Buying a Used Tank

  1. Mothercrow Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't set it up right away, but I just got an opportunity to buy a used, larger tank. Can anyone advise me on what to look for when examining the new tank, and how to tell if it's worth purchasing? Thank you!
     
  2. omordn Member Member

    Someone more experienced can add more to this or correct any comments I make, but if I were the one purchasing a used tank I would look for the below:

    1. Check for any rust
    2. Check for any cracks/ scratches on the glass
    3. If it comes with equipment, have them plug it into an outlet to make sure they work.
    4. If possible, have them add some water to the tank itself (maybe an inch) to make sure there are no signs of leaks.
    5. Ask the owner if the tank had any diseases when it was stocked (I would want to know this). This would probably give me an indication of how specific my cleaning of the tank would be. Maybe it's just me. Lol.

    Obviously, if you end up purchasing this tank, you'd have to add water to it and leave it out for a few days to make sure there is no leakage.
     

  3. peregrine Member Member

    I would say depends on size and price. and what omordn said.

    Reason I say size and price a LOT of people, at least around here, think their tanks are worth more than they are and quite a few try to sell used at the same price or higher than a brand new tank.
     
  4. tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    Agreed with @omordn

    Some other things to note

    It's pretty common to have scratches on the bottom of the tank if they had gravel in it previously. I just bought a 75 gallon that was pretty scratched up on the bottom because they had gravel on the bottom. Still holds water fine.

    I'd want to make sure the seals look good still. If there are any dents or holes then you are going to need to completely reseal the tank.

    If it's the tank only then I'd be looking to spend about 80 cents per gallon or less. If it comes with filters/lights and such then I'd pay a bit more. For instance I paid 100 bucks for a 75 gallon that came with a 48 inch light, 2 AC 70 filters, and 2 versatop lids. Ended up selling the light for 40 bucks and the filters for 40 bucks for the pair. So effectively I paid 20 bucks for a 75 gallon tank and lids.
     

  5. Mothercrow Well Known Member Member

    Well, I'm not very experienced at this, but it comes with the hood, light, heater, stand (I don't have a stand), and an undergravel filter. 40 gallons, $150. I figured I would purchase a HOB filter when I set it up.
     
  6. peregrine Member Member

    If it was around me. If hte glass looked in good shape and everything seemed to work ((can't really run the heater without submersing in water)) I would go for it..
     
  7. lazylahma Member Member

    I would say too expensive depending on the stand I don't think I would pay over 80
     

  8. tyguy7760 Fishlore VIP Member

    Yeah...if i were interested I think I'd be a buyer at around 100. But only you can decide what is a good price for you
     
  9. peregrine Member Member

    Can definitely tell the difference in prices in areas with this.. LOL... even with globalization of things prices and value of items still fluctuates a lot... ((I know around here if I bought that setup it would be around $300-$350 new, so $150 would be a great price.))
     
  10. MissCap Member Member

    When I have bought used in the past, I look at the seals and if the glass is scratched. I usually won't sprnd much on a used tank (I look at yard sales since they tend to be cheaper).

    That being said, I just bought a 50 gallon and 20 gallon sight unseen. Both came with hoods, filters and heaters, and decor. All of that was only $5 so I won't be out much if they end up junky. Can't wait until I get to finally get them this weekend.
     

  11. Mothercrow Well Known Member Member

    Well, when I received these fish, I was in the beginning of adding pre-fab storage to my kitchen. I have no pantry and very little food storage, and I have Celiac Disease so I need to keep my food separate from the rest of the family's. The aquarium went up on a long cabinet that will not be staying and I have nothing else to put the aquarium on. Finding a stand that's the right size and in good shape at an affordable price has been an experience. But buying a 40g would give my fish room and is realistically the absolute biggest size I can fit, plus the stand looks nice.

    I appreciate ALL of the advice I'm getting. In addition to having an idea what to look for, now I might feel comfortable haggling a little bit.
     
  12. PaulieWoz Member Member

    I would also ask the seller if the tank was cleaned with any chemicals.

    My first tank was a used one. It was pretty clean for a really old tank, and I found out very quickly that it was cleaned using chemicals because my fish would die either during acclimation or minutes after releasing them in the tank. That's when I noticed the colourful oil slick on the surface.

    It was a long and painful process to get rid of all the chemical residue.