planning stage ... trying to estimate cost of tank
i am in the planning stages for a 90-gallon or 110-gallon heavily planted, low-tech tank. can you help me figure out if my plan is realistic? i am also trying to figure out how much it will cost so if you see anything expensive that i missed please let me know.
i have found a nice stand for $379 and glass aqarium for $250. planning to use eco-complete as my substrate, guessing i will need about 140 pounds of it for 3" depth so that's about $140... plus plants, decorations, and fish.
i would like to use DIY sponge filters on this tank because i think it looks better than something hanging off the back of my tank but it's less expensive than a sump...do you foresee any problems with using sponge filters on a big tank? would i have enough water circulation?
and as for lighting ... my tank spot is right next to a southwest window that gets 6 hours of direct sunlight every day (more in the winter) so i'm hoping to get away with just a cheap hood with a fluorscent bulb for viewing purposes only, and rely on the sunlight to give my plants the light they need ... this has worked really well for my 7-gallon tank but for a bigger tank do you think it is realistic? would i need to supplement with more intense lighting?
and one more question ... to get the tank to this spot i will have to stand it on its end like a fridge and carry it vertically up the stairs...because my stairs are so twisty...is that bad or likely to cause breaks? this is really the perfect spot for a tank. it's right above a weight-bearing wall and the afternoon light would be so pretty on the plants, and it's in the room where i spend most of my time so i can enjoy the tank more.
if you can think of anything that might be problematic or might be more expensive than i thought let me know ... this will be my 2nd tank so i am still very much a beginner. :)
At my lfs a 90g All-Glass (manufacturer) aquarium, glass canopies, and wood stand, runs about $399. Lighting (an Obit compact fixture w/ (2)96w actinic, (2) 96w Sunpack bulbs, and (4) moonlights) $157.99. Eco-complete plant substrate runs $15.99 for 20# bag. As for using sponge filters, I am currently using Marineland 1140 powerheads with the sponge adaptors on a 70g tank with no problems. The filtering system is also using an Emperor 400 power filter. The powerheads run $17.99 each nd the adaptors are $6.79 each. The power filter is $49.99. These prices, excluding the tank package, are from www.petsolutions.com . I have used them with great success. The are very fine people. Very courteous. Free delivery over $199.
Re: planning stage ... trying to estimate cost of tank
Well I could see a couple things that you may have problems with. The first is I don't think that a sponge filter is going to do it for the tank. The main reason is circulation, the next one is the fact that the sponge filter is going to get in the way of a lot of your aquascaping. I honestly trhink a canister filter is going to not only serve you better but will make for a better looking tank.
Natural sunlight for the main lighting. Only one thing i can think of, lots of dry fertilizers. Low tech is really out the window because the sunlight is going to give you light levels that are hard to achieve with artificial lighting. A very well balanced tank making sure that you always enough of everything plants need is going to be an absolute neccesity. If you have plenty of everyhting and run out of nitrates, plants start to stunt and algae takes over. Too little phosphate and your plants start to have problems and you get green spot algae. And so on and so forth. A really tight dosing regiment that is tweaked when needed if a deficiency shows up will give the best chances of awesome plant growth and as little algae is possible with natural sunlight.
The best advice I can give right now is be pateint and be ready to ask a lot of questions. If anything changes, ask about it. If the plants seem to change color, ask about it. If you have a specific algae, ask about it.
I would also consider learning as much as possible about the Estimative Index of dosing for fertilizers. If you are interested, let me know and I will find some articles I have both written and others have that willhelp you to understand it. The key is going to be to keep your plants extremely happy so they outcompete the algae for nutrients before algae becomes the main plant. I don't know why excess nutrients works but it does but a single nutrient bottoming out can cause a major headache.
Oh, one other thing, a second floor 90 gallon tank can be a disaster waiting to happen. Make sure the flooring is sturdy enough to handle 1000 lbs spread over the distance of the tank. Tank, stand, water, gravel etc.. can be some serious weight. Even being over a weight bearing wall the floor itself could be the weak point.
I realy would like to see a lot of posts about this tank. with the direct sunlight I imagine it is going to be a handful to maintain but if you can manage to do it through research and with our help it could be a step in the right direction for a new thought process concerning direct sunlight and planted tanks.
