Dollar day do over…re-purposing a glass vase into an aquarium.

“ 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.

My tank needs a good cleaning, Tanks need weekly wipe downs and at least once a month cleanings. It is on my list to clean this tank this week, been busy with Christmas clean up and garden prepping.

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.

The fish in this tank are so tiny they are hard to see at first. I need little bitty fish like this for my flower vase tank.

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.

24 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you. I am starting to appreciate those little items more and more. Less clean up and you don’t need a lot of space.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Tanya says:

    I love it. Looks so relaxing and pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tanya. I think those little frogs they sale sometimes would be perfect for something like this . It is very calming to watch the little fish. They are starting to get a little tamer now when I feed them but they are still a little shy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this!!! So pretty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, something different then a bouquet of flowers in a vase.


  3. ourcrossings says:

    I love your new little Aquarium. What a lovely and creative idea. Years ago, I had one too but my neighbours cat sneaked into our house one day and, believe it or not, fished all the little fishes out. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Aiva. Those cats, I love ours but they can be destructive little creatures when they want.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Johanna says:

    I have a neglected fishbowl from when my older daughter moved out. Fish seems to love it but I’m wanting to get a small tank. This is a neat idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. So much easier dealing with a smaller tank.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such cute little fish! and the aquarium looks great 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, they remind me of little guppies at the creeks here in Arizona when we go exploring up in the wooded areas.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love guppies, my mum used to have some, they were so pretty 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Librarylady says:

    “Everything is so Expensive these days’, this sounds like something that would come out of my mouth. I think retail stores are having to charge more because so many people are shopping online these days. Your DIY aquarium is just the thing.
    Also, I always notice the furniture etc in the background of your photos. I bet your house is so cute. Have you done any posts that highlight the interior of your little red house? I’d love a tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I haven’t been to your site in awhile. I need to get over there. Sometimes this happens with you have so many different followers on the lists and I don’t get online all the time and forget site names. I have been staying off more it seems but I love this community and seeing what every one is up to. Are you still meeting up with your friends for walks. I loved that post of yours where you took some photos of the flowers on one of your walks. That is such a great idea about taking shots of the interior of Our Little Red House up north. There are so many things up there that my family and I made ourselves when it came to saving money and decorating. I will have to do that. Right now it is snowing up there so the road is not the best to travel on during the Winter months. Sometimes they even close it which makes things hard for the people who live up there full time. Most people just have summer homes up there. The little table in the fish tank photo was an old sewing table that my husband and I redid. Most of our items we have repurposed in some way. When we head up north again I will have to take some interior shots to share with everyone. I love the country better of course.


  7. SharkByte says:

    Awesome article Thank You! Opening line is def a fav as well! Fish tank looks awesome!
    If you don’t mind check out my aquarium and let me know what ya think

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I will have to head over and see your tank. I always am interested in unusual and beautiful fish tanks. Think everyone should have one in their homes. Better then televisions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SharkByte says:

        Thank you any suggestions are always welcome! Rookie at this blog thing. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re welcome. I just started as a hobby and once you get going you will start to meet some pretty cool people from all over the world. Best thing I learned was to go searching out other bloggers, commenting back and forth and getting to know the community, Lots of really kind people on WordPress I have discovered.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. SharkByte says:

    Awesome fish tank design and article! Love that first liner! I got bored and decided to get a fish tank then make one. If you don’t let me know
    What you think. Pro tips are always welcome

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. For some reason the site won’t come up. I will try again another time. I bet the aquariums you have are really cool. I have never seen a bad aquarium.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s