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Old 04-15-2013, 08:02 PM   #1
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DIY for cheaper than you would pay

What kinds of stuff can you make for cheaper than you would pay to buy? Filters? Aquariums? Anything really. All advice is appreciated!
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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Filter media for sure
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:02 AM   #3
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lighting! --if you know anything about electric work (which I dont)
CO2 for planted tanks
aquarium dividers --like to have multiple bettas in a 10 gallon or something... craft mesh and report binders!!

if anyone is interested, theres a guy on youtube, uarujoey, who shows you how to do all sort of DIY type stuff for really cheap
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:04 AM   #4
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Buy your aquarium used i have never bought a new tank and have never spent more than 300 on any of my tanks (and i have alot -_-) plus usually when you buy a used tank it will come with everything you need even fish sometimes


To save money on lighting on one of my tanks that came with no light i bought a 48" shop light it cost me $17.00 which i fitted with aquarium bulbs i haven't had any problems yet. You just gotta make sure no water can hit it. My lid was made from food so i was able to make a cut out and put some plexy glass down and set my light on that.

There are always ways to save money on decorations. There are quite a few different things you can do i love some of the custom Styrofoam backgrounds people make. I make my own plants i buy the fake plants at the dollar store pull any wire out take the bottom of a 2L pop bottle put a hole in the centre put the ends of the plants through it and use a glue gun to keep it all in place for smaller plants i use the bottom of a water bottle.

I find rocks out side which i wash and place in my tank. I buy figurines and ceramic pots at the dollar store and put them in my tank too.

For my hob filters to save money i buy dehumidifier filter padding at the hardware store and cut it to fit my filters.

Some of my tanks i don't buy aquarium bulbs for if you can find any " white light " bulbs that fit your fixture they are fine to use.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:01 AM   #5
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Thanks guys! I'll definitely use your ideas! Going to look on kijiji for a 55 gallon or bigger!
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #6
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Used tanks can definitely save you money - other than the 10 gallons, one of which was free from a member on this site, my largest tank was my cheapest. $80 on Craigslist for a 56 gallon with all the extras (stand, filter, heater, magfloat, air pump, glass top, and light) vs my $20 gallon new from Walmart that cost about $400 with the stand. Thankfully I only bought the stand for that one, the tank was a gift, but still out of my three larger tanks it was the most expensive, because it was new.

I use poly fill pillow stuffing for filter media, and I've made my own divider for my betta tank. I use blasting grit instead of black aquarium sand. Lots of ways to save a little cash!
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info. what would you say is cheaper: live or fake plants?
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info. what would you say is cheaper: live or fake plants?
I would have to say fake plants but i do make them myself. I buy them for $1.00 at the dollar store and add my pop bottle base which is free because i drink pop anyway :p. I like doing crafts and stuff too so i enjoy making them plus there is really no up keep with fake plants
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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I would have to say fake plants but i do make them myself. I buy them for $1.00 at the dollar store and add my pop bottle base which is free because i drink pop anyway :p. I like doing crafts and stuff too so i enjoy making them plus there is really no up keep with fake plants
Ok. I haven't seen fish tank decorations at the dollar store... Do you use just any plastic plant then? Like garden decorations? I guess I could try that. I'd like then to LOOK real, but they don't have to BE real... Know what I mean?
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:22 PM   #10
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Ok. I haven't seen fish tank decorations at the dollar store... Do you use just any plastic plant then? Like garden decorations? I guess I could try that. I'd like then to LOOK real, but they don't have to BE real... Know what I mean?
They are plastic or fabric plants they have them at dollar stores, or in craft or decorating sections at walmarts and places like that. You can use any of them and there are always so many to choose from even flowers! You just have to make sure you pull the wire out of the plants first i use pliers they pull out pretty easily.

I will try to upload photos and instructions on how i do mine tonight so you can see how to do it. Its really simple ones you see how its done
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:26 PM   #11
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They are plastic or fabric plants they have them at dollar stores, or in craft or decorating sections at walmarts and places like that. You can use any of them and there are always so many to choose from even flowers! You just have to make sure you pull the wire out of the plants first i use pliers they pull out pretty easily.

I will try to upload photos and instructions on how i do mine tonight so you can see how to do it. Its really simple ones you see how its done
Thanks. That would be really helpful!
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:22 PM   #12
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I also use black blasting sand in my tank. $8 for a 50lb bag. Or if you want a more natural look you can buy pea gravel for $3 for a 50 lb bag. I've gotten all four of my tanks from craigslist with a crapload of accessories for under $250. I have a 75, 29, 20, and 10 gallon - all of them came with a heater, filter, light, and lid. Some came with gravel and decorations too. The 20 came with a stand. I built a stand out of 2x4 lumber for the 75. I use poly fill from the craft store for filter media.

One idea I came up with all on my own was to use baby food as a treat for my fish. I buy baby food made out of peas, freeze it into a sheet shape, and once it's frozen I cut it into cubes. It does make my water a bit cloudy temporarily though.

For plants, if you have any friends with planted tanks, you could ask them if they're ok with splitting some of their plants and giving them to you. Then you get free live plants.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:48 PM   #13
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I also use black blasting sand in my tank. $8 for a 50lb bag. Or if you want a more natural look you can buy pea gravel for $3 for a 50 lb bag. I've gotten all four of my tanks from craigslist with a crapload of accessories for under $250. I have a 75, 29, 20, and 10 gallon - all of them came with a heater, filter, light, and lid. Some came with gravel and decorations too. The 20 came with a stand. I built a stand out of 2x4 lumber for the 75. I use poly fill from the craft store for filter media.

One idea I came up with all on my own was to use baby food as a treat for my fish. I buy baby food made out of peas, freeze it into a sheet shape, and once it's frozen I cut it into cubes. It does make my water a bit cloudy temporarily though.

For plants, if you have any friends with planted tanks, you could ask them if they're ok with splitting some of their plants and giving them to you. Then you get free live plants.
Ok. I am leaning toward sand for this tank. Preferably a natural colored one. Thats a really good price! I am looking on kijiji like three times a day :P so far the best price I've seen is $250 for a 55 gallon tank with a hood and light and a filter. It also comes with gravel, but I would most likely not use that.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:49 PM   #14
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why use kijiji??? far more people use craigslist. you probably shouldn't have to pay more than $100 for a 55 gallon that includes the filter heater light and lid on craigslist.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:52 PM   #15
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why use kijiji??? far more people use craigslist. you probably shouldn't have to pay more than $100 for a 55 gallon that includes the filter heater light and lid on craigslist.
I don't know if this makes any difference, but I live in Canada. I have looked on Craigslist and haven't seen all that many fishtanks, plus, for some reason I can't navigate it properly. :P (which may be the reason) Maybe I'll get my dad to help me find one on craigslist.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:45 PM   #16
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Sooooo... Here are my plants... I took all the wires out, took all the leaves off and taped them back together. Gave my fingers a good work out trying to get all that wire out with pliers! lol the pics are of before and after. I managed to make three plants out of two...
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:29 PM   #17
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Sooooo... Here are my plants... I took all the wires out, took all the leaves off and taped them back together. Gave my fingers a good work out trying to get all that wire out with pliers! lol the pics are of before and after. I managed to make three plants out of two...
Nice imma have to try that for my cidhlid tank.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:38 PM   #18
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$6.25 for 5 (that I turned into 6) plants.
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