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Aquarium Hobby on a Budget

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Cut Costs Without Compromising
Cut Costs Without Compromising

People everywhere are tightening their budgets, and aquarists are looking to do the same. But rather than buying cheap equipment that is sure to fail or low-quality food that could compromise fish health and water quality, try the suggestions given here to cut costs.

invest in LED

Switching to energy-efficient LED lighting can reduce your lighting costs significantly. Pair a LED fixture with an automatic timer to create a natural light cycle and eliminate energy waste - no more worrying about whether or not you turned off the lights.

buy in bulk

Many aquarists save money by taking advantage of bulk discounts on supplies such as filter media or aquarium salt, and the same can be done with fish food. Frozen foods are available at a significant savings to the customer and provide a nutritious, longer lasting alternative to dried foods.

combine filter media

Combination filter media such as BioMate Filter Media Balls contain mechanical floss, activated carbon, and a biological sponge media for complete three-stage filtration in a single product. Reusable and rechargeable filter media will also save you money long-term over purchasing single-use media.

go green wisely

If you have a planted freshwater aquarium, consider plants such as Java Fern and Cryptocoryne that require less intense lighting. Lower wattage lights won't eat up as much energy, and the plants will still provide free filtration benefits to your aquarium by utilizing excess nutrients and adding oxygen to the aquarium water.

upgrade to a package

Those looking to add a new system to their fish room can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing a packaged system that includes all of the components necessary to get the system started rather than buying the aquarium and components individually.

out with the old

Your "old faithful" pump has served you well over the years, but it may be wasting energy. Replace old pumps and equipment with new, energy-efficient equipment to reduce electrical costs while maintaining or even improving performance.

Of course, the easiest thing you can do is to keep up with regular maintenance to equipment and water changes. It will pay dividends in the long run.

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