10 Gallon Vs 20 Gallon Tank?

midna

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okay, so. i posted my startup plan for a 20 gallon long tank yesterday, but the costs and all the materials i need are starting to add up and really stress me out lol. initially i was just going to upgrade to a 10 gallon, but then i saw a 20 gallon long for the first time and fell in love. i knew that in the future i'd want to upgrade again if i just got a 10 gallon because i'm apparently never satisfied.

buuuut the problem is that a 20g sounds like a whole lot more work and money. i have a decent amount saved up, but i've been unemployed for a long time and i don't know when i'll get a new job. i'm hesitant to drop a thousand bucks or more on a new setup when i have no income. it's just a 10 gallon difference (and i know 20g is probably really tiny to a lot of you guys), but since it's a long, it requires more substrate (flourite ain't cheap), much larger/longer hoods and lights, more plants and deco, filters, etc. i see all these gorgeous heavily planted tanks and i get so jealous and discouraged because i don't think i'll be able to ever achieve that -- at least not at the start.

from reading up on stuff here, it's best for beginners to start out with larger tanks. only the more experienced should attempt maintaining 10 gallon tanks (or less). i would obviously do partial water changes every couple of days to ensure water quality and be on top of that stuff.

should i just deal with the investment and go big or go home? or should i forget about the dream of a lovely 20g for now and wait until later? and if i do, should i attempt a 10g instead? it would have 3 african dwarf frogs and maybe a couple snails, shrimp if the frogs don't eat 'em. or should i get a betta that i've been itching to get instead and put him in a 10g. idk. opinions????? (i know y'all are gonna say the 20g lol idek why i'm asking but i need some people to either talk me into it or out of it!!)
 

Nicole B

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We have a 20 tall and everything we needed only costed about $250. Though we bought our aquarium when petco had the $1 per gallon sale. But Aqueon kits are pretty cheap too! Comes with everything you need besides food, rocks, decorations and of course the fish. Lol I would check petco!

Only thing that costs a fortune is the hood/glass top and lights. That’s why it’s cheaper to get the kit!
Not sure if it comes with a heater or not but they aren’t very expensive.
 

NavyChief20

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go with a 20. its not terribly costly plus look on offerup or cl or FB market place.
 

maggie thecat

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Wait for a sale. Dollar per gallon sales happen all the time.

Or Craigslist . Garage Sales, Some thrift stores.

People leave the hobby all the time.

Do what works for you. Start with a cheap kit and upgrade as you have funds. There is no reason you can't start with a ten gallon tank. It's fine. Just don't put 20 gallons worth of fish in it.

Get a betta. Get frogs. If you do, don't put them in the same tank unless you have a backup plan for the betta. And please read the ADF care sheet on the amphibian forum before you take the plunge.
 

Shellback

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Buy the 20 gal and you won't be sorry. If you get the 20 gal kit it often comes with a filter and possibly a heater as well. Then there is always the used tank option. Some great deals can be found on local facebook yard sale sites. Good Luck.
 

jack22

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If the 20gal tank stresses you out financially, then I'd definitely recommend that you DON'T get it. This fish hobby is suppose to de-stress you; not the other way around.

Here are some ways to decrease the cost of the 20 gal:
1. You can DIY a tank lid (the 20gal long cover somehow is much more expensive than the 10 gal)
2. You don't have to immediately fill up the tank with ornaments or gravel
3. You don't have to stock the tank fully

Besides those things, HOB filter for 20 gal and 10 gal is about the same cost; heater (assuming you are keeping tropical fish) is nearly the same cost as well. What else? Thermometer cost exactly the same : )

Anyway, frankly, I think you should hold off on the aquarium purchase because you sounded like there is some financial issues ATM. Just wait, the fish/tanks/etc. are going to always be around when you are more financially ready.
 

alauruin

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In my experience, you are always going to be itching for a bigger tank than you currently have. I would skip the 10 and go for the 20, therefore skipping an upgrade in between.
 

2211Nighthawk

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Man I would LOVE to drop a thousand bucks on a tank but I’m so stinking cheap I don’t know how I’d even spend that much money on a tank. go used if your worried about finances. Between my 4 tanks I maybe spent 1000$ and that’s a 15,30,65 and 10g tank.
 
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midna

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i'm definitely waiting for the dollar per gallon sale to get a 20g, lol. unfortunately they don't sell kits for a 20 gallon long, just the standard size.

maybe i'm overthinking things!!! probably. it just seems like it'll end up being a thousand bucks LOL. i should probably make a list of price estimates. i'll maybe see what's for sale used regarding hoods and lighting, because i think that's what's going to cost the most. plus live plants seem to be pretty pricey?? i guess. maybe i'm just really stingey. plus i'm not sure if i'm going to be able to keep them alive.

