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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im just about setting up my first planted tank. Im only a Sophomore and completely broke. I live in Skokie and go to a Suburban High School. I teach kids how to swim at my school but it hasnt started and Im completely broke...All i have done right now is. Built my stand, bought a heater and filter..Oh and of course a 29 gallon tank. I would appreciate it if you guys give me some suggestions on where to get cheap things! I live literally 2 miles away from Old Orchard Aquarium and the owner knows me pretty well. But dang. Their stuff is way too expensive. Their fish prices are decent but their equipment is way to expensive. A bag of Eco-Complete is 40 dollars. Their T5HO bulbs are 25 dollars and are only Coralifes. So i need somewhere close to me or people who are willing to sell things cheap to me! Thanks!
 

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Online can be cheaper. Check amazon and bigals, ken's, etc. and compare prices with your local stores to see if you can get it cheaper online (be sure to factor in shipping). Also asking for used equipment on here can save you quite a bit of money as well. Searching in the Swap n' Shop and Power Seller sections of the forum can also save you a fortune in fish and plants and even net you some species not available locally and much healthier than most pet stores. I got my lights from AquaTraders. As for substrate, if you want to be cheap about it just get some pool filter sand (50lbs is $7-10) and some root tabs to lace in the soil under your root feeders if you have any and presto. Cheapo substrate that works great. Any ideas on what you want to stock the tank with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Online can be cheaper. Check amazon and bigals, ken's, etc. and compare prices with your local stores to see if you can get it cheaper online (be sure to factor in shipping). Also asking for used equipment on here can save you quite a bit of money as well. Searching in the Swap n' Shop and Power Seller sections of the forum can also save you a fortune in fish and plants and even net you some species not available locally and much healthier than most pet stores. I got my lights from AquaTraders. As for substrate, if you want to be cheap about it just get some pool filter sand (50lbs is $7-10) and some root tabs to lace in the soil under your root feeders if you have any and presto. Cheapo substrate that works great. Any ideas on what you want to stock the tank with?
I've been doing research on the cheapest things around for around 3 months and trying to save up for the past 3 months. Always ended up using it. Im thinking of using a AquaSun T5HO its better than the Odyssea and they have a 30" size. Its only 64 bucks. Im kinda iffy on ordering fish from online people. Im planning on ordering plants from sweetaquatics.com. I would do pool filter sand and considered it for some time. But I read that it makes fish lose color and build up anaerobic pockets over time and I cant find any MTS around here. And even if i wanted MTS they would dig up my carpet because Im planning on a HC carpet. [If you cant tell I did A LOT of reasearch :D] My livestock for this tank will probably be Pygmy Cories, Rummynose Tetras, another school of tetras not sure yet, and a Krib. Maybe some ghost shrimp and Amanos.
 

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Depends on the photoperiod I think....However, if you've already got lights and CO2, why not just buy some dry ferts (a lot more economic than the flourish) and dose EI with a healthily planted tank? You can get RAOK plant bundles in the Swap n' Shop for the cost of shipping and maybe a little over most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Depends on the photoperiod I think....However, if you've already got lights and CO2, why not just buy some dry ferts (a lot more economic than the flourish) and dose EI with a healthily planted tank?
I never really figured out where to buy dry ferts. My photo period Im planning is 9-10 hours. D: I dont fully understand EI dosing. All i know is dosing everyday and at the end of the week doing a 50% water change to restart the cycle.
 

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I want to drive a brand new Escalade but, I drive a Scion XB because that is what I can afford.

Be honest with yourself about how much hobby money you have re-evaluate your goals to fit your budget.

Watch the Swap for ROAKs. I've bought a lot of plants here and all were in great shape.
 

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Greenleafaquariums. Get the Micros and Macros package. I've used it for about a month now and have barely even dented my supply. There are different variations of EI as well. Just do a Google search for Estimative Index calculator and pick one that seems easiest to you. Greenleafaquariums also has a calculator listed on their ferts page near the top which lists dosing for the additional Potassium (Potassium Sulfate) that they include with their Micros and Macros package.

