Welcome to the beautiful world of aquascaping! Guys, today we have Valentine’s Day. So get out there an buy and Oase BiOrb for your beloved ones. That is not a cheap product, but it’s a high quality one and you can keep all kind of terrestrial plants in it, like Orchids and stuff, women just love it! The problem is that it’s a little bit too expensive. This will lead us to the topics of today’s video. And that is: building an aquarium on a budget. Okay, we’re gonna try to build a small aquarium, with less the price, than this Oase BiOrb. I’m gonna try to keep the cost under 300 Euros here. I can already see that you guys are gonna start commenting and telling us that: “Yeah, I can probably do this setup with less than 100 euros, using some stuff that I collected. Or borrowing stuff from my friends, or you know, exchanging on forums, etc, etc… Please… This video is not about money, this video is about aquariums. Stop commenting about budgets and you know… Starting to… Tell us about your situation, etc, etc. This is an aquarium channel, keep the peace! Let’s roll the main! Okay, so how are we gonna start building an aquarium on a budget? First of all, we have to decide on the size of the aquarium. Which aquarium size would be considered big enough? Like not a nano tank. A 60 cm tank would be just really big, and good enough to be considered an “aquarium-aquarium” in your living space. It’s quite heavy! There you go! 60 centimeters, big enough. But it’s too big for our own purpose. We’d like this size, and we need a pad below it, to protect it. You can put this aquarium on anything as I said. Here! The JBL AquaPad will be ideal. So let’s take this! Alright, I’m gonna set this down, before we continue shopping. We’re in the goodies store at Green Aqua. All that meets the eye! Alright, we’re standing in the most important corner in the Green Aqua shop. The lights and the filters. Good filtration is imperative for all aquariums. All you have to do, is you have to select a filter. An external filter that is big enough, to accommodate enough filter media. For our purpose, this Eheim Classic 250 – 2213 external filter will be just the best. We have LED lights, we have really nice lights, that we cannot afford in this project. Ultimately, I would go for a compact tube… Which is this one. The ODYSSEA light – and this is quite a nice light. Very cheap, but good quality. I forgot to tell you, good quality is very important, so Green Aqua only has products that are better in price, but they’re not on the low-low level. So we’re not selling any products that we don’t believe in. So things are getting a little bit complicated from here, I need to check my shopping list! We’re done with selecting the aquarium, the pad, the light, the filter… Gravel! That’s the next thing. You can see that this whole row is full of substrate, gravel, that you need for aquariums. So what you need is a base layer fertilizing substrate. This is a substrate that’s rich in nutrients and the plant roots will just go down there and reach the nutrients and take the nutrients from there. So it’s very important for plant growth, to have some base layer fertilizing substrate. That resides at the bottom-most layer of your aquarium. What do we have on top of this? This shouldn’t be in connection with the water. You should put something on the top. You need some clay-based soil, ideally. The clay-based soil is something, that the plants’ roots will feel good in. The problem with our case is that we want to fit into those 300 euros worth of budget, so we cannot really choose proper soil here. We will go for inert soil. What kind of inert substrate are we choosing here? I would go for the Crystal quartz from Dennerle, and I like the black color. I really like black substrates, they look seamless and it goes well with the bright green color of the plants and it also goes well with the hardscape, that I’m about to show you. We’ve got two more things to take care of today. The first one is planting. We need some kind of tools, some tweezers, to do the planting. What kind of tweezers do you want to choose? Ideally, you would want some ADA stuff. I’m using ADA stuff all the time. I love those, those are light, easy to grab the plants You have no idea, how important good tools are, when you’re spending hours on planting and stuff. But here, I think we’re gonna go with Oase, because that has a better price and it’s also not bad quality tweezers. So, Oase! Let’s go, find the hardscape! We’re in the aquascaping players’ ground! at the hardscape room of Green Aqua. What kind of hardscape do I want to select for this low-tech aquarium? Obviously, I don’t want to go for rocks, because rocks are really heavy and they would cost a lot of money. Let’s just stick to wood, because you can get the most volume and you can build a bigger structure with just a couple of branches. So what I did here is that I selected one kilogram of Iron Wood. And… I cable tied them together like that. These are like three pieces – one, two and three. Cable ties stretch along the basis of these roots I covered the cable tie with the fourth root. So actually you only have problems with the lower here, but that can be covered by some epiphyte plants. There is one more thing, that we have to take care of, before actually starting to work on the aquarium, and that is the water treatment. You’re gonna probably change the water, or fill the aquarium up with tap water, which contains a lot of Chlorine. You need to get rid of that, because it will hurt the fish and it will also hurt the bacteria, which are working in your filter. So, we’re gonna need some kind of product for that, and this is the Seachem Prime. The other thing I want to do is that I wanna show you the Aquarium Starter Rapid from Dennerle. This product will help you in cycling you aquarium like that. Alright, plant selection! What do we have here? This is the last step in building this aquarium, so we wanted to have something, that is really saving a lot of money for us. Because all of the other costs were necessary, to build the aquarium. What’s the problem now? The problem is that we want to have as many plants