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Old 06-24-2011, 09:32 AM   #1 
Dryst999
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Aqaurium newbie, help me build a 15 gallon tank

So i'm new to aquariums, right now I have a beautiful Fluval Spec at my desk at work that has became my new favorite hobby. My betta is lively and hasn't had any problems in the two months i've had him. I do weekly water changes which surprisingly isn't a chore and is something I look forward to doing; with that in mind I think it's time for me to build a community tank for my home.

I'm looking at a 15gallon tank.... I think this is a good size for a betta, some schooling fish, some cory catfish and some cherry red shrimp. I can't find any affordable kits this size however and i'm not sure where to start for building my own.

I see just the clear empty tanks this size at PETCO and Walmart for really cheap, are these what everyone buys? Is setting up a tank as easy as buying one of these bare tanks, a filter, and a heater? Are the filters that hang on the back of the tanks hard to setup?

I'm looking to spend <$200 for my setup, I want a GOOD quality filter and only plan on doing water changes bi-weekly for a tank this size. Can anyone recommend me some tanks/filters/heaters for this setup... also is there anything else I would need like a hood or any other accessories? If there are any GOOD kits worth the money for under $200 i'd be interested as well, I just don't want to pay double the price for something I can put together in 30mins buying the parts myself.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:28 AM   #2 
Pitluvs
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I purchased a 29gal complete set up online for about $150. Could you try Craigslist or looking on local fish forums? Usually that's cheaper and you can get the old water/old filter and set it up at home. Reason I say this is because if you start out brand new everything, you have to cycle the tank for 6-12weeks. The guy I bought mine from didn't send the filter, so I am week 3 cycle, and my fish are crammed into a 10gal :( If your tank isn't cycled, your ammonia can spike and harm/kill your fish. Just something to look into. Personally, I would buy a full set up online from someone and ask them to keep the old filters for you so you can cycle in a week before adding fish.

I have a few empties here with just the canopy (light hood) and I am puzzled on how much it's gonna cost me to set it up. I might just sell them lol
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:09 AM   #3 
Dryst999
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Hrmm I just searched craigslist and there are a ton of 20-40gallon setups for sale. What are some things to look for when buying a used aquarium? Do filters and stuff go out often or is it a pretty safe bet that everything will last awhile when buying used?

Also, I know water changes will be more of a pain with a larger tank but in general will I follow the same routin with a 30gallon tank as I would with a 10gallon tank?
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:21 AM   #4 
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Personally, on my tropical community tanks, I do 25% weekly. Depending on what you have in the tank, you would adjust. But I do the same type of water change on my 10gal as I do on my 29gal.

I really have no idea if what you plan to put in your tank is overstocking or not. I would say to add fish one at a time, and make sure your ammonia doesn't spike. Find a calm balance. You plan on female Bettas right? Or a male?

I can't recommend what types of heater/filters. I use what came with mine until I can figure out what works best in my tanks. Right now I have an older Tetra Whisper (2003) 20-40 on my 29gal and a Aqua Clear 10-20 on my 10gal. I would think any type of submersable heater/filter would be best? I'd love for someone else to comment on this one lol The old filter system on my 29gal works better than the one on my 10gal :)

Also, depending on your bio load, you may want a filter that's larger than your tank. I know a few people who have stocked 30gals with 60gal filtration.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:34 AM   #5 
sunnydawnie
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I really like my 16G Bowfront tank kit by Aqueon. Petsmart is selling them for $119 in-store but online they are $108. However, I was just in at PetCo yesterday looking at them and they were only $99 for the exact same kit.

Here's the link:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=3202494
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:36 AM   #6 
sunnydawnie
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Oh, but I should mention the filter that comes with that kit is like CRAZY strong for my betta. I had to baffle the intake because it sucked the poor guy to a plant and wouldn't let him go. The flow into the tank is pretty strong too.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:10 PM   #7 
Arowan
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I'm looking at the 16 gallon bowfront as well, hopefully will make a purchase in the next few days (had to hunt for a stand, first, the one that is "made" for it is so cheap and ugly...)

And yes, it is $99 in store at petco, $107 in store at petsmart, and around $112 online at petsmart.

Pretty nice kit, since it comes with everything. Only see myself adding a prefilter, getting a better thermometer, and a better lightbulb for the plants.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:38 PM   #8 
sunnydawnie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arowan View Post
I'm looking at the 16 gallon bowfront as well, hopefully will make a purchase in the next few days (had to hunt for a stand, first, the one that is "made" for it is so cheap and ugly...)

Pretty nice kit, since it comes with everything. Only see myself adding a prefilter, getting a better thermometer, and a better lightbulb for the plants.
What is a pre-filter ? Mine didn't come with a thermometer and the heater didn't work AT ALL. However, I called the company yesterday, had to scan my receipt and email it to them, and they are sending another heater asap.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:46 PM   #9 
Arowan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnydawnie View Post
What is a pre-filter ? Mine didn't come with a thermometer and the heater didn't work AT ALL. However, I called the company yesterday, had to scan my receipt and email it to them, and they are sending another heater asap.
It's like a sponge filter, but you can stick it over the intake of a HOB filter. It lowers suction a bit, and prevents fish/plants/shrimp from being sucked up the intake.

I have also been told that it makes HOB filters much more viable for live plants.

Petsmart and Petco both offer a $5 "Fluval-Edge Prefilter Sponge Replacement" that apparently fits over the intake of most HOB filters. I'm hoping to check my local petco today, to see if they offer it in the store (besides online--shipping a $5 product seems silly).
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:46 PM   #10 
kera236
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Petco is suppose to be having the 1$ per gallon tank sale this Sunday. Or does it start Sunday? You should call and ask your petco about it.
(:
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