My "son's" low cost 27G aquarium
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My "son's" low cost 27G aquarium

This is a discussion on My "son's" low cost 27G aquarium within the Tank Journals forums, part of the Aquarium Related Chat category; Hey all Several years ago I had a minor case of multiple tank syndrome, around 15 of them if you ...

  1. #1
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    DefaultMy "son's" low cost 27G aquarium

    Hey all

    Several years ago I had a minor case of multiple tank syndrome, around 15 of them if you didn't count the grow out, breeding, shrimp, snail and other non-display tanks.
    When the kids were born my wife gently persuaded me to tear them all down. And she has forbid me from owning another tank since.
    So back in August 2013 I decided to set up one for my son as his 4th birthday present.

    I decided to go as low cost as possible, to appease the wife, 6 months later the tank is doing good and I figured I'd share my "son's" successes and failures getting it going.

    August 2013
    As most men my age, I spend a great deal of my time late at night cruising the web looking at...... craigslist and used(insert city name here) websites looking at aquarium supplies for sale.
    I came across a 27G with lighted canopy and an AC200 for $15, about 20 minutes later I was loading it into my car and not worrying about the change from the $20 I gave the previous owner.

    The day of my little guys birthday party. The family was in the living room opening presents, while I raced around madly to set up my old metal tank rack and get the tank filled.
    I grabbed half a bag of play sand that I had left over from the sand box, ran a hose into the house and walked away to join everyone in the living room.....

    For those not counting, that's 3 BIG rookie mistakes made in all of 5 minutes from someone who knows better.
    1 - it takes time and patience to set up one of those metal stands, and I somehow ended up with a few parts left over. Specifically the shims that hold the shelves in place
    2 - playsand!!! great substrate but only after it has been rinsed, and rinsed and then rinsed again
    3 - hose into house without proper supervision

    So the shims I was missing on the one side of the rack caused the shelf to tilt under the weight, the very muddy water was tipped out onto the rabbit whose cage is right next to where I set things up and the hose did what it all hoses do, keep producing water. A rushed and haphazard setup became a mad panic tear down, attempting to save the laminate floor and a rather grumpy long haired angora rabbit.

    Next Day
    The whole ordeal bent the legs on my old rack, so a new stand was needed. Out the scrap pile in my workshop I went and fashioned a workable stand, which to this day still needs to be completed (proper base, shelves, doors, coat of paint etc).
    But I rinsed the heck out of the sand, monitored the hose as it filled the tank, lo' and behold a tank was born.

    A few days later a friend who I previously sold most of my old equipment etc to, came by with some fresh filter squeezings, lots of different plant trimmings, and a few fish to start cycling the tank. A big thanks goes out to him, you know who you are.

    Living a block from the ocean made finding interesting wood easy, my little guy and I spent a few days picking through driftwood piles until we found enough to decorate a 250G tank with spares, A lot turned out to be way to big which was a shame because they were awesome pieces. We boiled and sun dried each piece 2x. When it was time to finally pick through it to find the best ones..... the vast majority had been buried in the sand box or deeper mud puddles out back. So 2 pieces were all that made it into the tank, which worked out nicely!

    Fast forward to recently
    I came across a package of several rena XP filters which I bought and sold individually at 50-75% off retail, giving me a XP4 to run on the 27G tank and a small profit.
    Instead of spending a small fortune on filter media, I went to the local big box and bought a bag of baby quilt batting ($3.97) which I cut into 42 proper sized pads, and a 2 cubic foot bag of landscape lava rock ($7.99) for bio media - enough to last several years. I only had to purchase a pack of 20ppi and 10ppi pads to use for larger detritus. And I'm looking for a less expensive alternative for that.

    Okay I'm starting to ramble, in case you haven't noticed
    Pictures and specs to follow
    Last edited by AccidentalAquarist; 01-16-2014 at 01:48 PM.
    nao, nigerian prince and illogic like this.
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    90g planted rainbow community tank
    my son's low cost 27g aquarium
    0.75g no tech planted shrimp tank
    more tanks to come
    1500sqft cage - a wife, 2 kids, a cat and a rabbit

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  3. #2
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    This is the tank currently

    Fauna:
    4 - Boraras brigittae (red mosquito rasbora) - unfortunately all males
    4 - ichogaster chuna (honey gourami) - 2 very horny and prolific pairs
    2 - Hyphessobrycon amandae (ember tetra) - males
    10 - Trigonostigma hengeli (glowlight / lambchop rasbora?) want to increase this to 20
    3 - Corydoras paleatus (pepper cories) - sexes tbd
    3 - BN Plecos - sexes tbd
    pond snails
    MTS snails

    Flora:
    green stuff that years ago I could name without problem, and now I have to guess

    melon sword
    giant val
    java fern
    crypto of some sort
    and others...
    feel free to help me out there

    Lighting:
    single 24" t8 6k, 13 hours on
    left half of the tank also gets 2.5 hours of direct morning sunlight per day

    Filtration:
    XP4, using a XP3 impeller to reduce flow rate
    mainly lava rock and poly batting

    Dosing:
    not

    WC:
    25% every 2-3 weeks
    rain water collected in pail w/ powerhead to reduce bugs
    Prime used if more water needed


