The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I never did update on why I disappeared so I will first.

My 40G I spent all that time on was broken, by someone else. There's a story, but needless to say it and almost everything I had for it is now gone. The only thing I have left is my T5HO 36" light fixture (2 x 36" T5 HO bulbs).

I've been wanting a tank since but various life situations and money have put it off until now. :)

I just took a trip (about 285 miles one way) to get this tank. I've always liked bow fronts, but the bigger ones tend to always be out of my price range. :) I paid $125 for the tank, stand, and canopy.

This is a picture from the previous owner with it setup, just note I only got the Tank, Stand, and Canopy (no light, no substrate, etc...).

So, I still have at least one bag of eco complete floating around somewhere and I have my 36" T5HO Light.

Now, I am working on a small budget. I need a filter, more substrate, water treatment (i.e. dechlorinator), something to test with (cycling), and a heater.

The tank is plumbed but capped off at the moment. I'm not sure (didn't look close enough) that the overflow system is fully functional. And I've never done anything with an overflow, I've always used HOB's or Canisters.

So I need some advice. My last tank was Eco-Complete and Tahitian Moon Sand. I liked that look and would like to stay with a black type color.

I'm not thinking plants, driftwood, etc... yet. This is just equipment to get me started again. Oh, I do have a few other things. I found 2 x C02 testers (unused) in bags. Not sure if the fluid will still be good. And I still have the paintball tanks I was using on my 40G but I doubt I know where the regulator is.

I'm starting with this:
90G Bow Front (I do have the canopy just no light)


752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should have been a little more specific on the advice. :)

I'm on a limited budget to get started again so I need some advice/options. I'm also a prime member so anything on Amazon tends to help. Cheaper and no shipping. :)

1.). I need some kind of filtration. As I said it is plumbed, but I've never done a sump. So I have 3 options and I want it done well under $100. I'm debating between trying a sump, a cheap canister filter (sunsun?), or 1 or 2 hobs that I could later upgrade to a nice canister.

2. Substrate. This will eventually be fully planted. Personally I like the look of the Eco complete/Tahitian moon sand mix but it is expensive. Looking for other ideas/options that may be cheaper.

3. Still need a heater (or 2 heaters) in there somewhere.

4. Best CHEAP test setup to get started that will last at least a couple month.

That should pay it out better. :)

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

341 Posts
A good filter for a 90g under $100? Your tank is already plumbed? I say go sump. You can put any filtration media you want/need in it and you can put all of the unwanted clutter (heaters and such) in there too. It would also add a lot more water volume than any canister or hob.

Having said that, I've never ran a sump but the concept seems simple enough. Something to try though since you are already considering it. The added benefit of an overflow would keep the water surface nice and clear too.

Also, you could probably hook a canister up to what's aleady plumbed fairly easy too.

2,862 Posts
Man, how tall is that tank? What are the dimensions all around? Looks like you might need some intense lighting if you want to have high PAR at the substrate to grow high demanding, carpet or low-lying compact plants.

What are your goals/plans/ideas for this tank?

Being a 90 gallon, if you are doing pressurized co2, I would definitely suggest getting a large co2 cylinder, not just paintball cartridge. Recommend a co2 reactor (Rex Griggs or Cerges style) for dissolving co2.

For filtration with only $100? Definitely go the sump route, especially since it's plumbed. A SunSun 304/404 (largest model) is not nearly strong enough for this tall 90g. Two might can provide enough filtration, but most likely you would still need/want some circulation pumps going in there.

752 Posts
I had thought about hooking a canister to the overflows. I don't know what all it would cost to setup a sump either, or what equipment is necessary so I will have to research that.

This is going to be a long-term project due to costs of the hobby.... ;) I would eventually like to have a planted Discus tank, but I'm not starting there. This tank is plenty big enough at 48x18x25 3/8, but Discus are expensive and picky on water, etc..

What I see in my mind at the moment is maybe some vals (or other tall plant), driftwood w/ moss, and some other colored plants. Probably some slow growing anubis or something on the outside edges since my light is only 36" to start.

Planst will be slow to add as well as fish. I like Tetras (especially Cardinals), would like some cory cats, probably some rams, etc... A good colorful variety but not all at once either.

I was also thinking I could start with a smaller filter as long as I keep the load low. When I start to increase load I was thinking add a second filter or a sump. I don't know if this is feasible, but it was a thought.

