Tank suggestions + help

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PygmyPepperJulli

Fish Crazy
Joined
Sep 29, 2023
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Location
QLD, Australia
Hi all,

Recently I have become very aware I need another tank (it's NOT MTS, what a surprise!) however since I have never actually bought one of my own tanks, I want some recommendations.

REQUIREMENTS-
- It must be able to keep tropical freshwater fish (neon tetras, corydoras, and possible something else)
- Must be 20gal or larger (but I probably can't do anything over 30gal, due to budget)
- Needs a filter + heater (not necessarily inbuilt, but just suggestions)
- Needs to be purchased on a budget (preferably under $300, but can stretch to $400 is absolutely necessary)

Also, how do you guys just find really cheap or free tanks? (I feel very jealous :))
And recommendation for buying off second-hand sites like ebay/gumtree? (I don't want to buy something then find out it leaks).

I was looking at an aqua 1 tank but have heard tons of horror stories about them exploding, so maybe not...

Thanks in advance!
 
I bought my last 3 tanks from some guy off Facebook marketplace. I did some silicone repair on all of them before using them but I haven't had any issues.
 
I’d think a 20 gallon long would be good (I think it’s really around 23 gallons). The dimensions are 30” x 12” x 12”

If possible a 40 breeder would also be good, it’s actually closer to 48 gallons, but that may be to big. The dimensions are (36” x 18” x 17”).

Both of these brands I get from Aqueon at Petco. They have sales sometimes for half off or $1 per gallon. You can normally get a 20 long for $30 on sale, and a 40 breeder for $70 sale.

For filters a like the Fluval brand - they sell canisters and hang on backs.
Heaters I also like Fluval. I will make a list below of the general pricing to set up a 20 long or 40 breeder within your budget.

20 gallon long:

Tank - $30 - Aqueon - Petco sale
Filter - $40 - Fluval 30 - Petco sale
Heater - $30 - Fluval 150 watt - Amazon
Lid - $25 - Aqueon - Amazon
Light - $25 - Aquaneat - Amazon
Total - $150
$150 left for decorations.

40 gallon breeder:

Tank - $70 - Aqueon - Petco sale
Filter - $50 - Fluval 50 - Petco
Heater - $60 - Fluval 300 watt - Amazon
Lid - $35 - Aqueon - Petco
Light - $25 - Aquaneat - Amazon
Total - $240
$60 left for decorations unless you go over budget.

I’m sure you could get a tank for cheaper somewhere else (second-hand), but there’s always a risk. Both of these tanks are suitable for a variety of fish, however, price wise I think the 40 breeder is better worth it.
I generally (depends on the fish though) like to stay away from 20 and 29 gallons because of the height. Most fish like the larger footprint.

Hope this answers questions!
 
That might be a problem then...

I believe I can still afford the 20 gall setup (or maybe the 40, if I get a second hand tank), but thank you so much both of you for your input!
 
You could always buy a secondhand one and re-silicone it of you're worried about lesks, would be much cheaper than buying brand new.

Also make sure you have a very sturdy stand that can bear the weight of the bigger tank.
 
Can any silicon be used, or does it need to be food grade or something? (having never used silicon, wouldn't have a clue). Also, would the same 'buy second hand' principle extent to electronics eg. filter + heater, or would you buy those directly from a store (don't want them broken or something).

How would I know if a stand is sturdy enough? (Other than it collapsing, of course). I was thinking about putting it on some IKEA drawers (which is what my 10gal is currently on, and has never had an issue) but the last thing I want is having a beautifully stocked, filled and aquascaped tank and then the stand spontaneously combusts a month later :unsure:. And out of interest, how much does one of these tanks actually weigh? (40 or 20 or 30).
 
I have no idea of Australian prices, but I am a stingy cheapskate. That may help.

I never buy kits. I would keep an eye on resale sites. If the tank looks new, it probably is. Sadly, a lot of people start tanks and lose interest. They often pay a lot, and have an inflated idea of value. But careful watching of the sites pays off. I have never bought a second hand tank that leaked in the first 5 years, and most have gone on forever with no issues. I am an old retired guy with a 60 tank fishroom, and so, my sample size is pretty good. Maybe 10 of my tanks were bought new.

I always buy tanks and filters separately. Lights and hoods can be an issue, so consider getting them with the tank. Friends in retail tell me tanks alone are sold at close to cost (which has skyrocketed here) but the money is made on lids and lights.

Sand comes from reno stores or pool stores. Rocks are from beaches, although I use images to identify them to be sure they are chemically inert (I like softwater fish).

Ambient temperatures are on your side, unless the AC is cranked up high. You should be in a tropical zone, right? Aquarium heaters are very expensive in Canada, but do you even need one?

Water weighs about 8 pounds per US gallon, or a kilo per liter. I have some IKEA furniture that would hold a tank, but only some. It has to be good and solid. I have other IKEA stuff that would fold up quickly.

In all likelihood, you need the tank, the cover and LED lights, a filter and a solid piece of furniture to put it on.
 
Thanks everyone.

