Children’s fish tanks are frequently acquired as a hobby or oddity. However, as you can see, the cost and knowledge required are much beyond a child’s capabilities or interest, and the tank must be funded and maintained primarily by an interested adult. Children like and benefit from a well-kept tank, and they often enjoy helping to care for the fish, but they should never be exclusively responsible for the upkeep and care of these fragile creatures.
Because fish can’t communicate their needs and we can’t ‘touch’ them, as well as the fact that many people regard fish to be inferior living forms, their welfare is frequently overlooked. In the lexicon of the modern fish keeper, the old saying “if a fish dies, we’ll just get a new one” has no place.
When it comes to designing your dream aquarium, cost is always a factor. The most basic glass tank can be purchased for as cheap as $50, while higher-end models will cost much more! This post is written to assist folks who are looking for a low-cost, long-lasting configuration with a lot of features while staying within their budget. An aquarium kit can also help with expenditures because it is often less expensive than purchasing all of the necessary equipment separately.
Fish aquariums are not cheap. When a novice wants to get engaged in something like a saltwater tank but discovers how expensive it is to get started, it might be discouraging. Is it possible to find inexpensive fish tanks? Yes, if you know where to seek and have the patience to wait for a good offer. The following five suggestions will help you obtain the greatest bargain on cheap fish tanks.
If you’re on a tight budget, another alternative is to seek assistance. Take your shopping list and tell your friends and family that you’d like to receive products from it for your birthday, graduation, or the holidays. You’ll be able to get started without having to settle for subpar equipment, and your family will be able to get you something you’ve expressed an interest in. Perhaps they will surprise you and gift you the stuff without having to wait for a formal occasion to do so.
Even the most seasoned aquarium owner should plan ahead. Cost and size are two of the most crucial and fundamental factors to consider while putting up a new aquarium. In both circumstances, people tend to underestimate what is required and make compromises that ultimately cause issues.
Where Can You Find Low-Cost Fish Tanks?
1. The dollar per gallon sales
The chain pet retailers, such as Petco, run a dollar per gallon discount a few times a year. Tanks ranging in size from 10, 20, 29, 40, and 55 gallons are all available for $1 per gallon during these dollar per gallon deals. You might get lucky and find 75 gallon tanks available for $1 per gallon in your neighbourhood. These tanks are manufactured by Aqueon, a reputable aquarium company with a long history.
You must be informed of when these stores hold sales, but fortunately, there is one website that announces these dates.
While the tank itself will be inexpensive, you will likely have to spend a significant amount of money on appropriate equipment. For those seeking for a low-cost fish tank that includes most or all of the necessary equipment. There’s a better alternative.
2. Buy Used
Purchasing old fish tanks is the most cost-effective option. There are three excellent sources for obtaining a tank.
Friends and Family Aquarium Clubs on eBay
Groups on Facebook
Craigslist may be a treasure for cheap fish tanks. You should conduct a search for “fish,” “aquarium,” and “tank,” and then review all of the current results. Because Craigslist is a real-time classified, you should check it frequently. The larger the tank, the better the deal on Craigslist, since many of these people selling want to get rid of their aquarium as quickly as possible. Here are a few examples of craiglist ads I came across while searching:
$750 for a 180 gallon, 6 foot long aquarium with complete reef setup, lacquer stand, and canopy.
120 gallon capacity $450 for a 6 foot long reef tank with canopy and support. $99 for a 46-gallon bowfront tank with canopy and stand.
Another excellent resource is aquarium clubs. The benefit of aquarium clubs is that you will almost always receive a high-quality setup that is comprehensive and well-maintained. You’d have to look on the forums of these groups to see whether someone is selling any tanks. You can get a list of aquarium clubs in your area by looking at our list of aquarium clubs in the United States.
Friends and family may be able to help you receive a free tank. Most of the time, these tanks are kept in a garage or attic. Friends and family members are frequently delighted to lend you their tanks. This is how I got started in the pastime many years ago, using a 65 gallon aquarium that had been sitting unused in an uncle’s garage. A free fish aquarium is unbeatable. Unless you inquire around, you’ll never know what’s out there.
3. What to Look Out For and What to Ask
Purchasing a used fish tank necessitates some research on your part to guarantee you get a nice tank. Here are some questions to ask and things to look for.
Questions to ponder:
- Use this calculator to obtain dimensions and references dimensions – It’s not uncommon for Craigslist posters to state the wrong tank capacity.
Ask what the aquarium was used for and what it housed – do not buy a tank that was used to house rats or reptiles since the seals may be damaged or the tank may not be waterproof.
If the tank has been pierced, look for glass portions that have been hidden.
Request a leak test; if the seller refuses, walk away from the deal; most sellers should not be offended by this request.
Scratches will be easier to repair on acrylic tanks than on glass tanks.
What is the location of the tank? Heat can harm the silicone and create leaks down the road, so tanks placed in a heated garage or outside are a red signal.
