The Top 3 Reasons Why Buying A Second hand Aquarium is Ideal for the Beginner!


If you are new to the saltwater hobby it can seem daunting setting up your first aquarium. I remember searching across the vast internet checking out all these different types of aquariums and equipment and I just panicked as  the $$$$$$$ started to climb. Unless you have set aside a large budget for your initial setup you are likely to struggle to find the funds. If this is the case, then just do what I did! Go second hand!



If this is your first marine aquarium and you are simply ‘testing the waters’ to see if you will enjoy the hobby, then I recommend starting out with a second hand aquarium just to make sure that this hobby is for you. So before you go out and spend all those well earned pennies on a brand new aquarium here are 3 of the main reasons I suggest you start out with a second hand aquarium.



# 1 – Cheaper


Like anything second hand, its always a lot cheaper than brand new and this is no different when dealing with aquariums. Actually the price is often dramatically different with aquariums and this is normally because of one or two reasons;


  • The person selling the aquarium has upgraded their aquarium and moved all their stock over to their new tank.
  • The person is getting out of the hobby and is simply looking to sell up.


Either way, this means a quick sale and cheap price making it the idea option for a beginner.

As a beginner there would be nothing worse than spending so much money on a brand new aquarium if a few months into the hobby wasn’t for you.

Trust me, this happens a lot!



# 2 – More For Your Money



As stated above, second hand tanks are generally cheaper than brand new ones. This means if you planned on buying a brand new nano aquarium, you could probably buy a second hand aquarium twice as big for the same money.

The bigger the tank the easier it is for beginners to maintain stable water parameters which is essential for the health of both fish and coral. Many beginners believe getting a smaller aquarium would be the easier option but this is simply not the case.


Remember, a bigger tank also means more fish and coral!



# 3 – Extra Goodies


When many people sell their aquariums they often want a fast and hassle free sale. As a result of this many people sell the aquarium as a full tank set up often includes equipment, tools, live rock etc.

This means in one sale you could get everything you need to start your saltwater adventure. This is exactly what I did on several occasions and it worked out great for me!


For a beginner who doesn’t know what equipment goes with what size tank or what make to get, getting a full set up is often a great idea. But as you are a beginner I recommend you avoid getting any livestock as part of your ‘Full tank’ sale. Get familiar with the tank and equipment you get is often the best thing to do.  I would leave it a few weeks/months to allow your tank to cycle and settle before you start adding any fish or coral.

So there we have it, getting a second hand tank has many advantages for the beginner, but before you go out and hand over your money to someone on Craigslist or eBay,  here are a few things to look out for so you don’t buy someones junk.



# Look Before You Buy



Always go and check out the aquarium and equipment before any sale! This is a must as the photos you see on the advert could be off when the individual bought the aquarium and not in its current, used condition. If it is possible visit the aquarium while it is full of water and in circulation allowing you to see if the equipment is in full working order and to ensure the tank itself has no leeks. You should always inspect the tank for;


  • cracks and scratches,
  • damage to the cabinet or base,
  • To ensure the aquarium is the same one in the advert, and
  • To ensure all parts of the equipment listed are present and in good condition.


Don’t let this put you off as most sales are from people within the hobby and are honest people. But as with anything there are always those who spoil things so just be cautious when buying from strangers.



# Transport


So you are happy with the aquarium and decided to buy it.

But how do you get it home?


This is something you probably wont think about as you are excited to get your first aquarium but please, please think about this before you go and visit the aquarium. There is only one reason why this ‘Transport’ section has made its way onto this page and that is because I made this mistake!

Myself and my partner went to visit a 2 foot tank, stand and sump and all we had was our little Nissan mica. Well of course we ended up getting the tank (and at a steal of a price I might add) and it didn’t fit in our car. It took a few hours and a lot of attempts before we managed to fit it all in. It was not a nice experience and put me in the dog house for the night as unloading it was just as bad.


So plan ahead, personally visit and check over the aquarium and equipment and you could have yourself a great tank for a fraction of its retail price.


Just like I did! and below is the aquarium I got!



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