Setup Costs (money money money!) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Going to set up a planted tank. Been researching for about 6 months while my house was being renovated. It is done. Ready to buy and set up. What seems out of whack is my pricing scheme. I have priced all the stuff on the net and it looks like it will cost me around $2350 (not including the eventual addition of 6 adult discus) I know there are less expensive alternatives but these are the elements I would like to have

I see others here mention prices and my config seems high by comparison

Am I insane, mathimatically challenged, or what. I will list the basic config and would appreciate anyone telling me where I have gone wrong, or am I in the ballpark?

75gal aga $150
oceanic stand $425
top $35
lights $300 hamilton 2X96
eheim 2026 $170
filter fillings $75
water change $200 37 gal under stand, pump, plumbing
co2 $350
3 heaters $75 2 in tank, one in stand
quarentine tank $100
driftwood $100
flourite $125
test kits $150
magnets $75
fish $125 (not including 6 adult discus later
plants $100

any comments very welcomed
thanks
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 10:23 PM
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Hi Mikey, welcome to the Planted Tank! Glad to have you!

If you have the cash and want the best, by all means do it, and you will probably enjoy this more than someone who looks at each dollar and goes just with the very cheapest. I don't think anything there is totally outrageous, although most of us probably won't spend $200 for a water change something, $350 for CO2, $150 for test kits, and magnets (???) for $75. But again, why not do it right from the start, if the budget allows.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 10:49 PM
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Welcome Mikey,

I'm a relatively new guy around here, myself. You're going to learn a ton....I have.

Looks like you've put together quite a cadillac setup there. For what it's worth, I just finished paying for a deluxe 46 bowfront setup (similar specs to yours) and payed around $1000, when all was said and done. You're price list isn't ridiculous, but it does seem to consist of a lot of retail prices.

Retail? We don't pay no stinking retail!

Ted


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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-17-2004, 11:01 PM
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Looks about right to me.I'm sure you could probably search around if you wanted and get better prices on a few things but if money isn't an object might as well get the best equipment right off the bat.In the long it's probably less expensive than buying something cheap and then having to replace it anyway.

Ernie
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 12:07 AM
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Hiyas Mikey...

Nice looking list of materials:-)

Quote:
If you have the cash and want the best, by all means do it, and you will probably enjoy this more than someone who looks at each dollar and goes just with the very cheapest.
I have to agree with Wasserpest 100% - I just went through this - building my dream system (till I see a 120 gallon I want) - and I spent a ton of cash - but if you CAN afford it... then this is the correct way to go... otherwise you wont be happy with your purchase and will always second guess your equipment etc... and probably end up buying the one you want in the end anyway (I got some old Fluvals left over from when I bought the Eheims that I really wanted:-)...

The way I look at it is like this... (Prices not accurate and is for argument sake only) if a Fluval is 100 dollars and the Eheim is 200... you think you can get by with the Fluval but you really really want the Eheim... what is your cost of the Eheim?

Your cost is $100 - (your going to spend 100 either way so the cost for your happiness is the extra 100 bucks! Now is 100 dollars worth it? Sure! Happiness really has no price tag)

Remember that this is IF you CAN afford it... if not - buy gradually and still get what you want... 15 years ago I would have dropped dead at the thought of what I have spent (and I still don't want to think about it - let me enjoy it in peace:-)

But one word of advice... I bought the best but remember that the best gear does not guarantee success. I got a big load of algae at the moment that I am working on... Algae simply has no respect for price and quality!

(My Algae problems are starting to subside a bit - lol)

Another Flaming Toy I Cannot Afford!

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 01:41 AM
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hrmm being in Australia i.e weird exchange rates, I've still been able to cut costs everywhere..

So here are my tips

75gal aga $150
oceanic stand $425 - build your own or shop for the cheapest cabinet!
top $35
lights $300 hamilton 2X96 - DIY lights will cost you alot less
eheim 2026 $170 - You don't neccessarily need a 2026, a 2217 would probably do a great job for 75 gallons, remember your plants are your best filters!
filter fillings $75 - most eheims come with free media, shop around!
water change $200 37 gal under stand, pump, plumbing - bugger this!!! do 1/4 a week water changes and use buckets, 75 gallons isn't all that much water...

co2 $350 - again DIY and it definitely won't be $350!

3 heaters $75 2 in tank, one in stand - 3 heaters?! you just need one, unless you live in sub freezing temps..

quarentine tank $100 - bugger this, you're only keeping a 75 gallon planted... basically you will have minimal fish in there and therefore until you are planning on getting discus, don't worry about this extra expense now

driftwood $100 - don't buy it! find it!

flourite $125 - plenty of cheaper alternatives that do the same job!

test kits $150 - I've kept fish for many many years... i no longer test the water but go on 'look' and careful observation of the tank..

magnets $75 - use wool to clean your glass... magnet cleaner for the glass?

fish $125 (not including 6 adult discus later

plants $100

I have a feeling you could *easily* do your tank to a high quality for 1/2 the price... what you are paying is about how much it cost me to buy my 6X2.5 and the plants and the lights and the fish...
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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All I can say is WOW

Each of the above responses are well thought out, well written, and contain valuable and helpful info. What a delight. While the internet has so many awful issues to contend with, it is nice to have such an ability to communicate in this way.

