

I just got a quick commission for my art that I think can be reserved this time for a new tank for my dorm. So happy yay.

So basically looking for a total under $55... ONLY lights and tank for plants. No fish, no filtration, no heater. Going to finally try DIY co2 for this thing.

And looking for around 5 gallons, more or less.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 12:20 PM
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look around on craigslist. You might get more with that money.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 12:21 PM
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Craigslist will definitely help you get more for your money. But you can get a pretty fancy 3-5 gal tank with lighting for under $50. You can even get a nice rimless tank with a nice desk lamp for lighting.


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 12:33 PM
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CL also you might be able to find a deal on ebay locally as well. enter your zip for regional searching.


btw, congrats on the commission! way to go!


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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 12:35 PM
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CL is a good one, but PetCo is having their $1 per gallon sale and you can snag a brand new tank for cheap! I grabbed a 40B last time for $40! They are easily $110!

But if you're looking for a whole set up (tank, stand, filters, lights, heater), then CL is the place to go


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Who would have thought that plants like dirt?!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 12:42 PM
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Since the OP is only looking for the tank and lighting, their money can go a lot further than it would for a complete setup.

Since it's for a dorm room, it'll also have to be a smaller tank, as mentioned.

I'd hit up Marine Depot, any LFS you've got, Craigslist or even Petco/PetSmart if you decide to go the standard 5.5gal route.

Also - what sort of livestock do you want to keep? Dwarf Puffer? Nano fish of some sort? Shrimp?


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 01:56 PM
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I like the rimless Mr. aqua bow front tanks and also the truaqua zen nano tanks.

The zen is about $60 with a good light.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 04:34 PM
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You could purchase a 10 gallon tank for $10.00

You could purchase an adjustable desk lamp from any office supply store or walmart.
For example: https://www.google.com/search?q=flou...=1600&bih=1076

You'd be $20.00-$30.00 in the hole for the lamp and $10.00 with the tank.
That allows $10.00 for spare bulbs.

10 gallon would be better than a 3-5 gallon tank, you would have less to worry about regarding water parameters/waste buildup and have more plants!

-Gordon
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think I'm going to keep any fauna. The sole purpose is the aquascaping/plants, because I can't bring my aquarium over the holidays/4 week breaks. So no one will be there to care for them during that time.

Currently, there aren't any aquariums on craigslist and ebay classified that's under $55 and under 5 gallons... bah. My school only allows us to keep tanks 5 gallons or under, too.. which is unfortunate.

Also, regarding office depot desk lamps, what kind of lighting should I look for to be able to keep medium~high light plants?
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 07:40 PM
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Anything that looks like it has good reflection and can support a CFL bulb.

You can typically get nice ones for $10-$20 at Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Amazon.


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 07:48 PM
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Will DIY CO2 last 4 weeks ? I'm thinking you might have issues with high light and the DIY CO2 on the 3rd and 4th week. I would think that med to high light may cause some crazy algae on the last week(s). I would stick to low-med light for a tank that will be left unattended for 4 week periods. Grab a 5 Gallon on the dollar/gallon sale, a good light and timer.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 07:57 PM
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What are your feelings on PetSmart? I seen a 2.5 gallon tank for $15 there before. I'm not sure about Petco, since I've only seen bowls under 5 gallons there.

As for lighting, it shouldn't be too hard to find low wattage bulbs. If you're going for a small tank, I think you could be fine with a 5-10 watt bulb, depending on plants. I've seen regular 15watt bulbs in office stores, but I admit I don't know if those would work the same as a pet geared bulb. Someone else would be better suited to answer that one.

Woof woof, bark!
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-14-2012, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Come to a decision... 3 gallon Mr. Aqua

But now I have a lighting question; I'm looking for medium lighting then, because I'm hoping to have a dwarf hairgrass carpet for this. Comparing these two lights, which is better suited?
http://www.jebostore.com/ProductDeta...=jb05&CartID=1
http://www.amazon.com/EL-BW21SL-Finn...s=finnex+light

I'm not very knowledgable about lighting at all. Side question, is K amount all I need to look for when comparing lighting?
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-14-2012, 02:14 PM
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Neither of those lights will work for medium light, unfortunately. You'll need a desk lamp with a daylight CFL at minimum. Or one of the Fluval clamp CFL fixtures (usually around $25). Cheapest and easiest bet is to get a desk lamp and a daylight bulb from the grocery or hardware store.

If you use champagne yeast, you should be able to get plenty of mileage. I typically get about 9-10 weeks out of a single bottle before recharging.


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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-14-2012, 03:03 PM
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Also are you allowed to have things plugged in during winter breaks? I know some colleges require everything to be unplugged during breaks.. which means the tank wouldn't get any light/filtration for 4 weeks
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