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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about purchasing a second hand tank. If it was previously used for turtles, hamsters, or things other than fish and shrimp, would the tank be compromised in any way so that I can't breed shrimp or fish in it?
 

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Aquariums that are used for hamsters, turtles, etc may not necessarily be water proof.

Some people also use old (cracked) aquariums and reappropriate them for use with hamsters, snakes, etc, as they cannot hold water anymore.

I would be careful...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If the seller allows me to test it to be water proof, is there anything I could do other than fill it with water? And even if I fill it completely with water, would this be a good enough test to see if it's waterproof? How long should I leave it filled with water for it to be determined that it's waterproof?
 

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If it had a snake or lizards in it, it might be fine.

If it had rodents in it, take a good look at the silicone sealing on the inside of the corners. Every time I've seen a tank that's held rodents, the sealant is usually gnawed up/damaged.
 

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If the seller allows me to test it to be water proof, is there anything I could do other than fill it with water? And even if I fill it completely with water, would this be a good enough test to see if it's waterproof? How long should I leave it filled with water for it to be determined that it's waterproof?
I leave my aquariums (even brand new ones or recently re-sealed ones) filled with water for 2-3 days just to really make sure they are not leaking.

It helps to tape little strips of paper towel around the corners too, so that you will know for certain if there is any leaks.
 

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I buy /sell used tanks quite often. I have never found one that leaked but there is a first time somewhere. One thing to look at is the corner silicone. Turtles can try to scratch their way out and get their claws between the glass and silicone. Once this flap is made, I don't buy the tank as I find that algae will get under the silicone and make a black ugly spot which can't be cleaned very well without tearing the silicone out. Look the glass over more carefully than a fish tank as they can scratch until there is a scratched spot in the glass. No repair I've found works.
I do an overnight bleach soak on any used equipment just to start with a clean slate so I KNOW what the tank has. No vermin residue, no smells, nothing like oil that might have been stored in the tank while stored away.
 

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I am using a 10 gallon for my beta that I previously used for hamsters, but that's only because I know it is in good condition. If you do decide to buy one second hand that was used for a different kind of pet from fish, clean it out really good. I've used baking soda for the urine spots and bleach because I originally used it for a sick goldfish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am using a 10 gallon for my beta that I previously used for hamsters, but that's only because I know it is in good condition. If you do decide to buy one second hand that was used for a different kind of pet from fish, clean it out really good. I've used baking soda for the urine spots and bleach because I originally used it for a sick goldfish.
Other than doing my best to clean it out as much as possible, is there any problem with remnants of baking soda left in the tank?

By the way, buying my first used 20 gal tomorrow after I gave away a 10 and 30 gal because it was collecting dust for quite a few years xD
 

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You might get a little buffering from the baking soda, but it won't be harmful.

Just try to remove as much as you can, and if you want, you can fill the aquarium and do a few water changes.
 
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