The Skilter will probably do OK on a 29...I wouldn't trust it on anything larger despite their claims that it will handle up to 125 gal
. We have used them on 20 longs at the store with good results. Here is the link to the best online price I found on a Skilter coming in about $8.00 cheaper than Foster.
Some things to know about Skilters if you have never used one. They are a little finicky about air adjustment. Trash the air regulator that comes with it and replace it with a Lee inline air valve or equivalent. Also, make sure that the skimmer tube is correctly seated in the bottom of the filter box or you will have bubbles everywhere. Get it adjusted right and you'll be surprised at what that little skimmer will pull out
As for the heaters, I would go with two 75 watt heaters on a 29. Either a Visi Therm or an Ebo Jager. I have used Visi Therms with great success and I know many people who swear by the Ebo Jager. In this case, Dr Foster has the Ebo Jager on sale for a little over $14.00 coming in about $1.50 less than the Visi Therm. Here's the link.
As to the best deal on LR
, I would have to defer to others as I have never ordered any online. However, if this is a real budget project, you might want to look into making some rock. Check on www.candybass.com
for recipes and instructions. Also, you could, if this guy has lots of patience, start with mostly dry base rock and put a small quantity of good LR
in with it. Spend the $ you saved on LR
on some really good LS
and a cleanup crew. It will take longer to establish, but it will work. A thought anyway