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Week 9. What To Do If Something Is Out Of Stock.

In light of last week’s blog about a saltwater aquarium build guide, we wanted to make sure you knew what to do if something was out of stock or you needed an alternative! Some of these tips will be really basic or obvious for intermediate hobbyists, but many of you newbies need to know this! 

We will cover some quick places to check and people to ask, followed by a section for an example with more specific tips and things to consider so you don’t make any mistakes when buying alternative saltwater aquarium gear!

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Table of Contents

This Week's Video:

Places to Look and People to Ask!

Look for Gear Replacements! 

If the gear you are looking for just doesn’t seem to ever be in stock, or if you can’t even find it, look for similar gear instead! There are lots of different brands so its very likely you can find gear that is equivalent to the piece you wanted. We will go over some tips in the rest of this article for making sure you get the correct alternate gear! There are also plenty of online retailers you could look at. Despite this hobby being somewhat niche, there are tons of options, brands, and places to get what you need. 

Check Your Local Fish Store  

If you are set on a specific set of gear or can’t find any alternatives online that you are happy with, consider checking your local fish and pet stores! It might be a good idea to look them up online and call first, so you don’t waste the trip for no reason. 

Email or Us to check the status of the piece of gear! 

Another way to get help or answers about specific gear, gear replacement options, etc. is to email us or MarineDepot who have a great customer support team! We can help you find the right gear you need and save you the headache of reading a thousand reviews or buying something you don’t need.

Check Local Facebook Groups, Forums, Ebay, etc. 

Finally, you could check the second hand market and see if anyone local to you is selling the gear you want! Beginner gear is often the easiest to find on Facebook groups or eBay, so this is a great way to get the gear you want and it will usually be at a good discount! However, you have to make sure that the gear is in good condition and that you are dealing with a respectable person. The hobby has a great community, but scams have happened so it never hurts to be safe! 

A closed Facebook group like one for you local reef club is the safest bet as many people likely know each other on some personal level. But, more likely than not you should have no trouble buying second hand gear! 

Product Link: If you are looking to get any of this gear, use the following link to support us without any extra cost to you!

Reminders and Specific Tips!

Always Build Around the Aquarium and Livestock Goals!

This is more of a reminder to make sure you don’t lose sight of the goal! It can be easy to get lost in excitement looking all this new and fancy gear. This gear is expensive and our saltwater aquariums are life support systems for the corals, fish, and other creatures we keep. Make sure you are choosing gear based on what your goals are and the size of your aquarium. 

Make Sure Alternative Gear Fits:

Another reminder that sometimes alternate gear can have significantly different dimensions than the gear you originally were going to get. Before settling on some alternative piece of gear, make sure it fits in your aquarium or your filtration area, whether that is a sump or rear filtration chamber. 

Specific Gear Tips:

  • Aquarium and Stand:

    Aquariums and stands are the easiest to find alternatives for because there are quite a few brands that make them, all with high standards, and most offer the same sizes as any other brand! Make sure that the alternate brand has an equivalent stand that fits. Even more important is that the new aquarium has the same filtration style as the one you planned on getting. An Aquarium may be drilled, have a rear filtration chamber (All-in-One), it might even come with a sump! This is the only gear I personally do not recommend getting second hand, especially as a beginner. 
  • Light:

    The two biggest things to remember is to make sure you are getting a REEF light, and not just some random light or one for growing plants/freshwater aquariums! The lighting spectrum (colors emitted) and PAR (amount of useable light) for reef aquariums are not the same as all other lights. The reason why we love to recommend the AI Prime lights is because they are so customizable and can fit whatever style of saltwater aquarium you want to build! If you go on MarineDepot the sections are pretty clear so you won’t accidentally purchase the wrong light. DO NOT FORGET to buy a mounting option for you light, the easiest being a gooseneck mount which just attaches to your aquarium. Final point is that you need to consider how much your light spreads, a bigger tank may need 2 lights or even 3!
  • Rock or Sand:

    It really unlikely that rocks or sand will be out of stock, but pretty much any reef made rock or reef made sand will do just fine. You can go fancy or you can go cheap, the differences are almost all aesthetic and up to personal choice. The only exception is that sand does come in different grain sizes! You want to get Fiji Pink or Special Grade sized sand (0.5mm-1.5mm) because really small sand will be easily blown around by strong flow, while really large grain sizes will trap a ton of detritus in them! Just make sure you buy Rocks MADE FOR SALTWATER AQUARIUMS! 
  • Return pump:

    If you were planning on getting an aquarium with a sump or a return filtration chamber, you will also need a return pump that will run water through and out of your filtration! Many kits already come with one, but in case you need to get a return pump, your best bet is to just check based on the recommended aquarium size on the page for an individual return pump. Usually you want 5x the gallons per hour, so if you have a 20 gallon aquarium you want a 100 gallon per hour return pump. But, if you are not sure, this would be a great question to email or call MarineDepot about! 
  • Heaters: 

    We recommend a titanium heater with an external controller because they are usually much smaller than glass heaters, and in smaller beginner builds, saving space is always appreciated. Any reputable heater works, and I personally love the Eheim Jager glass heaters, they are just way longer in terms of size. Just use the on site sizing chart to get an appropriate sized heater. DO NOT BUY AN OVERSIZED HEATER. If anything, it is a better idea to get two smaller heaters that combine. That is because if one fails either in the off or on position, you have some time to catch it before things get dangerously cold or hot! 
  • RO/DI Filter:

    RO/DI filters may seem very complicated, but honestly they are all somewhat the same piece of gear. It just gets more and more thorough filtration with a few accessories as you move up. We recommend to get one with a booster pump or get a booster pump to attach to it. 
  • Maintenance gear, salt, and test kits: 

    When it comes to most maintenance gear, it is even more interchangeable. Most salt mixes will work great, and the same goes for algae scrapers, siphons, test kits, etc. Try to get multiple fish nets, buckets, and both a magnetic algae scraper and a hand held one. All of this gear is pretty cheap and it just makes your life easier. Don’t forget to buy a refractometer to measure your salinity levels and remember to test your water frequently!

Product Link: If you are looking to get any of this gear, use the following link to support us without any extra cost to you!