How to Save Money in the Aquarium Hobby

How to Save Money in the Aquarium Hobby


Are you tired of spending so much money on
your aquarium? In this week’s video I’m going to give you
some tips and tricks for saving some of that hard-earned cash. That’s coming up. Hey everyone, Steve Poland here, Steve Poland Cichlids,
stevepolandcichlids.com. And if you’ve kept an aquarium for any amount
of time you know that this hobby can get expensive. But there are ways to minimize that cost without
much extra effort. One of those is DIY, which I fully support.
But what if you’re not that handy? You can still save money if you know a few
tricks. Now I’ll start with the aquarium itself. This can get really pricey, especially as
you get into some of the larger tanks. But there are a few ways to save on this.
One of the best ways is by checking craigslist, or your local equivalent. You can often find tanks of all shapes and
sizes at great prices because unfortunately aquariums simply don’t hold their value. You can also find full setups being sold by
people who just want out of the hobby for one reason on another. This can include tanks,
stands, lights, filters, the whole works. A lot of these tanks are in great shape, but
as with anything else you need to pay attention to what you’re buying. You may have to do some cleanup on these used
tanks, or even reseal them, so if you’re not comfortable with that you
can do what I’ve done a few times which is look for someone selling a brand new tank
that they just never got around to setting up. Another great way to buy brand new tanks is
at the dollar per gallon sales. Now this started with Petco but now other retailers like Petsmart
and Pet Supplies Plus have followed suit. The sizes range from 10 to 55 gallons so if
you’re looking for a smaller tank this is a really good deal. The tanks are typically Aqueon brand which
are really well built. Now once you get into the equipment and accessories
for your tank, the cost can start to add up really quickly. A popular way to save money on lids is by
buying corrugated plastic that’s meant for greenhouses. It can be cut to fit and is much
less expensive than the glass tops. Now I’ve never done this myself because I’m
really picky about my lids. I always use Aqueon Versa tops which are usually cheapest at Petsmart
or at online retailers. In fact most of what I buy new I buy online.
I’m a big fan of Amazon Prime because of the free 2 day shipping. Ebay also has a lot of great deals on aquarium
equipment. Look for power sellers for your best experience. LED lights are a great example
of something you can get on eBay. Another great place to buy things online is
Jehmco. If you have multiple tanks or are breeding they have great deals on things like
sponge filters and air pumps. A popular option to save on substrate is to
use play sand or pool filter sand. It’s a couple of dollars a bag at Lowe’s or Home
Depot. Just be sure to rinse it thoroughly first. And if you need rocks just get them from a
local landscaping place. It’s gonna be way cheaper per pound than at a pet store. I’m
talking a fraction of the cost. For your filter media, I talked about this
quite a bit in my video on water clarity, but polyfil is a must have and it’s very cheap.
It costs next to nothing. If you don’t want to pay a lot for biological
media you can try pot scrubbies from the dollar store. I’ve also started to use Seachem safe instead
of Seachem Prime because it’s much less expensive. So just to give you an example of how I’ve
used these methods: My 125 gallon tank I bought on craigslist.
It was brand new and came with brand new glass tops. And I paid probably half of what I would
have paid if I’d have bought it at a store. The stand and canopy were also from craigslist,
both custom built from solid wood by different people. All I had to do was paint them black. The filters are all Eheim and were all used. The lights I bought on eBay. I have a big
UV sterilizer that came for free along with the Eheim filters I bought. The heaters were brand new, but I suggest
buying all of your heaters brand new. It’s one area where saving money just isn’t worth
it. The consequences of failure are too high. My 90 gallon tank I also bought on craigslist.
It came with a pine stand that looked almost brand new and a Fluval FX5. The matching pine canopy I bought from Amazon
as one of it’s Warehouse Deals. I’ve probably paid about a quarter or a third
of what I would have paid had I just walked into a store and bought all of this stuff. Now at this point you may be thinking “what
about the FISH?!?” Well I only have a couple of tips for saving
on fish. First is to buy from breeders whenever possible.
Whether it’s someone local or someone online, cutting out the middle man will always save
money. If you don’t already know any breeders in
your area get involved with your local fish club. I guarantee you they will know. My second tip for buying fish is to buy them
young and grow them out. It’s much less expensive than buying full grown fish and it’s a really
rewarding experience. I’ll include links to some of the stuff that
I mentioned in this video down in the description. And I would love to hear from you in the comments
below, whether it’s thoughts about these tips or if you have some tips of your own that
I didn’t cover. If this is your first time here at Steve Poland
Cichlids then I would love to have you subscribe. Because each week I bring you a new video
sharing my experiences in the aquarium hobby. I give updates on my tanks, review products,
show you DIY projects and share tips and tricks to help you take
your aquarium to the next level. Hit that subscribe button to follow along. Have a good one!

