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Old 07-24-2003, 01:40 AM   #1
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planning a new tank!

here's my wishlist, with as close to retail price as I could find ... some things will be bought locally, others will be mail ordered.

this is hardly the wishlist, as it's about the minimal I thought I could "get away with" to start up a new tank.... things missing are PH controller for the co2 ... a canister filter ... another 250 watts of light, having a drilled overflow instead of an over-the back... just to name a few compromises


Code:
120 Gallon All Glass "Economy" Aquarium ........... $289 .... Petsmart
Over the back overflow ............................... $40 ..... DIY
180 lbs Schultz Profile substrate ................... $120 ..... Walmart
Dolphin DP2000 Pump ................................. $149 ...... Marine Depot 
claims 2000 gph, internal or external

2x 300 watt titanium heaters ...................... $32 ...... Big Al's
250 watt MH light diy'd ............................. $0....... Got it
wood cabinet ........................................ $0 ....... Got it
30 gallon sump ...................................... $0 ....... Got it
plumbing for sump .................................. $20 ..... Ace Hrdw
diy bio-tower filter and media ..................... $30 ..... Dollar Store
co2 reg, needle, cntr, diff ........................ $100 ... Online
co2 bottle ....................................... $30 ... found an old one, it's being tested, fingers crossed will know in 3 weeks, this price includes recertification, a new valve and a fill
what else can I do to make this less expensive? ... anyone seen any of the things listed here on a super sale anywhere?

thoughts / comments / suggestions greatly appericated!

Gordon
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Old 07-24-2003, 03:48 PM   #2
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Local glass shop drilled two holes in my AG 125 for $20. LFS made me an overflow for $40, but I coulda got it from an acrylic shop for $33. The predrilled (both corners) AG 125's are about $350 new and have overflows already installed. My tank is going to be a great room divider so I can't have stuff hanging out of the back, hence the internal plumbing. Hang on overflows are also so dayum expensive that I probably saved a few bucks by going internal.

marinedepot.com sells a 500 watt titanium heater for $47. One of these vs two 300's will save you a little $$$ as well on one outlet in your power strip.

Don't know the specs of the Dolphin pump, but above mentioned site sell 2400gph mag-drive pumps for $125. I'm going with this IF I go with a submersible pump. Gotta do more reseach and cough up some more $$$ if I go external pump.

BTW, I FINALLY got my last piece of cherry cut, nailed and glued to my stand/canopy last night. Time for stain now.
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:17 PM   #3
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sounds great on your stand - would love to see some pics of your construction and the finished product

I was looking to go with two heaters instead of one, incase of failure, one heater alone won't be able to boil the tank ... or if one failed, the other will try to keep the water warm. The $32 is for two $16 titanium heaters.

2400 gph - wow, that's a lot of flow ... I thought 1200 gph was being excessive - hrmm, an extra $25 for double the flow! - what is the advantage of an external pump? less heat in the water, less room wasted in the sump?

The only place I found that sells pre-drilled aquariums wants $400 for a 90! ... maybe I should drive down to Ohio to get my tank! You mentioned two holes ... are they both drains, or one drain, one return? ... I noticed all-glass recommends four holes for the 120, two in each corner ... I assume the advantage of two drains is increased flow, and two returns is decreased head pressure? It really irks me how expensive a plastic box is (the hob overflow), but 3 sides of this tank are covered by walls, so I really don't have a problem with ugly plumbing draping over the back, aside from the appearence of the overflow itself, and the return plumbing to feed spray bars. Have you planned your plumbing yet? I haven't really worked on that aspect yet ... I would like to compare notes!

btw, your 125 is 6 foot long right?

the 120 I'm wanting to get is only 4 foot long, but is 2ft by 2ft deep and wide... I know water depth can be a problem with lighting, but once I recover the costs of this project, I'll look at adding more light ... I also have a 192 watt PC box I built for the 30 gallon, which will become the main tanks sump eventually ... I could add them to the MH in some sort of hybrid canopy.
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:47 PM   #4
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The 2400gph pump does 1800gph at 4' head, so I might be ok with my 1.25" drain. I need to do more reseach, though. Magdrive also makes a 1800gph pump for $110 that does 1400gph at 4' head. I'm thinking this certainly won't run faster than my 1.25" drain. The reason I'm going with one big pump is because I don't want powerheads cluttering up the tank. The return line will run across the top of the tank with 1/2" jets pointing down into the water every few inches. My LFS set up a tank this way and it looks excellent without all of the clutter of PH's, heaters, hang on overflows, etc..

