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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm a novice aquarist from Australia and I'm planning on getting my first proper tank build. I currently manage a 10 gallon Walstad tank which survives by itself.

I have set aside around 500 dollars from my allowance to set this up. I want to buy a 70cm long, 70cm wide and 30cm tall tank. I want to keep it low tech as possible.

I want to create a set up similar to the BucketOMud by Bigtom or The Spawning Pool-- 75g shallow square by vincenz, but keep it under the budget.

  • I have been quoted around $150 for the tank (6mm glass, rimmed)
    $185 for the stand (just the shell, no draws, I wan't to haggle this down, paying way too much I feel).

  • For the light, I think a 2 Foot 2 lamp T5HO ballast should be enough for medium-ish lighting, what do you guys think? I'd like to have a light which can be hung from above (from a stand) but I can't find one, so I think I'll have to stick with a CFL ballast. I just hope the emersed plants can survive.

  • For the filter, I have no idea, because my tank right now runs on no filter and is doing fine, but I think maybe something rated at 150l/ph should be sufficient. Main thing is good flow, and I hope the filter provides enough. Any recommendations?

  • As per the heating, I think I'll try and run this on no filter, but if you guys think I need one any recommendations?

I just want to keep it under 500, and spend maybe around 200 for the equipment, no more, I'll buy stuff of ebay and retailers to keep it within my budget.

I'll also have a few emersed plants (Lillies, Papyrus) which will help cycle the tank and are probably going to be supplemented by the indirect sunlight from the window.

The rest will be spent on plants and hardscaping, rocks, driftwood, and a buttload of plants which are required to keep this tank similar to the Walstad ideology (similar to the Bucket'O'Mud).


Thanks for all the help in advance peeps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm actually thinking of getting an aquael 1000 to keep it within my budget, or just get a koralia water pump because it could fit in my budget, unless I can steal one off eBay, since my tank will be heavily planted and lightly stocked.
 

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I ´m a big fan of the square low "pond style" tank. I would keep it simple and filtration free with a single ceiling mounted led light source and some nice out of water plants and lots of moss.

For lighting I would look at a diy 100w+ multichip @ computer cpu heatsink soluton. Check out my diy thread for more info on this.

You being from Austraila maybe this would do the trick? (do an ebay search for PAR38 16x3W CREE XP-E FAN COOLED)


Optiwhite glass is worth it imho, so if it´s a long term tank maybe its worth saving up for?
 

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I'll definitely consider the light, how would I measure the PAR with it, does it come with a height/PAR chart?
I have no idea how much PAR my PAR38s put out.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=160396
This thread has PAR values for one brand, Wingo (bottom of the first post). A PAR38 light simply means that it's an LED light made of individual diodes that acts like a spotlight and fits into a normal socket (normal for US, maybe Australia). The ones in that post have 60 degree optics, which measures the angle of the light beam from each diode. PAR38s come in different flavors: different numbers of diodes, different wattages of diodes, and different optics. I purchased three bulbs with 120 degree optics, 6700 k temperature, and 9 X 2 W diodes. Because I had NO idea about the PAR, I put them on a dimmer and allowed for their height to vary so that I could keep my tank in low light. Two weeks after flooding my tank I'm pretty sure they're at the high end of low light running at full power just above the top of my 75 gallon. The only things I base that on are the facts that I have no algae of any kind, and all my plants seem to be growing well.

The only way to tell for sure would be to use a PAR meter, which I don't have.
 

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I'll definitely consider the light, how would I measure the PAR with it, does it come with a height/PAR chart?
No idea, just stumbled across it searching for cheap led lighting.
I use 2 cheap par38 (18x1w) over a 60*30*36cm tank (60p) with good results and a diy 150w led multi chip over my 90*45*45 tank, so that ossie ebay-store light should in theory be good stuff. Keep in mind that it is fan cooled, so could be noisy.

Link to my diy monster light. I run it at about 50% and it´s still overkill for low tech: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=418946&page=3
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No idea, just stumbled across it searching for cheap led lighting.
I use 2 cheap par38 (18x1w) over a 60*30*36cm tank (60p) with good results and a diy 150w led multi chip over my 90*45*45 tank, so that ossie ebay-store light should in theory be good stuff. Keep in mind that it is fan cooled, so could be noisy.

Link to my diy monster light. I run it at about 50% and it´s still overkill for low tech: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=418946&page=3
Yeah, thanks for that link, I'll probably buy that light, the 8000k module. Hope its not too much light. It will be suspended above the tank though...
 
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