Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Freecycle find

Freecycle rocks. It is a community effort to share unused items and keep those usable items out of the dump. I have given away cardboard boxes, an old trimmer, children’s toys, owl pellets… oh the list goes on, ranging from quirky to mundane. I have found many great items on there myself too… a fabulously large, healthy cactus, a huge set of shelves to make into an art cabinet, disposable diapers, kitty litter buckets, and so on. If you are not part of your community’s Freecycle, I highly encourage you to check it out. And then, go directly to your closet or garage to get your first ‘offer’ listing made!

Here is a story, and another, of people who had great luck on Freecycle. And my head was full of these super Freecycle finds when I saw a  listing for a 40 gallon fish tank complete with stand, filter, fish (not really supposed to list animals), and all the equipment. And the woman emailed me and said I could get it. Yippee!

But not all Freecycle items are the ultra fabulous finds one hopes for. With Mike’s help, I arrived to help this woman be done with her fish tank. I mean it is a 40 gallon tank and stand, which I interpreted to mean heavy-duty wood stand to hold that 40 gallon tank. So a sitter was called in for an hour since pick up time was after bedtime and Mike came along. Only to discover it was in no way a 40 gallon tank. And it sat on a metal stand that might prove dangerous in a home with small children. And the rusted screen top and light were designed for reptile use, not aquariums. And the d├ęcor was pretty atrocious. And it is infested with mini snails. And there was a layer of scum covering the upper edges. And everything that could absorb order, including the water, reeked of smoke.

Mike asked, nearly clear enough for the woman to hear, if I was sure this is what I wanted. And I of course said yes. I just cannot show up to take something and not take it. No matter what cost.

Cost indeed. Since most of my aquarium goodies are still at ‘home’ in Muncie and this 29-gallon tank is bigger than previous tanks I have owned, I had to suddenly purchase a new glass top, a new light (which they only had one of in our size and it was the ultra fancy-pants LED ones with nighttime lights), a few new plants, a new filter and a new drainage hose (since I uh, now have two tanks to empty and fill regularly). Oh, and fish. Elliott was pretty excited that we would now get to have an aggressive tank and a community tank, like we did in Muncie. He even drew a picture to plan for how big the fish could be in the new tank. How could I disappoint him? Add to those costs the time to clean the tank and set it up and it seems like maybe more than should have been devoted to it.

Newly setup 29-gallon tank

Tank and stand

But am I happy with my Freecycle find? Yes! I wanted a bigger tank and this was the push to get it. Plus, it is a savings of a tank and stand, if I had decided to just go buy the tank (IF!). I realize I could have Freecycled to find some other equipment, but we were eager to get the tank set up. But I did turn around and list what we were not going to be using and the man who got them was quite happy to have those supplies.

Simulated moonlight LED lighting, or a nice nightlight

So don’t get me wrong. This is a good Freecycle story, after a little elbow grease, a little additional spending, and a little time setting things up. And if I scared you from ever wanting to take someone up on their offers on Freecycle, atleast realize that Freecycle can help you unload anything from your garage or basement. Be it Tupperware from 30 years ago or a broken guitar or a box filled with Elvis Presley buttons, someone can find a use for whatever you’ve got. Because most people are like me – they will take anything if it is free.

Happy fish!
***Had I known I planned to post on this, I would love to have taken a 'before' photo. That would be a great comparison!
***Also, apologies for the poorly taken photos here! Nighttime and glare were conspiring against me.

1 comment:

  1. so pretty! now I want a fishtank again. but I'm not responsible enough to keep them alive, I'm afraid. resident Fish Boy notwithstanding.