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Old 02-21-2008, 01:56 AM   #1
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Making a stand and possibly canopy/lighting

What do supplies typically run you guys who make stands and canopies?

We're talking budget here. My friend and I are trying to figure out every cost for setting up our 55 gallon this summer and I want to know how much money we can shave anywhere.

Also, if you make your own canopy what's the cheapest way to do lighting? I want the tank to be well lit enough for the fish (cichlids) but don't want to break the bank since it is a tank on a budget.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:20 AM   #2
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It depends on what you want to build the stand with. My build thread shows what I used on my stand. For a cheap canopy, just make a 4 sided box with 1x6's and mount normal output flourescents in it.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:43 PM   #3
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So, as far as lighting with the canopy, what is the easiest way to go?

I'm confused by all this talk of ballasts and everything. Is buying a prefab lighting system the cheapest way to go anyway or am I not looking at something the right way?

From what I can see here:
DIY Reef Type Fluorescent Light Hood Plans For Saltwater Aquariums
you would need a ballast and a couple end caps on top of the bulbs, but I can't find any ballast <$100 and you can get some lighting systems for a lot cheaper than that...
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Old 02-21-2008, 01:18 PM   #4
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By far, the cheapest...and actually it will look pretty nice, is build a box as I said out of 1x6's. Then buy a 2 bulb flourescent shop light from HD or Lowes and drop it inside the box. Get 2 regular daylight bulbs (6500K) and your all set. Might cost $30 total.
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Old 02-21-2008, 01:33 PM   #5
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Now THAT is something I want to hear. What would it usually cost for you to build a stand?

It'd be great to build a stand and hood for ~$50. We're getting the glass for ~$50 and the filter/heater/others for ~$50, so a whole setup for ~$150 would be amazing.
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:12 PM   #6
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For the stand, you can probably get away with 5-6 2x4's at about $2 ea plus 1 sheet of 1/4" plywood for maybe $15. Plus nails, stain/paint and poly to seal it.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:18 PM   #7
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Fantastic! Thanks for all the very helpful advice.

I am very excited to get started!
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:18 PM   #8
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for an even cheaper way you can check your local craigslist.org for the supplies. i always see used or scrap lumber and materials given away. Or see if there is a salvage yard for building materials in your area. Always good to recycle to save the environment. Might even be a dresser you can rehab. I have my 40g on an old buffet cabinet and it looks great.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tip!

We're looking through craigslist for the aquarium and the way it looks we can get a whole 55 gallon setup for $150. It looks like most people want to sell everything all together.

That would save us a little money (only a few dollars) by my calculations, but then the filters, heaters, everything comes used...

Anyone know any other places other than craigslist or aquabid to pick up tanks? It seems glasscages.com is $85 for a 55 gallon and then another $30 pickup charge. Ouch.
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:03 PM   #10
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i got my 40g from Freecycle.org and as the name depicts it was free!!! but it's more of a crap shoot to get a tank from there.
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