What is the Best Place to Buy a Fish Tank?

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Getting into the aquarium business is pretty straightforward, so long as you know the necessary steps involved in the process. Aside from gathering information on the topic, such as learning about difference fish species, how to house them, how to aquascape their setting, etc., the next step is acquiring the tank.

A variety of aspects come into play when choosing the right tank. The first on the list is where to purchase the aquarium in the first place. So, let’s get into that.

Where to Buy a Fish Tank?

You have 3 primary ways of acquiring a fish tank:

– Buying a Tank from Local Fish Store

This should be your first option for obvious reasons. On the one hand, you can visit the store in person to check the tanks available and pick the one you like. The primary advantage is that you can investigate the piece yourself before purchasing it.

You can easily skip the aquarium with one or several manufacturing faults and go for a better piece with no costs. If you know a fish store near you, go there before going online. You’re most likely to get the aquarium you need on the spot.

You can also discuss with the store’s representative on site about the different tanks available and the pros and cons of each piece.

– Buying Used Tank from Facebook Groups

There are a variety of Facebook groups for fish lovers and dedicated aquarists where people sell and trade a variety of assets. Here, you can find fish, plants, substrates, rocks, and even tanks, all of them second-hand, of course.

Get in several groups and advertise yourself to inform the people on your intentions. You’re likely to find several individuals selling their used tanks for cheap. This is great if you’re a novice aquarist who doesn’t want to dive into major investments right from the get-go. Or in case you need a spare aquarium to create a hospital or a nursing environment for your already established fish community.

– Buying Fish Tank Online

This is the most used option available today. Most aquarists simply order their tank online from the various marketplaces available. As you may have expected, Amazon is your best bet, but you also have Petco and numerous other fish-gear-oriented marketplaces to choose from.

You can go online whether you want a new or a used aquarium, depending on your goals or financial capabilities. The online sphere is also better for personalized pieces. If you want an aquarium with a specific shape and dimensions, you can order it and have it ready for you shortly.

You’ll pay more for the job, but the end product is worth it, especially if you’re a dedicated aquarist to begin with.

Buying a New Fish Tank – Things to Consider

A fish tank is a better option than a used one for various reasons, which we will discuss shortly. But there are aspects to consider even when getting a new piece. These include:

  • The stand – You should purchase the stand before purchasing the tank. That’s because the tank goes wherever the stand fits. So, do some measurements first, pick the best spot for your tank, then go look for a solid, fitting stand for that area. The stand should be solid and stable, strong enough to support the tank without the risk of tipping over or breaking in the process.
  • The manufacturer – You want to get your new tank from a reputed manufacturer with a lot of sales and a pristine reputation under the belt. Don’t cheapen out on the tank because that may be the last mistake you do. A subpar piece can crack or lose its structural integrity with time, causing you to risk a mini-flood in the process. A broken tank will spill water everywhere, damaging the flooring and killing tank inhabitants in the process. Always assess the manufacturer’s expertise, sales volume, and the number and quality of customer reviews for a clearer picture.
  • The pricing – Expect new tanks to be more expensive than used pieces, as they should be. Also, expect the aquarium to go up in price depending on the material, size, manufacturing process, shape, additional equipment, etc. You should calculate your finances carefully before acquiring the tank, especially if this is your first project. There are numerous initial costs to consider aside from the tank itself. If you need to cut some corners, start with the tank itself. Just make sure you don’t sacrifice the aquarium’s quality in the process.

Bottom Line:

The new tank brings in higher materials and manufacturing quality. You can also personalize your tank with your intended size, shape, materials, and other features that ready-to-buy pieces might lack. The downside? New tanks are more expensive than used ones.

Buying a Used Fish Tank – Things to Consider

Many aquarists purchase used tanks because they’re cheaper, but the pricing isn’t the only thing that matters. Other useful aspects include:

  • The quality – The notion of ‘used’ doesn’t say much, really. Some used tanks are in near-pristine condition, while others are one step above garbage. Sometimes, they’re one step below. Always require for as much information as possible about the aquarium to ensure you cover all blank spots. And you absolutely need pictures of the tank, preferably multiple from various angles for a clearer…picture.
  • The seller – I advise against getting your tank from one-time sellers. Always purchase the aquarium from people with some reputation in the business. You want to stay away from one-time anonymous sellers, as those can increase the chances of you acquiring a subpar piece. Or get scammed in the process altogether and not get anything. Roam several Facebook groups, check the seller’s Amazon profile, and look into their past trades. And again, ask the seller for as much information about the aquarium as possible.
  • Don’t get the stand first – Unlike new tanks, you should get the stand last. That’s because you’re never 100% certain of the type of tank you’re getting. Even if you think you are. You may be set to get a 50-gallon tank, but if you can’t find any in a decent shape, you might settle for a 40 or 60-gallon one instead. A 50-gallon-oriented stand won’t help you in that scenario. So, get the tank first and worry about the right stand after.

Bottom Line:

Used tanks are cheaper, but they’re, you know, used. So, always be wary of the dangers that come with that.

Conclusion

Getting a fish tank is always a serious investment, even if the tank itself is relatively cheap. Other costs will accumulate with time, including the price of the tank equipment, the fish, the substrate, decorations, fish food, etc. But your success as a new fish-keeper rests largely on the tank’s quality and resilience.

A high-grade glass tank can last 20-25 years or more, depending on its quality and how you maintain it over time. Do your research and only get your ideal tank after learning as much as you can about it.

avatar I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.

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