Fractured Porous Clay Substrate. This material is the gravel I am
using. It is a good gravel to use when doing a planted tank. It
is clay based and has a good supply of iron content to it as I understand.
It has good nutrients for good plant growth. I wasn't real happy
with the color of it as it is different shades of brown, tan, and
colors in between but I guess it will grow on me and it does look
a lot more natural. I guess I can't get the fish bowl look out of
my head. Price wise it is not to bad if gotten from a large dealer.
I priced at a pet shop in my area and it was priced at $24.95 per
15.4 lbs. Bag. On the net you can get for around 12-14 bucks plus
delivery. I found a new place in my area that had it for $13.95
plus tax. This I thought wasn't to bad since delivery is at least
that from the net but certainly better than 25 bucks plus tax at
the pet store. Pay no more than this. Regular gravel from the store
comes in 5 lbs. Bags and runs $3.99 a bag. 3 times that much in
the 15.4 lbs. Bags of Flourite it is nearly the same price. The
four bags you see here are the four I bought from the net. I bought
one more from the other store for the price I mentioned. I'm hoping
that 77 lbs. Will be enough with the sand.
Fluorescent Lights: Important to have light to see your
fish as well as they can see their food. Also the plants will need
this light so they can make food for themselves and grow. The lights
shown are 2-24" light housings. They did not come with and I still
need to get the bulbs I need for good plant growth. I have decided
to use 2 Sun-Glo's and 2 Power Glo tubes. The light housing came
with bulbs and look good when turned on, but unless you have fake
plants they won't do. Real plants (well Java Moss I understand will
grow with a Lightning Bug light, and will probably be some of my
first plants to go in since the bulbs mentioned will not be in place
for awhile). Prices on these housings with bulbs I'm afraid are
less than what I paid but I was a little stupid on prices before
I bought these but pay no more than 60 bucks for 24" light housing
and no more than 120 bucks for a 48" light housing with bulbs.
GLASS Aquarium. This is important for new people. Cleaning tanks
of algae and dirt can be tough to get off. Plastic tanks scratch
easy and although you can see better through them try seeing through
a big gash in one. Expensive to repair as well. Metal razor blades
can be used in a glass tank but need to be used on plastic with
extreme caution. Glass is also cheaper. You will pay almost double
for a Plastic (Acrylic tank). The only draw back to glass is that
is heavier. About twice the weight of Acrylic tanks. My 75-Gallon
glass tank weighs 100 lbs. Just by itself. Get one with glass covers
on top. My light set says on it "To be used on glass covers only!"
Plastic tops get cloudy and restrict light traveling through it
as I found out with my two 10 gallon tanks. Price for 75-Gallon
tank around $120 - $190 dollars. Depends on the glass your getting.
I got the temperate glass bottom one, which I heard, was stronger
but can't be drilled. I didn't care to have a drilled bottom and
did care about the stronger bottom.
You can pick rocks right out of your yard, which you clean well
to put in the tank. But you have to know about rocks. Rocks with
Calcium content can change the chemistry of your water. You want
to keep rocks such as Granite, or sandstone, or any rock that won't
leach out and dissolve itself in your water and change the pH level
or hardness of your water. Also pet stores and places like this
have some really nice interesting looking rocks which you can be
sure that most (you can ask to be sure) won't leach into you water.
Although it's pretty funny going to a counter to have them weigh
and pay for rocks. These prices can vary according to the type of
rocks you buy. The expensive pet store has one price for all and
I have a discount card for there but they have the best rocks and
run $1.89 a pound. I get 10% off but when buying rocks the pounds
and cost go up fast. I have roughly 30 lbs. Of them I bought. So
do the math it can get a little expensive. I have also gotten some
around my work place. I want to build a few caves and cover with
Java Moss so don't care what they look like.
and Canopy: This I was lucky with. These things are expensive.
For a particleboard one the pet store wanted 100 dollars for the
Canopy and 200 dollars for the Stand made out of particleboard.
300 dollars total. This isn't too bad from what I have seen. A solid
oak one can run around 1000 dollars and better. This is something
you do not want to skimp on. A 75-gallon tank with water and rocks
and gravel is heavy. Water alone is 8.8 lbs. Per gallon. This will
weigh around 1000 lbs. Fully loaded. Not something you want on a
cheap table. I know even less about wood and woodwork than I do
about fish but I do know that you should never get particleboard
wet. It warps and loses its strength. That is definitely going to
happen with a tank full of water. My brother-in-law is Bob Villa.
Well not really but good for me because he is better than that.
I told him I would make him famous and take his picture by the stand,
which he just made for me. It looks better than any stand I have
seen. It looks unbelievable. Well see the pictures of it when I
get them on here. I will go to the pet store and try to help him
sell some of them. Also if any one here would like to have him make
one E-mail me and I will give prices and he's lucky because he works
for a trucking company. I had to put that little commercial in there
for him because I just saw the stand for the first time today it
looks better than I thought it would (and that is saying something
because I knew it would be great). But look around some for good
prices but remember like the foundation of a house. You don't want
to skimp here.