You have made up your mind to make a beautiful aquascape, like the ones you see in famous aquascapers’ photos, videos, etc. Or maybe you are already a skilled aquascaper and thinking of upgrading your equipment to step up to the next level.
But the biggest issue that most people face is the price of the equipment such as filters, CO2 System, and Lights. Of course, there is a lot of decent equipment at a price which is affordable for most people. However, it is also true that good tools make it much easier for you to maintain the tank because they will do it for you. For example, canister filters are great equipment for making the water clean and creating the ideal flow to your scape. If the equipment is beyond your budgets, you might consider getting them second-hand. So is it a good idea to purchase aquarium tools previously owned by someone else? Let’s break it down! Recently I bought several products second-hand using flea market apps and here is how they ended up.
1. ADA SOLAR 1
Price: 16% of the original price
Overview: ADA SOLAR 1 is one of the most popular metal halide lamps in the world. This product is not sold new at shops due to the launch of ADA SOLAR RGB in 2016, and as you see you can now get them second-hand at a very low price. The price is practically the same as the LED lights at the mid-price range. The condition of the product I got was pretty good. It did have small scratches but overall, I am happy with what I got.
Should you get it second-hand? : YES
SOLAR 1 usually lasts over 15 years so unless the previous owner has used it every day for more than a decade, I think getting one of those is a great option. However most of the time, you need to change the light bulb after you purchased it.
2. ADA SOLAR 2
Price: 16.5% of the original price
Overview: SOLAR 2 is ADA’s fluorescent light for 60cm tanks. Like SOLAR 1, SOLAR 2 is an outdated lighting system. But it does not mean that you should not buy one. Now the price is quite reasonable and still a great choice for most people. The one I bought came in with the original box, which looked as clean as a brand new product. The light had little dirt.
Should you get it second-hand? : YES
Although LED has been prevailing recently, fluorescent light is one of the best ways to grow plants.
1. EHEIM 2211, 2215
Price: 25-50% of the original price
Overview: The ones I got were in quite good conditions. However most of the time the media is not included.
Should you get it second-hand? : YES….but be careful!
Canister filters would last for more than a decade so getting one second-hand is a good choice. However, accessories are not usually included so you ought to be careful of how much you need to spend to get your filter ready.
2. Glass Pipes
Price: 50% of the original price
Overview: As you can see in the picture, the glass looks slightly white compared to a new one. I don’t really care how dirty second-hand glass pipes are because it will be like this any way sooner or later.
Should you get it second-hand? : It depends
I think getting glass pipes second-hand is a good idea but if you are expecting something looks as clear as new ones, go for the new one. However, glass pipes are very easy to break so buying an extra one second-hand as a backup is a good option.
III. CO2 System
CO2 regulator (ADA)
Price: 30% of the original price
Overview: CO2 system is probably the most important part of growing aquarium plants. Many beginners tend to avoid adding CO2 to their tanks, but CO2 will make growing plants much much easier. Skilled scapers do not add CO2 because they are advanced. They add because they don’t want to spend too much effort on struggling to grow plants. However, CO2 regulator costs much more than beginners expect! The product I purchased works perfectly fine and it is said that ADA regulators last longer than the other regulator on the market.
Should you get it second-hand? : A resounding YES!!
CO2 regulators are made very durable so getting one second-hand is a good way to cut costs of your aquascape.
IV. Aquarium Tank
Price: 10-60% of the original price
Should you get it second-hand? : NO
The tank is the most crucial part of the whole aquascape in many ways. Of course, it needs to be as clear as possible in order to create a stunning aquascape. But the most important of all is the durability. Silicon gets weaker as you use it with water inside. Since it is practically impossible to know whether the previous owner was placing it on a flat surface properly, I wouldn’t recommend getting one from a flea market.
These days online flea markets have a massive amount of aquarium equipment at an attractive price. However, remember to be careful enough when you are purchasing. Use second-hand equipment efficiently and spend enough money on plants!!