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Advice Re: Buying A Used Aquarium


Seymoura

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Okay, I've read about great deals and steals that members have found on craigslist.

I'm game, but I'm a little afraid of getting an aquarium that explodes after filling it with water.

Is there any advice about purchasing a used aquarium? Can one judge the quality of the item from a posted picture? Is there anything in particular that tells if the tank/filter might not work?

Thanks in advance,

~karen (my fish needs a bigger home)

Edited by Seymoura
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I haven't ever had a used tank explode, so I think you are most likely good there. Leaks can happen, but if it is glass you can seal it up. I think you often have to trust your gut and the seller when buying things used. One used tank was running when I bought it, so of course I was able to tell that everything was in working order. The downside was that I had to drain it to get it home.

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All but one of the used tanks I have was filled when I went to pick it up. The other one is too big to put out on the drive way all filled up lol so I'm giving all of the seals the evil eye. And if they look ok I am going to blast them with water.

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Of course you can't tell anything from a tiny photo in a Craigslist ad. You have to go in person. But it's pretty easy to tell if it's a nice tank that's been treated with respect.

The deals are fantastic on used tanks, so figure out how big you want to go and where you'll place it, and then start watching the ad5. Typically, sellers are getting rid of everything at once, so you'll get $300 worth of stuff for under $100.....more like, under $50.

If you're buying glass tanks, make sure that the plastic frame at the top and bottom is perfect. That frame is the tank's structural support. If the plastic frame is bad.....cracked, broken, sections missing, you can't put water in it because the glass will bow and probably break or at least split a silicone seam. If you're buying a large glass tank, like a 55 or bigger, make sure the center support brace is perfect. Same rule as the plastic frame I mentioned.

Don't sweat the hard water stains on a glass tank. You can remove them using running water and #000 or #0000 steel wool. On harder stains, you can step up to #2 steel wool (that's what I use) without hurting the glass.

Use the fact that "we" can treat the water for clhorine to your advantage....bleach the tank, the plastic plants and any ornaments. Then rinse well with water and you're good to go.

Good luck!

Edited by austinado16
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All but one of the used tanks I have was filled when I went to pick it up. The other one is too big to put out on the drive way all filled up lol so I'm giving all of the seals the evil eye. And if they look ok I am going to blast them with water.

How do you tell if the seals are ok?

Thanks for the advice

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Sometimes when they've been leaking you'll see hard water deposit staining on the outside, along a seam, and sometimes the silicone in that area will be discolored where it has lifted off the glass and allowed water through.

Of course it's always a good idea to test drive a tank before you really set it up...and a tube of Aquarium rated silicone is only $4 at Home Deep Hole. So if it leaks, no big deal. Dry it, seal it, let it cure until there's no vinegar smell, and then re-test.

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I've purchased two used tanks from craigslist...my 20 gal and my 55 gal tank. There's no way that you can tell whether it will hold water if it's empty and you can observe for any telltale indicators. I grilled both sellers about tank and equipment conditions but again you can never tell. It's best to have some spare sealant handy when you do your initial leak test. I've had luck with both of mine and I'd do it again!

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I would never buy a used tank [except from the time I got one off my grandmother] especially on the internet, they are often not that expensive these days especially is places like large garden centres, dont take the risk

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I would never buy a used tank [except from the time I got one off my grandmother] especially on the internet, they are often not that expensive these days especially is places like large garden centres, dont take the risk

I completely disagree. My newest used tank is a 180 and was bought complete with stand, lights and glass covers for $400 with home delivery. That would easily cost me 1000 new, tank alone.

For knowing the seals are ok, you just gotta give them a good hard look. Make sure there are no bubbles, rips or tears near the center of the seams. They are ok near the edges but shouldn't go too deep. You could always go ahead and silicone all the seams if you feel uneasy about them.

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