Estimated pricing: 20G vs. 29G Tanks
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Estimated pricing: 20G vs. 29G Tanks

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Estimated pricing: 20G vs. 29G Tanks
Old 12-17-2009, 12:41 AM   #1
Estimated pricing: 20G vs. 29G Tanks

Hello everyone,

I'm planning on establishing a bigger tank some time next year (perhaps I'm thinking far too ahead, but hey, it doesn't hurt to plan early right?), and am deciding between a 20g or 29g depending on pricing, really.

Could anyone come up with estimates for a planted, tropical community tank for both a 20g and 29g?
I'm willing to get the best (or at least close to the best) equipment and any other necessities for the fishies and plants.
I'm also very eager/willing for DIY projects :D

Considerations for both the 20 and 29:
1. Tank
2. Hood
3. Lighting/strips (for moderately planted tank)
4. Filtration (HOB/Canister)
5. Powerheads
6. Heater(s)
7. Possible CO2 / sumps? (I have no knowledge of these)
8. Substrate: I'm probably going to go with sand or some other fine substrate
9. Any other equipment that may be needed?

Also can anyone tell me the pros and cons of hang-on filters vs canisters, or if having a combination of both servicing a tank is advisable?

Hopefully I can get answers for this so I have less to worry about because I am still fretting about what to do with the 2 goldfish that I received as gifts/prizes.


Last edited by hulu; 12-17-2009 at 12:53 AM..
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:19 AM   #2
Angel079's Avatar
Ok, for starters , go with the 29g bigger is better in the tank world
Buying a used one may be an option for you to safe some $.
I do not see the needs for a powerhead in general - what kinda fish are you planning to keep?
Co2 and sump I'd def not put on the list - If you plan on having a nicely planted tank, you need to start with a proper balance of LIGHT and Fertilizer, a good balance with these 2 and you'll have a pretty tank.
Substrate: Think about a dark one (sand or fine gravel) that does make your plants and fish stand out much more, it just looks nicer IMO. Either case: If you want a planted tank only get fine gravel not these large pebbles to help your plants thrive well.

HOB Filters: Stir up sand. Are noisy. And many need regular maintenance for the wheel not to clog.
Canister: (ref to Eheim Models here) good quality, lasts forever, next to no maintenance & QUIET. Issue: Hose connectins into the tank can make it a hassle if youhave to take it apart for cleaning or adding carbon after medicating.
Internal filters: QUIET, no sand disturbance, no hose outside the tank that can come loose....I have this one Cascade Internal Filters, Internal Filters | Pet Solutions and i LOVEEE it even thou for YEARS I used to only use Eheim Canisters, all new tank set up's on my end get the Cascades now, IMO this is really the best of both worlds there

Other equipment: You'll need a Test kit for the water (like from API) you'll need net's to catch fish if needed, Plants, Food...

I hope that helps your decision making for the moment.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:35 PM   #3
@Angel079: Thanks, as always, for the advice!

My main concern right now is getting the tank haha.
At PetSmart, 20 gallon + hood is $60 while a 29g with hood is $80.

So far these are the only things I've found that are applicable to me on Craig's list:


29g (though i don't need their stand because i want to try DIY)

How are these deals? (Can they even be considered deals? haha)

I definitely want to try out canister filters, perhaps even that internal filter you suggested. What should the GPH rating be for a planted 20g-29g with sand?

As for the fish, I'm pretty open to ideas right now,
I definitely want a dwarf gourami. Most likely going to add in my zebra danios, ghost shrimps and my bamboo shrimp from my 10g. Not too sure what else would be good for it. Perhaps more community fish and a few more centerpiece fish?

Hmm so what I'm looking at right now is a possibility of:
50~80 for the tank and top
25~35 (potential addition) for fluorescent lamps with right ratings
35~120 for filtration
25~50 for thermometer and heater
5~20 for substrate
~25 for test kits (i already have api ammonia + pH test kits but should probably invest in a more complete one?)
50~70 for the DIY stand?
~??? plants
~??? decor
~??? fish
As for food, nets, buckets, etc i already have so there shouldn't be additional costs there.

Looks like it's going to be over a $215~$400 range, possibly reaching 300~500.

That should be fine for my budget. Gosh, the things we do for fish haha. Even though I've just started this hobby in September, I really do love and enjoy it :)

Last edited by hulu; 12-17-2009 at 02:47 PM..
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:21 PM   #4
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Its up to you really, what you can/ want to spent.
Sometimes finding one used in the size you want take a lil time. See if you have other online places for your area or free papers people would put such add's into.