as possible. Obviously you want to plant as densely as possible. We don’t have money for a lot of plants, so we try to select epiphyte plants. We’re not gonna plant anything in the foreground, in the substrate. So we’re gonna have only midground plants and stem plants in the background and we also try to select some cheaper plants, so… no expensive plants for you guys! This is Vallisneria Asiatica, three bunches. This is the small Anubias from Green Aqua, … plant. These are the Staurogyne, I’ve got two boxes of this. These are the two Crypts, the wendtii Green and the Brown, next to each other. And then we’ve got the Christmas moss, which is gonna be glued on the wood. And the last plant here… On this plate is the Brasiliensis, that will go in the mid-ground or in the background, to add some color to the whole scape. I cannot tell you how relieved I am right now! Because we’re done with the financial considerations. We can start scaping! So we have what we have, we have to use it, let’s start building this aquarium, which is ready, right here. So you don’t even need scissors to open this. Tropica was kind enough, to provide us with these self-opening things. Dennerle Crystal quartz gravel. Make sure the substrate is higher towards the end. You want some kind of elevation towards the end, to give some perspective to your tank. Before you start planting, we need to spray the substrate a little bit, because it’s much-much easier to plant in wet substrate. We’re gonna start planting with the Staurogyne repens. We’re gonna put these in the middle. What you have to know about these plants, is that they’re gonna go higher, reaching for the light, when the light intensity is not strong enough. We’re gonna continue with the Crypts, wendtii Brown, because I want to put that in the middle on the two focus points of the tank. I’ve got one more piece of red Crypt here and I want to put it towards the middle, because I want to avoid complete symmetry. That never looks good. We’re gonna continue with the green Crypts. Full disclosure: I hate working with these tweezers and I hate planting in this substrate. I’m so used to good quality, very expensive stuff, that this one is a bit of a struggle, but it’s good for the job. So I could do the planting easily, no problem at all. So I’m gonna continue with the Vallisnerias. The Asiatica, and I’m gonna put them in the background. I’m just gonna use patches of it, of the Brasiliensis, here and there. Finally, we’ve got the small Anubiases. I’m just gonna tuck them in. I’ve got three of them, I’m trying to cover the cable ties with them. And then we’ve got the mosses, which will be glued, using any kind of glue. I will use the Seachem superglue here. Planting is ready! So you can see that this filter canister contains different types of filter media. Here we have some ceramic rings at the bottom, sponge above it, and then we have the biological filter media, the Eheim Substrate Pro. And finally fine filter mesh , and also, we have some activated carbon layer at the top. These are ugly green! Eheim, what are you doing? Yeah, that’s basically it, let’s fill it up with water! Let’s connect the filter and let’s see the end result! And let’s get the fish in! See what happened? I can’t believe this… Oh my… what a noob mistake that was! Obviously, I thought that this wood is gonna stay down. The problem is that a couple of weeks ago, when we made this video there, about the 60P aquarium, actually it was the 60H aquarium. That was okay, because I had the wood tied together with cable ties and it was a better and huge big structure, which was leaning against the glass, and being supported by the glass everywhere. Also, the substrate was thicker to hold it down. It was much heavier. This one is much lighter. I should’ve put some rocks on it. Luckily, I corrected the mistake. Yes! The aquarium is ready, filled up with water, filled the bacteria in it. 24 hour start, Guppies at it! Little hardy fish. I think this is the low-tech tank. And… Yeah, we were in budget. This is how to do a proper starter’s tank. Okay so I’m here at… Hey, Guppy-Guppy! I’m here at 2am in the morning at Green Aqua. And I just got a message from my wife:
– “Where are you?” So I’m here, I just finished this video about this low-tech tank, and… “Are you coming home?” – She asks me. “Are you gonna broadcast live as the plants are growing?” What?? What can you say to that? Broadcasting live… Plants growing… Yeah, that’s me. But… no, that’s not me. Cause I’m rescaping this thing here. I’m not gonna sleep until this is done! I’m gonna do it the Green Aqua way! Just watch it! Just watch it! In we go, with the La Plata sand. In the foreground, I’m just gonna pour it in. And in we go with the Amazonia. This is so much better to plant with these tweezers! I can’t stress enough how important the good tools and good soil are. It’s much, much more joy to plant in them! Now, that’s more like it! Green Aqua style! After pulling an all-nighter here, it’s 5:30 in the morning. I’m willing to make a compromise with you guys. We can keep the lights, and we’re not gonna add CO2. So this is gonna basically stay a low-tech tank. Low-light tank, no CO2 addition. Alright? What do you say? What we did, is we added the glass in- and outflows, we added a lot of plants – all low-tech plants though. And we added some rocks and sand and soil. Basically, what my suggestion is, after… you know, comparing these two versions: Please… Plant heavily, spend money on plants, spend money on soil! And you’re gonna be fine. You’re gonna be just like this. The hardscape is the same. Thanks for staying here and watching this transformation from low-tech tank to another, higher level low-tech tank. If you like the Green Aqua channel and if you didn’t subscribe – please do that! Or hit the bell button, to get notified of our future uploads. Don’t forget, you’ve got three more days until Sunday, to play with us for the 300€ giveaway, 30K giveaway. Actually, we’re almost at 40K now, so… Let’s call it 40K giveaway for the next three days now! You guys make us rock! Thanks for all your support until now! Happy Valentine’s Day! Until next week, bye!