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Useful items to save those $$$$;

If you are new to the hobby.

Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby weirdartist » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:36 pm

shelled peas are the best cheap anti-constipation treatment for bettas, you have to mush them up. a single pea can work wonders, so a bag of frozen ones can last a betta's lifetime! iv never ever brought a bucket from a fish shop, you can get them for £1 in many cheap shops, if buying multiple tanks or a large tank: gravel can be brought in large bags as opposed to the expensive coloured stuff. i buy the largest bottle of water dechlorinating stuff to save money (although check prices as occasionally it can work out more expensive if they price it wrong). I usually buy my regular flakes from the super market, since they are the same brands, but cost less. You could buy 1 or two expensive fish and have a couple of groups of 'pocket money fish' making the tank look well stocked without blowing a huge budget (although that is obviously a personal decision).

one of the large chain stores do FREE water testing, in front of you (so you can make sure they do it right!) and this saves money if you live close enough to one, you can save your own testing kits for emergencies. (ask around i daren't mention the name in case we get in trouble!) If you are willing to nurse a fish back to health, you can get some good deals on sick fish :( but only from bad pet shops, and treatment can be expensive.

usually when i am cooking dinner I save the best of the vegetable scraps, (you can always cook them in the pan you use to cook your own veg in, if you want to part cook them) and dice them finely and pop some in the tank for the fish.
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Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby Mick » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:08 pm

If you are confident consruct your own cabinet for your tank, simple to do and works out very cheap
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Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby michael » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:03 am

liking the posts, anything to save money in this hobby is much appreciated by all. if anyone knows how to make a heater and lights then this could almost be a free hobby, :lolflag
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Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby rosst » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:22 am

Great tips everyone, keep them coming!! - Good tip on the free tests - I used to get mine done there, then go to another LFS for Fish . :-):

> Michael; If only we had long, hot sunny days, then we'd only need the heaters at night! (a lot of Fishkeepers in Asia don't bother with lights and I'd imagine they would only need heaters at Winter time?) ... I have seen some Tropical Fish in ponds or Tanks kept in Gardens in Malaysia etc.... due to the warm conditions.

+ Some Discus Keepers in Malaysia don't actually have filters - but need to perform regular 90-100% water changes(!)
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Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby weirdartist » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:05 pm

my dad was born in Malaysia, my gramps spent a reasonable amount of time out there in the bit near the equator), and he said there isnt really winter, its just 12hr days, 12 hr nights, and rain storms sometimes.

my flat is really very warm for most of the year, (i guess the upstairs must cook a lot, or it is secretly a greenhouse??) I often have to put ice packs, frozen peas and the like into the tanks to cool them down! my heaters only really come on in late autumn/winter, and usually turn off by april/may... you could try warming the room up with a cheap fan ceramic heater (cheap to run, not always cheap to buy!) and see if you can avoid using your tank heater as much, but I guess you would have to work out which is cheapest to run, how much you would save versus how much the heater would cost..... etc!

i use the tank lights in place of my light bulbs around dusk, so i suppose in a round about way this saves money.

and yes, free tests, buy healthier fish elsewhere!
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Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby rosst » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:33 pm

Wow, I'd love to visit Malaysia/South-East Asia one day (+ the Amazon region!)............ In the summer here, I tend to only plug the heaters in at night and only put the lights on if I have live plants in, or when visitors want to see them better. (All my rooms are usually warm, other than 1 in kitchen, so that does help.)

+ Maybe keep an eye on local Classified Ad's and try to pick up some spare heaters/filters as cheap back-up's. - Not everyone wanting a Tank will be keeping Tropical, so often heaters are left un-used in 2nd hand sales.....
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Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby weirdartist » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:15 pm

remember to be careful that 2nd hand heaters arent too old/damaged, check the thermostat etc, it doesnt take much of a malfunction to have a tank of boiled fish. I havent been to Malaysia myself unfortunately :(
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Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby rosst » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:19 pm

....Just remembered, that PH Adjusters (powder claiming to make 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5...) are not really worth it; often it causes more hassle and is expensive to continue...... LFS's will promote them, to make profit....... basically, the PH of water will lower over time and if you want to make it more acidic than 7.0, then add Bogwood, plants, CO2(?) and Peat extract........ to make PH Higher; then adding Rocks to make more Alkaline (Tufa/live rock in Marine) and using Coral-sand will help.
(More people will hopefully add techniques about making PH Higher - I am not a Malawi Cichlid, or Marine keeper so have always needed to lower my PH.)

> I wasted more than enough on PH adjusters when I started out....... damn that false advice by Shop-owners!
Last edited by rosst on Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby Mick » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:23 pm

Bi-carb of soda for raising the pH as well
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Re: Useful items to save those $$$$;

Postby malakye » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:18 pm

Always used bi-carb to raise my pH also.
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