Used Equipment . . . . . . This should be fun . . . . . . . .

Ecotech Marine

vetteguy53081

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This is one that brings both savings and controversy. Hopefully this will be helpful to many:

WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD YOU BUY USED or NOT BUY USED AND WHY?
 
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vetteguy53081

vetteguy53081

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For me:

Tank- Never buy a tank that has been moved more than 2-3X or that has had 3 or more owners.
Why- stress on tank from moving, no knowledge of chemical use especially copper and not knowing if tank was previously on an unleveled stand

heater - How do we know the accuracy, if its been dropped, bad thermostat, etc

Some lights- If there is rust on the inside of fixture, there is future trouble.

Pumps- Condition of pump and impeller.
 

Montiman

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I try to keep the life expectancy of a product in mind. Here are some examples.

LED lights last me 5-7 years if it looks neglected or you know the model is already a few years old I just skip it because I know I may only get another 1-2 years out of the light and most LEDs cannot be repaired easily.

Iwaki pumps have lasted me 15 or more years. I would buy a used 1 in a heartbeat.

Glass tanks really aren't designed to last more than 20 years and I plan on having long term 10 year or more tanks. Unless the tank is close to new I pass because I don't want to have to tear down prematurely.
 

Tamberav

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I have bought just about anything used with good outcomes. The only used tanks I have bought are 45g or under. I guess I would not want a used 200g. I had considered it previously but I don't think it's worth it. I wouldn't buy used heaters either. I have several used sunpowers and everything is easily replaceable. LED's are more complicated.
 
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Ribo15

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This is really general but a lesson I have learned... Buying anything that is a good deal just because it’s a good deal and not exactly what I was wanting; then in a month or 2 regretting it and going out to buy the specific new version you wanted anyways..
 

Dcal

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For me:

Tank- Never buy a tank that has been moved more than 2-3X or that has had 3 or more owners.
Why- stress on tank from moving, no knowledge of chemical use especially copper and not knowing if tank was previously on an unleveled stand

heater - How do we know the accuracy, if its been dropped, bad thermostat, etc

Some lights- If there is rust on the inside of fixture, there is future trouble.

Pumps- Condition of pump and impeller.

I agree. I think heaters should never be bought used as even a 10$ one plus 25$ inkbird is better than any used with unknown history
 

G Santana

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I have gotten a Free skimmer minus the pump which has been a beast, a phosphate reactor at a fraction of the original price in pristine condition. And I'm always looking for a good used Calcium reactor

But I won't buy used pumps, Hanna test kits, powerheads, heaters and any essentials.
There are some things you IMO need new for peace of mind.
I would probably buy a used pump to use as a back up in the event of an emergency until a new one came in, but I would swap it back out when the new one arrived
 

mdb_talon

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I will (and have) bought just about anything used. Other than a 40b I have never bought a tank new(but have made a few frag tanks myself so we can call those new also). Have bought and sold dozens of used over a few decades. I think the risk of a used tank is overrated, but I understand why some people would prefer buying new for piece of mind.

I dont buy used test kits. Things like powerheads I will only if it is a massive discount to new as in my experience they are the least durable equipment(both high end and low end). I have tanks, lights, protien skimmers, and return pumps(mostly bought used) over a decade old that are just as good as new.
 

Cwentz758

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I’ve bought a lot of used eco tech stuff. Each time resulting in having to send something to get replaced by eco tech which was annoying but free. I did get the new G5’s with mounts for about 150 less than new and they were on a few months old.

I guess I look at age of the equipment as there will always be people who get in the hobby then get out and let things go cheaper.
 

vabben

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I’ve bought used basically everything except for heaters and tank. No issues yet.

Tank breakdowns can lead to amazing deals.
 

Tamberav

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My used equipment running on my 80g right now consists of a stand, ATI sunpower, eheim return pump (bought used 7 years ago and still working perfect), apex, UV, and skimmer. Tank has been up about two years with nothing failing or breaking.

I am not sure I could justify being in the hobby right now if it wasn’t for the bargain prices of used equipment. Plus landfills have enough crap.
 

NeonRabbit221B

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I would also like to mention caveats. Never heaters as it’s not worth it. Tanks if you can verify it doesn’t leak and can visually inspect it first. Lights if you can verify manufacturing date and owners lighting schedule. Pumps if you can open it up am check impeller condition and cords. Basically I would only buy equipment used if I can inspect it first, know the person or can fix it myself if it is damaged.
 

MiniReefInABox

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I find anything that doesn’t have a limited life to them is guaranteed to be safe to be bought used. Meaning, it wouldn’t be safe to buy a used heater, powerhead, etc without any knowledge of how long it’s been running, but it would be safe to buy, I don’t know, maybe glue for example, you can see how much is left in the tube and you know it won’t be bad when you get it . Anything can be bought used it’s just a matter of how much information you know about it and whether you think it’s a good purchase decision.
 
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vetteguy53081

vetteguy53081

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I would also like to mention caveats. Never heaters as it’s not worth it. Tanks if you can verify it doesn’t leak and can visually inspect it first. Lights if you can verify manufacturing date and owners lighting schedule. Pumps if you can open it up am check impeller condition and cords. Basically I would only buy equipment used if I can inspect it first, know the person or can fix it myself if it is damaged.
Lights: there are many that have bought used and then were locked out due to passwords or program/bluetooth issues
 

NeonRabbit221B

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Lights: there are many that have bought used and then were locked out due to passwords or program/bluetooth issues
Good point. Factory reset buttons are a must. Bluetooth chip sets can fail too. I generally make it a point in my life to read the entire manual before buying a product but it’s easy to overlook. Knowing pitfalls is a trial by fire process so I appreciate this thread!
 
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