Friday, July 4, 2014

Is the aquarium hobby expensive?

Many people stay away from aquariums because they consider the hobby to be too expensive.  it can be expensive if you go to a pet store and buy a new aquarium stand, filter, food pumps,  and accessories. There are also ways to have an an aquarium at low cost.

The low cost solution  is buy a used aquarium. You can find them in the classified ads and Craig List. Many aquariaists move or the partner dies who maintains the aquarium. Often the person who is selling the aquarium is just looking for a good home for their fish. Used aquariums can be purchased for a small percentage or the original cost, often around 10 per cent.

Often apartment managers will find abandoned aquariums when people move out with live fish in them. They will call aquarium stores to remove the aquariums and fish. Many of these stores sell used aquariums and related equipment.

This hobby is more for the homebody, Just like any other pet such as a cat or a dog, the fish must be cared for when you go on a long trip or a vacation. However, you can't put fish in a kennels. Someone must come into you home to check the tank, add water and feed the fish if you haven't purchased an auto- feeder.

The first question is what kind of aquarium do you want,fresh or salt water? Salt water are more expensive and somewhat harder to maintain. However, the salt water fish,invertebrates and corals are more colorful and interesting. Some saltwater reefs tanks are spectacular.
 freshwater cichlid

Salt water fish are  more colorful, but there are some fresh water species that rival the saltwater fish. There are some genetically engineered species that rival the saltwater colors. 

Fresh water species: the Cardinal and genetically engineered fish that glow in the dark

Salt water fish provide a riot of color. The invertebrates are also interesting: starfish, crabs, soft corals and anemones to name a few. A saltwater reef tank can be a site to behold

salt water reef tank

So assuming you have been able to find a low cost used aquarium system, where do you go from here? You may want to hire an aquarium specialist or tech to help you set up the tank, particularly if it is salt water. 

You can use tap water in a fresh water aquarium as long as you add a dechlorinator to the water such as Amquel when you fill the tank. In general it a good idea to let fresh water stand for at least 72 hours when you fill the new tank. The other alternative is to try an salvage as much s the old aquarium water as possible and fill the tanks with the original water. Slowly introduce the new water from the tap and add the dechlorinater.

The best water to use in either saltwater or freshwater aquarium is reverse osmosis (RO) water, rain water or distilled. Fish will often breed after you introduce rain water into an aquarium. Use a large cone funnel with a paint filter to filter the rain water before you put it in the tank.

Have also used filtered rain water in salt water tanks, too, with no ill affect. Hoverer, RO water is what most aquarium people and techs use. Distilled water can also be used in a saltwater tank. 

When you purchase a used tank you will get a lot of accessories such as pumps,water filters, nets, chemicals and test kits. One thing not to skim on is fish food. Some of the better brands are Hikari and Spectrum.  Goldfish food is not recommended for fresh or saltwater fish.  

Aquarium filters are important because they keep the water clear. Fresh water filter filter often  hang on the top of the tanks thee are also sealed units that fit under tanks. These filter are generally not suitable for salt water tanks. Most salt water tanks use a sump under the tank for filtration.

Fresh water filters

Salt water aquarium sump

Lights are very important for an aquarium.In general a fresh water aquarium will do well with fluorescent grow lights. Hydroponic lights work fine and may be cheaper than aquarium lights. Such fixtures uses T8 fluorescents in the 6500k-7000k (Kelvin)range. 

You can use T8 fluorescent lighting the 10,000K to 20,000K ranges but halogen lights are more commonly used in saltwater aquariums. Halogen lights are hot and should be suspended above the aquarium rather than used under an aquarium hood when possible. 

A better option for a salt water tank is the new LED lights. Radion lights are great, but expensive. There are lights on Amazon an Ebay that are far less expensive. Aquamana and LG-LED Solutions and make good lights. Bought a LG-LED array on Ebay that costs about $90.

Make sure the LED light has 120 degree or 90 degree LEDS and also check the surface area that the light can cover. Some of these lights can be daisy changed which reduces the number of plugs into receptacles.

New LED aquarium lights

If you want an aquarium in your home, you have been provided some options to keep the costs down.  Buy a used setup, not new. Use filtered rainwater to keep the water costs down. Buy the new and less expensive LED lights to brighten your aquarium.

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Bernd said...

They will call aquarium stores to remove the aquariums and fish. ...

Georg said...

Many people stay away from aquariums because they consider the ...