Buying used Aquarium tips, advice appreciated - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-30-2010, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Buying used Aquarium tips, advice appreciated

So I am thinking about buying a bigger aquarium (currently I only have a 10G one) and have been looking a bit on craigslist. There seems to be some decent deals on there occasionally when I price out exactly what it would of cost me to get everything new vs what they are selling it for used.

As I am still a newbie to the fish aquarium hobby, I was hoping to see if anyone had any tips on what to look for or be worrisome about when buying a used a aquarium. I obviously asked for all the details on the equipment (what type of heater, filter etc), and how old the equipment is and ensured it was used as a fish tank previously (as opposed to turtles, lizards etc). Are there any other like red flag type questions I should ask? Just want to make sure I don't miss something obvious that should make me avoid buying one I think is a good deal.

Any tips would be appreciated and thanks in advance
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-30-2010, 01:11 PM
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The only thing that I can suggest, other than what you have already done, is see the tank in action. I've purchased each tank at the buyer's place where it was set up and running. On a smaller tank it's probably not too big of a deal but it was important to me when I bought my display tank to make sure there were no leaks.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-30-2010, 02:06 PM
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i could be wrong here but i'm sure someone will be able to put me right............
if the tank was fresh water and you want it for salt water,check if the user ever used
food or meds containing copper,as it can go into the seals,then leech back into the tank.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-30-2010, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willow View Post
i could be wrong here but i'm sure someone will be able to put me right............
if the tank was fresh water and you want it for salt water,check if the user ever used
food or meds containing copper,as it can go into the seals,then leech back into the tank.
Yes, you are right! Good call.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-30-2010, 03:04 PM
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wicked,thanks.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-30-2010, 03:14 PM
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A friend gave me a 20 gallon tank and I didn't inspect it as closely as I should have, I painted the back black (the same back as used by the other owner). When I set it up, I discovered there were two noticeable scratches visible once the tank was filled. Had I used the "back" as the front there would have been no scratches.

I would take a flash light along and shine it down the glass at an angle to highlight scratches. If only one side has scratches and the other is good to go, then you can still purchase the tank and use the "good" side - scratchless - as the front of the tank. What happens is folks do most of their cleaning on the front glass, almost ignoring the back, hence one side is "used" more than the other.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-30-2010, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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good tips, thanks, one quick follow up

Quote:
Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
The only thing that I can suggest, other than what you have already done, is see the tank in action. I've purchased each tank at the buyer's place where it was set up and running. On a smaller tank it's probably not too big of a deal but it was important to me when I bought my display tank to make sure there were no leaks.

Thanks for help everyone. A few of the tanks that I saw online (i.e. craigslist) that looked like decent buys were unfortunately (per the listing) not currently in use. I guessing asking the seller to fill it up with water prior to me swinging by to see it isnt an abnormal request. I assume least that way I can make sure no obvious leaks or scratches.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-01-2010, 04:33 AM
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You'll also want to look for chips along the edges of the tank and broken center braces on larger tanks.

4 8 15 16 23 42
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-01-2010, 06:30 AM
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Yeah my general rule of thumb as they said, find out what they used it for.

If salt keep it salt water keep it that, if it's fresh water keep it freshwater.

HOWEVER if there is a crack don't by it, otherwise you can reseal it. Strip off the old seal and get silicone lol.


I repair tanks a lot... so I'm used to this, never had any issues with those rules of mine.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-05-2010, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your help. I bought a much bigger used tank then my current one on Craigslist and all your tips definately were very useful.

Now I am sure I will have other questions on setting it up, lol but I will start a new message thread for those.
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