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Fish Aquariums – How Expensive Are They?

Fish Aquariums – How Expensive Are They?

How much a fish aquarium costs depends on the size and how fancy you want to get with the filter and the heater. A simple ten gallon tank setup could be had for $70, while a high-tech 150 gallon tank could run you up to $1500 or more.

The most basic item you need, of course, is the fish tank itself. New fish tanks cost roughly a dollar or so per gallon, so a 20 gallon tank would cost about $20. They can be as much as two dollars per gallon if you don’t buy them on sale or buy them at a reasonably expensive retailer. You can also get used to fish tanks for as little as 30 cents a gallon, especially if you will be satisfied with one of the standard sizes. There are plenty of 55 gallon fish tanks available through the classifieds. Most of their owners would be happy to sell you the tank for $40 or so.

The next thing you will need is a filter. Filters can be elaborate wet/dry systems that will cost you over $200, or you can get a nice exterior box filter for about $20 for a 20 gallon tank. Undergravel filters usually run about a dollar per gallon, so if you got an undergravel filter for a 20 gallon fish tank it will cost you about $20. Again, some brands and some models will be more expensive, and if you are willing to spend the time to find a used fish tank filter, you can usually get it for a third of the price that it would cost new.

The next requirement for your aquarium is a heater. Unless you really know the person you are buying from, I do not recommend you buy a used heater. It is better to get a new high-quality fish tank heater. Do not get a cheap heater, or you may regret it later. The heater for a 20 gallon fish tank will run about $18, and possibly as high as $30.

You might not immediately think of it while you are equipping your aquarium, but the next most important thing you’ll need is tap water treatment, usually called water conditioner. This will cost you about seven dollars for a reasonably sized bottle. If you are getting a saltwater fish, you will need a lot more chemicals and water treatments, and these will add a least a $50 to your 20 gallon tank set up. When you’re buying the water conditioner, get your fish at least one kind of fish food. That’s the barest of basics, but it will get you started.

The last item that is absolutely essential is the gravel. Gravel bags usually cost about seven dollars each or so. You will need at least four of them for a 10 gallon tank and about eight of them for a 20 gallon tank. Depending on the dimensions of your tank you may need more or less gravel. It is not a good idea to use anything but gravel made specifically for aquariums, otherwise you may poison your fish with chemicals left behind on the gravel.

Aquarium decorations are not absolutely essential but most people like to have a few. Budget yourself about $25 for a 20 gallon tank, which is enough to get you maybe six plastic plants and one glass ornament.