Cost of a large aquarium?

Emma_fish

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Ok so 3-4 months in to my 22gal marine tank and my dad wants a tank like 150gal
He said he thought I would like kill all the fish and not be able to keep up a saltwater tank well he was wrong.
Does anyone have an idea about how much it would cost like for everything? I don’t think he realises how expensive marine tanks are lol cause when I go to my lfs and come back with like a £100 bill he’s like you only got some rock why is it so expensive !
Any help is appreciated
 
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rubertoe93

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It all depends on what route you take, are you buying a all in one set up, second hand ect....
we have a Red Sea reefer 425, ( 125 g )
That was £1399 for the tank alone, think we paid about another £1200 on rock sand lights and heater, we already had a skimmer and wave makers!
 
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Emma_fish

Emma_fish

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It all depends on what route you take, are you buying a all in one set up, second hand ect....
we have a Red Sea reefer 425, ( 125 g )
That was £1399 for the tank alone, think we paid about another £1200 on rock sand lights and heater, we already had a skimmer and wave makers!
This is what I mean by expensive lol I will probably see if there’s a second hand tank as majority of my tanks are second hand just because it’s so much cheaper aha but I think I would rather get my own sand and rock just to be safe
 

Hugh Mann

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Well, I am setting up a 230 gallon, it's a bit bigger but a lot of the necessities are the same, or close enough.

Firstly, buy as much used equipment as possible. I have legitimately saved thousands of dollars buying used. Sure, it sometimes needs some work, or might make a little extra noise or something, but at least you have it, and can upgrade down the road.

Some things to look into that you'll need to buy.
Lights. Depending on what your plan is, corals vs fish will greatly change how much lights will cost. At the very least you're looking at two 165w black boxes.

Protein Skimmer. The model and price will vary depending on what you need, but the price will be $300 or more is my guess.

Sump. A tank that size, I would highly recommend a sump setup. You can either buy a prefab or build your own out of an old tank. That hugely changes the price, a DIY might be $150, a prefab $400+. Again, varying depending on make and model.

Return pump, only necessary if you go Sump, but that's another expense, and opportunity to buy used. Couple hundred bucks, easy.

Plumbing. I just dropped $150CAD on PVC and I still need a few more pieces.

Sand. Even going with a 1" sand bed, that is still 60+lbs of sand, cost varying again. I paid $145 for 80lbs of Carib Sea Hawaiian Black.

Rock. I would personally recommend reusing the rock from your current sand to kick start the cycle, unless you have plans for it. Then go primarily dry rock for the rest to keep the price down. You'll have the ugly stages all over again, but could snag some savings.

Lets not forget powerheads, the number and power will depend on the tank inhabitants, and the quality of pumps. My two Jaebos were $110 each.

Heaters/chillers. Will depend on your climate, but I had to drop $200 on two 400w titanium heaters. (Yay Canada!)

Then there's the recurring costs of water changes. Even a 10% weekly is 15 gallons a week. Adds up to several buckets/boxes of salt a year.

All in all, it's a daunting task, with a hefty price tag, but you know what, you won't regret it. Even if you have to sell a kidney to get there.
 
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Emma_fish

Emma_fish

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Well, I am setting up a 230 gallon, it's a bit bigger but a lot of the necessities are the same, or close enough.

Firstly, buy as much used equipment as possible. I have legitimately saved thousands of dollars buying used. Sure, it sometimes needs some work, or might make a little extra noise or something, but at least you have it, and can upgrade down the road.

Some things to look into that you'll need to buy.
Lights. Depending on what your plan is, corals vs fish will greatly change how much lights will cost. At the very least you're looking at two 165w black boxes.

Protein Skimmer. The model and price will vary depending on what you need, but the price will be $300 or more is my guess.

Sump. A tank that size, I would highly recommend a sump setup. You can either buy a prefab or build your own out of an old tank. That hugely changes the price, a DIY might be $150, a prefab $400+. Again, varying depending on make and model.

Return pump, only necessary if you go Sump, but that's another expense, and opportunity to buy used. Couple hundred bucks, easy.

Plumbing. I just dropped $150CAD on PVC and I still need a few more pieces.

Sand. Even going with a 1" sand bed, that is still 60+lbs of sand, cost varying again. I paid $145 for 80lbs of Carib Sea Hawaiian Black.

Rock. I would personally recommend reusing the rock from your current sand to kick start the cycle, unless you have plans for it. Then go primarily dry rock for the rest to keep the price down. You'll have the ugly stages all over again, but could snag some savings.

Lets not forget powerheads, the number and power will depend on the tank inhabitants, and the quality of pumps. My two Jaebos were $110 each.

