Free Fish Aquarium

used tankSo you see a free fish aquarium in the paper or at a yard sale and think, what luck.  Think again.  There are some factors that you need to consider.  The free dream aquarium could turn into a nightmare and you could find yourself giving away your “free” tropical fish tank after spending hundreds of dollars.

Sometimes a free aquarium is just that…a free aquarium.  But often times the troubles that the previous owner was dealing with become yours instead.  Leaks, cracks, scratches, etc. are the obvious things to look for.  But the underlying things that you can’t necessarily see or detect are the ones that will cause the grief that will turn you off of the hobby.  Be smart and ask questions.  Do some shopping at local pet stores or online and see if the aquarium setup you want may be within your reach financially.  At least then if you have problems or concerns, you can inquire where you bought it as to the cause and or the solution.

Questions to ask when getting that “free” tank include but are not limited to the following.  Is the tank glass or acrylic? Acrylic tanks are stronger, lighter and clearer than glass but tend to scratch much easier.  Used glass tanks that sit dry too long have the increased potential of literally coming apart at the seems.  What medications if any have been used in the past? Some medications, especially copper, can remain in dead fishsmall quantities in the silicone that keeps the aquarium together.  Some invertebrates are affected adversely with even the smallest amounts of some medications.  If the “free” tank comes with filters and decorations, those too should be scrutinized as well.  Many decorations can “leach” toxins or medications into the fish tank.  Used filters can have problems that include leaks, and medication “leaching”.  It could be, too, that the filter was never the right size to begin with.  Was the tank set up as a fresh water or salt water fish aquarium?  Many decorations and filters do great for fresh water but may not be ideal for salt water fish aquariums if that is what you plan on setting up.

Decorations that can really cause a problem if they were in a heavily medicated tank include dead corals, base rock, lava rock, lace rock, and nearly all substrates.  Whether you are planning on enjoying the hobby with tropical fish or even with a cold water setup like would be used for trout, deep water fish or fish from colder oceans, these concerns should be at the back of your mind.  Many people, in their attempt to correct a problem in their fish tank, go overboard and over dose the tank with medications.  They get frustrated and want to get rid of their tank.  Unfortunately, many of their mistakes continue long after they don’t own the tank.

Most of the concerns above may not be realized by you when you get your free fish aquarium, but it is something that a well informed would-be hobbyist should be cognizant of.  The subject of this article all too often turns aquarists into frustrated aquarium owners that can’t pinpoint what they did wrong.  It may not be anything that you did that ended up causing your frustration.  It very well could be a residual problem that the previous owner caused.

Article Name
Free Fish Aquarium
Free is not always a good thing. Please use an abundance of caution whenever accepting anything free in the fish pet industry.

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