Where do you buy a glass tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-23-2011, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Where do you buy a glass tank?

I currently have a 10 gallon tank that was purchased at a local big-chain pet store. I don't have a small local fish store near me (closest is anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours, or out of state). I've looked over craiglist, which seems to be the best bet. But I'm skeptical; I can take a loss on a small tank if it's cracked or doesn't hold water. But to ask somebody when buying to fill a 100 gallon tank with water and let it sit in front of me seems a bit ridiculous, and then to wait for leaks? Meh.

How did you guys acquire your tanks?

29g Saltwater Reef
10g Freshwater 'vase'
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-23-2011, 03:09 PM
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Welcome to TFK

I bought my 75 gallon glass tank at a local fish supply store here in NH.

CL is a good bet if you can see the tank full of water before they break it down.

Otherwise, it's worth the 90 min. to two hour drive since you'll only have to do it once.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-23-2011, 04:01 PM
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If I buy anything over 20 gals I asked to see it hold water this is not a big deal if they really want to sell it. Mostly for my bigger tanks though I buy something that is still set up with or without fish then I rehome which fish I do not want to people I know.I also ask to see the filter running especially if its a canister filter.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-23-2011, 04:06 PM
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I got my first 10g from a pet store as a kit. Next I got my 55 set up off CL. I asked point blank if it leaked. He said no, then we inspected it together. I was looking for old silicon and signs of patch jobs. The tank was in immaculate condition.

More recently I bought a 125 off CL. It was a leaky pile of gomi. The owners offered to deliver it "after work" (in the dark) and the price was right. I asked if it "held water" instead of if it leaked or had had any repairs. Sooooo, the next day when I went outside to congratulate myself I was horrified by how obscured the glass was. I thought that was all fixable. I built a stand and ten minutes into the water test I had a leak. I promptly drained it, took pictures of the faults, and listed a very honest ad on CL. It was bought that afternoon.

So, this past week when I forayed into CL tank buying I put up a WTB ad with very specific parameters. "No chips, deep scratches, leaks, patches, or reptile tanks." When I went and looked at them I did like I did the first time and inspected them carefully. I ended up with a 125 gallon tank with half inch non tempered glass. It's not perfect, but it's leak free, he was honest about it the condition, and the price was right. Just for good measure I did re-silicon it after I scrubbed it to within an inch of it's glassy life. As of yesterday it is up and ready for business.

There are a lot of realllllly great deals out there if you are patient. Even better than that, if you post a wanted ad, you'd be surprised by some of the responses. One guy offered me a 300 gallon L shaped tank for $200. He bought it from an auction at a restaurant and never got to filling it. It'd been in his storage unit for two years. I could not justify it, but I wanted it.

"Good schools do not make one educated. The ability and desire to learn makes one educated."

"Knowledge does not make a person smart. Utilizing that knowledge makes them smart."
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-23-2011, 06:36 PM
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My first tank was a 20 gallon high bought over 15 yrs ago, I bought it new from a pet store. Didn't have the benefit of CL back then. I've since sold that tank. I've also bought a 55 gallon and a 20 long new from pet stores (the 20 long from Petsmart's $1 per gallon sale).

MTS struck bad but I couldn't afford to buy brand new tanks in the larger sizes I wanted. So I started scouring CL for deals. I've bought a 37 gallon, another 55 and a 135 gallon all from CL. On all of them I asked point blank if they leaked, how old they were, were they used for freshwater or saltwater and inspected the seals very closely. My best deal was the 55 in my bedroom. I bought it for $50 and it came with a stand, hood, lights, Aquaclear 110 filter, a heater (which looked questionable so I didn't use it) and a whole bin full of extra goodies such as decor, air pump, airline tubing, etc. It took quite a bit of elbow grease but it cleaned up nicely. The 135 gallon was also a great deal at $150 (tank and stand only). I admit I am a bit of a CL junkie, always looking for deals on filter, fish, lights etc. (the dual tube 4 ft light over my 135 gallon I bought for $20!). And I guess I've been lucky not having any problems with the used tanks I've bought

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-24-2011, 12:02 AM
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My 10 gallon I bought as a kit from the store. Shortly after, about 2 weeks I ended up getting my 50 gallon off of craigs list for $50. I did reseal the tank since the silcone was looking old and peeling away. A little bit of extra work, but was not that difficult to do and the price was worth it. On my 20 gallons I have picked them up at the store one was tank and hood light combo that I got on sale. My second 20 gallon I purchased the tank and glass canopy seperately, I already had an extra light fixture that I could use on that tank. If you search craigs list you can find some good deals, and as said by others if the person really is wanting to sell it filling it will not be a problem. Although you will still want to set it up some place at home to test for leaks, since sometimes you can have a slow leak that may not show up right away. Also if you have a petco nearby a few times a year they do their $1 a gallon sale from I believe it is 10 gallon to 55 gallon tanks.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-24-2011, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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I'm getting a 30g for 30 dollars of Craigslist. I advised the gentleman to fill it with water upon arrival so I can check for leaks. I'm excited, more tanks more tanks! I think I'm going to get another 10 gallon too while I still browse CL for the perfect 'big' tank...

29g Saltwater Reef
10g Freshwater 'vase'
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-24-2011, 01:15 PM
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Congrats, hopefully works well for you Got to love craigslist
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-24-2011, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Fish keeping is a dying hobby in connecticut. It's rough to get supplies and equipment outside of major chain retailers. Luckily for me though, it means that deals are always sprouting up on craigslist. I've seen several tanks in excess of 100 gallons going for less than 1 dollar a gallon, or a 100+ gl tank with a stand for 1 dollar/gallon. People trying to get rid of stuff. Too bad. It just makes it hard to get some of the rarer fishies, things Petco won't carry.

29g Saltwater Reef
10g Freshwater 'vase'
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-25-2011, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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I found a 10 gal on Craigslist with hood, lights, filter and heater for 20 bucks...picking that up tonight too. Adding two tanks to my collection in one day...so stoked. I love finding deals!

29g Saltwater Reef
10g Freshwater 'vase'
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