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Old 08-13-2007, 10:58 PM   #1
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Buying Equipment Advice

I've been researching Salt Water Aquariums non stop for a week or two now and getting to the point where I want to start pricing everything out. With the Internet there's things you buy online and things you don't buy online. What is the general rule of thumb for Salt Water equipment?

I spent some time at a local fish store and it sure seems like the markup on the aquariums is huge (but could be wrong) - is there a place online I should be looking or is this something you want to buy at a local store? Looking for a 120ish gallon tank.

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Old 08-13-2007, 11:17 PM   #2
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As with most items eBay is a great source for equipment. You may also want to check out:


These are just a few online links that can save you a lot of money over the markup of a local fish store.

To be quite honest, almost all equipment you will most likely find online for a much cheaper price. For live items it may be more economical to buy at a local fish store (assuming the quality is good) due to shipping costs.

Dry goods = online
Live goods = LFS or online if LFS quality is poor

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Old 08-13-2007, 11:47 PM   #3
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How about tanks - I notice the four sites you linked me don't have any large tanks. If your buddy was to get into Salt Water and wanted a 100+ gallon tank, where would you suggest he picks one up? Do keep in mind I don't have any friends in this hobby and I'm starting new so I'd like to do it right the first time around.
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:48 PM   #4
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You will find everything cheaper online.

You will even find livestock cheaper


I've bought livestock from these 3 sites and knock on wood I've not had any losses.
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:12 AM   #5
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Well, with tanks I think you're likely better off locally, if you've got a good shop and can't have a company like Glass Cages deliver locally. Used on Craigslist can also get you amazing deals, if you live in a city and are willing to wait. Shipping on a tank kills the savings, especially if you need a stand.

For fish...prices are much cheaper online, but the shipping is a problem it unless you buy a bunch of fish at once or want something rare. To stock all at once, you just need a very prepared tank (which can be done).

Things such as food, protein skimmers, accessories, etc. are much cheaper online, even with shipping.

Oh, and for corals and cleanup crew...take a look at GARF.org. I have to plug them, they're an Idaho group working for aquaculture of corals. They usually have great prices and an amazing selection, although you'll have catch someone to personalize a pack. I don't know how well the shipping works outside of Idaho, since I'm only about 6 hours away, but I didn't have any problems ordering from them.

Oh and for corals try the local aquarium club. It's quite possible you'll be able to get frags for virtually nothing.
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:30 AM   #6
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Check your local craigslist.org for sale classifieds for tanks... I have seen 90 gallon tanks for free if you pick them up before. It is always loaded with good deals on large systems.
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:24 PM   #7
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I scored a 55 gallon with stand and a box full of plants, and several aquaclear filters for 50 bucks. just had to chill out for a few months to find the right deal.
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:10 PM   #8
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I got my tank on ebay, again, you just have to be patient and wait for the right deal. If you want something specific or unusual for a tank, it might be best to buy that new at a LFS, and then get everything online. Beware that a lot of used tanks come with essentially useless equipment, so a tank and stand alone would be the best bet. Then you're not wasting money on lousy used filters, heaters, lights with old bulbs etc.

I buy almost all my supplies online now, some livestock (corals and FW plants). Fish (both FW and SW) I get locally.

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