Items you can get for free or cheap for your aquarium
In this Hub I’d like to present some items/ideas to you that will either cost you very little to nothing. Some of these items may not be readily available in the area where you live and you probably will not be able to find these items very cheap depending on where you live. However, at the very least I hope these can give you ideas for your aquarium.
I have provided some images from my own 110 gallon aquarium with some of the items I have suggested being used in the tank. Before using any of these items, please rinse them with very hot water very thoroughly. *Please note that this hub mostly applies to the American audience*
What is a PVC pipe? A polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe is made from a plastic and vinyl combination material. PVC pipes used for water systems. They are durable and last for a long time which makes them ideal for hiding spots in aquariums! The last time I used one was many years ago in a fifty gallon community aquarium. I had two differente algae eaters; the Indian Algae eater and the more popular, Plecostomus. They made it their territory very quickly! Of course it does not have to be used for just for bottom feeders, any fish can use it especially if they are more shy species.
Home Depot, along with most hardware stores carry PVC pipes. Home Depot sells different sizes ranging in prices from a few cents to a few dollares depending on the size you get.
Flower pots like I've stated in my other Hub about Platy fry survival make excellent hiding and breeding spots. You can get these for rather cheap even free depending on who you know and where you live. Out here in The States, I was about to buy small flower puts, four for a dollar at dollar store out here. They are big enough for small to medium size fish to hide. A good place to look if you want to spend any money is Craigslist. Sometimes people throw out items for people to pick up.
Home Depot and other hardware stores have flower pots of all different sizes. The size depends on the size your tank and whether or not you want to use them as hiding spots or breeding places or both. I went to a dollar store recently and I saw an ornament, a vase, with a rock like surface. It was positioned on it's side which instantly gave me the idea of using it for the aquarium! It cost a dollar and nine cents. I liked the fact it had small opening to it which is perfect for small fish like Cichlids.
I found a busted ten gallon tank some weeks ago with an ornament and gravel in it....lucky me! Browse Craiglist to see if people are getting rid of gravel for free or for cheap. Sometimes when they sell aquariums, they include the gravel with it. If you live near a river or lake, you could possibly use that gravel. Be sure to wash the gravel with hot water twice to get any dirt and bacteria off it. I always wash things off with very hot water in a bucket before using it. If it has been soaked in a chemical or oil, I would not use it whatsoever.
Air stones, fish nets, therometers etc, etc
First bet would most likely be Craigslist or any classified ads website. I bought an Aqua Clear power filter for up to 70 gallon tanks off someone used for $25usd that actually goes for average about anywhere, $49.99 to $59.99usd. Check out local garage sales where you live, you could find aquarium items for cheap. The Only 99 cents store where I live, sells the round air stones 3 for a dollar which is a good deal since a lot of stores may sell each of those for a dollar instead. I also found some fish nets and therometers there also a dollar each.