Heaters/chillers. Will depend on your climate, but I had to drop $200 on two 400w titanium heaters. (Yay Canada!)

Then there's the recurring costs of water changes. Even a 10% weekly is 15 gallons a week. Adds up to several buckets/boxes of salt a year.

All in all, it's a daunting task, with a hefty price tag, but you know what, you won't regret it. Even if you have to sell a kidney to get there.
Aha I will show this to my dad and see what he thinks now lol
 

SPR1968

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It’s just expensive, it’s not only the equipment it’s the live stock

You can of course do it to a budget and have a nice system doing it that way, and if you get a good deal on a second hand system that might help, but just be careful what you get.
 

Nick Steele

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From what I have researched between my current 20G and two future upgrades of a 100G and eventually a 300G everything seems to scale perfectly for me.

My 20G was about 1-1.5k US
100g will be 5- 6k
300g will be 15-16k

If doing new equipment I find it best to wait for BRS to have a sale you can save hundreds if not thousands depending on your system.

This is also just startup cost includes no live stock or maintenance. My 20g is a Innovative Marine tank the 100 will either be a Innovative Marine or Planet Aquarium tank. The 300 will be either a Planet aquarium or fully custom.
 

JimmyV

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Ok so 3-4 months in to my 22gal marine tank and my dad wants a tank like 150gal
He said he thought I would like kill all the fish and not be able to keep up a saltwater tank well he was wrong.
Does anyone have an idea about how much it would cost like for everything? I don’t think he realises how expensive marine tanks are lol cause when I go to my lfs and come back with like a £100 bill he’s like you only got some rock why is it so expensive !
Any help is appreciated
I bought my 180 for 400 dollars. Built my own stand for price of lumber and hardware, built my own sump from a 40 gallon tank . I bought 3 of the black box 165watt led reef lights , because there was no way in hell I was paying 800 plus for one light. So you see where I'm going. It doesn't have to be a fortune spent to have a nice tank. Just choose your wallet freindly.
 

xxkenny90xx

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I bought my 180 for 400 dollars. Built my own stand for price of lumber and hardware, built my own sump from a 40 gallon tank . I bought 3 of the black box 165watt led reef lights , because there was no way in hell I was paying 800 plus for one light. So you see where I'm going. It doesn't have to be a fortune spent to have a nice tank. Just choose your wallet freindly.
Exactly! It can be done cheap. I recommend buying someones running setup. That will be the cheapest by far.

Let's see..
My used 112g tank, $150
New Diy 40g sump, $70
Used lights, $100 (but I have since upgraded
New Sca 180g skimmer $174 (optional)
Used live Rock $2/lb
New Koralias powerhead $40-50ea
Ect.

You get my point. It all adds up but this can certainly be done without giving up your first born child. Most people on here spend a fortune claiming they want quality when it's really about having something new and shiny with all of the bells and whistles
 

JimmyV

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From what I have researched between my current 20G and two future upgrades of a 100G and eventually a 300G everything seems to scale perfectly for me.

My 20G was about 1-1.5k US
100g will be 5- 6k
300g will be 15-16k

If doing new equipment I find it best to wait for BRS to have a sale you can save hundreds if not thousands depending on your system.

This is also just startup cost includes no live stock or maintenance. My 20g is a Innovative Marine tank the 100 will either be a Innovative Marine or Planet Aquarium tank. The 300 will be either a Planet aquarium or fully custom.
You see there you go your talking 15 to 16 thousand dollars . That's insane and not needed.
 
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N.Sreefer

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150 gal tank 300 used
Philzon leds 80 each x 3
Jebado dc pump and overflow box 225
Crushed coral and dry rock etc 500
Honestly the expensive part isnt the tank i only listed a couple items and its over 1000 bucks. But if buying items is spaced out and you dont care about brand names it really isnt that much more expensive than a planted community tank. My fx6 for my freshwater was more than my sump and equipment in it (diy rubbermaid sump) the prices were in canadian dollars so it sounds like alot of money but its not.
 

Nick Steele

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You see there you go your talking 15 to 16 thousand dollars . That's insane and not needed.
While it’s not needed that is my dream tank and will be 5-10 years down the road. I’m not big on used equipment or going cheaper, big believer in you get what you pay for (on most things).

Yes it can be done for much cheaper but I’m not going cheap on anything.

Plus that’s for a 300G full Sps dominated reef so double what the OP is asking about and we aren’t even sure if he wants reef or just fish only.
 
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Emma_fish

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While it’s not needed that is my dream tank and will be 5-10 years down the road. I’m not big on used equipment or going cheaper, big believer in you get what you pay for (on most things).