Remembering all my terms now, no matter which stage I'm at (beginning or an end result) I prefer community planted tanks.

And yeah I did realize with a tank this big using paintball co2 would be a temporary solution. :)

I did some reading last night and more this morning trying to wrap my head back around all of it. lol

I do not believe I'm prepared for a sump. It has been almost 4 years since I've had a tank setup and everything I could find on a sump is either going to have me waiting to find a good used tank to start the sump with, then massively modifying it, or buying a sump (well over $100 by the time it's said and done, probably $200). Even using a used free tank I'm still probably looking at over $100 to get it all together.

So, I think a Sump option needs to be regulated to further in the future (although it is something I want to keep considering).

After doing a lot of reading I think 1 x SunSun 304B (Amazon for $100 w/ media) should be a decent start.

I am trying to keep the Filter, Substrate, Heater(s), Thermometer (yep, have no idea where mine are or if I still have one. lol), water conditioner, and test strips around or under $300.

My total budget for this month is $350 to $375 (max is $375 and it looks like I will hit it). I would like some cash left over for picking up a few plants and fish, besides I do need to put something in the tank to cycle it (considering buying ammonia rather than fish).

Right now here is what I have in my cart on Amazon @ $331.00:
1x SunSun 304B Canister Filter + Canister Media Set + Coarse/Fine Filter Pads (They were the addons on the bottom of the listing and figured they were good enough to start).

1x Prime 50ml (I believe this is the one w/ the Eye Dropper so I can refill it later w/ a bigger bottle, please correct me if this is the wrong size for the eye dropper)

2x Flexzion 200W Submersible Heaters - They were inexpensive and with two I figured I could RMA one out w/ Amazon if it fails (takes about 3 days) and should be ok.

1 x Standard Thermometer w/ Suction Cup

1 x API Freshwater Master Test Kit - I tried to do something cheaper but by the time I get an Ammonia Test kit/strip + Nitrite/nitrate I'm at $20 and the Master Kit lasts longer.

Now we get to the expensive part, and I'm open to alternatives/other options for Substrate.

To get just 2" depth the calculator says I need 96lbs eco-complete (open to alternatives here), and 100lbs of Silica Sand (figure this is the closest thing to Tahitian Moon Sand).

As I had mentioned I personally like the look of Eco-Complete mixed w/ Tahitian Moon Sand and, from previous experience, it's always better to have extra so you can build hills and stuff. I've added substrate after the tank is started in the past and, for me, it tended to be a headache.

So what I have in my cart is:

4x 20lb Bags Eco-Complete

3x 20lb Bags Tahitian Moon Sand

140lbs total.

This is kind of where I sit. So, any input on cutting costs anywhere? Other ideas for substrates? Have pictures of what it looks like? :)

I will also add that I'm planning to eventually upgrade the lighting and add Pressurized Co2 (not paintball, paintball will just be at the beginning if I can find a regulator cheap enough with a low Co2 addition).

I also just found a 2x24W T5HO fixture on Craigslist for $10 so I will have 1 x 2 bulb 24" T5HO and a 36" 2 Bulb T5HO. I haven't figured out the best way to lay them out above the tank yet though.

752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So having been without a tank for years I have this problem with instant gratification.

I had all kinds of plans of things to do this tank before I actually set it up and then I went to Petco tonight......

$243 later it's up and cycling.

This is how I ended up, but I have plans for later.

4 x bags Eco complete ($22.99/bag)
1 x bags Petco black sand ($11.86 20lb)
2 x Aqueon 55/75 HOB Filters ($29.99 each)
1 x Aqueon 300w heater ($29.99). I wanted two 150w but the website wouldn't let me select them and without price matching their website that would have been a lot more expensive.

1 x 100ml bottle of prime (they didn't have the 50ml with eyedropper)

1 x API freshwater master test kit

1 x Omega One flakes (cycling and starter food)

I am going to have to drain it somewhat and scoot the tank further back on the stand.

In the future I am also going to drain it and refinish the stand and the canopy.

I'm also considering draining it completely at some point in the future and buffing all the scratches out.

But for now I'm going to play and see how I like this layout of this tank. It is not 18 inches wide all the way across. It is 13 inches wide on the outside edges and 18 inches in the middle so I'm not sure how I'm going to like that.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.