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· Premium Member
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The ADA tank, stand and light are the most visible parts, by far, so spending ADA prices is probably justified there. And, ADA aquasoil costs about the same as other substrates, so you can use that economically. But, there are many filter options, and especially, fertilizer options that are much cheaper than ADA's. The glass lily pipes ADA sells are visibly superior to others, in my opinion, but not by much, so some money can be saved there - see Cal Aqua Labs, for example. If you use an external CO2 reactor, hidden under the tank, you can DIY that for very little cost. Hardscape, rocks especially, can be obtained a lot cheaper - visit landscape rock places to see what they have. I think you can stay under $2000 for the whole thing.
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