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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girlfriend is going to be setting up a new tank to place an almost fully grown yoyo loach in, (approx. 5.5") It has to be a small tank but large enough for the loach and maybe a couple other small fish.

I am curious what the best solution would be as far as what tank and equipment to get for the best price. I want it to be a nice tank that can eventually grown plants. We did some looking at petsmart today and looked at ADA products online aswell. ADA is very nice but gets easily pricey. I am worried if we decide to get a cube garden tank that our filter options are limited alot more, as well as light fixtures.

What would you guys suggest for getting decent equipment at a cost efficient price. We will need to buy, substrate, heater, light fixture (one that can hold a bulb decent for growing plants in the future, maybe T8?), filter and a tank to start it off.

One other question, if anyone knows much about yoyo loaches, what fish do you know that most get along with them?

Thanks
 

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Cost efficient? Forget ADA.

If you want it to be planted in the future, I'd go with a 24" tank so that you could fit a T5 fixture over it in the future. Setting the AHS retrofit kit aside, fixtures for 20" (10 gallon) tanks tend to get pretty pricey.

What's your goal for plants? You can go from sand to Flourite to ADA AS...just depends on your budget and what you want to grow.

Heaters...Visi-Therm Stealth heaters if you're going for submersible and a Hydro in-line if you want it in-line w/ your canister.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cost efficient? Forget ADA.

If you want it to be planted in the future, I'd go with a 24" tank so that you could fit a T5 fixture over it in the future. Setting the AHS retrofit kit aside, fixtures for 20" (10 gallon) tanks tend to get pretty pricey.

What's your goal for plants? You can go from sand to Flourite to ADA AS...just depends on your budget and what you want to grow.

Heaters...Visi-Therm Stealth heaters if you're going for submersible and a Hydro in-line if you want it in-line w/ your canister.
Thats a good idea about the 24" tank. I just got a phone call from my father and he has a 10gal. tank with a 50W stealth heater and a whisper bio filter. Im not sue about the filter but the heater and a free tank isnt bad for starters. Even though 10gal tanks are $9.99.

As far as plants, they will probably be some sort of stems with roots and moss. The loach likes to dig and loosen plants alot. Since some costs are cut I can put more money into a light.
Petsmart has flourite, another local store has eco complete. I am not sure how to compare these. Other than that my gf likes the redish brown flourite over black eco complete hehe.

I guess what I am asking then is whats a good online store that has a nice selection of lights and not overpriced for what they are.
 

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i'd go with a 15g or a 20g high(both 24inch long), aquaclear HOB filter, visitherm stealth heater, soilmatser select or 2 bags of favorite substrate(cost will be roughly the same outside of a dirt/gravel substrate, cost effective wise, dirt and gravel, sand but any substrate would be pretty cost effective), a 3 dollar thermometer, corallife 1x65w 24inch satelite and greg watson ferts.

I'd go pressurized co2 cause i think its cheaper, and easier in the long run since it can be used on other tanks if you upgrade to something larger.
 

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Cost Effective? My guess is 2 answers.

10 Gallon & 48" tanks (55, 75, etc)

The size depends on your budget. But I would guess that depending on which your budget 'fits' I would guess those two size tanks.

Just because I think those are the most popular sizes that the hobby has.

Let us know which or what you decide on. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
10 gallons?

Er, get a regular strip and go get a 1x36w kit at Compact Fluorescent Lighting Kits or build your own canopy for the retrofit kit. Best dollars you'll ever spend on the tank.
That is a great idea, its cheap aswell. I will most likely go with this.

i'd go with a 15g or a 20g high(both 24inch long), aquaclear HOB filter, visitherm stealth heater, soilmatser select or 2 bags of favorite substrate(cost will be roughly the same outside of a dirt/gravel substrate, cost effective wise, dirt and gravel, sand but any substrate would be pretty cost effective), a 3 dollar thermometer, corallife 1x65w 24inch satelite and greg watson ferts.

I'd go pressurized co2 cause i think its cheaper, and easier in the long run since it can be used on other tanks if you upgrade to something larger.
Wow dude, I'm not sure you understood my questions hehe. What you are suggesting will cost ALOT of money. The filter and substrate is fine but the reason I want a 10 gallon for her is because this is 1. Her first tank. 2. We live in a small apartment. 3. I already have a 20gal tall and a 29gal. tall running. As far as pressurized co2 being cheaper i the long run, that can be very true but over several years. Yeast and sugar are some pretty cheap common items & we dont pay a water bill.

Cost Effective? My guess is 2 answers.

10 Gallon & 48" tanks (55, 75, etc)

The size depends on your budget. But I would guess that depending on which your budget 'fits' I would guess those two size tanks.

Just because I think those are the most popular sizes that the hobby has.

Let us know which or what you decide on.
It's true, the size dos depend on our budget but more so on our available space. Like I mentioned earlier, my father has a 10gal tank with a stealth heater and a whisper bio filter that he doesnt want. So that will cut costs alittle. And I will probably go with the CF kit that epicfish suggested.

Thank you all for your help.

Oh, I read somewhere that flourite releases ammonia? Is flourite harmless towards fish or should I go with some eco complete or you know, I am very curious to try some of the ADA substrate.
 