    Parameters:
    Yes I'm ready for the flaming.....
    I don't test my water, other than the pH of the water I am adding
    I spend 30 min every morning and evening doing a fish count and observing behavior, this tells me more about whats going on than numbers I don't fully understand
    I will get some kits soon..maybe
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    90g planted rainbow community tank
    my son's low cost 27g aquarium
    0.75g no tech planted shrimp tank
    more tanks to come
    1500sqft cage - a wife, 2 kids, a cat and a rabbit

  4. #3
    Mr Know It all target's Avatar
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    Default

    Looks good and I love the back story. I've got my almost 5 year old hitting my wife up for a 65g set up right now, for 'his' tank. LOL

    I really never test my water either, but that will be changing when I get my SW set up. For fresh, if my fish looked healthy I was good.
    Daniel

    My 90g reef

    Custom stands/canopies available on request

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  6. #4
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    For some reason every picture I try to upload is up side down. So It will take me a bit to flip and re-upload them....
    There's lots of them...more than I have of the kids for some reason....
    The excuse I am working on is that the fish move faster than the kids do, so I need more shots to get the perfect one......Think the wife will buy that?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    90g planted rainbow community tank
    my son's low cost 27g aquarium
    0.75g no tech planted shrimp tank
    more tanks to come
    1500sqft cage - a wife, 2 kids, a cat and a rabbit

  7. #5
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    Cost breakdown to date

    Initial aquarium w/ light and filter $15
    substrate - maybe $2
    NLS 5oz small fish food $15
    OSI spirulina waffers 3.35oz x2 $19.98
    4x honey gourami @ $3ea = $12
    3x pepper cory @ $3ea = $9
    4x hengeli rasbora @ $3ea = $12
    Prime 100ml $9.99
    XP filter $-180
    filter media roughly $12
    misc bits and pieces $20
    everything else = free

    So far I'm ahead of the game and have about $50 to spend before breaking even, thanks to that lot of filters I bought
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    90g planted rainbow community tank
    my son's low cost 27g aquarium
    0.75g no tech planted shrimp tank
    more tanks to come
    1500sqft cage - a wife, 2 kids, a cat and a rabbit

  8. #6
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    I have a lot more pictures, but I maybe making some major changes to the tank so I'll wait before posting them.

    I have the opportunity to get some 2.5" blue cobalt discus for a really good price. But haven't decided if I want to try adding them to a tank with spawning gouramies.Not to mention that most of the plants I have wouldn't be happy if I raised my temp a bit. Or if I should stick with my plan to double the size of my hengeli school.
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    90g planted rainbow community tank
    my son's low cost 27g aquarium
    0.75g no tech planted shrimp tank
    more tanks to come
    1500sqft cage - a wife, 2 kids, a cat and a rabbit

  9. #7
    Forum Guru jhj0112's Avatar
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    very nice!!! It's really good that your son is involving in this.. My 7 years daughter knows SA Dwarf Cichlids more than I do lol
    RSM 130- saltwater tank

  10. #8
    Forum Novice greenfin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AccidentalAquarist View Post
    I have a lot more pictures, but I maybe making some major changes to the tank so I'll wait before posting them.

    I have the opportunity to get some 2.5" blue cobalt discus for a really good price. But haven't decided if I want to try adding them to a tank with spawning gouramies.Not to mention that most of the plants I have wouldn't be happy if I raised my temp a bit. Or if I should stick with my plan to double the size of my hengeli school.
    Ha!Ha! I think it's cute how "your son's tank" quickly became "I", "I", "I". I love your story and am keen to follow your journal. Made me smile. Right on, for your alternative aquarium supplies. I admire your (your son's) resourcefulness!
    90g planted tank
    angels, bleeding hearts, neons, rummy nose, oto's, corys, a bristlenose and a bunch of amano shrimp

  11. #9
    Mr Know It all 2wheelsx2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AccidentalAquarist View Post
    For some reason every picture I try to upload is up side down. So It will take me a bit to flip and re-upload them....
    There's lots of them...more than I have of the kids for some reason....
    The excuse I am working on is that the fish move faster than the kids do, so I need more shots to get the perfect one......Think the wife will buy that?
    Use a picture hosting site like photobucket or picasa and you can insert full sized images here instead those tiny attachments.

    That excuse doesn't work, as you probably found out by now. I bought a DSLR to take pics of the kids and somehow have over 3000 fish pictures. And no, my wife didn't buy that either.
    My 100 gallon square tank
    My pleco picture thread
    46 Gallon Bowfront
    ADA Cube Garden
    Saving the world from being plecoless, one at a time....
    No more sig pics

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    Thanks for the replies guys, and yes my little guys tank is definitely an "I" tank, "I" clean it, "I" do the water changes, "I" feed the fish, "I" do whatever it takes to make it happen LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsx2 View Post
    Use a picture hosting site like photobucket or picasa and you can insert full sized images here instead those tiny attachments.

    That excuse doesn't work, as you probably found out by now. I bought a DSLR to take pics of the kids and somehow have over 3000 fish pictures. And no, my wife didn't buy that either.
    I'm working on uploading my pics to such a server, but I don't dare use anything other than my phone's camera else my wife realize it's time to get a new DSLR. That's money I can spend on the tank!

    BTW 2wheelx2 - love the pics of your Discus, if your ever interested in donating them to a budget tank let me know and I'll spend a a few hundred setting it up...lol
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
    George Bernard Shaw

    90g planted rainbow community tank
    my son's low cost 27g aquarium
    0.75g no tech planted shrimp tank
    more tanks to come
    1500sqft cage - a wife, 2 kids, a cat and a rabbit

 

 
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