Aquascape Project 75 Gallon Tank

  1. cwb141

    cwb141 Valued Member Member

    Will be posting pictures every now and then, hopefully for each step in the process.

    Buying a 75 gallon tank on December 5th for $145 at a LFS. I had money set aside to cover everything except for fish, but my car got broken into and it cost $600 to have a new window installed.

    Oh well...

    Have plans to order light fixtures, bulbs, filter, and substrate soon. Probably will hold off on the substrate until I can purchase plants as well. Need a 300 watt heater too, and maybe a CO2 diffuser.

    Maybe it's good I am being forced to slow down the project.

    Attached Files:

  2. kribensis keeper

    kribensis keeper Valued Member Member

  3. eiginh

    eiginh Well Known Member Member

    Dang! People told me to always take valuable items out of my car such as navigation systems, cd magazines, head unit of a good radio system, laptops, etc b/c I'll never know when it's my turn. Hopefully everything is well!

  4. redlessi

    redlessi Well Known Member Member

    Sorry to hear about your car, did you try to use your insurance?
  5. OP

    cwb141 Valued Member Member

    It's a car that my brother and I use only for commuting to school and work so we had a really basic insurance plan, which didn't really cover damages outside of accidents.

    Getting tank tomorrow. Going to order one light fixture, substrate, and filter asap as well. Not sure where I'm going to order plants from. I've thought about, anywhere else I should look at? I live in WA if that helps.
  6. Nate McFin

    Nate McFin Well Known Member Member

  7. eiginh

    eiginh Well Known Member Member is a good place to buy plants also aqmagic has free shipping unless you want to expedite your package then they'll charge you a bit extra. Aquabid is a hit or miss with free shipping and satisfaction but I read a few people here that have successes purchasing from aquabid. I got my Christmas moss from aqmagic and they were healthy when I received them and still growing great.
  8. OP

    cwb141 Valued Member Member

    I'm going back and forth on a couple setups. Either get 2 96watt kits from AH Supply w/ 6,700K bulbs which would cost around $200, or... I'll try a DIY CFL or SHO fixture. I'm going to Home Depot to look at cost for reflectors (if they have them).

    I'm going through a tug of war on whether or not to buy Aqua Soil. It's expensive, but good. If I don't go that route I'd probably mix together my own substrate.

    I'm going to buy parts to make my own CO2 diffuser.
  9. OP

    cwb141 Valued Member Member

    75 Gallon Glass Tank

    I just bought this new tank today. They say it's great for keeping all varieties of pets in, especially cats. I figure if I use a sandy substrate, put in a bog log, and drop some raw shrimp in every once in a while the cat will do fine. oh, water, i'll get him a bunny water bottle.

    Also bought another API Master, ONLY $20!!!

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  10. Nate McFin

    Nate McFin Well Known Member Member

    lol...I love catfish!
    Sounds like a great plan for the tank. The AHsupply lighting is top notch from what I have read.
    ADA is expensive I just couldnt bring myself to go that route in the tank I am working on. I am not fond of the look either as I want to try a darker substrate. I will be using Flourite black.
    I cant wait to see the tank set up!
  11. OP

    cwb141 Valued Member Member

    Ordered some stuff from today. They have an amazing sale going on currently. Got a filter, heater, and extras for under $100.

    Nate, you're right about Aqua Soil being expensive. I'm planning on doing a mix of large gravel, fluorite black, an iron rich substrate and eco-complete as a bottom layer, 2-3 inches. I'm not sure how many bags of Amazonia I'll get for a top layer, either 3 or 4.

    Edit: Going with all Eco-complete, planning on 8 bags which should be more than enough for 3"-4" and will use excess for remodel of 29 gallon
  12. OP

    cwb141 Valued Member Member


    I'm buying everything new because I'm the type of person that likes to do stuff on their own. Not necessary without help, just my choices. Plus, the largest size I could get was a 75 gallon and craigslist only had tanks for sale w/ fish included. I know I could take the fish to a store or find another home for them. But I don't want to take care of a 75 gallon tank of fish when I'm not ready to. I'll be there, just not for a couple/few months.

    Anyways, got the filter, heater and glass cleaner today. Heater is 250 watts, so I'm planning on buying either in gravel heater or 2nd when I start. Tons of replacement filter media as well. Picture shows the main products.

    I'm going to buy a second filter before I add fish, and I'm wondering if anyone had any ideas on using ceramic rings or bio-balls instead of carbon in the extra media cartridge? I've looked for a product that benefits plants but haven't found one yet. Would it be better to just use carbon if I have live plants?

    Total Cost thus far: ~ $280.00
    still need lights and substrate before adding water (most expensive stuff :()

    Attached Files:

  13. eiginh

    eiginh Well Known Member Member

    Some good regulators for diy co2 systems are Victor, Smith, Matheson and some other ones. There's a thread in a diff. forum talking about making the best regulators for the budget.
  14. OP

    cwb141 Valued Member Member

    I tried home improvement stores and they don't sell parts for what I'm trying to do. Emailed some local welding and gas companies and looks like the best place to buy parts is Central Welding in Issaquah (for you Seattlites). Out of 6 emails, 6 recommended them. Hoping to go there next week, Monday or Wednesday.

    Question: Does bubbles/minute equal dissolved CO2 with a direct ratio to tank size?
  15. Regal

    Regal Well Known Member Member

    You can add some ceramic rings or bio balls for extra biological media if you want but it doesn't do the same thing as carbon. I don't use carbon at all and I don't buy the Marineland cartridges either. I buy Marineland bonded filter pad and wrap it around the black plastic grid from an old cartridges. You can cut the blue bonded filter pad that comes on the cartridges and dump out the carbon. I also reuse the filter pad forever. I rinse it in a bucket of tank water when I clean my filters and put it back in.
  16. m

    mosin360 Well Known Member Member

    Looks like the cat will have a nice place to swim. :D

    Nice pics. What you going to stand the tank on?
  17. OP

    cwb141 Valued Member Member

    The cat used to swim across our pond. Wasn't scared of water when he was little, but now he is.

    I don't want anything permanent just yet as far as a stand goes. I might be moving this summer. Just going to buy some wood from home depot and build a makeshift table. Later on I'll probably get my dad to help me build a nice stand for it. I guess I could build a permanent stand now...
  18. P

    PetCentralNotObsessed New Member Member

    Beautiful cat. Looks like he will enjoy having fishies to watch.
  19. OP

    cwb141 Valued Member Member

    Substrate ($183.92) + Lighting ($313.73) = $497.65

    8 bags of eco-complete
    1 1x96 watt fixture
    -1 6,700K bulb
    2 2x55 watt fixtures
    -4 7,800K bulbs

    Well, this is not looking very attractive, I need a tax return asap... :(
  20. p

    perentie New Member Member

    keep it easy

    If I might make a suggestion...if you want to keep the cost down and have a tank that looks really good then use low light plats that multiply and need no special substrate. I have wood and a few large stones to which I have attached java ferns, java moss and anubias nana and it looks fab and doesn't require expensive lighting. I just got one of those aquariums with everything included, ie one neon, filter and heater on sale so that's what decided me to keep it simple. The ferns and moss are growing very fast and I will be able to use parts of them in future tanks. I don't need CO2 either. I was told anubias grew really slowly but after ten days mine all have new leaves.