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Old 07-25-2012, 09:38 AM   #1 
Sundancex
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Talking New plan...help me choose another tank!

After actually calculating the cost of putting together my own planted tank kit, I realized it is way too expensive. $40 plus $8 shipping JUST for a 5 gal glass tank, another $35 for a light, $20 for a heater, $20 for substrate, $? for a filter (didn't even have one picked out)...it just started to add up really fast. While I want to do this right...I DON'T want to spend a ton of money if it isn't necessary.

So I found a few tanks that I'm considering. One is a complete kit with substrate, tank, light, filter, and mini co2 (which honestly I probably won't use), the others come with the tank, a light, and filter. I know I need to add a heater to all of these tanks and possibly baffle the filter. But here are the tanks I've been looking at, along with some comments from me.

PicoTope 3 gal-this tank has potential IMO. It is glass which is a huge plus for me and comes with a 9 watt light that I think would be fine for growing lower light plants (I would like a carpet of java moss as my main plant). I think it is on the expensive side for a 3 gal, but I was planning on paying the same amount for a 5 gal tank that didn't include a light or filter. There are mixed reviews about the light and filter, but it sounds like both would be ok at least for awhile. The tank looks very attractive in pictures. On the downside, at 3 gal I don't think I could cycle this tank, which would mean more frequent water changes. I'm in college and have limited time...making frequent changes a hassle. OTOH, having enough plants in the tank may reduce the need for so many water changes...correct?

Fluval Flora Tank-this tank is very attractive IMO, and is also made of glass. It is more expensive than the previous tank, but it is also an 8 gal tank, which would mean I could get some shrimp or a snail. The light it comes with seems high quality and would be good for growing lower light plants. It comes with substrate (fluval stratum) and mini co2. I would probably have to buy an extra bag of stratum though and have no plans on getting into co2 in the near future...so I would probably try to sell the co2. There have also been bad reviews on the filter, that it is too big for the tank, so there is a good chance I will have to buy another filter. So really I'm looking at between $130-$140...possibly more to get this tank running. Still not terrible for a 8 gal, beautiful glass tank.

Tetra Crescent 5 gal-at 5 gal, this tank can be cycled, which is great. It comes with a filter, light, and tetracare (anyone know what that is?). It is the same price as the 3 gal tank, with an extra 2 gals of swimming space. I think I could get a shrimp or two with this tank...yes? One HUGE con for me is that the tank is acrylic...and acrylic scratches. I'd rather not have to be super careful not to scratch the tank...but being less breakable has appeal.

Now, as you can see from my tank choices, I really like the rimless look. I want this to be an art piece just as much as a habitat for Castiel (my betta). Visual appeal is a must. And thanks for reading my novel...I really want the "perfect" set up for this guy. I'm an art student, so visual appeal is kind of my thing.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:44 AM   #2 
Anitax3x
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Are you in the US?

To do a planted tank, OFL showed me how to do it the CHEAPER way.

However you spend on a tank up to you

Head over to Home depot, pick up some
organic potting mix. =$5
Quikrete play sand= $5 for 50lbs (HOLY CRAP RIGHT!)

Then scoot over to walmart for some lights in the fish section 6500k for about $5 each.



MUCH easier and I love love LOVE live plants. I used to have stink issues with aquariums, now they open and you smell the sweet swampy smell when you get close to it. Plus my fish love plants.

Just a thought before you throw away the planted tank idea
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:49 AM   #3 
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I'm still doing a planted tank. I just realized that buying a kit with a light and filter already included would actually cheaper than a DIY setup.

The substrate is only going to be $20 ish, which is more expensive than what you listed, but "easier" too. I live on a horse farm...I have access to "organic potting soil"-top soil mixed with manure and have easy access to sand too.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:56 AM   #4 
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Ohhhh okay. I'd do the flora. Always wanted one of those
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:09 AM   #5 
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I like the last one on your list the Tetra plus you can free shipping on it that really is a good savings. Wag.com is where I got my 5 gallon Ecplise Hex tank and they too have free 2 day shipping on orders over 49 dollars plus 15 percent off for first time orders. Good luck ,plants are so nice and good for a tank I just put a floating one in mine and love it !
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:58 AM   #6 
Panama Bliss
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I am new here, new to the hobby and all, i know this is off topic, but how do i post?

As far as keeping expenses low on a planted tank, i just bought Lucky bamboo from my grocery store florist for 1 dollar a cane. Petco and pet smart charge 4.99 per one. My tank looks quite tranquil with the addition. Feel free to view my album and tell me what u think
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:27 AM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panama Bliss View Post
I am new here, new to the hobby and all, i know this is off topic, but how do i post?

As far as keeping expenses low on a planted tank, i just bought Lucky bamboo from my grocery store florist for 1 dollar a cane. Petco and pet smart charge 4.99 per one. My tank looks quite tranquil with the addition. Feel free to view my album and tell me what u think
Lucky bamboo is not fully aquatic. You should remove it from your tank unless you plan on having all the leaves sticking out above the waterline. I think this is correct anyway...
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:36 AM   #8 
Panama Bliss
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Check out my album, the stick are all at least 7 inches out of water. I know what u mean, petco had dead submerged bamboo in a tank decaying. Looked quite disgusting. But in my country bamboo grows in rivers and swamps,so it can survive for a time, the sunlight is also more intense in the Panamanian jungle, so they grow quick. My bamboo js thriving, new shoots and all. Thanks, and you're, that is the correct way. Snails and Albino Plecos clean it and my shrimp use the bamboo in the corners as shelter. They also assisted in my cycle
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:38 AM   #9 
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Sundancex, check it out:

http://www.bettafish.com/album.php?u=40903
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:39 AM   #10 
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Originally Posted by Sundancex View Post
Lucky bamboo is not fully aquatic. You should remove it from your tank unless you plan on having all the leaves sticking out above the waterline. I think this is correct anyway...
http://www.bettafish.com/album.php?u=40903
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