05-07-2012, 03:33 PM
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I have brought a quite expensive tank kit from fluval (26 gallons bowfront). The tank itself is very well made, thick glass, beautiful silicone job, great looking and well-made hood. The included filter was good and the heater is one of the most expensive on the market. Cost was about 200. Even with all the qualities, I had to DIY two incadescent fixtures in the hood to have decent light for plants. I also changed the filter for a canister, the noise was driving me mad.
I also have a very cheap 20 gallons high tank. Paid 40$ for tank and hood. The silicone job on the tank is ugly, hood is flimsy, glass is thin. Except for that, it still holds water, maintenance is as easy as on the other tank, the hood already had incadescent fixtures so I could screw in some CFLs, and I had the bonus of being able to choose my filter and heater.
All in all, if I buy another tank, I would go with a cheap tank, the benefits far outweight the downsides for me.