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Old 09-07-2005, 11:13 AM   #1
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Another question - Buying a tank & stand...

Actually, a couple questions...

First question:

My husband and I just moved into a new house, and we have a whole wall that is available — so really the only limit for the size of the tank is $$$. I'm thinking that we'd like somewhere between 75 and 125 gallons. I was concerned that a large tank might be a bit challenging for a beginner like myself; however, one LFS guy told me that a bigger tank can actually be easier and lower maintenance, assuming you leave a lot of extra room for the fish and don't completely fill it up; his reasoning was that with more water per fish, you need fewer water changes, and it's just easier to maintain a healthy system.

Any thoughts on size? Is he right, or does he just want to sell me a bigger setup? Is there a point at which a really big tank becomes an enormous, and expensive, task to maintain? (He showed me the inner workings of one setup they have going as a display -- a 290-gallon tank with a 55-gallon tank hidden beneath it to hold the filter system! Yikes.)

I wouldn't call myself lazy, but if it's a constant hassle it will quickly drive me mad... And I'm definitely not rich. ; )

Second question:

The overall look of the aquarium, including its presentation (stand, surroundings, etc) is very important to us, because it will be the focal point of our living room. There is a local store that will order anything from All-Glass Aquarium (and in fact they told me they can custom-build pretty much anything). I have found one that we like in their All-Glass catalog; it is below. More details are here: http://www.all-glass.com/products/st...ies_maple.html I'm supposed to get a call from the store today telling me their price for this setup.

However, before I buy through a store, I am wondering whether I might get a better deal online than through a retail store. Are there any sites that sell tanks and stands that you would recommend?


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Old 09-07-2005, 11:26 AM   #2
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He is right for once.. dont discount that as being right all the time though because this advice is good for business..
bigger tanks are easier to keep water chemistry under control.. think of it like this.. say a drop of bleach gets in a cup.. thats alot of bleach... now say the same drop of bleach gets into a 125gallon tank.. thats not really much of anything to worry about..
I would check the LFS to see if there prices are less then what you can find online.. the problem with getting tanks and stands online is the cost of shipping.
www.glasscages.com sell the big tanks online but they are not cheap.. they also sell some stands..
by the way.. I like the 120 gallon or the 95 wide for tanks in that size range.. they both have a 24" with wich gives you more surface area then the normal 75 or 125.. HTH

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Old 09-07-2005, 01:36 PM   #3
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I also prefer the 120 gallon. I have one set up in my living room. The LFS is right, the bigger the tank, the less apt you are to have harmful water quality fluctuations. The 120 gives great depth, and is awesome to look into.

As far as being a hassle, dont let the rumors of how hard upkeep is keep you from enjoying a nice SW tank. The upkeep is not bad at all, and they are great to look at and ejnoy. Good luck!
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:38 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for the info! I will start looking closely at the 120-gal setups.

I'm stressing a bit, realizing how expensive just the stands are. Over lunch I visited another LFS, and they had that same maple stand shown in the pic above, sized for a 55-gal tank (13x48), for over $1,000, stand & canopy. Am I crazy, or is somebody getting rich off of this? It's a cabinet and a lid, fer crying out loud. I don't care if it's solid maple; I've been doing a lot of furniture shopping lately with the move, and $600+ for a cabinet without shelves or a back seems a bit outrageous to me. 8O The guy at the store readily admitted that the stands are nothing special, maybe water-resistant, but otherwise they don't have any special qualities that a stand you made yourself wouldn't have.

Anyhow, that's easily double what I'd like to spend on the stand & tank, considering that there is all the equipment & rock & such to buy next. Yet I don't want something ugly or rough with doors that don't close right, like some of the cheaper stands I have seen... Maybe I will just shop around for something that isn't specifically designated as an aquarium stand but would serve the same purpose... *sigh*
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:51 PM   #5
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if you have a friendly carpenter you can have him customize a nice stand for a lot less. a canopy is really nice, i have one too, but with the new type of lighting many of them are too shallow and not high enough for heat to get away and water to mix with the air.
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Old 09-08-2005, 12:17 AM   #6
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There is a company out of Dickson, TN that makes oak stands and hoods unfinished for very reasonable prices and I think they periodically allow pick up in St. Louis. Log onto ebay and search for oak aquarium hoods. I have seen the product in my LFS and they are pretty nice looking. You can also call them direct if you have questions.
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:17 AM   #7
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One problem I have with most stands is they're too low. I have a home-built stand for my 75 that is about 4' high, right at eye level when standing. I think the normal 3' height is better if you're putting the tank by seating, like behind a sofa, in which case there's no need to look nice.

I would recommend checking out Craig's list, etc. You might be able to find a nice wood cabinet stand for quite cheap, a tank probably too (75 is going to be more common than a 120).
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:35 AM   #8
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be prepared to pay more for the stand then the tank itself, as really, thats the part of it everybody sees, besides the fish. especially if you want an actual cabinet.
I have an open stand so it's the size of the fish and tank that catch everyones eyes.
and really it looks ugly to me, but i see it everyday.
so one mans trash is anothers treasure in some cases.
I to would say bigger is better, you will not regret it. i bought a 4x2x2 and wish i had a 6x2x2, but then i'm sure ill want an 8x2x2+ once i get that.
but on that note, remember, big tanks and big fish need big filtration systems.
let us know what you decide, it's all good fun to know.
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:09 PM   #9
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Yeeeeah, so... Got the info from the lfs, and the combo shown in the photo above (incl. stand, canopy, tank, hood w/lights & fan), for a 75-gallon, is $1,500. Same for a 125-gallon is $1,900. OUCH.

seve1, where is Dickson? Western TN isn't all that far from St Louis, so a good enough bargain could be worth the trip. (In fact I drove to Clarksville once to pick up a kitten. ; ) ) But if he comes into STL on occasion, of course that would be even better. Do you know the name of the company?

I'm watching the local paper and will check out Craigslist as well. And I will be sure to let you know what we get!
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:59 PM   #10
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Dickson is about 30 minutes west of Nashville.

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