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Anyone have tips oh how to get experience in the hobby and trying new things without having to spend a lot of money? I was considering turining my 10 gallon tank into a native tank so I can try different species out
 

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$1.00 per gallon sale @ petco. 10 and 20 gallon tanks are common and easier to get "used" equipment for if that's an option you'd consider. They also stack pretty well on cinder block, 2x4 type stands, which again are fairly inexpensive to set up. If you live in an area where the weather is mild you could also use tubs outside for ponds. Start with non-tropical fish to build experience. Wouldn't need heaters, and use a simple sponge filters.

This is very important.... Patience is the key! Start a project, give it time and adjust things when they don't seem to be working as you thought. Have a back up tank for emergencies and/or quarantine (this goes back to the $1 per gallon sale).
 
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I thought about this a little more and thought I'd add some thoughts. I saw in one of your posts you were still in school. When I was your age I had aquariums but very limited funds. Also, no internet and unless your pet was a dog, cat, cow or a horse forget it.. anyhow, I got aquariums used from people who were getting rid of them. Either because they were not into the hobby anymore, or had leaks. I also had almost no access to exotic fish. My first I think were guppies from science class at school when they gave them away to the students at end of year.
So I made natural set ups, where I would catch minnows or tadpoles, get local plants from ponds etc.. I learned a lot about fish keeping in general without spending hardly any money. So, I'd suggest lo-tech, less exotic species and set ups until your funds, time and space allow.

In conclusion, there's a lot you can learn, and gain experience from without spending a lot of money. Be patient and try not to get discouraged. You'll fail a few times, that's ok. Use the advice given in here by all the people who have gone through this. Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt (My advice included). Try not to get overwhelmed by trying too many things at once. ...and most of all enjoy it. You'll look back at this experience late and be glad you had it.

p.s. there were times my mom was afraid to go into my room. She never knew what kind of critters she'd find in there...
 

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I have experience already I’m talking about 100% free
My Bad I equated "advance" in the hobby to gaining experience. I associate the two.. they aren't always the same.
 

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It isn’t the 90s anymore where you can have a jungle inside your room and only get a slap on the wrist XD
I'm sorry, this really cracked me up. Try 70s.

The advantage you have now, is instant access to information and resources (equipment, flora, fauna, etc.). The principle is the same. There's ways to advance without spending a lot of money. It all depends on what you want to accomplish and how long you want to take to accomplish it. Only you know what your restrictions are. Take those into account, pick a direction and go.
 
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