Every single decision you make in your fish keeping journey has a consequence. Let that sink in a second.
Let me state for the record that I’m all about saving a little money. I also love DIY stuff as long as it relates to some activity I enjoy and I’m confident I can’t purchase that DIY for less.
Regardless of the filter types that you use, they can and do fail. These failures come in all forms, but one of the worst is a seal failure or a hose failure on external canisters and sumps. An external filter that stops working but doesn’t leak is one thing. But that same tank losing water because of a hose, filter, or tank seal failure is something different.
I have posted several times about my tank maintenance set-up. There are multiple advantages to using this process, which you can read at the end of that post.
Two of the advantages are money savings. One, of course, is that I don’t waste any source water in the effort, which is normal for Python-type vacuum systems. The other is that I recycle my sand. Yep, you can reuse the sand that you vacuumed out of the tank during your regular tank cleanings. How? It’s a bit work intensive, but you will save some money in the long run.
Here’s the scenario: you’re new to cichlids but you’ve done a ton of research, you’ve talked to other cichlid keepers, you know what fish you want, and everything is all set. Fast forward several weeks or months after you’ve purchased your fish and one day you discover that some of them have spawned and you have babies (fry) in your tank. You’re very excited…and then it hits you. “What do I do with them?” you ask yourself.