It is obvious to me that afrogg has done some research in setting up his tank. He has realized that Eco-Complete is the substrate he wants to use. He also mentioned he wants to use sponge filters. Again, I laud him for his research as these will work when used correctly with powerheads as a power source, ie. Marineland 550r's or better with adaptors. One thing I would like to add here, I do not believe that sponge filters would work as a stand alone system. The addition of power filters, esternal filters such as Emperor 400 and/or internal filter such as a pair o Fluval 3+'s would be a great amendment to the filter system. I would also be open to adding a canister filter, ala the Fluval 205.
As far as the weight of an aquarium, did anyone know that a 125g aquarium weighs less per square foot that a full refrigerator?
Lighting with direct sunlight may be the optimal set up, but if problems arise due to lighting, it is awfully hard to regulate that lighting short of closing the curtain. This would definitely put a clamp on watching your fish in a darkenend room.
f4a may have traumatized the poor lad when talking about the Estimative Dosage Index Chart. Some think that this chart is over-emphasized and damn hard to figure out. Myself being one. The only chart I've seen that has estimated dosages would take a person with doctorate degrees in chemistry, botany, meso and quantum physics to figure out. There may be newer user freindly references out there but i haven't seen them, nor have I found the need to look.
I think that afrog has done a good job in researching the needs of his tank and determining what he should get to meet those ends. He may need some guidance, which is why we are here. I feel like he has been overwhelmed by the answers given. Again, I think he has done an outstanding job in researching, alot more than I did on some of my earlier tanks. Keep up the good work, afrogg. Keep in touch.
My intent was not to overwhelm anyone, just to be honest.. can it be done, yes... but it has to be done properly and carefully. Never did I think that anyone was jumping into this uneducated, I simply wished to explain some of the processes needed to make this sort of situation work. When I saw mentioned that a hang on was not desired if not needed, I simply wanted to add my encouragement that it can be done... just carefully.
As for the charts, I have never found a need for them either, and I agree they need a college education and maybe a tutor to read some of that stuff. You can keep a healthy, heavily planted tank without the chart info. I know this because I do it all the time.
I apologize if I overwhelmed anyone, I am used to having to be very thorough when I explain things to people. I agree that afrog, you have shown an incredible amount of independent research concerning your tank, and I still support your idea of working with a natural system. If I can be of any further help, please feel free to ask.
Thanks so much for your input everyone! this is all very helpful to me. i have some more additional info below to answer some of the questions...
If I know what city/state you are in, I can ask him for a list of retailers in your area.
- I live in southeastern PA (North Wales, PA)
Is there a specific reason for the eco-complete substrate?
- I picked it because my 7-gallon tank uses it and is doing very well (my first tank), and also I saw some posts where people recommended it as a good general-purpose substrate for a planted tank. In my 7-gallon tank I have 2" eco-complete with half an inch of black, medium-sized gravel on top. Is it a good idea to include the gravel layer too? It looks nice but I'm not sure what the plants prefer.
Can you guys/gals think of plants that might work for me for what i'm planning to do, and would they need different substrate? basically I want it to look like a meadow surrounded by trees. but I'm not sure yet which plants will work. My strategy in the past has been to plant lots of different plants and keep whatever doesn't die...
the kinds of plants i will need for my meadow are:
1) a very low-growing "grasslike" plant for an open area
2) something that will grow tall enough to reach the top of the tank (to help hide wires and filters since I won't have a background on this tank)
3) something mosslike that will attach to branchy driftwood and wave gently in the current.
4) some medium-height plants to look like "bushes" and tall grass ... for that I will probably use the plants that are already doing well in my 7-gallon tank ... baby tears, red melon swords, crypt lutea, moss ball ... I like these plants a lot especially the baby tears and they all seem very happy in this spot by the window.
My 7-gallon tank is located in the same spot where I want to put the new tank, and it's doing great, so I hope that's a good sign right? ... no algae outbreaks at all and my plants are growing very fast (especially the baby tears ... it's taking over my tank!) I have some algae growing on the rocks but other than that no algae. All of the plants are doing great except for anubias nana, which was doing better a few months ago before I had the tank in the window.
as for fish ... I am planning a very light fish load ... initially just 4 guppies and 3 yamato shrimp, and maybe add some other small fish after a while. but the plants will be the main focus in this tank.
herefishy, why do you recommend additional kinds of filters? I am pretty new to this ...
I read diana walstad's book and I am trying to do something similar to what she recommends. i am very excited about this tank!!
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