Author Topic: cheap fish tank / aquarium?  (Read 4643 times)

FLBiker

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cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« on: August 07, 2015, 07:17:13 AM »
While biking into work today, the thought occurred to me that it would be nice to have a fish tank in my office.  Electrical costs would be covered, and it would need to be a set up that I could away from for a couple of weeks.  Is this possible for not a ton of money?  I have zero experience with fish tanks, but I've always wanted one.  Any insight / links would be appreciated.  I'm game for either fresh or salt (I assume fresh is easier / cheaper).

Thanks!

Spork

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 07:43:00 AM »
We have had several over the years -- all fresh water.  I am almost sure that every one of them was bought used off of craigslist/garage sale type situations -- and later sold the same way.

Bigger is easier than smaller.  I don't mean you need 1000 gallons... but there is a chemical/biological balance you want to get to where bacteria in the gravel is actually purifying the water.  That is easier to reach and maintain with a little more water.

We have also had 25cent feeder goldfish several times.  If you keep them long enough (and in a big enough tank), they get enormous and are really kind of a pretty fish to look at.

Blatant

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 08:32:43 AM »
I LOVE fish tanks, but have found them to be an enormous time suck if you want the tanks to look good and be healthy. Not too terribly expensive if you buy used -- aside from the electricity -- but a lot of maintenance.

FLBiker

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2015, 08:39:05 AM »
Thanks for the input!  I don't know how big I can go in my office (it's ~100sqft) and I'm not worried about electricity.  Is 5 gallons enough to get balance?  10?  I like the goldfish idea, too.  And I don't mind spending some time on it (especially because it will be time at work) but I can't spend hours every week.  I'll do a bit more research.

Spork

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 08:43:25 AM »
Thanks for the input!  I don't know how big I can go in my office (it's ~100sqft) and I'm not worried about electricity.  Is 5 gallons enough to get balance?  10?  I like the goldfish idea, too.  And I don't mind spending some time on it (especially because it will be time at work) but I can't spend hours every week.  I'll do a bit more research.

10 is pretty small.  I was thinking 50-100 if  you had room. 

The upside is: goldfish are super hearty.  You can almost throw them in a mud puddle and they'd be fine.

FLBiker

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 08:48:33 AM »
Wow, 50-100?  I could probably fit it, but I might need to run something that size by my boss.  I'm going to be moving offices at the end of the month, so I've got some time to learn more.

Blatant

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 09:34:40 AM »
To be clear, I was talking about minimum 100 gallons to create an "environment." No experience with the sizes you're talking about.

AZDude

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2015, 09:47:05 AM »
The bigger it is, the more maintenance. Be sure to go freshwater, not saltwater. Make sure the boss knows about this, because most office building facilities crews will go crazy over people plugging in electronics not used for work(one job they would come around and unplug/confiscate stuff).

I would go with 10 gallons. Its plenty big enough and best of all, its light enough to lift yourself to carry into the office. Picking up a 50 gallon tank is heavy, especially if you add in some gravel and other stuff. For tanks and equipment, you can find free/cheap stuff on craigslist(i gave away my old 10 gallon tank for free when I moved). Only thing you should really even consider buying new is a filter motor.

Punky Bikester

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 10:53:39 AM »
There are also very small tanks that can be set up for one (or very few) fish, such as a Betta fish. Bettas can even technically live without a filter system, since they can breathe air, however, you wouldn't want to leave it for a couple of weeks. When I was a kid, I had a small plastic tank with a Betta and a few Zebra Danios, with a cheapo corner air filter, and they did just fine.

If you go through with getting a tank, be sure to check the ideal temperatures for your fish as well. Some species are cold-hardy (think typical office temps), while others may require an in-tank water heater. Best of luck!

FLBiker

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 11:01:02 AM »
Thanks for the ideas.  10 gallons seems like a good place to start, and I'll run it by my boss ahead of time.

MgoSam

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2015, 01:22:31 PM »
My house came with a weird fireplace installation that has a TV spot but it isn't currently being used. I measured it and could easily fit a 20 gallon aquarium and it would look really nice there. I've been reading about the Walstad Method and would love to get a planted aquarium. Anyone have any experience creating such a setup?

brotatochip

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2015, 04:53:40 PM »
I've had a 75g for 4 years now and have a nice set-up with tropical, freshwater fish.  The bigger the tank, the LESS maintenance you have to do.  You should be able to get your entire set up on CL for a reasonable price.  Since you have never cared for fish, it will take some practice and you will run into problems.  With a smaller tank you need to do more frequent water changes.  It's not a cheap hobby if you're really into it, but it's way cheaper then any other pet! 

Samala

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2015, 09:31:55 PM »
I've been reading about the Walstad Method and would love to get a planted aquarium. Anyone have any experience creating such a setup?

20H or 20L?  The long would be easier to light and possibly better for plant growth over the long term.  But a 20H would give you more space to have a deep substrate and still lots of water column for vertical stem plants or swords.  There are whole forums dedicated to planted tanks and suggest you try plantedtank.net

An old but great planted tank oriented website is thekrib.com


lbmustache

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2015, 10:47:58 PM »
I LOVE fish tanks, but have found them to be an enormous time suck if you want the tanks to look good and be healthy. Not too terribly expensive if you buy used -- aside from the electricity -- but a lot of maintenance.

Yep. The bigger they are the more maintenance too. I won't have a fish again. Too much time and they don't actually do anything... (I have a dog FWIW)

CharlesBronzee

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2019, 08:49:34 PM »
When I was a kid I used to have an aquarium and even bred Bettas.  Fast forward 30 years later Iíve always had a desire to get back into the hobby.  Finally gave in last year and bought a 20 gallon tank.  I think I spent around C$750 to get started.  Ongoing costs is next to nothing, so its a very inexpensive hobby.  From a time commitment point of view, it takes me about 40 minutes once a week to scrub off excess algae and make a partial water change (4 gallons a week) - thatís it. It involves though lifting a bucket of water, which I donít mind (just another form of exercise for me).

One year later, I still enjoy it.  Itís in my home office and I think itís a nice and relaxing fixture to have. I watch the fishes during mini-breaks and when Iím on boring con calls etc. Lol

E.T.

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2019, 09:07:39 PM »
Please make sure to size your tank correctly for the fish you get. Tiny tanks may be cute but they'll also kill your fish faster.

I'll get off my soap box now to say that the most fun low maintenance aquarium I had was a twenty gallon tank with a couple dwarf freshwater shrimps and some neon tetras. Amanos are awesome algae eaters so your tank will stay pretty and they're really fun to watch dart around. I put a piece of carefully cleaned driftwood in with my plants and those little shrimps went to town on it. Just read up a bit on their needs and they can be really fun and easy to care for.

Edited to add: Just realized this is a really old thread, OP let us know if you got a fish! What can I say? I'm a reel big fish fan.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 09:13:39 PM by E.T. »

FLBiker

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Re: cheap fish tank / aquarium?
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2019, 02:19:03 PM »
Ha, did not get fish.  And now we're moving to Canada from FL, so they'll have to wait. :)