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Want to get everything I need for a planted aquarium as cheap as possible

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Kyle Lasky, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Kyle Lasky

    Kyle Lasky New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
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    Location:
    New Jersey
    First off, I'd like to introduce myself, as this is my first post here, so, hello everybody, I'm Kyle, I'm 17 (as my profile should make obvious), and I've very recently discovered aquascaping and absolutely fell in love with the idea, and began to read a bunch about it. All my life I've been amazed by fish-tanks, but I never knew about the possibilities in aquascaping and planted tanks. So that led me here, through searching the internet.
    Second, I apologize in advance if this is in the wrong section or against the rules to post this sort of thread here. Please, feel free to move/delete the thread if I'm bothering anybody.

    Alright, now let's get to the point. As stated before, I'm 17, so I'm tight on money. My current job can only fit me in on the work schedule one day a week, so I make a measly $50-60 a week, plus $30 for mowing lawns once a week, plus $30 per car that I clean for my mother (she's a car saleswoman, and owns her own dealership; Car detailing jobs are expensive), which isn't very often anyway, minus expenses on my girlfriend (whom I literally spend every waking moment with) and gas. This leaves me with very little money, as you can see.

    With my new-found interest in planted aquariums and such, I'd like to take my shot at learning the art of aquascaping. I understand that I must walk before I run. I own a Fluval Edge aquarium, which I've read is a terrible aquarium to have for such an art due to the small opening, oxygen deprivation through poor ventilation (because of the same small opening), and poor lighting, and the substrate I put in is some weird white fine sand crap, so I'm looking for a new, preferably a little bit larger, tank. Unfortunately, with the tank, I need everything else.
    What I need is;
    • The tank itself
    • Filter
    • Heater
    • Plants (I'd appreciate suggestions. Mainly thinking about Java Moss and Java Ferns though)
    • Lights (although this would probably come with the tank, unless it's suggestible to switch them out for something different)
    • Other things (things to supply nutrients, oxygen, CO2, substrate, fertilizer, etc!)
    For as cheap as possible. Now, I'm not asking for you guys to find me these things, I'm just asking for a few pointers on where to look, and where not to look (so I don't purchase from any infamous or fraud sites). I'd like to order online, I don't really trust the shitty pet-stores around here. Other tips like what equipment NOT to put together, or other things like that, are appreciated.
    I can't stress enough how much I don't want anybody to feel like I'm just coming here and basically saying, "Hi I want a cool fish tank find me stuff to buy"..
    Thanks in advance guys!
    P.S., I apologize for my thoughts sort of being all over, I'm not very good at composing these kinds of threads.
     
  2. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
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    Location:
    California
    Hi Kyle, welcome to ASW and what a great post.

    It sounds like you're looking for a new setup. Try find a cheap 10 - 20 gallon tank on craigslist: houston classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events. You will probably be able to find all sorts of used aquarium equipment too.

    If you want to try again at using what you have currently. Maybe just try aquascaping with low-maintence plants like cryptocorynes, anubias, and mosses. Those really low light plants can do just fine in the "no-light" conditions that the Fluval Edge has.

    -John N.
     
  3. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    California
    • The tank itself - craigslist
    • Filter -craiglist
    • Heater - craigslist or check out drsfostersmith.com or bigalsonline.com
    • Plants - aquabid.com or buy from other hobbyists
    • Lights - Look for a Compact Flourescent lighting. It depends on the size tank you'll get, but in general you'll need 20-30 watts for 10 gallon, 55 watts for a 20-29 gallon tank, and 110 for a 40-60 gallon tank. You can check out ahsupply.com for DIY options. or find a fixture on craigslist.
    • Nutrients and CO2 - Not necessarily need if you go low-tech. Go with DIY CO2 if anything to save money.
    • Substrate - while expense look into ADA Aquasoil pack full of nutrients from the get go and will last years.
    Also, check out any one of our sponsors. They have great deals and know exactly what you need.

    -John N.
     
  4. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
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    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    John has covered pretty much everything you need, but I got an extra advice.

    Turn your fluval edge into a emersed tank, add some rotalas, flowering plants, and rent it to you mom to put on the dealership, let's say $50 a week. :)

    It would look fab on the reception. :)

    Just a thought. :)
     
  5. Kyle Lasky

    Kyle Lasky New Member

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    Location:
    New Jersey
    It's not a big dealership, and it' not focused on the inside. It's different than you think, although that's a great idea haha.
    Thanks, guys!
    I'm sorry if I'm coming off as too needy, but any good sites that sell both plants and substrate? For simplicity.
    How much substrate should I get? My Fluval Edge is 6 gallons, should a 3 liter bag be enough?
     

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