Aquascaping sure is an occupying and time consuming hobby. It is an expensive hobby as well if you do not know a few tricks of the trade. Though your hard work is rewarded every time you see your remarkably made up aquarium, learning to keep the costs at bay would prove more beneficial for maintaining the aquarium for a longer period of time.
Here are some quick tips as to how you could do that:
1. Prefer smaller tanks
As the size of the tank increases, the cost of other factors that helps in aquascaping increases exponentially. So, buy a smaller tank which helps you in saving the number of lights, the size of filters, maintenance time and the power that is needed to run the equipments. Anyway, nano aquariums are the most sought after tanks today for these exact reasons.
2. Buy hand-me-downs
Buy second hand aquariums as they are available at a lesser price. Brand new ones cost a fortune. Even if the smaller parts like the filter are worn out, they can be replaced at about less than 1/10 the price of a new one.
3. Buy smaller schools
Once you enter an aquarium shop, the variety of fish available makes it difficult to choose a few. This is only a temporary setback because once you get home with a few fish; their culture will seem easier and more practical. More so, if you buy fish which thrive in schools like the black neon tetra and zebra Danios.
4. Do it yourself when you can
When you have an aquarium which can have pebbles or sand which you could find outside for substrate, you could consider applying this idea to save some bucks for yourself.
Algae are considered natural filters in an aquarium, so a little knowledge about these tiny patches can go a long way in maintenance. There are also ways of maintaining your aquarium lights without spending a fortune on fancy ones available in the market. All you need is to be creative in placing the lights and applying the right amount of light that is needed by fish and plants in your aquarium.
With our worlds getting smaller with the internet and media, it is also beneficial that there are so many groups having similar hobbies on the net. You could be a part of a few such communities where people offer advices on DIYs on substrates, fish food, active discussions on the topic and where a few people might even consider giving their aquatic plants and excess ornamentals or fish for throw away price.
If you grow excess plants or have excess fish in your aquarium, you could consider selling them or returning the favour by giving them for free on such sites.
5. Choosing the right kind of fish and plants
While marine water fish are more expensive because of the difficulty in procuring them, freshwater fish come at a relatively lesser price and can light up your aquarium with their bright hues just the same.
Search for aquatic plants in such a way that the entire aquarium is aquascaped providing some much needed room for the baby plants to grow. Don’t get penny-wise pound-foolish by buying a few plants at a time because this leads to growth of excess algae and weedy aquatic plants making it look like a real mess.
Buying fish that adapt to the new environment is definitely a good thing when you want to aquascape in a budget. Fish keeping becomes much more affordable if you get the fish which can thrive easily in the water conditions prevalent at your place. For example, if you get hard water in your area, gold fish or livebearers are the fish for you. If you live in soft water areas, tetras or rasboras would be perfect.
Any hobby for that matter demands money and time to be spent on it. To balance it in the right manner is the key to enjoy it.