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Old 06-05-2006, 05:40 PM   #1
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Need Some Advice for A New 29 Gallon Set-up

Hello Everyone,

I am brand new to this site and need some advice. My 2 year old son loves fish and my wife and I were thinking about starting our own aquarium. We both are beginners to this so we are researching like crazy to try and maximize our investment.

We were initally looking into purchasing a kit. However, after doing some research, I am very hesitant against this. It seems like you do not get the quality for the conveniece. So I am looking at individual components. I am looking at spending no more than $200 on the setup and I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me some good advice on what equipment to buy.

I appreciate the help.

Bucky Katt
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:58 PM   #2
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For the 29G, you could look at the Emperor 280 for the filter. Does an excellent job, and is rather inexpensive. Also comes with an extra media basket which you can put extra bio-media like ceramic cylinders or lava granules in. Those would never need to be replaced either, just check occasionally to make sure nothing is plugged up, and if it is, a quick rinse in tank water in a bucket will do just fine. Then you will also need a heater and a thermometer. Don't get the kind that sticks to the glass, they are usually pretty inaccurate. I had one til I got my digital and found the stickon type to be 8 degrees off. So spend a little extra and get a digital with the probe that goes in the tank.

Also, if you want to save even more money, go to the site below to get all your accessories, heater, filter, etc. You will save big-time....

http://www.bigalsonline.com
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:05 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA!!

You need a filter, hood, light, heater and substrate. I have an Aquaclear 50 on my 29 gallon does a nice job. A visi-therm stealth heater 150 watt will seve you well. As for substrate depends on what you want, but if you like sand a bag of pool filter sand will run you around 10 dollars. If you buy the tank at Petsmart or one of them it should come with a hood and light which will be fine unless you decide on live plants. Only other important thing is a stand. You can buy one or make one. Remember the tank will be pushing close to 300 pounds so you dont want to stick it on any old piece of furniture. Especially with a todler in the house.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:39 PM   #4
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Also, if you decide on sand, which rich touched on above, it's much cheaper to get it at the local pool shop. Just make sure it's labeled as pool filter sand. Different areas will have different colors. Around here, it's the color of beach sand. I have it in my 55G, and it's so much easier to clean, you just hover your gravel vac above it and get rid of the crud. You will also need to stir the sand on occasion, unless you get some Malaysian Trumpet Snails, which will stir the sand for you, as they burrow in the sand. If you don't stir it, chances are you could get an anaerobic pocket, which if disturbed, could be bad for the fish. Other than that, sand is awsome, and most fish love to play or burrow in it.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:44 PM   #5
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As for live plants, is it worth having them in the tank? What is the benefit vs cost ratio?
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:56 PM   #6
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Bucky - go look at some of the planted tanks .... it was enough to convince me ! I started off with silk plants and thought it was nice, but after looking at live plants I couldn't resist.
Plus LWB said something to me about Rams doing much better in a planted tank ... and that was the kicker (its all his fault !!! LOL)
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:08 PM   #7
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Plants are cheap,cheap and cheap.It can get expensive when you start taking the watts per gallon up to sustain higher light requiring plants.

But low light plants are 2 bucks apiece or so and if they do well they can be trimmed and replanted....and so on and so on ect...

They consume the nitrates which is a good thing as well...I'll gladly suggest a planted tank.Imo it makes a great hobby even better...even at the low light level.

My 29g does great with an hob filter.I have the marineland peguin 200 with boiwheel.It keeps the water crystal clear.Whatever you decide,over size a bit...you will be glad you did.Also...if your not sure of the brand stop by and get some thoughts in this forum..you'll be glad you did that too.

I should just put this next part in my sig.....
Petsmart will price match thier own web page pricing.Print the page of the item and bring it in...the more expensive the item,the better the savings.
It can be as large as 50%....that will help with the budget if your near one.

HTH
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:10 PM   #8
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hehehe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky Katt
As for live plants, is it worth having them in the tank? What is the benefit vs cost ratio?
Look through my links in my sig.....
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:24 PM   #9
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I went to a local store and this is what they are offering. I am wondering if this is a good set-up or if I can get build a set-up like this cheaper.

All Glass 29 Gallon Tank: $60
Deluxe Flow Hood (lighting is not that powerful): $43
Thermometer: $3
30 lbs of Gravel: $17
Penguin 350B BioWheel: $60
150w PennPlax Heater: $17

They will give me 10% off the price if I buy the set-up.
I already went to Big Al's and saw that I can save about $18 on the Penguin BioWheel.
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:51 PM   #10
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Also, what does everybody think about using Bio Spira to cycle a tank. It is advertised as cycling a tank in 24 hours. Is it worth it or should I just use teh 3 weeks to cycle it with shrimp?
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:59 PM   #11
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Bio Spira works sometimes and doesn't others. It has a very short shelf life and you don't know how long its been on the shelf. I say its not worth it, just be patient and it will cycle.
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:06 PM   #12
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Your choices seem ok. Just a word of advice from some one who has done it. Dont waste your money on the deluxe hood get the plain glass top. If you ever decide to upgrade your lighting to grow plants you will be glad you did.
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky Katt
They will give me 10% off the price if I buy the set-up.
I already went to Big Al's and saw that I can save about $18 on the Penguin BioWheel.
You can save a ton more than 10% by printing out some online sources and taking them to a store that will price match. I saved at least 40% on each item I bought through PetsMart with a cheaper online price. If you don't have one there, see if your LFS will price match.
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