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Just out shopping, and thought I’d start a thread about “random aquarist items from the grocery store.” Snapped a few photos.
 

(1) Rooibos Tea — excellent source for limited tannins. For heavy tint, 1x bag / gallon for 24 hrs. We use for Killifish eggs to cut down on fungus. Smells nice in the fishroom!

(2) Clorox — for cleaning certain items, like shells, Diffusers, etc. kills off algae. MUST be treated with plenty dechlorinator in fresh water before using in Aquarium again. Still, it has its place.

(3) Cupboard Liners — we use these under LED lights to diffuse lights when too bright. Easy to cut to fit. Also helpful underneath smaller tanks to keep them from slipping.

(4) Measuring Cups — We prefer plastic, but glass cleans off really well. Many uses. Mixing frozen food with tank water, pouring room-temp water over black worms, etc.

(5) Cooking Baster — great for sucking up, feeding, etc. cheaper at a grocery than aquarium store.

(6) Skewers — We use to gently stir up gravel for limited-space vacuuming with small tube / siphon when normal gravel vac is too disruptive, risks sucking up fry, etc (trick learned from Rachel O’Leary — she used chopsticks)

(7) Sealed Lid Storage Containers — We are learning that the best way to keep dry food fresh is to refrigerate bottles inside a zip-locked bag inside a sealed-lid storage container. That’s 4-steps to ensure freshness: fridge, closed container, sealed bag, and sealed lid.

Next time you’re in the grocery, I’d love to learn what you use! 

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I used to use ziplocs a lot but now I have started keeping the bags that the fish come in and I use those to catch the fish and bring them back/ transport them. Why not reuse as much as possible, espcially plastic. I've also found that its easier to trap oxygen in fish bags then ziplocs.

I have paper over my betta tank to difuse the light, and I'm not the biggest fan of it anymore.  It gets wet during every waterchange, I have to take it off when I want to feed and then forget about it. Come back 4 hours later ALGAE everywhere! I'll have to try the cupboard liners a try, thanks for the suggestiton!

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11 minutes ago, James Black said:

I used to use ziplocs a lot but now I have started keeping the bags that the fish come in and I use those to catch the fish and bring them back/ transport them. Why not reuse as much as possible, espcially plastic. I've also found that its easier to trap oxygen in fish bags then ziplocs.

Yeah, I try to reuse a lot of supplies, although I don't really like to reuse fish bags since my LFS usually puts permanent marker/Sharpie on it, which I don't really feel comfortable using the small volumes of water that I use. (Might just me being a bit over cautious though lol.) I like the idea though, and will definitely us it if/when I get a larger aquarium!

Edited by FlyingFishKeeper
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Ziploc container plant farm
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cheap plastic measuring cup can hang on aquarium, useful for fish collection and acclimation, mixing dry reagents with tank water for easy addition, plant trimming sessions, etc....

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baby bottle drying rack is now my drying rack 🙂
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cleaning supply tote for holding supplies and food, makes it easy to carry between rooms where my tanks are

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I use nylon pot scrubbers in my filter as media.  It has a really high surface area to volume ratio so great for nitrifying bacteria to live on.  I also use a sous vide cooker to heat my water before water changes.  To avoid using softened water I only have access to 55 degree F water for my water changes.  In the past I would use a spare 50 watt heater to heat my bucket up but it took about 6-8 hours.  With the sous vide cooker I can go from 55 to 78 in just a little time.  (Maybe the sous vide cooker isn't a true grocery store item, but it fits with the kitchen theme)

  

Pot Scrubbers aquarium.jpg

Sous Vide Aquarium.jpg

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I use cheesecloth and a rubber band at the end of my gravel vacuums when I'm concerned about sucking up small denizens. Granted it can still happen, gotta keep an eye on them, but they get stuck to the cheese cloth instead of going up inside the tube and if you're diligent enough about watching you can squeeze the tube to release them hopefully no worse for wear. If there are better ideas for that I'd certainly like to know them!

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18 hours ago, egruttum said:

I use nylon pot scrubbers in my filter as media.  It has a really high surface area to volume ratio so great for nitrifying bacteria to live on.  I also use a sous vide cooker to heat my water before water changes.  To avoid using softened water I only have access to 55 degree F water for my water changes.  In the past I would use a spare 50 watt heater to heat my bucket up but it took about 6-8 hours.  With the sous vide cooker I can go from 55 to 78 in just a little time.  (Maybe the sous vide cooker isn't a true grocery store item, but it fits with the kitchen theme)

  

Pot Scrubbers aquarium.jpg

Sous Vide Aquarium.jpg

I keep waiting for a sous vide maker to come out with a line of aquarium heaters. I love the idea of a heater and circulator pump in one unit. And those cookers are absurdly precise in terms of temperature control. One could be the next "must have" aquarium gadget. The problem is many of them have a very limited expected lifespan, often just a few hundred hours even for the commercial units. That limits their suitability for aquariums. It's not bad for kitchen use, but for an aquarium, you'd want a lifespan in the tens of thousands of hours. 

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19 hours ago, egruttum said:

I use nylon pot scrubbers in my filter as media.  It has a really high surface area to volume ratio so great for nitrifying bacteria to live on.  I also use a sous vide cooker to heat my water before water changes.  To avoid using softened water I only have access to 55 degree F water for my water changes.  In the past I would use a spare 50 watt heater to heat my bucket up but it took about 6-8 hours.  With the sous vide cooker I can go from 55 to 78 in just a little time.  (Maybe the sous vide cooker isn't a true grocery store item, but it fits with the kitchen theme)

  

Pot Scrubbers aquarium.jpg

Sous Vide Aquarium.jpg

Out of curiosity, what’s the type / power of that blue pump you use for water changes? 

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5 hours ago, Fish Folk said:

Out of curiosity, what’s the type / power of that blue pump you use for water changes?

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZNWBK4C is what I bought.  The top of my tanks are just under 48" tall.  When I have low water level in the bucket the pump slows down greatly, way below the 2.5 GPM that is listed.  If this one ever fails I will buy a high capacity pump.  I like this pump, I just want it a little faster.  The pump is just 120V plug in.  Its a sealed motor so its completely submersible.  I changed the front from the grills to a PVC street elbow pointed down.  That way I can alomsot completely empty the 5-gal buckets I use to change water.

Edited by egruttum
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6 hours ago, gardenman said:

I keep waiting for a sous vide maker to come out with a line of aquarium heaters

I never thought of that exactly.  I have thought that if one of my heaters goes out in the winter (tanks are in the basement) I will use the sous vide cooker with a fine mesh over it to heat the tank until I can get a new heater.  I would think if Instant Pot could get together with an aquarium power head manufacturer they could make a killer heater.

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