@maggie thecat i've had adfs before (you replied to my thread when my last one was sick with something), so i definitely know all the risks! i'm still anxious about the chytrid prevention baths and switching between quarantines, bleaching everything and all that, though.

i probably will end up going for the 20 gallon. i'll just keep planning accordingly and take it slow. thanks everyone! was just having a mild freakout there.
 

Cardeater

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I agree with getting the 20g as aside from the slightly bigger investment on the tank, and it's not even that much more, a lot of the stuff costs the same, as already mentioned before.

I agree with waiting for the dollar a gallon sale.

Not only will the 20 give you better stocking options, it also gives you slightly more room for error.
 

Jellibeen

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Wait until you have the financial stability. even if you have enogh for the setup, there may be unexpected costs if things break or you need medication.
 

wodesorel

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I would suggest taking your time and watching classifieds and yard sales. It's not as convenient as running out to the store to buy it all now, but the deals you can find are exceptional. I got a complete 29 with stand, lights, hood, filter and heater for $15 once. Just be patient and check often! Even if the tank is in questionable shape (hit up the $1 sale for a new one) or there is something missing that you have to purchase separately, the savings are worth it.
 

yukondog

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You can do it on the cheap, trust me with 11 tanks and my mere pittance of a Diss. check, look at your local Water Front Mission, you'd be surprised at how many tank and equipment I have gotten for pennies on the dollar. Hood light[led] for $4 just needed cleaning up, tractor supply BDBS 9.00 for 50# , and you can pick up a cheap HOB filter for around 20.00 or so at Walmart , Good Luck
 

david1978

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Honestly if you are only planning on having a couple frogs and some snails/shrimp or a betta a cheap 10 gallon kit would be the way to go since both a betta or frogs would be fine in a 10. Frogs seem to do better in a species only tank so it remove the temptation to add a bunch of fish with them.
 
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midna

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i just did a rough estimate of the cost to start up a 20 gallon long tank with my ideal stock and everything bought brand new, and it's only about $300 to $400, which isn't too bad! i was worrying over nothing. i think it's just overwhelming because there are a lot of different components going into it...! thanks for all your input, guys. i'm going to take it slow, but hopefully it'll be done before winter.
 

alauruin

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You DEFINITELY will not spend $1,000 on a 20g setup. I am also on an extremely tight budget, but I wanted fish again for my sanity so I went for it. I didn't actually budget or calculate, but let's see if I can guess about what I have invested so far...

- 29g tank: $29 at Petco
- Beamswork light fixture: $40 on Amazon
- Fluval U3 filter: $30 on Amazon
- Sponge filter & air pump: $15 on Amazon
- 100w Aqueon heater: $19 at Petco
- 50lbs play sand: $5 at Tractor Supply

So, for the bare basics, that's what... under $150. Bargain hunting is your friend.

Supplies:
- API master test kit: $21 on Amazon
- Prime water conditioner: the $13 bottle will last you 250 fill-ups of a 20g tank
- Siphon for water changes: $9 on Amazon
- Turkey baster: $.99 at the grocery store

So let's say about $50 for non-hardware supplies.

In terms of filling it up with stuff, I intentionally waited for Aquabid.com's "Saturday Night Express" event, where sellers list 1-hour auctions at bargain prices, and bought driftwood, plants, and root tabs for I think about $60 including shipping.

So for my initial setup to get the thing cycling, I spent about $250 - $300 on a 29g.
 
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midna

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oooh, i didn't know about the special on aquabid! thank you. i really haven't checked out aquabid much, so i'll definitely do that later.

i did make a list, which i am unfortunately still adding things to, lol. whatever isn't listed is stuff i already have from my previous tank.

estimated startup costs

tank: aqueon 20l $20 at psp sale
substrate: black sand from petco $10-15
hood + lighting: versa top $21 at psp
beamswork ea timer fspec led strip $36 on amazon
filter: 2 sponge filters $9 on amazon
filter media: sponge inserts for existing hob $2
seachem purigen (for tannins from driftwood, etc, might buy later if needed): $9
seachem matrix: $7
bio bags: $2
gravel vacuum: $10
prime: $4
api test kit: $22
tss+: $6
ammonia: $7
driftwood: $10-15
deco: $15-20 (terra cotta pots?) rock cave
glue: $6
moss balls: $13
plants: start out with around 5-8 plants or less, $5-15 each
buckets: $5-10
dwarf frogs: $20 if in store, around $40-50 if online
snails: $5
shrimp: $5-10
quarantine: 10g kit at walmart $30
cheap deco for hiding
cheap plant for hiding
use gravel that i already have
 
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