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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys
Just getting back into aquaria, feels awesome. Anyway, I really want a bigger tank but I'm always on a tight budget. Craigslist has a lot of good deals on used set ups...
How do you guys feel about buying used tanks? I've probably bought six over all my years of fish-keeping, and only one leaked, a 45gal after about a month of being set up (that was not fun!).

So your opinions please!

Thanks in advance.
 

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Over 150 of my 200 my tanks were bought used.
When buying a used tank, I am less concerned about leaks, which can be fixed, than I am about chemicals the tank has been exposed to, which cannot be fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You have 200 tanks? yowzers! My little lady would kick me out before I accumulated even 20 haha.

How do you go about inspect seals etc when you get a used tank, and what do you use to prevent any gaps/leaks?
 

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Mainly, I buy tanks in multiples at a time.
My last tank purchase was 30+ tanks.
Generally, if local, I get a signed statement saying I get my money back if the tank leaks. This seems to keep people honest. I have bought tank I know are leakers, at a much discounted price.

Example:

55 does not leak 75-100$
55 that does leak 40-60$

Once the tank is home, I usually test for leaks anyway.
I set the tank up out in my yard, on level 4x4's and fill.
After 24 hours, if there are no leaks, I drain and place in the fishhouse, if I have any racks with empty spots.

If there are leaks, I remove all the silicone from the seam that leaks and place a new bead of silicon along the seam. Where this seam meets the other seams, I place a heavy extra amount of silicone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What chemicals would have previous owners used in a tank that would be no good to my fish?

Also, why do you have so many tanks? Are you a breeder, or do you have a shop, or are you just a fish nut?
 

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I co-own a 200 aquaria, 1000 square foot fishhouse.
We breed rare and endangered livebearers and other fish, freshwater invertebrates and both aquatic and tropical plants.
We will be turning it into a business this year and hope to have a store front in about 5 years.

As to the chemicals,

bug sprays, different cleaning agents such as windex and other ammonia based cleaners, aerosol sprays such as hair spray or room deodorizors, oil and other petroleum products, antifreeze, ect.

This is also why any tank I have questions about is first stocked with feeder guppies for a month or two, before rarer fish are placed in such a tank.
 

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All of my tanks have been used, except for my fish tank in 1985. Other than tring to find out what it was used to house... I don't worry about leaks, but I know how to reseal a tank, I don't know what you capibilities are.... So it would be best to try and get tanks that are up and running you know they are not leaking or as least you can see if they leak. If you do buy a tank that has been sitting empty, to check it, just put it in an area (like a patio) that if it does leak it won't hurt anything. Fill the tank up and let it sit, after awhile come back and see if there any wet spot around the tank. if you get one that leaks, post again and someone can explain how to fix it.
 

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I have purchased 3 tanks in my life. A little 2.5 gallon (starter), a 10 gallon, and a 30 gallon.
I recently agreed to a purchase agreement (in April/May) with a man for his 75 gallon aquarium for $125.
I think from now on, I will be purchasing used (so long as we can go through the "inspection" process - seeing it up and running)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, everyone, for your ideas. I see sometimes on Craigslist used setups that appear to still be set up... That's a good way to make sure it doesn't leak, if it's actually up and running. But if you go to buy a tank that is up and running, what's the procedure? Do you go look at the tank, see that it's okay, give the owner your money, then he breaks it down while you wait, and you take it home? How does that work?
 

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Once I agree to buy a tank that is set up, I break it down and remove it.
That way if anything goes wrong, it's my own fault.
After 28 years of doing this, I can break down a tank a lot faster and less stressful to the fish, than the average fish keeper can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What do you guys do if the guy selling the tank wants you to buy the fish too, and you don't want them?
 

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I am Vice President of the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association.
I take any fish I don't want to the meetings and sell them at the auctions at the end of the meeting.

Or they could be moved thur Craig's list or other classifieds.
 

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Tell the seller that you are not interested in the fish.
If it is a responsible fish owner, he will either find an organization that takes unwanted fish in your area, or will list the fish separately (or as a ground) on craigslist themselves.
you cannot be forced into buying fish you do not want.
If it is part of the "package" ask for it without the fish and make an offer. if they say no, then it isn't the tank set for you!
 

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I'll buy smaller tanks used, but anything over 4ft, for me personally i buy new.
 

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I recently bought a 150 gallon on craigslist for $75 with the back panel cracked,, the sticker on the top trim had a build date of Feb. of last year. I went to my local glass shop and bought a glass panel cut to size for $140. I replaced the panel myself and now I have a nice tank for a small amount of money compared to buying a new tank. I have it going thru a leak test now and everything looks good so far. If you can fix a tank yourself I don't have a problem with buying a used tank...
 

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All of my 5 tanks were used,all came from craigslist.I had to wait for 3 weeks for my 55 gallon because they had to find home for two 10inch oscars.do not pay untill the tank is ready to be picked up.be prepared to buy heater or have one on hand,unless the used one is fairly new,thats about the only problem i have had.
 
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