Aquarium Kits Vs Buying Separately

Rxo_c
  • #1
when buying the stuff for my aquarium including the aquarium itself...is it better to buy kits or seperately? In my local pet store they have kits that include filters and other stuff but I’m not sure if that stuff is appropriate. I’m on a budget so I don’t know what would be cheaper but still efficient. I already decided I was going to buy stuff like chemicals, nets, and decor at Walmart since they sell for cheaper. But the main stuff and most important things is what I’m not so sure about.


I’m so excited to start cycling soon!!!!! I just hope I have the patience to do everything right!

Also...Planted or plastic? This is my first tank...so I’m scared to do planted since I don’t have the skills yet.
 
Gidde
  • #2
In my experience it's actually cheaper *not* to get the kit, because I ended up replacing everything except the actual tank anyway. I bought a 29 gal marineland set, and it came with a too-small filter and a hood that broke its hinges.
 
Craig.G
  • #3
Kits can be good. My first two tanks were kits and the only issues I had were my own error. As for live or fake plants, live is always better. Things like anubias or java fern are super easy to grow.
 
Repolie
  • #4
Plants can be easy to maintain with the right lights and fertilizer. You shouldn't go with plastic plants if you are getting a betta because those can rip bettas fins. You would have to get silk plants or run a pantyhose over plastic plants to see if they snag. If it catches, it isn't safe. Depends on which kit you get, some can have terrible filters or light which you would have to replace.
 
Bryangar
  • #5
I like to buy the kits since they come with all the things needed, even if I do switch it out for something better, it’s stills good to have extra items.

Walmart sells the 5 gal for $27 and 10 gal for $30. You still need to buy a heater, gravel and fish, of course, but I think it’s a pretty good deal. They also sell the 10 gal alone for $15, you’d need to buy the filter, heater, light(which might need to be upgraded on the kit if you plant with live plants), and substrate.
 
Gidde
  • #6
Kits can be good. My first two tanks were kits and the only issues I had were my own error. As for live or fake plants, live is always better. Things like anubias or java fern are super easy to grow.
I can attest to that. I have a low-light low-tech setup (read: normal fish-only led lights, and just root tabs and a bit of liquid fertilizer every so often) and the java fern and anubias are doing just fine.
 
Demeter
  • #7
IMO kits are great for smaller tanks, but if you are looking for a tank larger than say 20gals then I'd buy things separately. Larger tanks always seem to come with crumby HOB filters that won't last a year. The 55gal kit I bought came with a decent heater but the lights are awful and the HOB was replaced with a canister filter.
 
Ravenahra
  • #8
Kits are good for beginners especially with beginner fish. Both of my current aquariums are kits and my friend's aquarium will be a kit too (all of them are top fin starters)

The problem with doing everything separately is that there are so many choices and variations you can do. It can get really confusing. But a starter kit is just that, a starter. It's a good basic set up that you learn on. Then, later on, you change up as you want or need to.

As for plants, I prefer live plants but I did kill off about 3 plants. I have anubias nana, moss balls and apongontens which are easy. Though, with apongonten, most species need a rest period and if you don't know what you're doing, the plant won't regrow after its rest. If you can get ahold of an aponogoten undulatus, it grows easily, doesn't need a rest period and will grow new plants you can remove and plant around the tank.

The important thing is do the research. Check on what plants and fish need and, for fish, how easily they breed so you don't have an unplanned population explosion
 
wolfdog01
  • #9
I personally enjoy buying everything separately. If something breaks I don't have to hunt it down or buy another kit, I can just buy what I had or a small replacement part for it something.
As for plants, since it's your first I would start with mostly plastic or silk with maybe a few easy plants like Java Fern or Anubias or something. Heck even moss balls are pretty cool.
 
DuaneV
  • #10
I think its cheaper to buy separately. Kits usually come with cheaper filters & heaters. Depending on the size of the tank you might not save any money (but you'll get better heaters and filters) or you can save a ton of money. A 10 gallon tank is $10, a good heater for it $20, a sponge filter is only a few dollars, an air pump is $13 and some sand is another $10, so $55ish. A glass lid will run another $20 and a light will run $15. So if you want to go topless, $70ish dollar for everything. If you want to run a HOB, a good one is $25 and you won't need the sponge filter or air pump. Most kits are going to run just a HAIR cheaper ($50 to $75ish) but the components (filter & heater) won't be nearly as good.

