Frogging on a budget (Part 1 of 3)

Thank you everyone!  The blog hit 10,000 views last night.  It seems crazy to me that anyone would even come back and read the next day seeing how crazy I must seem, but anyways onto the post!

Some days I wish I would have started a financial blog, because I have so many great ideas to share on how we are planning on eliminating our very large private college student loan debt way ahead of schedule.  But then again, I am glad that it is about frogs instead because talking about frogs is way more fun.  This series will be a combination of the two! Best of both worlds!

It seems so long ago that a friend of mine from good ole’ Student Union Board (SUB) was getting rid of his poison dart frogs & tank and I was finding out how cool they were.  I didn’t end up getting his tank, however I did fall in love with them.  After I had gotten out of college and just started my first job, we moved into an apartment and had the perfect spot on top of our bookshelf for a tank.  I set up my first tank on my poor college student budget and now almost 4 years later have some tips to share!

Here are two throwback photos to show what my first tank looked like:


Now for some tips to save some money while creating an awesome tank:


-Research a good tank size for the frog you are looking at – when in doubt go bigger.  The extra cost of more materials & larger tank are minimal when just starting the tank.  Finding out after its all created that you want it bigger is never a good thing.

-Petco’s dollar per gallon sale is a good way to buy a tank

dollarpergallon_main-promo-Craigslist can also help to grab some good deals on used tanks.  Make sure the tank holds water & is in good condition.  Ask about previous inhabitants to see what you are in for & make sure to clean the tank very well prior to using it!  I found a 55 gallon tank for $20 on the Milwaukee Craigslist recently.  It is kinda sad that the only thing stopping me from buying it (besides my husband) was that it was in Franklin :/

-Local aquarium shops – The local  aquarium shop near me always has an aisle of used tanks that they have for sale at a decent price.  They are all tested and labeled on why they are getting rid of them ( leak, donated, spare, upgraded, etc.)


-Research different construction methods for backgrounds to see what type you would like

-Research material costs so that you can easily compare between stores

-Look at Menards.  I have had great luck with silicone at Menards.  They go on sale 2 for $5 which is a steal compared to Home Depot or Lowes.  Also for items that don’t usually go on sale, you can always take advantage of their 11% rebate on everything!  The rebate will get mailed to you and can be used on later purchases!

menards 11% off everything


Most of the plants in my original tank were on clearance at lowes and home depot due to them being almost dead – Always be extra careful when buying plants from these big box stores & 5% bleach soak/ wash & remove all dirt before using in tank.   My mom has a green thumb and literally any plant she has will flourish so she must have taught me something seeing these plants lasted forever and ended up outgrowing the tank.

Otherwise I have had good luck at Stein’s with hardy little plants that will flourish in the tank.

The timing on this post isn’t that great seeing both the Petco $/ gallon sale & Menards 11% off everything just ended, but I figure this will give you time to plan your next tank!

Edit: It was brought to my attention by Charles Schurman that I have added anything about expos!  I have never been to an expo so I cannot share any first hand experience, but I have heard of lots of people talking about the great deals they got at expos.  I would definitely see if there are any expos in your area and check them out for plants & other stuff!  The plants that they have at these expos would be used to high humidity terrariums.  Thanks Charles for pointing that out!

Stay tuned for Frogging on a Budget (Part 2) where I will focus on lights, woods & leaves & other essentials!

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