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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I just bought a small house and I am not allowed to get a large tank. I have a glass computer desk that has plenty of room for an small aquarium. We went to petsmart and were about to buy one of those 5g Marineland tanks but I thought it would be best to go online and get ideas first. I want a nice planted tank, with a few fish. I was looking at some of those ADA tanks, they seem a bit overprice. Any ideas? I am on a budget of about $100 for the equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I was looking and saw some people use 10g tanks and they remove the rim. This would be a cheap solution because I may have a 10g tank or I know walmart sells them for real cheap. Any ideas on the substrate, lighting, and a filter?
 

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Budget

Gravel/Soil....10.00
5/10G from Box store....20.00
Desk Lamp...........20.00
HOB Aquaclear.......25.00
Swap and shop plants....20.00
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What kind of soil would you recommend. Also, what would be the best kind of desk lamp. An Aquaclear 20 for the filter would be good.
 

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5.5g AGA Tank ~$12
Hampton Bay 27W Desk Lamp - $22 @ Home Depot
Red Sea Nano Filter - $14
3L Bag of ADA Aquasoil - $12

That gives you $40 left to play with that could get you pretty far in the Swap n Shop as far as plants and scaping tools go.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
5.5g AGA Tank ~$12
Hampton Bay 27W Desk Lamp - $22 @ Home Depot
Red Sea Nano Filter - $14
3L Bag of ADA Aquasoil - $12

That gives you $40 left to play with that could get you pretty far in the Swap n Shop as far as plants and scaping tools go.
I will be using a 10g because I have one in my parents garage. I may take of the trim. What would be a good lamp/substrate for that?
 

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I'd still say use the Aquasoil, you get the best bang for your buck. For the light I'd recommend a Current Satellite 1002, but that's like $50 at least AND it'd be 40W over a 10g tank which might be a lot without Co2...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'd still say use the Aquasoil, you get the best bang for your buck. For the light I'd recommend a Current Satellite 1002, but that's like $50 at least AND it'd be 40W over a 10g tank which might be a lot without Co2...
Defiantly would like something a little cheaper. I would like to try diy co2. I read somewhere on the forum that an organic soil/fertilizer and a top layer of gravel would work as a substrate. Is this recommended?
 

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A standard 5.5g AGA tank from Petco, I don't know, about $10:



A red sea nano filter, probably no more than $15 at your lfs (where in Florida are you?), but you can sometimes find them at Petco:



One of them $20 hampton bay or lights of america desklamps from Home Depot or Lowe's:



And then for substrate, you could use eco-complete, pool sand, mineralized soil, whatever's most available to you, anywhere from free to $25 or so.

That equals $70 if I did my math right. Not bad, for a fully functional plant-less tank.

Then of course you can always get CO2. That'll cost you about anywhere from free (DIY) to $250 or more. But pressurized is worth it, imo.

I'm a fan of the eco-complete, as long as the place you get it from has a good return policy, in case it turns out to be the bad stuff that circulated a few years ago.

Okay, so I just realized this is almost the same exact list as rrrrramos!

So, yeah, what he said. :hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will see if I have the 10g tank in my parents garage tomorrow. If not, I will go from there. I would love to get some of that Aqua Soil, since it is suppose to be good but the shipping on it is outrageous. Anyone know a local place in Florida that carries it?
 

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Budget

I find my smallest Aquaclear to be MUCH more reliable than the Red Sea which is in the junk bucket right now. I semi- mineralized my soil.....got kind of tired of doing it and stuck it in the tank. It works and is cheap. I will post a pic of this tank tonight. Wherei Fla are you? I just threw out 2 buckets of plants.
 

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Yeah, get yourself a 20 long, one of these fixtures, an Aquaclear HOB (or a canister filter would be better if you can afford it), and a bag of Eco-complete.

20 longs are great tanks, IMO!

(You still haven't told us where in Florida you are! Someone might be able to point you to a specific LFS!)
 

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Well I can't personally help you, but knowing that Longwood is basically a part of greater Orlando, something tells me someone will be able to point you in a specific direction..
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I live within walking distance of Fishy Business, that sells some plants and has great fish. They do not have much for substrate or planted tank supplies though.
 

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I gotta agree, if you can fit it, a 20L is a great size for a planted tank.
And apparently Church and I are on the same page as far as equipment goes! I'd say if you can get a canister filter, do that off the bat. I used HOB's for the longest time and now unless it's a 2.5g tank I wouldn't even consider using anything but a canister. It just makes life so much easier (and cleaner looking).
Only thing with setting up a 20L is that it's going to price out a bit higher than a 10g or below would. IIRC when I bought my brother a 20L it was $54.00 or maybe a little more. Then with the light and filter you're looking at at least $140.00 with a HOB, $170 with a canister, and that doesn't include the substrate. Here is an excellent substrate calculator that will help you determine exactly how much you'll need to buy for your tank.
 

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Yeah most LFS's here in central FL don't tend to cater to the freshwater, planted crowd, but there always seems to be that one, in every city, that at least has a good selection of CO2 equipment, filters, and lighting, if not plants and fish.

One thing you could do is hit up Orlando (the dude who posts here, not the city, lol) who runs a business in G'ville, and get your goods from him. That's not too far from you! Maybe you could coincide it with like a trip to Juniper Springs or something, so that you don't have to think about all the gas you used just to pick up some aquarium supplies!

Waterfaller1 is another poster here who lives in the Orlando area. She might be able to point you to a good LFS.

I mean, between Apopka, Oviedo, Orlando, Winter Park, Altamonte, etc., there has GOT to be a store that carries good substrate.
 

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Yeah most LFS's here in central FL don't tend to cater to the freshwater, planted crowd, but there always seems to be that one, in every city, that at least has a good selection of CO2 equipment, filters, and lighting, if not plants and fish.
You FL guys are lucky. Here in Chicagoland there seems to be tons of LFS's with real nice fish and a decent selection of plants but I've yet to run across one that carried anything worthy of lighting a planted tank, and had to special order my filter, and haven't seen anything other than the crappy Bio-Co2 and Red Sea Regulators!


Oh and also, check Petland (if you have one close) for substrate. The two up here, and the two I went to in Texas each had at the least, a selection of Flourite, Flourite Black (& Sand) and Eco-Complete. A little more expensive than online, but without the shipping.
 

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Only thing with setting up a 20L is that it's going to price out a bit higher than a 10g or below would. IIRC when I bought my brother a 20L it was $54.00 or maybe a little more. Then with the light and filter you're looking at at least $140.00 with a HOB, $170 with a canister, and that doesn't include the substrate.
Yes, there is a *considerable* difference in price from the 5.5g and smaller tanks to the 10g and larger ones.

I was able to get my 20L during one of those $1 per gallon sales at Petco (that I don't think ever happen any more), so that was $20. Then the Eheim Classic 2213 canister filter was about $80. Then I got two of those Coralife fixtures I linked to up above, which were $50 a piece.

This equals $200, and that doesn't include the shipping costs from Big Al's, or the $200 or so I spent on a CO2 system!!

So yeah, considerable price difference from a $70 5.5g tank. Oh yeah, you'll also need to buy or build a stand for a tank this size, as putting it on a bookshelf or computer desk is out of the question!
 
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