PLANTED!!!!!!!! A few SUPER easy live plants like anubias are $5, banana plant is $3, amazon sword is $7, java ferns are $5 and you have natural filtration, hiding spots and it looks WAY better. They don't need any special fertilizer or lighting. Just run the light 6ish hours a day and everyone will be fine. Java, anubias and banana plants can be tossed in and don't require planting. They might anchor themselves or move around with the fish and current. But I promise, you'll be MUCH happier with live plants. Plastic is just cheesy. Stick a couple clippings from a pothos in the back and let the roots grow crazy. More natural filtration and hiding spots.
 
JamieXPXP
  • #11
personally I like to buy everything separately because the kits are usually fairly expensive and I rarely like the equipment they come with. the filters they come with are 9/10 too strong for fish like bettas that like low flow and aren't the best swimmer due to their longer fins, which is also the type of fish I keep. the lights are also usually not very good for growing plants.

although there are a lot of kits that are pretty decent now, so it depends on what you need or want.
 
PonzLL
  • #12
Kits are great if you only need a simple tank. I got a 5.5 gal kit for my son's betta. Basic light and filter, and I threw in my own heater I had laying around. Cost me like 20 bucks for everything since I had the heater.
 
purslanegarden
  • #13
Kits are good for beginners especially with beginner fish. Both of my current aquariums are kits and my friend's aquarium will be a kit too (all of them are top fin starters)

The problem with doing everything separately is that there are so many choices and variations you can do. It can get really confusing. But a starter kit is just that, a starter. It's a good basic set up that you learn on. Then, later on, you change up as you want or need to.

As for plants, I prefer live plants but I did kill off about 3 plants. I have anubias nana, moss balls and apongontens which are easy. Though, with apongonten, most species need a rest period and if you don't know what you're doing, the plant won't regrow after its rest. If you can get ahold of an aponogoten undulatus, it grows easily, doesn't need a rest period and will grow new plants you can remove and plant around the tank.

The important thing is do the research. Check on what plants and fish need and, for fish, how easily they breed so you don't have an unplanned population explosion

The most thing I've had to change from the kits would be the filter. Plastic plants, hood/light, substrate, etc can all be tolerated a little longer for my setups, than the filter.

However, that doesn't mean the filter isn't good, but rather, I might run it in conjuction with something else, but that's just because I like having that additional filtration.
 
Ravenahra
  • #14
The most thing I've had to change from the kits would be the filter. Plastic plants, hood/light, substrate, etc can all be tolerated a little longer for my setups, than the filter.

However, that doesn't mean the filter isn't good, but rather, I might run it in conjuction with something else, but that's just because I like having that additional filtration.

Understandable. I have 4 mollies and a bn pleco un my 20 gallon so I slipped two packs if fluval biomedia into the open area in my topfin filter and added a fluval sponge between the biomax and water intake to catch large debris. So, most of my bacteria colony is in my filter and safe when I vacuum the tank and its had the room to get large so my ammonia and nitrites are always at 0 even with my group of messy little piggy fish.

I like using the fluval media stuff because its cheap but re as lily effective. I recently upgraded to fluval 30 and I, honestly, don't see much of a difference between it and my modified topfin 20 filter.
 
TeamRandrus
  • #15
Buy individually- you can research and select your own products ☺️☺️ Just my opinion- that’s what worked for us!! My QT tank was a kit- paid more to replace new equipment because I like certain products
 
smee82
  • #16
Its usually cheaper to buy everything seperately then as a kit.
 
Barch
  • #17
What I suggest is looking used on buy and sell Facebook groups or Craigslist Etc I just got a really nice 20 gallon tank with everything included a bunch of chemicals fish with the tank gravel everything for $40 if I were to go to my local PetSmart and set that up I'll be looking at probably about $400 out the door and you can find stuff like that all day long if you look used
 
Lunnietic
  • #18
In my expierence something normally ends up breaking easily in one of the kits.

Buying everything separate you get to customize what the right fit is for you and your tank.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
9
Views
429
Hunter1
Replies
11
Views
576
SegiDream
Replies
11
Views
712
John58ford
Replies
17
Views
667
FishMich
Replies
15
Views
383
applejax
Top Bottom