How to get a Great deal on a discus fish aquarium

How to Get a Great Deal on a Discus Dish Aquarium- Secrets Revealed

I get a lot of emails from customers stating that their discus are getting big and they need to upgrade their discus fish aquarium. So they ask where they can get a great deal on a discus aquarium. So I figured I would write a quick article with some tips on getting a great deal for your new discus fish aquarium.

You can get the best deals on  used/pre-owned tanks. You can find good pre-owned tanks in local yard sales, craigslist and ebay. When buying a used discus fish aquarium you can easily get a complete discus fish aquarium with all equipment for less than 50% of the original cost.

How much should you pay?
The next question that comes to mind is: “How much should I pay for a used discus fish aquarium?”
My personal rule of thumb is you should not pay more than $1.50 per gallon. That includes the complete discus fish aquarium with all accessories. So if you are looking at a 55 gallon discus fish aquarium you shouldn’t pay more than $82.50. However- $1.50 per gallon should not be your starting price because the seller will always come back with a counter offer. Your starting price on any used aquarium should be $1.00 per gallon. Then the max you would go up is $1.50 per gallon. So on the 55 gallon tank your initial offer should be $55. Then you have room to negotiate between $55 and $82.50. In this case most likely the seller will take $75 which means you pay $1.36 per gallon. Now that’s a GREAT deal!

You are probably thinking that no one in their right mind would take that little for their complete aquarium setup. My words of advice based on experience is: YES THEY WILL!  People tend to buy aquariums brand new spending hundreds of dollars on equipment. A few years later they lose interest in the hobby and the tank just sits dirty or empty collecting dust taking up space. So the owner is motivated to move it quickly. Keep in mind that any item for sale is worth more to the seller than it is to the buyer. The value of the item is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it!

Some of My Success Stories
I have purchased many aquariums for my discus breeding using the exact method I described above. Here are a few of my bargains:

110 gallon complete aquarium. Reef ready. Drilled with corner overflow. Custom wood canopy. 3 different light fixtures. Wood cabinet stand. Driftwood and a box full of cleaning supplies and filter media. Saw the ad on Craigslist. Seller was asking Best Offer. I offered $100 for everything.  Ended up paying $120! (I priced the tank out brand new at a local pet store and they wanted $1200 just for the tank and stand alone! They wanted and additional $450 for the wood canopy. And another $120 for the lights.)

44 gallon corner pentagon aquarium with full hood, wood stand and light. Seller was asking $100 or best offer. I offered $40. Seller accepted!

44 gallon corner pentagon aquarium with full hood, wood stand, light, canister filter and 2 boxes of cleaning supplies and filter media. Seller was asking best offer. I offered $40. Seller accepted.

15 gallon hexagon aquarium with full hood, light, stand, 4 large African cichlids and filter. Seller was asking $50. I offered $20. We agreed on $25!

I have gotten many great deals.  You can do the same following my technique!

Negotiating tips
Never let the seller know that you are very excited about the tank because they will be less likely to negotiate. So if they say, no your offer is way too low. You say ok. Well if you change your mind then give me a call. There is a very high chance that you will hear back from them! Stay away from any ads listing an aquarium for a FIRM price. They are not motivated sellers and are just trying to recover some of their initial investment from when they purchased the tank new. If you see the same ad up for a really long time then obviously it’s not selling and you can make an offer using my method just for the heck of it. The seller you want is the seller that just wants the tank out of their house, has no interest in the hobby or is moving and cannot take the tank with them. Those are motivated sellers!

When you go see the tank for the first time in person make sure it’s filled with water to ensure it does not leak. Don’t take anyone’s word for it. If the tank is empty ask the seller if you can fill it with water then you empty it after you have confirmed it doesn’t leak.

What if the tank has a slight leak? Should you still buy it? How much should you offer? Well, resealing an aquarium is not a difficult job. If the leak is in one of the seams then it’s an easy fix.   Stay away from cracked glass!  If you decide to take on the project make sure you do not pay more than 50 cents per gallon for the complete setup. You can easily reseal the tank for under $20 regardless of size.

Deal on tank with leak
Here is a great deal I got on a tank that had a small leak:

35 gallon flat back hexagon tank. Full hood, light, wooden stand, filter, gravel, cleaning supplies and filter media. Seller was asking $75 or best offer. Seller also mentioned in the ad that the tank had a small leak. I offered $20 for the entire setup. At first seller was offended with my offer. I explained how it leaks and resealing will take a lot of time and money. One week later the seller contacted me and agreed to the $20. I spent 3 hours resealing it. All the supplies cost me $11. Tank was good as new when completed!

I hope this article helps you in finding your next great deal on a discus tank.



  • Nirmal Chaudhari
    Posted July 27, 2017 2:15 am 0Likes

    Very helpful tips, thanks.

  • Kirk Nealy
    Posted September 9, 2019 6:10 pm 0Likes

    I find your statements always helpful

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