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Rob's Budget 5gal CRS build


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Wandered over to the store today to begin the build.  Budget was to be in under $100.  Ended up spending $179.54  (The list is below)





Tank: Marineland 5gal - $14.99 They don't usually have these small tanks in the $1 per gallon sales)

Filter: Aqueon QuietFlow 10 - $16.29

Heater: Aqueon Mini Heater 10w - $13.29 (Ambient temps our finished basement are 68'f, so its just there to prevent any swings in the winter)


Misc: $16 for a GH/KH test kit, and a low range pH test kit

          $5 Tetra Safe Start



Malasian Drift Wood: $1.99

Petrified Wood Rock: $6.96



Finnex Stingray 16" - $41.00



Fluval Stratum 8.8lbs - $25.00


I was at $114.00...and then I really blew my budget with



SL Aqua Blue Wizzard 500ml - $33.99 shipped (killed my budget, but I really liked the option for liquid re-mineralizer and the great reviews here)


Plants: $10.00 for some Anubius Nana and Dwarf Chain Sword


Water: RO/DI (Fresh bag of DI Resin arriving tomorrow)


Edit: Updated items and $$ from everything I've spent sofa.  (as of 7/6/2015)

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As stated, looking to purchase some ADA Amazonia or ControSoil (Brown).  What is the preferred size?  3mm??  Toss me a PM


Looking for suggestions on Substrate and Lighting.


Instead of looking for someone to bum some Amazonia or ControSoil from, I could always pickup a 4.4lb bag of Fluval Stratum for $15.  I've seen reports of buffering down to 6.6ph.  Does Amazonia and/or ControSoil go lower?


Low Tech lighting, any suggestions for a budget LED strip?


Plants:  Suggestions for starter plants?



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Great start! ADA substrate is a good choice. Fluval Stratum works well too. Mines been buffering for over a year and still going strong.


You may need to pick up a few more things like a filter guard for your HOB. So  shrimplets  don't' get sucked up.


Remineralzer for ro/di water. Might also want a TDS meter if you don't have one.  


Cycling/beneficial bacterial products like Bt-9, Sl magic powder, Mk silver powder ect.


A staple shrimp food and supplementary food. 


Using leafs like Oak, IAL and Mulberry provide alternate food sources and are overall beneficial to the shrimp and there environment.  


Aquatic plants/moss. Fissidens of any type grows well in shrimp tanks. For plants Bucephalandra, Micro swords, java fern are popular with shrimp keepers.

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Re-mineralizer: I believe I might try the SL Aqua Blue Wizard from DiscoBee (Sponsor), as I like the idea of dosing a liquid vs a powder.  (Not that there is anything wrong with powder)


Food: I think I might try the SL M.O.R.E Veggie from DiscoBee also for food.


Shoot, I might even pickup some SL Magic Powder for an SL Trifecta of products!


I have some spare foam that I'll use as a pre-filter.  

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Finnex Stingray 16" light is on the way, as well as some SL Aqua Blue Wizard from DiscoBee!


Adding up the tally above....I'm a bit over budget, but not too bad, and really didn't sacrifice anything for cost.  


So, from the list above, anything I'm missing?


I have an RO/DI System already, for my reef tank.

I have a TDS Meter with it.

I have a KH test kit for my reef tank


I guess I need a GH test kit....there's always something.


Anything else?


Thanks for all the advice!

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More goodies arrived, from a great forum sponsor! Thanks DiscoBee!


Just got back from a 4 day vacation up in Jersey.

Not much new here: Added 2ml of SL Blue Wizard and the TDS went from 70-130, I'll wait to see what the substrate adds for another weekish' before adding more.

Added the foam pre-filter.

Added a cool sticker to the tank. :)

Temps are at 71'f

Didn't check Ammonia/pH/GH/KH

Target parameters are:

PH 6.8

GH 6

KH 1-2

TDS 150-170

Temp 70


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Day 5 update:

pH: Less than 6.0 (I only have my High Level pH kit from my Reef Tank currently)

Ammonia: 1ppm

Nitrite: 0ppm

Nitrate: 10ppm

KH: 0

GH: (Don't have a GH test kit yet)

TDS: 120

Temp: 73 (so I unplugged the heater as my ambient temps in the office are 68.0'f)

Looks like the tank is cycling atleast. Will wait for the Ammonia to disappear before doing a WC. Interesting that I have Nitrate w/o Nitrite, but thats the way it goes sometimes when 1st starting up.


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