The LFS owner said that internal pumps add alot of heat to the water. That's the reason I'm thinking about an external pump. The extra room in the sump for skimmer and LSB and macro algae is a bonus, too. External pumps are over $300 for the gph that I want to run, though

Yes, the AG 125 is 6' long, and 18" deep and 22" high.

Check out AG's retailer locator at http://www.all-glass.com/rsl/rsl_search.asp and see if you can find someone local to order one of their predrilled tanks for you. Jack's here in Dayton wants $329 or $349 for an AG 125 predrilled with internal overflows installed.
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:49 PM   #5
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Oh, I forgot to mention that I don't have a digital camera. Too many other toys with higher priority for me to cough up $$$ for a digicam
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:54 PM   #6
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I just called Jacks in Dayton and their 4' AG 120 predrilled is $399 and their 6' AG 125 is $329. Kinda a long haul from northern MI, though.
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Old 07-24-2003, 06:54 PM   #7
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If you have not looked yetlook at www.lifereef.com for the prefilter overflow box's. I much prefer these U tube tyle overflows over the CPR units that requre a powerhead to maintain the syphon.

Have you looked at the cost of a 'reef' ready 120gal tank? They would be predrilled and have corner overflows already installed with bulkheads, etc.
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Old 07-24-2003, 08:29 PM   #8
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Aaron:

well, that $400 90 gallon was "reef ready", drilled, with overflows and some plumbing parts... I was too afraid to ask what the 120g would have cost!



r95:

no digi here either, at least, aside from a PITA webcam ... I just take analog pics, get 'em printed and scan them in
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Old 07-25-2003, 11:45 AM   #9
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I think you are waaaay over-filtering for a planted tank.

I also wonder about the wisdom of using a wet/dry with co2. I'm afraid the overflow and trickling will drive off much of the co2, or the biotower will become filled with co2, leaving you with no aerobic bacteia, as they need o2.

I have a Eheim 2215 on my 90, thats it for filtration.

My neext expariment tank will be low tech, no filter, just powerheads for circulation, plants will take care of water quality. Well, that's the theory anyway!
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Old 07-25-2003, 01:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corvuscorax
I think you are waaaay over-filtering for a planted tank.
Well, I actually don't have any filtration on that list, except for the diy biotower, which i'll probably use mostly as mechanical filtration, relying mostly on plants for the chemical and biological.

I agree that a 2400 gph pump is deff overkill for a planted freshwater, but from what I've read I can throttle that pump to 25% without any negitive effects, and it will run cooler and quieter...

With the price between a 1000 gph pump and a 2000 gph pump being so similar, I wanted to get the bigger one, to not have to worry about upgrading the pump should I decide to cross over to the 'dark side' of marine enviroments

The extra head pressure should let me have more leeway in spray bars, or maybe an external co2 reactor, and inefficent plumbing

Quote:
Originally Posted by corvuscorax
I also wonder about the wisdom of using a wet/dry with co2. I'm afraid the overflow and trickling will drive off much of the co2, or the biotower will become filled with co2, leaving you with no aerobic bacteia, as they need o2.
I have read articles both on oveflows and trickle filters ruining your CO2 and articles claiming minimal detramental effects.

As for CO2 depriving the bacteria of oxygen, that won't happen. CO2 concentration does not effect the O2 concentration of the water. This is why bubbling co2 into a canister filter's intake does not ruin the biofilter inside the canister. On the other hand, the purpose of a wet-dry filter IS to expose the nitrogen fixing bacteria to the atmosphere to get more oxygen... hrmm, CO2 is heavier than air, so it would tend to sink to the bottom of the tower ... hey, maybe I'd get some nitrate fixing anaerobic bacteria too!

Perhaps adding a small fan to the sump will help move any "built up" co2 out, as well as help cool the water on hot days

Quote:
Originally Posted by corvuscorax
I have a Eheim 2215 on my 90, thats it for filtration.
Good point... I had looked at the 2217, which claims up to 160 gallons I think ... If I were sure I'd never go salt, a canister would be the way to go, but it's GPH is like 1/4 that of the pump I selected, and the two cost about the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corvuscorax
My neext expariment tank will be low tech, no filter, just powerheads for circulation, plants will take care of water quality. Well, that's the theory anyway!
Sounds interesting ... only thing I didn't like about what I've read on "natural" or low-tech is the fish load is only like 1 inch per 2 to 2.5 gallons... which is something I don't think I'd have the discipline to stick with
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