Also,

I want to drive a brand new Escalade but, I drive a Scion XB because that is what I can afford.

Be honest with yourself about how much hobby money you have re-evaluate your goals to fit your budget.

Watch the Swap for ROAKs. I've bought a lot of plants here and all were in great shape.
This is very true. However, nothing wrong with having a strong engine (filter the way I'm using this metaphor) under the hood. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I want to drive a brand new Escalade but, I drive a Scion XB because that is what I can afford.

Be honest with yourself about how much hobby money you have re-evaluate your goals to fit your budget.

Watch the Swap for ROAKs. I've bought a lot of plants here and all were in great shape.
I can afford everything Im getting. Its just im low on cash as of now. Just because my summer job ended and my job now hasnt started. I just want to get as many things as I can done right now. So i dont have to wait and go crazy from waiting.

Whats ROAK? And the swap section on TPT?
 

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I linked the Swap n' Shop section in my first post. :) RAOK just means Random Act Of Kindness. It's a broad term for very cheap (price-wise) products. As I mentioned before, you can usually get a RAOK for the cost of shipping or at an extremely reduced price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Greenleafaquariums. Get the Micros and Macros package. I've used it for about a month now and have barely even dented my supply. There are different variations of EI as well. Just do a Google search for Estimative Index calculator and pick one that seems easiest to you. Greenleafaquariums also has a calculator listed on their ferts page near the top which lists dosing for the additional Potassium (Potassium Sulfate) that they include with their Micros and Macros package.
Wow, I just saw it on their website. Its only 20 dollars?! How long does this usually last? Do you dose these ferts on a large tank? I would rather do this than buying a small ass bottle of Flourish for 13 bucks.
 

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Buy plants in the Swap and Shop. Alot cheaper than any other online vendors...

Yea dosing dry ferts is alot cheaper than liquid ones since the liquids are just the same thing but diluted with water. Bro I'm also a high schooler in the same year as you. 2014 FTW!
And for the ferts there isn't a size tank that you have to dose in since the amount you dose changes with how much you water volume you have.
 

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make MTS and cap it with Diamond blasting sand or pool filter sand or go to a stone yard and get some gravel ( i once got 100 pound for 5dollar) Fixture from odyssea, Canister filters from odyssea or sun sun, paintball co2 and dry ferts. If you go the MTS route, you don't even need Co2 and ferts, just go low to low/ medium light.

Plants from S&S here and fish from local breeders (don't you have a local fish forum?)
 

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Use the EI dosing calculator to figure out how much you'll be dosing. My current dosing is 9/16tsp Potassium Nitrate, 3/16 Monopotassium Phospate and 1/8tsp TNC Trace weekly for a 20g tank. Figure that up with how much they ship you (.5-1lb) and it should give you a good idea of how cost effective they are. I only dose Flourish bi-weekly on my other tank because I'm lazy. ;)
 

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Hey! I'm a sophomore too! o feel ya bro money can be tight! I'm pretty much just gonna echo everyone else and say that dry ferts seethe way to go. EI stands for estimated index an basically you dose more than you need to the plants have an unlimited nutrient source. Then do a WC at the end of the week to make sure levels never get toxic.

I would get an oddyssea light. They have a 2 bulb 24" t5ho. That has legs that extend to 30" and I think its only like 40$ shipped. Maybe 50$

Good luck man!


You can call me Bob ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Buy plants in the Swap and Shop. Alot cheaper than any other online vendors...

Yea dosing dry ferts is alot cheaper than liquid ones since the liquids are just the same thing but diluted with water. Bro I'm also a high schooler in the same year as you. 2014 FTW!
And for the ferts there isn't a size tank that you have to dose in since the amount you dose changes with how much you water volume you have.
I never even knew they had a swap section on this forum. LOL.
How long do your ferts usually last you?
 

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listen, this hobby is expensive, before you know you have $2000+ in it and you will be still nowhere...
 

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I never even knew they had a swap section on this forum. LOL.
How long do your ferts usually last you?
depents how much you buy and how big your tank is ;)
 
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