What to look for:
How does the glass appear? Is it scuffed or cloudy? What is the extent of the damage?
Check for cracks – prominent fissures are easy to spot, but hairline cracks should also be checked. These can go unseen and store water, but they spell trouble in the long run.
If the beads are made of glass, inspect the silicone sealing for solid and pliable beads.
Inspect the drill sites for cracks if they have been drilled.
Bring a flashlight with you so you can check for cracks and scratches more quickly.
Look for evidence of warping, cracks, or mould damage on the stand. Scratches or a peeling finish are OK because the tank can be refinished.
Inspect the bracing and look for evident evidence of bowing in acrylic tanks.
4. Don’t Purchase the Livestock
Frequently, you will see an ad for a complete setup that includes fish, coral/plants, live rock, and other items. I would not recommend acquiring the livestock unless you have prior expertise moving an aquarium. Moving an aquarium, particularly a large aquarium, is one of the most difficult undertakings a hobbyist can undertake. Consider acquiring an unique fish or coral separately and quarantining it till your aquarium is set up if the seller has one. On a listing, I would not consider the cost of livestock. Try to persuade the seller to sell you just the equipment.
Often, the vendor can give the livestock to a nearby fish store or a knowledgeable enthusiast who can handle the transport. Live rock would be the safest livestock to buy if you wanted to buy animals . A black stock tank with inexpensive power heads and an aquarium heater can be used to house live rock (food grade buckets work for smaller live rock purchases). Corals are also safe to buy, however considering the abundance of frags available these days, I’d recommend obtaining frags from a local reefer when your tank is ready.
When buying live rock, keep this in mind. The best approach to transport live rock in a display tank is to “fry” it. Melev’s Reef has a nice video that walks you through the process. The purpose of this is to re-establish the live rock. This keeps all of the pests out of your display tank, as well as the bothersome algae. If you roast the live rock long enough, it will be effectively quarantined against parasites (6-8 weeks while switching out containers every transfer like in the video).
5. Prices Are Negotiable
Prices for listing are sometimes a moving target, particularly on Craigslist. If you come across a fresh listing that is labelled as a “moving sale” or “must sell quickly,” take advantage of it immediately away. The more recent the listing, the better your chances of getting a better deal. Many people who advertise aquariums on Craigslist are more concerned with getting the aquarium out of their possession as quickly as possible than with getting the greatest price for it.
Ask the vendor what it would take to get it off their hands that day, even if they have a price published. You’d be shocked how often you’ll get a lower number than what’s given on the website. The worst-case scenario is that they say no, and you have to wait another week for a suitable listing to appear. People leave the hobby on a regular basis, and good prices are plentiful, especially if you reside in a big city.
Negotiating off an aquarium club listing is more difficult because the seller is typically ready to wait it out or is aware of the equipment’s value. Because these sellers are more willing to do so, it may be wiser to explore purchasing individual components of the setup for these listings. This is a fantastic way to obtain high-quality equipment. The following is a list of the best secondhand equipment to buy:
Skimmers for Protein
Lighting Calcium Reactors
Reverse Osmosis Systems (ROS) are a type of reverse osmos
Pumps for Dosing
Tank and Equipment Cleaning
If you buy a used tank setup, it will most likely not be cleaned, therefore you’ll have to clean it before using it. Distilled white vinegar, which you can obtain cheap at a store like Target, is the best cleanser for an aquarium and its equipment. After an overnight soak in the solution, the majority of the equipment should look brand new. It should be capable of handling the majority of aquariums.
Bar Keepers Friend Powered Cleanser would be a good safe product to use on the aquarium only for extremely terrible stains and dirty tanks.
Friend of the Barkeep
An fantastic method for thoroughly cleaning secondhand aquariums. A secure solution that can handle even the most difficult jobs!
The condition of aquarium stands will determine how long they can be used. If it’s in decent shape, a simple cleanser like Feed N Wax should bring it back to life. If your stand is in poor condition, you might want to consider refinishing it with an oil-based primer and paint. For refinishing work, we offer Kilz Oil-Based Primers and Java Gel Stain. Spar Urethane can be used to seal the stain.
Choosing a New Aquarium – Low-Cost Aquarium Packages
While looking for a used tank can save you money, buying a new tank is sometimes the better option. Two examples of freshwater suited beginner kits that are smaller and will get you started on your path are shown below.
The Tetra 20 Gallon Aquarium Kit is a great place to start if you’re new to freshwater aquariums.
Aquarium Kit for 20 Gallon
Tetra offers a competitively priced 20 gallon kit. If you’d rather buy fresh, it’s a cost-effective method to get started.
Tetra glass tanks are created in the United States, and this 20 gallon starting package includes everything you’ll need to get started. To get you started, it comes with an LED hood, a UL-rated heater, a Tetra Whisper filter, one boxwood plant mat, and four artificial plants. The 20 gallon tank is a good starter freshwater tank with good dimensions of 24′′ in length and 16′′ in height. Tetra’s aquarium app is a fantastic addition that provides information, ideas, and reminders to help you achieve! While the whisper filter isn’t the greatest powerfilter available, it is a good starting point for newcomers and can be increased later.