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ADA AS has an initial ammonia spike. Never heard of any issues w/ Flourite.

I'd go for bag of Flourite since it'll be the cheapest for you...in a higher tech tank, I'd try ADA AS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am spending alot of time infront of my tank hehe, I think I am getting too into it :) I will sit infront of my 20gal planted tank with my 12" tweezers and act like Mr. Myagi catching flies only I pick out single floating leaves :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ADA AS has an initial ammonia spike. Never heard of any issues w/ Flourite.

I'd go for bag of Flourite since it'll be the cheapest for you...in a higher tech tank, I'd try ADA AS.
epicfish: thanks buddy. It's settled. I'll try out flourite.

I hate living in this small apartment, rent goes nowhere and I am limited to what I can do for fishtanks. For a long time I have wanted to setup a 50gal. I've never setup anything bigger than a 29gal tank.
 

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well just go no-co2 then, low light. You can use the 15w NO floresent bulb/hood that most 10g come with and only have to does ferts once every other week or so.

High light isn't cheap, and you might as well do high light right to begin with, as its cheaper in the long run.
 

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Oh, I read somewhere that flourite releases ammonia?
Plants eat ammonia. Plants eat ammonium. Plants eat bad toxins in the water. Plants are natures best biological filter. From the son of a biology teacher that is now too old to remember his high school biology - piece of advice, purchase Diana Walstad's book - Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. Amazon.com great book fantastic price. You can thank me by naming all 12 of your sons after me in complete gratitude. :smile:

2nd thing. Great things come in small package. ie: all 12 of your future sons :smile:
other great things that come in small packages - Nanos. You can do and learn great things with them. Very smart way to learn the hobby without blowing $$$$$$$ down the drain. Of having a 55 Gallon tank explode on the 2nd floor above the landlord. Nanos don't have this risk. You will also find some very strong shelving sold in hardware stores that may be perfect for an apartment and having more than one 10 gallon tank on top of another. Just read the label on the box carefully that the weight limit supported is PER SHELF , not TOTAL shelving.

3rd suggestion. You can name your girls Jamie after me for this one. If you have any friends that are biology majors, chemistry majors, science majors, environmental science majors, work in labs, work for a golf course, landscaping or gardening company or with plants in many formats. They can save you much headaches and $$$$$ because they may be able to cut through the crap about how you have to blow your money on a tiny tank. The amount you will learn figuring how to do things and then learning how to do things naturally will amaze you. No one does it the same way. That can be frustrating. Chemistry is predictable and reliable. Biology is unique and very different than chemistry. Biology is not results in a bottle. But along the way, you will be amazed.

4th - you can wait 10 years or however long you feel comfortable with having your own small packages. I think you may be more comfortable letting your fish multiply. Enjoy the apartment for now. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Haha, I dont plant on having children any time soon and I hope it's not one of those surprise children :D

Thanks for your suggestions and help, I'll check out that book. (I wish libraries would carry more on aquariums, maybe).

I understand your suggestion about going with a nano very much. I wish I would have started out like so. My first tank was a 15gal. and I learned alot about fishkeeping from that tank. Then I started a 20gal. which I learned most from. It is now my planted tank, going strong. I have a pretty good understanding about growing aquatic plants now after having read alot on this forum and other common websites and from friends who partake in the hobby.
Since I didnt know much about growing pants when I first started my 20gal tank I used some natural black sand from petsmart only because it looked cool. My tank consisted of few plants, a large plastic tree ornament and several pieces of glass that I had blown. My plants would always die and I never understood why, the petsmart people would sell me the plants and say they didnt really need much light. I was using a single T8 15W grow light. The only plant that seemed to live was hornwart.
After doing alot of research and figuring out what plants really needed I bought myself an aqualife CF fixture. 2x65W. I should have only gotten the single, but the local fish store with more planted tank knowledge assured me that 2x65W would be better. I learned my lesson. It also has a diy co2 setup.
I have ferts but dont use any right now. (gregwatson)PMDD

Anyways, we decided to pick up a 20L from petsmart, it was only $26.99
and an AquaClear 20 filter for $19.99. A bag of flourite for $24.99 and about 6lbs of some mixed redish brown pebbles for decoration for $4.00 that my gf wanted to use. So we are probably going to try and make it fairly natural and have the decorative substrate unplanted. We both really like the look of the ohko rocks. Not sure about this one yet, we are going to do some more looking for rocks. Stealth heater free fro my dad.
Now for the light, we havnt boughten anything yet, I have been trying to convince my gf to have a planted tank. They look nicer, create good conditions for fish and are just plain cool :) We found a double T5 fixture for $34.99 but I did some more looking and found a coralife CF 30" 1x65W for $54.00. Which is probably what we will go with, but I have to pay the difference hehe.

As far as co2, its going to have to be diy for now. I probably wont cough up the money for a pressurized system until we move.

So I dont think we did to bad as far as costs.

I'll post up some pictures later. (maybe I'll start a journal thread as it sems to be pretty popular here)

Thanks again for all your help. There are really some awesome tank setups on this forum and some amazing automated systems you guys build.
 
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