The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For quite a while, I had been thinking that when we eventually moved, I would use the opportunity to upgrade to a larger planted tank -- since moving a tank is a pain anyway, I figured it would be easier to set up a new, bigger tank in the new house and move the fish to it than to move the fish in buckets, then move the current tank and set it up, then put the fish back in it. This spring, I started reading threads about larger setups here and thinking about what kind of tank I might want so that I could plan ahead for a "dream tank" sometime a few years down the road and save the money I would need to "do it up right" when we make the move. (The move, by the way, would be local -- probably less than a 20 minute drive from the current house).

Now it turns out that we may be moving sooner than I thought (within the next 6-12 months instead of in 3-4 years). So that means that I won't have the lead time to save up for the dream set-up. Ideally, I would like to have a 75 gallon tank (the biggest that I think I can realistically work in, since I'm only 5'6"!) with pressurized CO2, enough light for excellent plant growth, a canister filter with inline heater, perhaps an Aquacontroller Jr., and other bells and whistles. I'm leaning toward a Southeast Asian them with loaches, rasboras, and gouramis and plants native to that part of the world.

Realistically, though, that's a big up-front investment, so I'm trying to figure out how I can get the tank up and running on the inexpensive side if we move sooner than originally planned so that I'll have the tank itself and then can build from there (without spending a lot of money on stuff that I'll have to get rid of later when I upgrade equipment -- for example, I don't want to stick a HOB filter on there and then get rid of it when I get a canister).

So I'll welcome the Planted Tank community's advice. As I see it, my options are:

(1) Bite the bullet and try to find a way to set up the 75 gallon the way I want it from the get-go but, realistically, I don't think that's going to happen.

(2) Be patient and wait until I have the money to "do it up right" before investing in the bigger tank. Instead, just move my current 29 gallon and leave space in the new living room for that bigger tank when I can afford to set it up right from the beginning. If I do that, I may be able to inexpensively set up a 10 or 15g tank in the new place to move the fish as I'm moving the 29 gallon tank and then use that small tank later for a betta or something. I'm eager to set up a new, bigger tank, but if it would make the most sense to hold off and not go down that road until I'm ready to get it set up the way I want it from the start, then I can make moving the tank I already have work.

(3) Buy the very basics --- 75 gallon tank, a stand that's big enough to accommodate a lot of in-line equipment down the line, a canister filter (perhaps on sale?), a basic heater, Eco-complete, and something like a Coralife 48" 4x65w fixture. In the short-run, plan to run just 2 bulbs of the fixture and set up 4 2L bottles for CO2, then plan to pressurized CO2, in-line equipment like UV, inline heater, etc., auto-dosing, Aquacontroller, and other details in a few months. I would also have to wait on nice driftwood and that sort of thing, but that can certainly be added later. I could then either set up the 29 gallon tank right away or leave it empty while I get the new tank running smoothly. Of course, the tank wouldn't really be the way I want it for some time -- but it would be there and ready for upgrades as time/money permitted.

Option #3 is probably my preference because I'm eager to get a bigger tank up and running when we move and I think moving is a great opportunity to upgrade, but I don't want to "go cheap" and then have it be a pain to maintain, nor do I want to waste money buying things that aren't, ultimately, what I want to use on the tank long-term. Does this plan seem reasonable? Do you all have advice on what might be the best route? And on what else I might want to consider.

Thanks in advance for your help -- we may wind up not moving soon after all, but I wanted to have a tentative plan in mind in case we do wind up moving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
I don't think your can ever go wrong with being patient and doing what truely want to do from the start. Therefore, I would be patient and save up for your "dream" aquarium and just be content with the 29 for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
722 Posts
stick with what you have and "do it right" when you have the money...
when i first set up my 30 gallon, i had no idea TPT existed ...actually i didnt even have internet yet....so i kinda regret not starting off with what i want now....
hindsight is 20/20
im still not quite happy with what i have....its very nice...but i am certain i will be moving sometime soon and then i myself am going to do it right from the get go
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Kathy, if it was me, I would pop for that 75 gallon and go lowlight with one canister filter for now and a in tank heater to save money. Always good to have an extra heater around. Then its in place and you can rescape and put all the bells and whistles in peace meal, without killing your wallet during an expensive move. Eventually you might want two canisters with Hydor heaters on each and of course gas etc. But a low light big tank can be georgeous with various Java ferns, moss and some basic stems/Crypts and locally collected wood or some Manzanita which is pretty cheap. And the easiest time to place that new tank would be during the move. Then again, you could always do that with a 90 gallon too... LOL
Just an idea here. :icon_smil

Of course I always advocate an auto water change too. Makes having a big tank a total pleasure when you just hit a button on water changes. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
For a canister filter on sale check out petsmart. Online price is $104 for a Rena Filstar Xp3 and they have a coupon/code for $30 off good through the 25th of this month. The online code is XP3XP4 or if you have a petsmart near you they will pricematch with the website if you bring in a printout of the pricing. The link to the printable instore coupon is here: http://www.petsmart.com/landing/Rena/?cm_ven=Google&cm_cat=adwords&cm_pla=rena&cm_ite=filstar+filter

The coupon is good for the Xp3 or 4, I think you could get by with one Xp3 on a 75 so long as you dont overstock. ~$81 for a canister filter seems to be a good deal to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
Setting up your dream tank doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Keep your eyes peeled on Ebay, Aquabid, etc. I picked up some lighting for nearly 70% less than off the shelf, and still in great condition.

