I found when I started out that buying branded pre-cut filter wool for filters was really expensive so now I buy rolls of pond filter wool from ebay and cut it to size myself. My last roll lasted over two years for the same amount of money that I would have spent in 6 months on the branded stuff.
Same goes for Rowaphos, the above mentioned filter wool and salt etc, buy in bulk wherever possible, you'll use it eventually and so long as they are stored correctly won't spoil.
A big tip I would say is to patronise a particularly good lfs and build up a rappor with an assistant/owner. I get discount on bulk buys of salt etc from my marine stockist just because I spend a little time with him keep coming back for bits and bobs. The internet can be really cheap for some things but these small businesses are finding it hard right now so are very glad of the custom. Plus for some things it's nice to have that face to face contact.
When times are hard for me, I opt for common pond weeds that are usually cheap in bunches. They grow fast and can be trimmed regularly making more new bunches with the cut offs using metal clasps that come with plants in fish stores to hold it together. Not good with correct names for plants but it is green with lots of little curly leaves along the stems.
Elodea cheap plants like that are great. Hygrophilia and vallis are great for tropical tanks, they spread quickly and you can sell the new plants you grow on ebay or swap them with other fishkeepers. Riccia is fast spreading too.
Here's my money saving tip- make your own home-made gravel vac out of an old fizzy drink bottle. Just give it a very good wash, cut the bottom off and stick the syphon tube through the neck. Cheap as chips and very effective.
If you are setting up a new tank, buy non-toxic play-sand from a toy shop or supermarket rather than expensive river sand from your LFS. It's the same thing!
Your first post has to be something offered, then you can post wanted, or you can respond to 'offered' posts.
This year already I have offered old tennis balls, revision books and a DVD player that needed repair; and received a rat cage (responded to offer) and a cat kennel (my wanted post produced this within half an hour!).
I often see fish tanks (and molly/platy/guppy fry) on my local group.
Posted this recently on exactly the same topic, bt if we having a thread....
Melafix Melafix is used to aid the healing process. It can help to regenerate open wounds, damaged fins, cloudy eyes and ulcers. Unlike most meds it won?t harm your biological filtration.
To make melafix all you need to do is buy distilled water and 'pure' tea tree oil. In melafix there is 1% tea tree oil to 99% distilled water. So simply add 1ml of ?pure? tea tree oil to every 100ml of distilled water.
This usually cost about ?12 a bottle if bought pre-packaged from a LFS! As most essential oil bottles cost ?3-4 and contain at least 5mls undiluted, that?s a lot of treatments!
Using exactly the same process you can also create Pimafix by adding ?pure? 'West Indian bay oil'. Pimafix is particularly good at treating fungal and bacterial infections and will not harm your biological filtration.
I usually make up only a 100ml mixture at a time and then make more if/when needed. Once treatment is finished, the mixture needs to be thrown away of course.
Dose: 5mls of each treats 38 litres of tank water but please read the caveats below.
? Distilled water only, available through your local pharmacy. Do not use tap water and extra added 02 required during treatment via air stone ? Only ?pure? essential oils, no additives at all, check the label and the source to be absolutely sure ? Make up small quantities, depending on the size of you tank, (I make up 100mls for a 180 litre tank initially) and just make more if needed after that ? Shake really, really well before dosing and only then add the treatment to a big jug of existing tank water to ensure good dilution, before adding to the main tank ? Do not store for more than 7 days ? The poster of this thread (i.e. me!), nor the FK website or any of it?s members/advisers are not held responsible for any adverse reactions/fish death that occurs from following this post, as this depends on many other aquaria aspects of course.
Melafix is a mix of deionised water and Teatree oil, yet you miss, possibly, the most important ingredient, an emulsifier. this is important for two reasons: 1, it allows the Teatree oil to "mix" with the water. if you dont have one, the oil will simply float to the surface. and NOT remain suspended. 2,the type and amount of emulsifier, seems, to have a direct relation to the, effectiveness of the treatment. indeed, some, have direct benefits, themselves. http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=735 "Melafix is, actually, composed of: