“ The happiest people do not have the best of everything. They make the best of everything they have.”
Right after our lock down here in our city during our summer months I went birthday shopping a little early. This was around June and I’m a July baby. My husband was asking me what I wanted for my birthday and I told him I thought a small aquarium would be a nice gift that we could all enjoy.
I already have a 50 gallon acrylic tank that I bought decades ago when I was a teenager. It was during my first job. My first big purchase was that tank. The whole thing which included the top was $500. That was a lot for a teenager back in the day. I have had this tank for decades.It’s my favorite thing to watch when sitting down and relaxing.
Over the years when ever I would travel I would buy little souvenirs for others but my gifts would always be little shells or rocks I would pick up in the places I would visit. As soon as I would get home I would drop them in my fish tank. Every time I look in my tank and watch the fish I see all those sentimental objects from my travels. Each piece holds a memory for me.
Fish tanks are so pretty in homes. Because I already have the 50 gallon tank I didn’t want a huge expensive one for my birthday, just something small to put by the window where we all read and watch little birds outside.
At first I shopped at the pet stores and all the small tanks were made of plastic, but not the thick kind like acrylic…the cheap kind. Or they were not that pretty looking. The shapes were not what I wanted. Plus they seemed kind of pricey. They did have a couple really cool glass square tanks but they wanted $70 for those tiny tanks and they didn’t come with everything that you need when setting up a tank. It was just the artsy looking glass square tank.
Think I have been shopping second hand too much because the prices everywhere have gone up like crazy in regular stores. Told my husband I would look in the thrift shops for a tank. The big chain stores didn’t have what I needed or weren’t in my price range.
I was so happy when I found a huge glass vase. Looking at it I decided it would be perfect for what I had in mind. I went back to the pet store and bought a small filter pump, an air pump, and couple air stones.
Then I purchased some small pebbles and stones at the dollar store. Using some faux plants I had along with some other larger rocks I had in my garden I had everything I needed to set up my tiny tank.I also bought about 10 feeder fish to get my tank started. When the fish get too big I will transfer them to my son’s smaller acrylic tank in his room.
The vase was $7 and the other supplies came to under $25. Now we just have to figure out a lid for the top part. My husband wants to design a wooden lid. Maybe we can figure out some sort of lighting fixture too.
I haven’t decided yet what type of fish I will put in it when the gold fish get too crowded. They are already growing so much. I only have four left because I didn’t have any cover on it that first day and Alley and Selena had a nice snack.
Now that it is covered the cats just stare at it all day. Awww fond memories, I can imagine them thinking, wishing the cover was removed.
I went to a little mom and pop fish shop that has been in our city for decades and looked around for some ideas on super tiny fresh water fish to put in the tank.
I love fan tale guppies and they stay small. I might decide on getting those. I am not rushing into anything for now. I like to take my time when it comes to fish.
There were so many beautiful fish to choose from but they were too big.
I love looking at all the colors.
This fish store has both salt and fresh water fish to purchase.
And gigantic tanks that would take up our whole living room.
They also had all kinds of fun decor for your aquarium homes.
I tend to stick to more natural decor in my tanks. I used to have a whole Sponge Bob set up with all the characters when my children were really young and they loved that. Now my tanks are just white sand.
I like shopping the small businesses for fish when I need males and females. I miss those days of waking up as a child to discover itty bitty big eyed baby fish swimming around my tanks back when you could buy male or female pets at the pet stores.
The big chains stopped allowing that to happen decades ago. Children sadly all over our country are missing out on the beauty of discovering life recreate itself. You can still find some breeds that have both male and female at the small business shops but who even knows if they are producing. Been so long since I have seen new born baby fish in any of my tanks. My children never got to see this sadly. I used to have two tanks as a child because my fish were having so many babies. As soon as they were born I would transfer them to a small tank I named the nursery. Anyway, it is hard to find male and female pairs with fish now but this store does carry pairs in some breeds.
This was one of my funnest dollar day do overs.
Wasn’t my usual $1 price, costing seven of them instead but I haven’t been out to dollar days lately…virus numbers too high right now in Arizona. I really enjoy taking everyday items and seeing what else they can be used for. Having an aquarium in our homes helps with creating clean air and dealing with toxins in our home environments. Add lots of house plants along with fish tanks for a relaxing and peaceful environment. Also a great way to help teach children responsibilities while taking care of other living things. Hope you all liked this month’s dollar day do over. Happy second hand shopping everyone.