Welcome to my first post, if you are here you are probably expecting some incredibly motivating post about how successful my first tank was… I’m sorry to say I can’t write that yet! You see this site will be a day by day update on my tank, and today is the day it was delivered.

I am a tropical fish enthusiast. I currently have a 4 foot community tank with some fairly basic fish but over the years I have kept a wide variety of fish including angels, discus, rams, shrimp… all sorts! I have always wanted to try my hand at a marine tank but I’ve never been brave enough to make the leap.

For months now I have been agonising over the decision, not least of all thinking about how I would break the news to my partner especially given that he was very anti any kind of fish tank, let alone a money swallowing tank like a marine tank.

To my surprise, my partner finally suggested that “I just do it”. Bite the bullet and buy myself a tank. The conversations continued for several weeks, I was not ready to give up on my beloved tropical tank – I wouldn’t trust anyone else to look after them and spoil them as I do!

Two weeks ago I came home to a pile of wood in my spare room, I promptly questioned what the wood was for. “I’m building you two cabinets for two new tanks, you can split the tropicals then buy a big marine tank.” – Could he be any more supportive? What an incredible man!

After yet more discussion, it was decided that two 120L tanks would replace my 250L tropical and I would buy a 4 foot marine tank, pre-drilled with sump etc. Trying to explain why I needed a new 4 foot tank and a tank underneath that to a partner who, yes, is incredibly supportive, but no, doesn’t have a clue, was no mean feat!

I had settled on the tanks I wanted. We were getting all the tanks to match and wanted them to look like a real piece of furniture. We had settled on the range of AquaOak tanks available in our local store. They are beautifully made and fit the space we had available perfectly, but they do have a high price tag so I said we would wait until they right tanks became available second hand.

For the last two weeks I have been trying to find two identical tanks to fit in my allocated space. It was decided to get my tropicals settled and happy again in their new homes before I even think about a marine tank. I have spent countless hours trawling through countless averts on various websites to no avail. My beautiful tropical tank is still sat beside me in one piece, which to be honest I am not that sad about.

Two days ago, while carrying out my nightly trawl of the new fish tank adverts listed, I see my future reef tank. It is calling me! “Buy me, buy me! I’m so cheap you have to!” In front of me was a 6 foot x 2 foot x 2 foot, 705L monster for the grand sum of £350. I tentatively say to my other half “That’s cheap, isn’t it! It must be a mistake!”

He reads the short advert. “6x2x2 fish tank with cabinet return pump etc. Can be delivered for an extra cost. In very good condition. No rust. Comes complete with pipework, reactor, sump, return pump, heater, some rock & some sand.”

“You better message them and find out if it’s a mistake.”

My fingers could not type quick enough. As I chatted to the man who had the tank, it transpired that he was based near Liverpool, a long way from us in the deepest depths of Devon! He said he was still willing to deliver for an additional cost of £150. Still a very cheap tank and it would save me the 4 hour each way journey with no suitable van to collect it. Delivery for Tuesday was arranged.

Tuesday couldn’t come quick enough. The seller arrived with his big van, and I couldn’t wait to peep into the back of it. When I looked in a sinking feeling hit me. “This is never going to fit through my doors!” My other half looked at me and said exactly what I had just thought, only he added a couple of swear words to display is annoyance about having to try and move this thing now.

With a bit of too-ing and fro-ing and some extra strong muscles, we did eventually get the tank into position. I handed the money over and the seller started his long journey back.


What the seller had failed to mention was that all the pipework was damaged & needed replacing and that you couldn’t actually see into the tank because it is so dirty. There is also a massive amount of salt creep all over every bit of the tank. I have several weeks of cleaning ahead of me before I can even consider putting water anywhere near this tank.

There is a box of equipment that has arrived with the tank, it is all covered in green slime and filled with brown muck, I have not even dared to look and see what is in there yet. Maybe it will be a nice surprise to open the box and take the items out one by one after the main tank and sump have been cleaned.

I have no idea if this tank is even water-tight. This was a stupid thing to do and I do not recommend to anyone, that they buy a tank from a stranger, unseen. It is ridiculous. I have made some stupid decisions over my time, and this one has got to be right up there in the top 10. I had a plan, 4 foot tank after I have moved my tropicals, but no… I had to rush it! After months of agonising, choosing the perfect tanks, planning the entire process, I throw it all out the window for a bargain basement tank that is too big for the room.

Although I am very excited to start working on this tank, I am also filled with dread that I have bitten off more than I can chew with it.

What have we learned this week?


Make a plan. Stick to it. Don’t impulse buy just because something looks cheap.

It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop. — Confucius.