Upgrading Tank - Custom Or All-in-one Setup?

v1ru5879
  • #1
Have had a 10 gallon for years and want to go bigger. A 20 gallon fits the space and budget. A larger bow front would be ideal but pushing it on the space we have. Anyways I'm here to ask for recommendations on piecing one together vs a all in one kit. If piecing one together what specific items should I look for as far as pump, filter, substrate ect. Any all in one kits that are good?
 
FishFor2018
  • #2
Getting the items separately is a lot better. What kind of fish are you putting in there? All the items below are things I’ve used or am using and had or having a good experience.
Heater:
Filter: or both work good

All the other things depend of what fish you have/want/getting
 
v1ru5879
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Hunter1
  • #4
A 29 is the same footprint as a 20 long. I would recommend the 29.

Use your existing filter to cycle your new one with whatever filter you decide on.

I like the hinged glass lids with an LED light on top ( I recommend the 6500 Beamworks based on price/quality).

Substrate is a personal preference. I think smooth gravel/pebbles look the best but the last 5 tanks I started are sand (BDBS) because it’s cheap and easy to clean.

I’ve bought many kits then replace the lid, light and filter so now I recommend buying the tank at Petco’s $1 sale, then buy the equipment you want individually.

IMO Amazon has the best prices.
 
aosuna11
  • #5
Here's what I went with, of course its rather rough, but it gives you an idea as to where to look.
20g "beach" Progression
I believe I had a pic on the second page with all my materials. Also yes, you will want to go for a bigger tank as I've heard of rainbow sharks getting aggressive, as well as tiger barbs
 
v1ru5879
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I came across a deal on CL for a 20 gallon aqueon that they sell at Petco for $50 I'm emailing back n forth with the person who literally takes a day to respond. This is what led me to the 20 gallon. If I am willing to travel about an hour I can get a 24 gallon bow front for $100. Any idea when the pet stores will be having a sale?
 
bizaliz3
  • #7
I came across a deal on CL for a 20 gallon aqueon that they sell at Petco for $50 I'm emailing back n forth with the person who literally takes a day to respond. This is what led me to the 20 gallon. If I am willing to travel about an hour I can get a 24 gallon bow front for $100. Any idea when the pet stores will be having a sale?

A 20 gallon would be just $20 at petco during the dollar per gallon sale that happens pretty frequently.....

I don't know what prices are like where you live, but $100 for a used 26 bow is WAAAY overpriced around here. (Twin Cities Minnesota) Even if it has a stand and the extras.

If I were you I would keep watching CL daily until a REAL deal pops up. Maybe even a couple times per day.

I have gotten some amazing deals over the last few years. And if you are patient enough and visit CL often enough, there are frequently people giving away larger tanks for FREE because they just want them gone. But those go quick which is why you have to basically stalk the site!

In just the last 2 years alone I have gotten two 30 gallon set ups and a 29 gallon set up for FREE. Full set ups. And I have seen many 55 gallon set ups listed for free. I just didn't have space for another 55 or I would have gotten one of those too!!
 
v1ru5879
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Great advice! Since I am in no hurry for a tank I just may do that. Or wait till the sale hits. How often do they run that deal?
 
aosuna11
  • #9
Great advice! Since I am in no hurry for a tank I just may do that. Or wait till the sale hits. How often do they run that deal?
You could also wait till trash day comes, drive or walk around the neighborhood and you'll come across one, I got a 10 gal that way. Another good way to find tanks is Swap meets, I got my 5 gal from there for 7 bucks.
 
Kalyke
  • #10
I am super thrifty, and would wait to buy until some kind of great sale comes around. I think it is Petsmart or Petco that have a dollar per gallon sale a few times a year. I've heard of people walking out with 40 breeders or 55's for 55 dollars. As far as finding when the sales are, I am sure they have sites that would send weekly fliers in your e-mail.

Besides Filter, heater, light, there are a few more pieces, but some you can make on your own. I have seen a ton of How-to's on creating filters. Many people use LED light strips or overhead shop lights (bought at harbor freight). If you have even a tiny bit of carpentry experience and some rough tools, a classic 2X4 stand can be found in the hardware aisle. Heaters on the other hand-- that's something you can't kludge together. I am into woodworking and I am nearly convinced that I should try to build a plywood and fiberglass tank.

Other stuff -- tank lid to keep the dirt out (plastic is easy to buy). Gravel (buy it at the garden center), Sand (play sand), Chemicals (yeah, they cost money), Fish (some people actually go fishing and catch baby bluegills, minnows, etc., Plants: take them from the neighborhood swamp, beg them from friends who have extras, so you can even get the fish free).
 
LeviS
  • #11
In my experience if you do buy new it’s best to piece it together. I bought a 37 gallon kit. First my filter went out(usually cheaper flimsy type included with kit) and I decided to go with a planted tank, the light usually included with kits are intended for fish only tanks not usually meant to grow plants, all I have left out of my original purchase is my tank and heater. If you have Facebook keep an eye on the marketplace. As others have mentioned you can find great deals, I see 55 gallon tanks with stands from $50-$100 and there is a 75 gallon tank with stand for $75 close to me.
 
aosuna11
  • #12
You could build a stand, it's easy and saves lots of money.
 
v1ru5879
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I'm not so concerned about a stand as much as a good tank. Just seems like buying new vs used or sale is a tremendous amount of savings. I went ahead n set alerts for CL and Slickdeals for the $1 a gallon deal.
 
aosuna11
  • #14
I'm not so concerned about a stand as much as a good tank. Just seems like buying new vs used or sale is a tremendous amount of savings. I went ahead n set alerts for CL and Slickdeals for the $1 a gallon deal.
Do you have a petco near you? They almost always have it, just pick one out and go to the register, ask for the price and tell them you heard about a dollar per gallon deal. You'll either get told that they can price match it, or that the dollar per gallon deal isn't happening, and they'll give you a date.

That's how mine works, and how I picked my 20 gal up.
 
v1ru5879
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
I'll have to go n do that tomorrow, if that is the case I may go with a 29 bowfront
 
aosuna11
  • #16
I'll have to go n do that tomorrow, if that is the case I may go with a 29 bowfront
Hope it goes well, I'm not sure that the bow front tanks are counted in that type of sale, usually only the rectangular ones. Try for it though
 
v1ru5879
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Happened to be in Petco getting some decorations for my sons new betta tank and jumped on their $1 gallon deal that was going on and got me the Aqueon 20 gal h for $20 bucks. Is there a hood you can recommend? I was looking at this one then swapping in my LED light in place of the one it comes with. Any particular filters I should look into?
 
Hunter1
  • #18
I’ve bought hinged, glass lids for 4-5 of my tanks on Amazon, Versa-top is what I think they are called.

They work great if putting a LED light on top.

They have a hard plastic insert in the back to cut slits for heater cord, air hose, etc.

Pretty cheap, maybe $20 for a 20 tall.
 
v1ru5879
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
I came across those while looking but was unsure if they were just a strip or covered the whole top.
 
Hunter1
  • #20
Mine cover the whole top.
 
v1ru5879
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Looking for a hood/top for my new 20 H and am having a hard time deciding to go with a versa-top or getting the this

If I go with the versatop I will still need to get a light. If I go with the aqueon I can replace the light with an LED tube for pretty cheap. Any recommendations?
 

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