The Aquarium Story

It’s been a nasty rainy weekend putting a damper on riding, but a problem crept up that needed attention anway.  I found water underneath my 55 gallon aquarium.  As I’m sure you’ve probably noticed if you’ve read anything here, I like to find a good deal, sometimes buying used pays off. sometimes it doesn’t.  This is a story of one time it didn’t pay off.

About ten years ago I had Convict chiclids really neat fish, until they kill each other.

About ten years ago I had Convict chiclids really neat fish, until they kill each other.

I’ve had at least one aquarium now for about 20 years.  I started with a 5 gallon and have very slowly moved up.  A few years ago I bought a used 55 gallon aquarium because I decided my 29 gallon tank wasn’t big enough.  I found the tank on craigslist, it was a few towns over, but a 55 gallon tank, stand and lights for $125 seemed like a good deal.

A Gourami from 2011

A Gourami from 2011

When we found the house Shauna urged me to drive away.  It didn’t look like the kind of house where anyone would live.  I didn’t take her advice, and instead we went inside to check out the aquarium.  Inside we found the dilapidated house to be very clean and the people that lived there to be very accommodating.  The aquarium in question was about halfway full and  the home of 3 turtles and it looked pretty rough.  The stand was a home made structure that looked cheap and the tank itself looked really old and worn out and the hoods were useless.  How does an aquarium, an object that just sits around and holds water, become worn out?  I don’t know but I highly recommend not buying a worn out one.

The old tank in the basement.

The craigslist tank in the basement.  The stand it came with is long since gone.

I could tell Shauna was not going for it, but I didn’t get the hint.  I had borrowed a truck and driven a long way, so I made an offer of 75 dollars and I knew that it wasn’t worth that when I made it.  The guy went back and forth and eventually accepted the offer.  We got the tank home and spent the next several hours breaking down the 29 gallon and setting up the 55 gallon.

When it was filled and decorated and the fish were swimming around I was happy.  The tank was huge and looked great.  Three hours later there was water dripping into the floor.  We worked well past bedtime dismantling the 55 gallon tank and putting the 29 gallon back together.  It was very frustrating.

I resealed the 55 gallon aquarium and set it up in the basement, where it didn’t leak, at least for awhile.  Over the next few years I would end up resealing this tank 2 more times.  Because of it’s penchant for leaking it stayed in the basement, which is kind of sad since it had many nice fish in it, including a very large plecostomus.

After this latest leak I announced to Shauna I was through with it, no more resealing.  We found a good deal on a tank and stand combo deal at Petsmart, with all the associated coupons and deals we were able to get a 60 gallon tank and stand along with a 50 dollar Fluval filter for 250 dollars.  We should have done this a long time ago.  It looks so much better then the setup we had before.  I love to buy used and get a good deal but sometimes you get what you paid for.  When comes to supporting 600 pounds of water and fish maybe it’s not such a bad idea to buy new.

The new tank, not quite finished yet.

The new tank, not quite finished yet.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
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