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Old 01-23-2014, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Sarasota-Manatee, Florida
407 posts, read 829,946 times
Reputation: 183

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Hey everyone, So I'm looking for a new aquarium for my condo. I currently have a 3 gallon setup with betta and a couple of neon tetras. I know, my setup is over stocked. that's why I'm looking for a new setup.

I have been to a few pet/fish stores and have looked around at what I can get for my $125 budget. I've noticed not a whole lot. I came across a 10 gallon Marineland half moon setup with heater and filter included. I got it because the price was right and I don't have much space in my condo. I am unsure if I should keep it or not. Has anyone heard of this aquarium? Is it worth keeping? Or should I return it and find something else?

I've looked into getting a 15 or 20 gallon setup, but then I would need a stand and that throws me over my limited budget.

Thank you for the responses
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
30,318 posts, read 23,800,844 times
Reputation: 38792
You don't necessarily have to buy a stand. I have a 40 gallon sitting on a bench. It's a bench seat that I got with a table set from a thrift shop...where you can find furniture that was made back in the day...you know, correctly? Something to consider.

What kind of filter? You do not want a filter that sits under the substrate. What is the name of the filter? What is the power?

Some pet stores will have sales on their aquariums. I got my 40 gallon at PetCo when they had a sale: $1 per gallon. $40 total. The heater(s), filter, airstone, sand, and live plants cost me about another couple hundred, but your prices will be a bit lower since you don't need as much power with your filter, can probably get away with one heater, and don't need as much sand. You can also get play sand from a home improvement warehouse for far, far cheaper than buying aquarium gravel or sand. Just make sure that you thoroughly rinse it in buckets before you put it in to the aquarium. It will take a lot of time, but the money you save can make it totally worth it.

You are right that your current tank is overstocked. Tetras should not be in schools of two. They need to be in larger schools, so if you want to keep tetras, you will need to get at least three more for no less than five, total.

If that is all you plan on getting, I personally believe that you should try to find a 20 gallon tank. If you start looking around, you can find some great fish forums on the net. I don't think I'm allowed to mention any...not sure, but look around. You will find some good ones. Just take the time to read the forums, find out which ones really are worth it, and sign up. Then start talking. In some of these forums, you will find equipment for sale, cheap, when people decide to upgrade, or they switch over to salt water or reef tanks. You can get a great set up for a steal, AND, you know that the set up was well taken care of. You do need to be careful about who you buy used equipment from because not everyone knows what they are doing. On a good forum, however, you will find quality for way less money than brand new.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,187 posts, read 11,944,718 times
Reputation: 3514
Return that and try craigslist.

Best place to start if you want to get into having a real aquarium setup is fish/aquarium enthusiasts forums. PM me and I can recommend a few. There may even be free tanks/stand on craigslist. If you want to get into the fish hobby, the best thing to do is commit your time in reading. Educating yourself will save you lots of $ from just walking to your local pet stores and have them pushed you into buying things that is not necessary.

As a hobbyist, I give away plants that people would end up spending $20-$30 at the local stores.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:51 AM
 
7,132 posts, read 4,853,737 times
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I got my "stand" for my 20 gallon at a thrift store. It's an old sewing machine cabinet without the machine in it. Not the most beautiful thing, but it works. My tank fits perfectly on it.

You could try Craigslist......around here in my area everything aquarium related on CL is way overpriced. Not sure if that's a regional thing or what.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,187 posts, read 11,944,718 times
Reputation: 3514
Quote:
Originally Posted by puginabug View Post
I got my "stand" for my 20 gallon at a thrift store. It's an old sewing machine cabinet without the machine in it. Not the most beautiful thing, but it works. My tank fits perfectly on it.

You could try Craigslist......around here in my area everything aquarium related on CL is way overpriced. Not sure if that's a regional thing or what.
It's definitely a regional thing. Tanks are not always free and when people do put them up for sale, they ask for ridiculous price because they based it on what they paid at the LFS. One shouldn't pay more than $50 for a a used 20-30 gallon setup with stand and filter.

I've gotten and given away tanks on craigslist. Free ones won't last more than a few hours cause there are CL people who take them and resell.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:35 PM
 
7,132 posts, read 4,853,737 times
Reputation: 15319
Quote:
Originally Posted by sj08054 View Post
It's definitely a regional thing. Tanks are not always free and when people do put them up for sale, they ask for ridiculous price because they based it on what they paid at the LFS. One shouldn't pay more than $50 for a a used 20-30 gallon setup with stand and filter.

