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Old 04-18-2006, 06:01 PM   #1
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Cheapest way for new 55g?

As a few of you may have already seen from my other thread, I'm in the market for a new 55 gallon tank on-the-cheap.

What would you all reccommend is the best way to go about this?

No matter what I do, I'm fairly sure I'm going to end up building the stand. I'm also fairly certain that I'm going to be using pool filter sand as a substrate, because $7 for 50lb of the stuff seems to fit the bill quite nicely.

Some thoughts I've had -

The 55g WalMart kit is $169 - comes with everything except substrate and fish.

"Choice Pet Supply" (local CT chain) has 55g aquariums (not sure if the hood is included or not) for $109.

Looked at Petco, most were ripoffs. Not to mention when I was looking quickly at the fish, ~10 of the tanks were full of Ich so I'd rather not give them my money. Even for a tank.

When you buy an aquarium that isnt a kit, is the hood usually included? The display was a tank on a stand with a hood, had a price on the tank and on the stand.

If the hood isn't included, I suppose I could always build a canopy for not that much. If it is included though, that'd be perfect as I could still have plenty of money left for a good HOB filter and heater.

I've thought about getting it used, but I really dont want to take the time to track down and then pick up a suitable tank.


I guess this thread isnt really saying anything specific, but more of a running list of my current ideas. I'm sure lots of other people are doing aquarium setups for as cheap as possible.. can anyone share some insight?

Thanks! 8)
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:04 PM   #2
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Re: Cheapest way for new 55g?

Quote:
Originally Posted by exodus
The 55g WalMart kit is $169 - comes with everything except substrate and fish.
Sounds like a nice deal if "everything" is included. I tried to search Walmarts site but I could not find it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by exodus
When you buy an aquarium that isnt a kit, is the hood usually included? The display was a tank on a stand with a hood, had a price on the tank and on the stand.
Usually the tank, hood and stand are all seperate.
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Old 04-18-2006, 11:00 PM   #3
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Re: Cheapest way for new 55g?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macrosill
Quote:
Originally Posted by exodus
The 55g WalMart kit is $169 - comes with everything except substrate and fish.
Sounds like a nice deal if "everything" is included. I tried to search Walmarts site but I could not find it.
I think its an in-store only deal, I tried searching their website as well and couldnt find it. Only thing I'm worried about with the kit is the fact that the filter may not be up to the task.

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by exodus
When you buy an aquarium that isnt a kit, is the hood usually included? The display was a tank on a stand with a hood, had a price on the tank and on the stand.
Usually the tank, hood and stand are all seperate.
Hm. In that case, maybe the walmart deal is the better one. Next time I'm in Choice I'll have to ask about their setup.
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Old 04-18-2006, 11:43 PM   #4
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try craigslist or your local aquatic club.
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:28 PM   #5
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Exodus, my brother bought his two 55 gallons from walmart.

6 years down the road and not a single problem.
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:33 PM   #6
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You are correct about the kit having deficiencies. The heater and filter will be sub-par. What you can do is ask Walmart to keep those items and order better equipment via online retailers such as our sponsors websites, http://www.Bigalsonline.com or http://www.drsfostersmith.com.

You will find incredible prices for the best of these items.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:53 PM   #7
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Check the local for sale adds, garage sale adds. Lots of people stop keeping fish, and after a few years in the basement, the tank is up for sale. Typically with stands and lights for cheap. The bulletin board at the LFS could have these adds too.

I don't like kits... I think that after the tank and stand, you really need a quality filter. Kits often give the cheaper ones with proprietary cartridges. Get an Aquaclear or canister so you have control over what media you put in the filter. You can't really buy a tank online, but you can save a bundle and get better equipment from Bigalsonline.com or petsolutions.com .

So when shopping for a tank, all you really want is the tank, stand, hood and lights. Substrate is better bought locally too. Everything else online, and you will probably get free shipping and no sales tax if you buy enough.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:06 AM   #8
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If you are going to have an average amount of fish, then the filter that comes with the Walmart tank might be ok. But if you plan on having a nice selection, and possibly push the limits a little, then the filter won't even come close to doing the job. I recommend selling the filter and getting a good cannister or HOB like the Emperor 400. I have 2 400's on my 55G because I've pushed the limits well beyond max., and with PWC's every 5-7 days, I'm still in the green.
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:16 AM   #9
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Any plans for live plants (or better looking fish)? If so I would recommend just buying the tank alone, building a stand (its got to hold a LOT of weight), and buying an aftermarket hood with better light. I did the PetSmart tank/hood w/ light for my 20gallon and after a couple of weeks put a bright shoplight up to the side of the tank. You will never know just how bad the tank and fish look under a normal stock cheap light until you see them with a better quality higher output light.

I suddently saw all these different colors and shades on my barbs that I never knew were there (for instance the "black" stripes on my tiger barbs are actually metallic green colored if the light hits them in the proper way). It will make the murky yellow tank look more like a clear lake.

While not bargain cheap, You can definately find light deals, and for the meantime just get a glass/plastic hood to cover the top. Let me see if I can find a comparison shot for reference.

justin

Here's the best I can do (there is a flash in the 2nd picture, but look "behind" the areas where the flash would brighten and you'll see a much more "natural" look)

stock tank light (17watt NO on 20gallon high)



(Corallife 65watt CF on 20 gallon high)
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