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Old 09-30-2015, 11:51 AM   #1
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How to Save Money in the Aquarium Hobby

Some tips and tricks to save money on your aquarium, supplies, and equipment.

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Old 09-30-2015, 02:01 PM   #2
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Make everything your self if you have the know how, such as lights, filtration, heck, even your own tank. And don't waste money on petco fish. By the time you're done replacing all the diseased and dead fish, you'll have spent enough money to buy another tank or a canister filter.
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:23 PM   #3
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Hmm.. My Petco replaces any fish that dies within 30 Days of purchase as long as my water sample's parameters aren't super bad. I'm not trying to be a Petco cheerleader; I'm just having a hard time seeing where you're coming from. Maybe your Petco has a different return policy for some reason.

By comparison, my specialty LFS only has a 2 Day warranty. I'd say I personally have had a roughly equal amount of fish from both places die while in the quarantine tank. My specialty shop just has a larger and more diverse selection.

Back to the OP: I'll have to check that out when I have more time. Always nice to see what others are doing.


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Old 09-30-2015, 05:19 PM   #4
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Hmm.. My Petco replaces any fish that dies within 30 Days of purchase as long as my water sample's parameters aren't super bad. I'm not trying to be a Petco cheerleader; I'm just having a hard time seeing where you're coming from. Maybe your Petco has a different return policy for some reason.

By comparison, my specialty LFS only has a 2 Day warranty. I'd say I personally have had a roughly equal amount of fish from both places die while in the quarantine tank. My specialty shop just has a larger and more diverse selection.

Back to the OP: I'll have to check that out when I have more time. Always nice to see what others are doing.


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I was addressing pet store chains in general, using petco as an example. I bought a school of six albino cories from petco, and noticed that two were swimming upside down in the bag as I was walking towards the register. I asked the cashier if I coupd swap them out, or maybe get them for free since they were obviously unhealthy. The cashier told me not to worry, cories are just playful silly fish and like to swim upside down. So, being new to the hobby, I took her word and bought them anyways. The two died ten minutes from the store, and the other four died the next day. I went back to the store to get my money back, and they told me the two first ones were due to improper handling on my end, and I brought in some sample water and they said my parameters were all out of whack. So i did not get reimbursed. So I went to a locally owned pet store the next day, bought six more cories, put them in my tank that same day, and I still have those cories today, and they have never once swam upside down.
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:16 PM   #5
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I've said this a few times, there is nothing wrong with big box stores stock, they order through the same channels we do. Unfortunately when you link systems as they do disease can spread. It all comes down to how diligent the individual store is. Part of the risk can be lowered by the buyer, be vigilant and observe all the fish in the tank and on the same system. I've got a few great fish from chain stores, also my mortality rate with chain store fish is around 5%. Not bad.
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:49 PM   #6
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I've said this a few times, there is nothing wrong with big box stores stock, they order through the same channels we do. Unfortunately when you link systems as they do disease can spread. It all comes down to how diligent the individual store is. Part of the risk can be lowered by the buyer, be vigilant and observe all the fish in the tank and on the same system. I've got a few great fish from chain stores, also my mortality rate with chain store fish is around 5%. Not bad.
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IIRC, and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, Seagrest Farms supplies Petsmart. Guess who else they supply? Both of my LFS. Granted your mom & pop shops will likely have stuff from a few specialized and/or local breeders, but majority is from Seagrest.

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Old 09-30-2015, 07:53 PM   #7
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+1
IIRC, and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, Seagrest Farms supplies Petsmart. Guess who else they supply? Both of my LFS. Granted your mom & pop shops will likely have stuff from a few specialized and/or local breeders, but majority is from Seagrest.

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The mom and pop shops probably have better filtration than box stores. I got to go behind the scenes into my lfs basement and the entire room was skimmers, bio towers, and all sorts of filtration. I don't know what box stores have, but I doubt its comparable to what I saw.

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Old 09-30-2015, 08:05 PM   #8
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The mom and pop shops probably have better filtration than box stores. I got to go behind the scenes into my lfs basement and the entire room was skimmers, bio towers, and all sorts of filtration. I don't know what box stores have, but I doubt its comparable to what I saw.

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I've been behind the wall at my pet smart and helped my local Petco repair their system which is a sump style system under the tank. Both use UV sterilizers (the effectiveness is debateable) with lots of bio media and carbon. Its not bad. My LFS uses individual hobs on actual tanks and they change all filter media every few months (why!?!?).

It varies but the biggest problem for box stores is the amount of stock they receive weekly and poor quarantine practices IMO.

None of this is quite on topic though. My best saving money tips involve spending money lol. Go big and buy in bulk for the things you need. Fish food, salt (in SW), carbon/purigen, fertilizers, all of these will save money in the long run bought in bulk.
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