I've gotten and given away tanks on craigslist. Free ones won't last more than a few hours cause there are CL people who take them and resell.
I don't think I've seen more than two or three free tanks on CL. I have seen many times 10 gal setups with stand, heater, filter, etc. for $50-$100. I got my 20 gal high for $15, used, from my lfs. Of course I had to buy the filter, heater, substrate, etc. i do keep trolling CL with high hopes, tho!
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Sarasota-Manatee, Florida
407 posts, read 829,946 times
Reputation: 183
I will definitely spend time looking at fish forums online to learn more about this hobby.
I did return that 10 gallon setup. I came across a 15 gallon with stand, heater, power filter, lights, hood, water conditioner, a few accessories for $140. I did some research on my local craigslist and found few great deals. But the equipment looks sorta "used and beat". I worry about leaks and damage that would occur down the line with a used aquarium from a unreliable source.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:27 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,495 posts, read 26,910,532 times
Reputation: 28036
Craigslist is the way to go, but you have to wait for the right deal. I currently have a 50 gallon tank with a curved front and stand that I bought on Craigslist for $75. I had to buy a new filter for it which was about $50. I sold my old 29 gallon for $100 once I had the 50 gallon set up.

I worry a lot more about snails than about the used tank leaking. If you bring home one little brown snail, you will have hundreds or thousands of them fairly quickly. They lay eggs in the filter and it's just about impossible to get them out. So if you look for a used tank and you see any snails in the gravel, don't get that tank.

A bigger tank will take more gravel and larger-scale decorations, so plan for that too. I use river rocks from the hardware store for tank gravel beause I like the chunky look, but you have to rinse them really, really well.


Your 3 gallon can probably handle the betta and a couple tetras while you wait for the right deal. 3 gallons is really small but the betta can breathe air, so as long as you're changing a little bit of the water (maybe half a gallon) weekly, you should be fine. When you do get a new tank, put the crud from your old filter into the new tank, and put the water from the old tank in there too, because the old water and filter crud has the bacteria your tank needs, and it will help the new tank grow the bacteria faster.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:01 AM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
30,318 posts, read 23,800,844 times
Reputation: 38792
Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzmanLI View Post
I will definitely spend time looking at fish forums online to learn more about this hobby.
I did return that 10 gallon setup. I came across a 15 gallon with stand, heater, power filter, lights, hood, water conditioner, a few accessories for $140. I did some research on my local craigslist and found few great deals. But the equipment looks sorta "used and beat". I worry about leaks and damage that would occur down the line with a used aquarium from a unreliable source.
I highly, highly advise you NOT to use Craigslist to get your tank. You never know what the person used to clean the tank. You never know if someone put copper in to the tank, (you wouldn't believe how many people do not understand that copper will kill fish, even if the tank has been "rinsed", it will kill fish that go in to it in the future), you don't know what that tank has been through, how long it will last...no. Stay away from Craigslist.

Like I said earlier, find some good forums to visit, get to know the people there, and you will find sections where those knowledgeable people, who have years of experience, are selling some of their old equipment. That equipment is not going to be garbage or questionable, and it will be a good price because you cannot fool other aquarium hobbyists.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,187 posts, read 11,944,718 times
Reputation: 3514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
I highly, highly advise you NOT to use Craigslist to get your tank. You never know what the person used to clean the tank. You never know if someone put copper in to the tank, (you wouldn't believe how many people do not understand that copper will kill fish, even if the tank has been "rinsed", it will kill fish that go in to it in the future), you don't know what that tank has been through, how long it will last...no. Stay away from Craigslist.

Like I said earlier, find some good forums to visit, get to know the people there, and you will find sections where those knowledgeable people, who have years of experience, are selling some of their old equipment. That equipment is not going to be garbage or questionable, and it will be a good price because you cannot fool other aquarium hobbyists.
There is nothing wrong with getting CL tanks. At least 1/2 the tanks in my fish room are from craigslists. There are proper way to clean/prep tank when getting used (no matter where you get it from, even fish forum). Basic household bleach and vinegar is good for cleaning and prepping the tank.

For the condition of the fish tank, avoid tanks that has been sitting without water in storage that has gone through extreme hot/cold.

It's funny how you don't recommend going to CL but instead, fish forum. Guess where lots of people who belong to fish forum get their used stuff? Join a forum, get some advice and some of them will be about used tanks from craigslist.
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