It can be done!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I think I'm leaning toward waiting until I can "do it up right" from the get-go. On top of the usual expenses of a move, I don't know that I'll want to invest in tank, stand, lights, filter, substrate, nice hardscape, and CO2 system all at once, and short-changing any of the above in the interest of short-term cash flow will probably only serve to irritate and frustrate me in the end. Thanks for the tips to check Ebay, Aquabid, and coupons, though -- I'll do all of that regardless!

I think if I decide it would be wise to have a tank set up in the new house to move my fish to while I break down and move the old system (this would be feasible since it's a local move -- would it be a good idea?), then instead of trying to set up the big tank, I'll set up a cheap 10 gallon (or 2?) with a filter and heater to hold the fish and then wait to spend bigger bucks on the "dream" 75gallon setup later. That should only be an outlay of $40 of $50 on equipment I could use for a hospital or quarantine tank, or for a betta or something instead of trying to come up with much more money for the really nice 75 gallon, and it'll mean that when I do "go big" with a showpiece tank for the new living room, I'll be able to do it the right way right from the beginning.

Of course, I'll welcome anyone else's advice -- I've never moved an aquarium before and I've also never set up anything larger than my 29 (which was put together piecemeal as I learned more and more from this forum!) so any tips on either moving or going to a bigger tank down the line would be most appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Ideally, I would like to have a 75 gallon tank (the biggest that I think I can realistically work in, since I'm only 5'6"!)
I am only 5'1" and I am getting a 150g...so I will have to swim to clean the bottom LOL!

I found a 55g on craigslist for $250 complete set up:




Maybe you can start cking there for a 75g in your area...I also found a 220g for $800 complete set up! Can someone loan me $800 LOL...just kidding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Personally I would buy the mainstays, the tank stand, heater and filter. Use stock lights (unless it doesn't come with lights then consider what you'll want) and go low light and have a big 'normal' looking tank. You'd be surprised what can grow and look good with low lights.

I know how you feel and I am in the same process and it has been since february and I'm still waiting on the damn custom stand for my tank, the co2 reg ffrom rexx and such. I have the substrate, filter is cycled in my 30g and heaters ready.

Ultimately it's up to you. I personally don't have use for little tanks and find them a pita. You can easily tear down and set up your 30g tank easily enough. A bucket for the fish, a bucket for the plants. filter media in a bucket all with tank water. You can leave the gravel in the tank if you're careful. Use a thermometer to check the water temp after setting it up an reaclimatize your fish like you just bought them unless of course you can manage to save more of the tank water, that would be ideal, like 50%. Just don't disturb you're gravel too much, if it is mulmy you could have an ammonia spike.

kara
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
Plastic Rubbermaid trash cans work great for holding fish/plants in a move. That's what I always use for re-starts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Don't discount craigslist here... There are some really great deals on there!

I just picked up a 75G with oak cabinet and full oak hood, AC300 HOB, Magnum HOT, 2x96 AH Supply in hood with 3 panasonic bulbs, 350W digital thermostat, 4 adult congo's, 7 bleeding hearts, numerous african driftwood pieces, java ferns, java moss, 3.5 inches of eco-complete, test kits, freeze-dried food, nets, dis-assembly, and assistance on delivery for $225!!! Plus some great advice on local groups since the previous owner was a planted tank/breed enthusiast for many years and needed to get rid of the tank for the health of a child with allergy issues.

Since picking this up, I have more than doubled the purchase price in extras, but I saved a ton for this complete setup!

I would advise you to check craigslist daily with money ready and jump on a setup if you see something you really like. Just make sure you know a little about what you are looking for. If you are getting a great deal on something that you are going to have to build up, it may not be as great as it first sounds. I saw some other great deals in the couple of months that I was looking, but was a little late on the draw. I have seen 150G setups, with less plant oriented items for around the same price with cabinet and hood.

Good luck with your setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Also, remember that you can pick up CO2 equipment there too....

I have a post for CO2 tanks on there now and am in the process of closing a deal for 3 10Ib CO2 tanks for really cheap (one full) because the guy doesn't want to sell just one, he wants to get rid of them (old keg setup). :)
 
1 - 12 of 12 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.
Top