I think I might have found something- a guy in Brisbane is selling all his tanks (with equipment and stuff) from his 5 fishrooms (he was a breeder) due to inflating cost of living (it's getting pretty bad in AUS). $180 dollars, doesn't specify if that's for one tank (which I'm pretty sure comes with all the stuff and whatever fish he was keeping in there), or for multiple of varying sizes. All his stuff was originally $5000 (there must be hundreds of tanks in there, judging by photos), then dropped to FREE (which he then must have decided was a rip-off for him) and is now at $180. Haven't contacted them yet.

Questions-
1. Does this seem like a scam? (sorry, may be a dumb question, but I have heard stories)
2. About the heater- I do live in a sub-tropical region, and am going in to summer, but am concerned about winter (and I keep the fan in my room, which is where the tank will be located, on at night), so will have to buy one if this guy's tanks don't have one.
3. The seller claims there's never been a leak in any of the tanks, but if I went to pick one, how would I know if it is not likely to explode anytime soon? Other than cracks, of course.
4. If I was to buy a store-bought tank (which I'm not planning on, but anyway) what brands do you trust/recommend?

Thanks
 
Tanks rarely explode. I bought two new ones that popped as they were badly made. That was 30 years ago. A very old 77 gallon, second hand, also failed when it was over 20 years old. So the phenomenon that worries you isn't common unless the tank is really crookedly or unevenly placed, or the floor under it is unstable and moves. Honestly, 57 years of fishkeeping, between 150 and 200 tanks, and only 2 unexpected failures, both so cheap on sale new I should have known better.

It doesn't sound like a scam. I once bought 30 or so tanks for $1 each (25 years later, I only have 2 left, but I gave the others to friends). To my knowledge, they're all still in use. They were from a guppy breeder who decided crime would pay better.

Whether you need a heater depends on the fish you want. My Corydoras are unheated in tanks that reach 24 in summer, and sit around 21-22 in winter.
 
Hi all,

Recently I have become very aware I need another tank (it's NOT MTS, what a surprise!) however since I have never actually bought one of my own tanks, I want some recommendations.

REQUIREMENTS-
- It must be able to keep tropical freshwater fish (neon tetras, corydoras, and possible something else)
- Must be 20gal or larger (but I probably can't do anything over 30gal, due to budget)
- Needs a filter + heater (not necessarily inbuilt, but just suggestions)
- Needs to be purchased on a budget (preferably under $300, but can stretch to $400 is absolutely necessary)

Also, how do you guys just find really cheap or free tanks? (I feel very jealous :))
And recommendation for buying off second-hand sites like ebay/gumtree? (I don't want to buy something then find out it leaks).

I was looking at an aqua 1 tank but have heard tons of horror stories about them exploding, so maybe not...

Thanks in advance!
I don't know how it is where you are, but around here there are quite a few smaller tanks (10 - 30 gallons / 37 - 114 liters) available for sale on sites like Facebook, Craig's list, etc. On the forum for my local association, someone was offering several for free. Hopefully you can get plugged in to one of those outlets and get one used.

In my opinion, for that sized tank, I just look for the most basic one I can find if I'm buying new. It's small enough to stay stable as long as it's level and not abused. I think you'd have to really mess up the placement to have one bust on you.

If you want a cheap filter, get a sponge filter and a cheap air pump. I think that's the cheapest way to go- it's not great for mechanical filtering, but will provide biological filtering just fine once the tank cycles. I always used Hang-on-tank filters for my tanks- I have a 15 gallon Fluval Flex now that has a filter built in- I love it, but my next tank will not be an all in one. I'm planning on just getting a couple of hang-on-tank filters for it (it'll be 75 gallon). I did a fair amount of research about filters and settled on the hang-on-tank. Lots of opinions out there about filtration I'm sure.

I've never fussed much about heater- I just get one that is submersible and is made by a relatively reliable brand- I've either gotten lucky or they just work. Never had problems (knock on wood).

Good luck with it- will enjoy some pictures as you get it going. :)
 
If I was to buy a store-bought tank (which I'm not planning on, but anyway) what brands do you trust/recommend?
Assuming that brands available here are also in Australia-

I've done research on this recently. From what I can tell, Aqueon, Marineland and Topfin are all about the same- low budget tanks that do what they're supposed to- hold water. However, I have seen several posts from folks with 55 gallon or larger Aqueon tanks where the brace in the middle at the top broke, causing the glass to bow out in the middle.

I went to the store and touched the brace in the middle and it is as they say- very flimsy. Seapora tanks, on the other hand, have a stronger brace in the middle. I've decided to get a Seapora tank when I get my next one.

Having said all this, I don't think you have to worry about any of that with smaller tanks.
 
Thanks everyone.

Still haven't bought one yet (I'm the sort of person that researches and researches until they're absolutely sure they've got what they want) and pretty sure I'm not going to buy from the guy that has all the fish tanks (it sounds pretty dodgy), but have been looking on Facebook marketplace/gumtree/ebay and will hopefully have one by the end of the month :). If I can't find anything, I'll probably get a seapora, however am saving that because it's a bit more expensive than second hand.

Following suggestions, will probably just buy a tank with nothing in it, and get a cheap heater/sponge filter to go with it (do I need a sponge filter and air pump, or one or the other?)

And then I get to decide how to stock it... the fun bit...
 
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I bought 6 tanks, two lights, an HOB filter, and a power head from some guy on Facebook. I just picked up the last two tanks yesterday. He messages me whenever he needs money and offers to sell me more aquarium equipment. 😁
 

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