20 Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank Kit by Aqueon
Starter Kit for Aqueon
Aqueon’s 20 gallon aquarium kit. Aqueon’s power filter and a plug-and-play heater are included.
With Aqueon’s Quietflow 10, the 20 gallon kit features a higher-end power filter, but it is a touch inadequate for the package. The heater is a plug-and-play heater with a temperature setting of 78 degrees. This kit does not include any plants or rocks, so you must choose your own.
Cheap Fish Tanks are Easy to Find if You Are Patient –
AQUARIUM WATER CHANGE
Changing the water in your aquarium is the process of removing ‘dirty’ aquarium water and replacing it with ‘clean’ water. All fish keepers and planted tank aficionados should practise this on a regular basis. Sure, it takes some time and work, but it’s an essential part of keeping your fish healthy and your tank clean.
The most important thing you can do to keep a beautiful aquarium with healthy fish is to perform an aquarium water change. Knowing when and how much water to change can be a bit of a guessing game for many aquarists.
The Four Advantages Of Water Changes
If you’re still not convinced, consider the following crucial reasons for changing the water in your aquarium:
1. Water That Is Safer For Your Fish
Changing the water in your fish tank removes hazardous pollutants that create poor water quality. Your aquarium will be a more safer and healthier environment for your pets as a result of this.
2. Algae Reduction
Algae blooms are caused by toxins that build up in your aquarium’s water. One of the most effective ways to eradicate algae and keep your water (and your glass) sparkling clear is to perform regular partial water changes.
3. Restore Nutrient Balance
If you keep aquatic plants in a freshwater aquarium, supplementing and fertilising them is a terrific approach to ensure that they thrive and perform at their best. It’s difficult to determine where the amounts of these nutrients are or if they’re too high without testing for them. The simplest strategy to reduce nutrients and trace elements and prevent them from building up is to perform a water change.
4. A Scrubbed Substrate
On the bottom of the tank and in your aquarium plants, fish waste and uneaten food tend to accumulate. The best technique to remove solid waste particles and silt from your aquarium is to drain the water from your freshwater tank.
Before purchasing a fish tank, keep these points in mind.
- Before you go out and buy your first aquarium, you should decide what type of fish tank you want.
- You can choose between two styles of fish tanks.
- Aquarium with freshwater fish
- Aquarium with saltwater fish
- Freshwater fish tanks, on the whole, are far easier to maintain and put up than saltwater fish tanks.
- Saltwater fish tanks, on the other hand, are more brilliant and vibrant than freshwater aquariums.
- Your tank’s temperature differs from the temperature of the water in the bag in which your fish was kept.
- As a result, if you put it directly into your aquarium, it may shock your fish and perhaps kill them.
- There are several methods for removing the fish, but the most basic is to simply place the sealed bag containing the fish on the surface of your tank for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remember that the water from the bag in which your fish was kept should not be added to your aquarium because it may contain a lot of ammonia, which you do not want in your tank.
- If this is your first aquarium, you should not get a small fish tank of less than 5 gallons or a fishbowl.
- Because the water chemistry of a small tank or fishbowl changes so quickly, you won’t have enough time to find out what’s wrong and fix it.
For the filtration of your aquarium water, you can use a variety of filters.
Beneficial bacteria can flourish in the area provided by filters.
Beneficial bacteria are those that aid in the reduction of ammonia in your aquarium.
When filled with water, a fish tank is quite heavy.
When full with water, a 10-gallon aquarium weighs roughly 111 pounds and a 20-gallon aquarium weighs about 250 pounds.
As a result, placing your fish tank on your desk is usually not a smart idea because the desk may not be able to support the weight.
As a result, you can opt for aquarium-specific stands.
When it comes to aquariums, the substrate is not a must-have item.
However, it really aids in simulating your fish’s natural environment.
The substrate also serves as a breeding ground for beneficial bacteria.
If you want to keep a saltwater aquarium, Marine sand and living sand are good substrate options.
If you want to keep a freshwater aquarium, you have two choices.
Gravel that is fine Gravel, coarse
If you want to keep bottom feeders in your aquarium, fine gravel is the way to go. Simply ensure that the gravel’s ages are not sharp in order to avoid harming your fish.
If you’re intending to keep large fish like goldfish or South American or Central American cichlids, coarse gravel is the way to go.
You may start investigating the occupants of your prospective aquarium once you know how much it will cost and how much time it will take to properly care for it. Create your aquarium with the fish in mind. Make sure there are enough of plants, hiding spots, and the proper water chemistry. Begin gently and let your tank to ‘age’ for a few weeks before adding fish. Choose fish that are compatible with one another and read anything you can get your hands on. Never accept a fish’s death as natural, and always strive for the healthiest, most well-kept tank possible. Then have a seat and appreciate the true beauty of being in the company of these happy, healthy living creatures.