Over time, many new customers have asked us to source them second-hand aquariums. The reasoning behind this request is quite simple, a decent sized aquarium can cost anywhere up from £250. The same size can often be sourced for £40 -£50. In theory, it's a no brainer! If so, why do we recommend to go for a brand new one?
In this post, we will go into the pros and cons of buying second hand.
The Pros And Cons.
Cheaper: The obvious one. Prices are usually rock bottom on second-hand tanks. It's due to this that so many opt for second hand.
Add-ons: Second-hand aquariums will often come with peripherals, like substrate, ornaments or sometimes even fish!
Size: (This one is actually part of the first however I made it separate, as in my opinion, it is a good reason on its own) Due to the lower price larger aquariums which would usually be out of your price range, suddenly become a steal.
Time-consuming: Whether you are setting it up yourself and most definitely if you get professionals in to set up your secondhand aquarium, the saying "time is money" comes into play. Most second-hand aquariums we've seen had accumulated so much dirt and grime, before being rehomed, that it took a good afternoon to get it looking spick and span.
Hidden costs: This is one of our pet peeves! Imagine bringing home a second-hand aquarium, you're glowing inside excited about how cheap you got it for, only to find that after replacing the bulbs, a tired filter propellor a lid which looks like it has seen better days and a very noisy air pump. then a week goes by and after problems with the heater, you realize that the thermostat is gone and you notice what might be the beginnings of a leak.
You think we're laughing? sadly this is no joke! We've had a customer who got a second-hand aquarium, it was an 180-liter, bow fronted, by the time he had finished replacing all the parts which were broken he could have bought a brand new one for an extra £100!
Second-hand aquariums are great, given the right price and condition. However, be very sure about what you are getting, as the costs can soon add up.
Our recommendation: If you do decide on a second-hand aquarium, ensure it is in good condition and that you can test all its components. Determine how much time it will take to clean it and get it running. With these factors in mind, we hope you will find a great aquarium.
Why not read our article on how to chose the ideal aquarium for your setting.