About 20 years ago I was into aquariums for a while. At my peak, I had a few 10-gallon tanks, and maybe a smaller one. I enjoyed the hobby but eventually found myself out of the fish business.
Now I have a beautiful 55-gallong tank in my living room. Sans H2O, but that will soon change. I try not to buy on the spur of the moment, but you do have to be prepared to move fast when a deal comes along. Saturday I saw this advertised on Craig’s List, in my town, for $100. That’s for tank, stand, good, lights, heater, filter, air pump, and a few other devices useful if you want a marine or saltwater aquarium. I mentioned the ad to my girlfriend, Karin, which lead to emailing the seller and making an appointment to drop by after church the next morning.
I drove the pickup to church and drove home with the aquarium. A check of the local aquarium stores confirmed what I already new, I saved a LOT of money. I might even be able to sell some of the saltwater equipment to defray the cost even more.
The kid, er, young man, selling the aquarium is a college student who didn’t have time to take care of a big tank. He was preparing to leave for 8-weeks in Switzerland, and I think he dad was pushing him to get the tank out of his living room. He admited that he was really trying to ‘move’ it. My gain.
I toyed with having a marine aquarium for a couple of hours, and read some of the book he included. I’ve always admired them in the stores with their live rock, colorful fish, and interesting invertibrates, but always thought they were too expensive and complicated. I still feel that way. I’ll probably start with a few fancy goldfish, and maybe eventually fill it with tropical fish.
Now I have to try and contain the rest of the setup expenses. Karin recommended 4-5 bags of gravel, which would’ve been over $60. Two $3.39 bags of pea gravel from the hardware store are going to substitute. With luck, I can find some old equipment, rocks, and plastic plants in my parents barn, and then all I have to do it throw in a few starter goldfish from Walmart.
Moral, you have to be able to recognize a good deal when you see it, be prepared to act fast, and have the available funds. Also, make sure it’s something you really want. And let the fun begin.