41 thoughts on “How to Save Money in the Aquarium Hobby

  1. Good video. I agree Aqueon is a Marineland product. Play sand clumps after awhile and releases dangerous gases into the aquarium when disturbed. Pool filter sand would be a better selection. I never pay full price for fish even at the LFS. Bundle deals always guarantee good prices. Peacccceeeee ✌🏿️

  2. This video was very well done. Good info all around. I can tell you put a lot of time and thought into it, which I can greatly appreciate.

    What size canopies have you seen on eBay?

    Petco used to have the Aqueon tanks for the $1 sale. It's Tetra now, at least by me. Such sloppy seams. I have a couple for fry and such. The glass tops cost more than the tank sometimes. Brutal.

  3. Excellent tips! Being handy definitely saves you a lot of money. Some people equate Ebay to "flea market" items and are afraid of buying from them. They sell new items as well & I have bought plenty of items from them and have always gotten excellent service. Just don't forget to read the sellers' reviews to lessen the risk of getting bad service.

  4. If you're watching this video, pay attention. I do everything that Steve is saying , but I learned the hard way after spending too much money.

  5. Great tip to save on electricity keep your tank in a heated room and keep the doors closed if the room temperature is high the heater in your tank won't need to heat the water as much. stay single it will also help save lots of money

  6. Great job Steve. It's sad the local fish stores are losing business, but I agree, I shopped everywhere you mentioned for my tank. Amazon is my best friend, and I rely on aquarium channels like yours for that "old guy from the fish store" knowledge. Thanks!

  7. Another great video sir… You are really becoming a pro at this, But I did predict this would happen if you remember.. LOL

  8. is there white sand I can buy by lows nd how should I start a brand new cichlids tank, with no fish in it. should I buy three then add more in two months later or what would suggest.

  9. great informative video again, thanks. is there a way to fix a cracked aquarium ie. 50 gallon, back panel has a crack extending from bottom center to top right?

  10. Hi Steve, nyc video and info, iam looking forward to buy a new 300 or 400 gallon tank with canister filter, sand, heater, water conditioner from local fish store and they are way too costly so is there any other method to save money and get it for a lesser price!! thanks!!

  11. where are aqueon versatops at PetSmart? I've not seen them at any pestmart, they don't seem to carry any aqueon stuff except some water care and a couple aqueon tanks everything else is their topfin brand and tetra. I've seen versatops at PETCO but goddaymut Petco does NOT do a good job of restocking their fish crap (they don't like to restock their nets, check valves, air stones, suction cups etc…), they only have versatops for 10g's and sometimes the 20's the rest are always GONE. their price sticker is there where they should be but I kid you not, every Petco I go to, they've not had the ones I need! and for some reason on Amazon they are over $100!

  12. you cant just buy playsand wash it and think it will be good for your fish some fish that are aggressive eaters will eat the food from the bottom pick up some sand with it and they can cut their gills or get stuck in their moth or gills since play sand is quite corse that's if you have like axolotls and so on some fish its ok but some is not why did you not include this.you cant use any rock from the local garden centre because It could add diseases or parasites to your tank plus could confuse the ph. level if it is a rock high in calcium or absorbs the calcium you need to do more research on the rocks and environments I understand you are trying to get into the YouTube community but what if someone dose as you say they decide to get a stone from the store they just spent out all this money on a fish tank and fish and could be a child that has spent his months worth of pocket money to find that every week he needs to buy a new fish because he has a highly acidic stone or something? maybe he wanted to own a fish shop when he is older but because he thinks he did it all right and his fish keeps dying he just gives up on the hobby because what would you think of doing first changing the water? checking the ph. level see its off so you try adding stuff to the tank to make the ph. perfect but then it keeps flixuateing? I'm sorry but please be precise with your knowledge of fish keeping tough you may know what fish is good to keep in sand the views don't and you may know what good rocks their are to buy but the viewers don't thank you. sorry for my spelling I'm quite young and have deslexia.

  13. This video was on my recommended and I love saving money on my tanks! Thanks for all the great tips. I subbed!!!;-)

  14. How long does it take to go out a cichlid? Wondering what the lifetime cost of a fish could average out to. Trying to prepare 😉

  15. How to save money in aquarium hobby? DON'T DO IT! Don't buy that betta with a bowl, it's a gateway addiction. It'll get you deep into the hobby and by the time you realize it, you've spend thousands of dollars.

    Take it from us! Don't . do . it!

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