Same Products, Better Value!
I just got my order of aquarium necessities in from a major online source and thought I would share some cost-cutting revelations with everyone. First of all, as I was browsing all Seachem products, I noticed that they market Flourish Tabs (fertilizer) packaged specifically for ponds, marketed as "Pond Flourish Tabs". This product doesn't come up in a search for "Flourish Tabs" specifically (probably intentionally), but this "pond product" cost me $9.09 for 30 tabs, whereas the "regular" Flourish Tabs are priced at $7.79 for 10 tabs, or $23.13 for 40 tabs, either of which comes out to a lot more $ per tab. I have a package of the (aquarium) Flourish Tabs and compared the two. They both have the exact same analysis/ingredients-THEY ARE THE EXACT SAME THING! So guess which ones I will be buying from now on? With this in mind, I decided to check another product I was intending to order, Novaqua Plus. Sure enough, the pond version was the same price per equal size, but treated much more water. So I ordered the pond version (30ml treats 150 gallons) and diluted it (200ml Pond Novaqua Plus to 300ml distilled water) to get the strength equal to the aquarium version (5ml treats 10 gallons) and put it in an empty 16oz. (regular) Novaqua Plus bottle so that the labeling is accurate. By doing this, I can get 2.5 times more of the exact same product for the same cost.
I don't appreciate companies jacking the price way up on a product just because it is marketed for a specific consumer group, when the exact same thing can be bought for much less if you only know what to look for (like Glutaraldehyde/Metricide/Excel). This hobby is expensive enough without companies taking advantage of us! I understand more costly packaging that makes a product easier for the consumer to use (or dose), and I'm all for convenience, but some of these markups are waaaay overboard and unreasonable.
You can bet that before I make any future orders, I'll be checking out similar (or the same) products marketed for ponds or other large volume end-users. It's too bad that I live in a rural area and don't have a lot of other aquarists nearby so we could pool our orders and buy in bulk (and save on shipping, too), but many of you do have several other aquarium hobbyists close by and might think about doing that.
I hope this helps others save some money, and if anyone else has some cost-cutting ideas, let's hear 'em!
"May the Fish be with you."