Thank you all, I will consider all the above ...... Nornicle ..... way too funny!
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 01:26 PM
eds
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Looks like eliminating the
filter fillings $75
water change $200 37 gal under stand, pump, plumbing
2 heaters $50
quarantine tank $100
test kits $150
magnets $75
saves you $650. Brings your total down to $1700.

Just want to suggest you consider long and hard before skimping on the stand. Tho the tank is the focus point, the stand is a big piece of furniture in whatever room you have it. If it is going in your fancy living room, you aren't going to be satisfied with bricks and boards. And you DON'T want to have to replace your stand after your tank is set up if you can avoid it.

The rest of the things, like lighting and CO2, you could save a couple hundred easily with a little shopping around if you are willing to do some assembly.

Since you seem to be compiling a detailed list, one thing you don't have down is any ferts. DIY PMDD is really cheap. Commercial bottles can be a little pricey.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 02:44 PM
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75gal aga $150

I picked up a new 75 gallon ocanic at my lfs on sale for $75. Shop around.


lights $300 hamilton 2X96

I would recommend ahsupply's 2x96 DIY kit $114.99 includes fixtures, ballasts reflectors and all the nuts & bolts. You provide the bulbs ($33 each at ahsupply) and the canopy to mount them in.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 07:25 PM
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I just setup a 75 AGA the end of January. The tank and stand cost about $300 and I picked up a 220W PC fixture for around $180. My tank is a paludarium and I transferred the fish, plants, driftwood, and most of the tank water from my 29 to the 75. I have an open top and low-light plants so I don't dose CO2 (I also only use 110w of the PC's). I bought some more plants for around $30, and some additional gravel and flourite for another $30. I think you can get what you want for less then you quoted, so shop around.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 10:14 PM
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here's my 2 cents. there are two ways to do this:
a) buy it all tomorrow, the way i want it, whatever the cost
b) begin buying tomorrow and slowly build up over time-shop around and find the best pieces for the best prices.

i have done #2 and while i am certain that things will continue to change in my outlook and my practices, i don't feel that anything i bought is now junk nor do i feel that i overpaid.

i think that you are more prepared than i was when i started, so you'll probably start better than i did!

kris
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris
i have done #2 and while i am certain that things will continue to change in my outlook and my practices, i don't feel that anything i bought is now junk nor do i feel that i overpaid.
I went with #2 as well. I am still in the process of buying everything over time and building everything up at a slower pace. I don't think there is anything wrong with this method at all, patience is something you can't have too much of with planted aquariums.. 8)

Matt
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-18-2004, 11:16 PM
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I personally would suggest not skipping the quarantine tank. You can easily set up a 20L with an aquaclear filter, and heater for under $100. Assuming of course that you'll be getting smaller Discus that would be comfortable in a 20L for a few weeks.

20L - around $25 max.
aquaclear 150 - $16.99 online
75w ebo heater - $15.99 online

So that's around $60. Would probably be around $70 max. with shipping costs. This is also assuming the tank will be in a room where the overhead lights will allow you to check up on the fish.

I have a 75gallon and until recently never quarantined my fish. Now i'm paying the price by having to treat the whole tank. It's not cheap to have to treat a 75 vs. a 20 gallon. Plus many medications don't mix well with plants. From now on I'm going to quarantine everything that I buy, including plants. I don't ever want to have to deal with ich the big tank again. It's been very hard to get rid of.

Just my 2 cents.

-Adam
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2004, 06:20 AM
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Are you insane? Well I don't know you so you could be, but I would have to say if anyone is insane it is me. I spent a whopping $9850.00 Australian on my tank. Got all the premier gear. I must be off my rocker to pay that much for a bowl of water with plants and fish in it. So if you spend half of that you are not as insane as I am.

Best of luck with your spending.

Paul
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2004, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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OK.....OK....so many opinions.....almost all are valid. How can that be? I know there are less expensive ways to go, but at this point in my life, my fish, my plants, and I deserve the excesses. There are however a few things I will change per the above posts thus saving hundreds in the process.

Tank is going in living room, ... we don't have a tv downstairs so the tank will be the family entertainment and the focal point in the house. Need a nice cabinet.

I will do a journal of the experience. First planted tank, first discus tank, first tank that requires a degree in chemistry with a minor in bio to maintain.

I have several serious health issues so it will take me much longer than the average guy to setup. (Maybe 3 or 4 months... and another 5 or 6........... I need to get the plant/fish thing balanced before dropping $600 on some adult discus).

Can't wait. You have all been very helpful. I will have many more Q's in the upcoming months.

mikey
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