If you wanna go DYI on the stand & hood I can gladly post you some pic's of what I done (since I'm too lazy to find the org thread from few months ago lol)
I built my cabinet (cause I couldn't find what I wanted) and my hood myself, hood cost me about $10-15 total incl bulbs and all

Well the 1 add that pretty much wants to be paid what they spent, no. The one 20g where its just the tank is ok'ish I guess (always try talk them down lol)

Like I said, love canister too but is indeed a pain in the rear if you need to take it apart for ANY reason and no mater how well you plan ahead how to take the hose off, you will have water around your tank and/ or floor. So for this reason, love the Cascades the way they're built.
If I was to buy another one, I'd actually buy a smaller one then what's recommended for 45-50g cause they're too strong really (175GPH right now) so I'd pers buy one "class" lower for my 45g and use the big one of the 45g for the 55g tank.

And there again, for the fish, nor the plants nor the sand would you wanna have anything that "pushes" the water around. I had several tanks set up with DIY sponge filters (HMF) and there I used circulation of 2-3 times the tank's volume per hrs and that worked just fine.

And another point why to not get a too strong filter: Gourami will love slow moving waters not a tsunami in the tank

For the shrimp, I suggest leave them as a shrimp farm in the 10g and only add your fish over to the bigger tank. Gourami Betta & Co will regard them as snacks...some may be able to hide, others will be eaten, so I'd pers keep them in a farm.

If you want sand anyway: Have yo considered pool or playsand? I'll also post you a pic of a tank (Cray's) set up with playsand...its like ~$5 for a BIG bag here... Just figured I'd mention that idea...
Test kit is one thing I def wouldn't safe money on, long term you'll need: NO2, NO3, Ammonia, Ph, KH

Plants you can find good quality to more then fair prices here Sweet Aquatics

Cost for DYI me remember I think the stand I built for the 55g with wood, glue, nails, clear coat etc ran me something like $50-55, maybe lil less.

And here's the promised pic's
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:32 PM   #5
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wow that much money. i spent like $150 on a tank and i bought high quality stuff.
i would recomend get yourself a 30gal long tank, they look nicer personaly.
get a canister filter, the better the less hassle.
the plants and fish shouldnt cost over $100.
get some play sand, really cheap and aquarium sand is just more expensive for the same thing
get fertilizers and test kits.
with the lights you would definatly want to go around the 50-75 dollar range if u want to go all out, withought that you wont be able to have a large variety of plants.
you will probably need to buy different bulbs.
that should be about it for the initial setup.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #6
if I am searching out a deal on a used tank I set my self at .95 cents per gallon of aquarium I am looking at.
if I were you I would do something like a 55 gallon if you have the room but either way 29s and 55s are everywhere. but lets say a 55gallon. 50 bucks for tanks 20bucks for heavy duty 2x4 stand that will hold a 75 on the bottom also. 10 bucks for lighting unless you want life plants. 20 bucks for 2 200 watt heaters. so for 80 bucks you got a tank. also if you have the meens try and find tanks that need some tlc I got 20 29s from a pet store that where old saltwater tanks and needed resealed I got for 15 a peice and it took 2.50cents to reseal each one.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by teddyzaper View Post
with the lights you would definatly want to go around the 50-75 dollar range if u want to go all out,
What kinda lights are you buying for your tanks? Or maybe its the hoods??
I always have 2x4ft on the 55's, single on smaller, florescent bulbs and just the recent set up (for planted tank) ran me like ~10 and less on the 45g
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:45 AM   #8
Wally World has a 29 gallon kit and you can purchase a reasonable stand, check them out.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:00 AM   #9
Thanks everyone for the advice! I totally forgot about the 30g option.

I went on craiglist again with that in mind and found 2 pretty good deals so far:

30 gal long aquarium / fish tank (30g with semi-functioning top)
FISH TANK (30g w/ top and lights included)

I also found a good deal for a 55g but that's much bigger than what I'm looking for. Maybe in the future haha.
55 Gallon Fish tank only

Only catch is I need to go pick these up, which is a problem since i don't have a car-- hopefully my parents or some friends can help me out with that
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:53 AM   #10
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Heck for $30 I'd DEF go with the 55g there. And the fact it has no lights you can use to take 'em down a few bucks. Fixing a light for it or even building a hood ain't no issue. If you wanted to you could even cut a piece of plexi glass to size, lay it on the top and a shop light over it, they're like 10 bucks at the home store...
Plus with this size tank you have even more fishy options, keep that in mind when tank shopping
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