Yes it can be done for much cheaper but I’m not going cheap on anything.

Plus that’s for a 300G full Sps dominated reef so double what the OP is asking about and we aren’t even sure if he wants reef or just fish only.
Yeah I will probably go for a reef tank even though I love dwarf fuzzy lion fish
 

Gtinnel

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Ok so 3-4 months in to my 22gal marine tank and my dad wants a tank like 150gal
I think that others on here have given very good rough estimates of how much all of the equipment to setup a large tank could cost so I'm not going to add to that.

I'm not trying to discourage you to not go with a bigger tank, but I wouldn't use 3-4 months as the indication that you have a successful tank. I think you should wait longer to make sure you still enjoy the hobby before making the financial commitment of a bigger tank.
 
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Emma_fish

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I think that others on here have given very good rough estimates of how much all of the equipment to setup a large tank could cost so I'm not going to add to that.

I'm not trying to discourage you to not go with a bigger tank, but I wouldn't use 3-4 months as the indication that you have a successful tank. I think you should wait longer to make sure you still enjoy the hobby before making the financial commitment of a bigger tank.
Yes actually I agree thank you
 

Buffalou

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I Just purchased 150 gal custom tank and stand, between upgrades in skimmer, lighting, additional plumbing, rock and powerheads I'm at around $5000.00 not cheap but it's a dream tank and my ultimate last tank.
I've been in the reef hobby about 8 years and have had tanks all my life, I'm 66. I've had over 10 different tanks starting at 10 gal up to 250 gal. 3 years ago I went to the 250 deep design tank that was a generic brand. Glass wasn't thick enough, seams were poorly sealed, the glass split and I lost it all. I gave away a ton of coral to LFS and sold off equipment vowing never to set up another tank!
Well that didn't last long, glad I didn't vow to give up arm if I came back to reefing, or I'd be less one arm. This time I spent the money with CDA custom tanks, euro bracing, custom seams, starboard bottom, along with custom stand. If I have learned anything in this hobby it is this:

1. In the long run more water makes caring for corals easier.
2. I wish I would have fast forwarded to custom build sooner, it would have saved me a ton of money because of all the upgrading I ended up doing.
3. Nothing good happens quick, I've know you probably already heard this, but I can't emphasize enough how patience is the key.
4. The tank must go through the stages of maturity, I haven't had much success at trying to rush it, maybe some fellow reefers have, but I haven't.
5. Unless you Jacques Cousteau, there is a learning curve, this is why so many of us are on R2R, ask for help.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!
 
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Emma_fish

Emma_fish

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I Just purchased 150 gal custom tank and stand, between upgrades in skimmer, lighting, additional plumbing, rock and powerheads I'm at around $5000.00 not cheap but it's a dream tank and my ultimate last tank.
I've been in the reef hobby about 8 years and have had tanks all my life, I'm 66. I've had over 10 different tanks starting at 10 gal up to 250 gal. 3 years ago I went to the 250 deep design tank that was a generic brand. Glass wasn't thick enough, seams were poorly sealed, the glass split and I lost it all. I gave away a ton of coral to LFS and sold off equipment vowing never to set up another tank!
Well that didn't last long, glad I didn't vow to give up arm if I came back to reefing, or I'd be less one arm. This time I spent the money with CDA custom tanks, euro bracing, custom seams, starboard bottom, along with custom stand. If I have learned anything in this hobby it is this:

1. In the long run more water makes caring for corals easier.
2. I wish I would have fast forwarded to custom build sooner, it would have saved me a ton of money because of all the upgrading I ended up doing.
3. Nothing good happens quick, I've know you probably already heard this, but I can't emphasize enough how patience is the key.
4. The tank must go through the stages of maturity, I haven't had much success at trying to rush it, maybe some fellow reefers have, but I haven't.
5. Unless you Jacques Cousteau, there is a learning curve, this is why so many of us are on R2R, ask for help.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!
Great thanks I’m going getting a new light for my 22gal today can I get coral aswell or does the light have to be in for a certain amount of time first ?
 

Rmckoy

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I upgraded to a 230 from a 90 gal .
the cost of the tank and stand was $1600 cad
Plus .. moving cost ,

lighting ( I used the 48” t5 fixture from my 90 gal

return pump I went with jeabo 15000L
I had the rocks , skimmer ,

I bought another jeabo crossflow to add to the one I had for more flow .

they say bigger is better ?
I will say it’s louder , a little more expensive for water changes but realizing it’s a hobby and nothing is cheap .

Happy reefing
 

Rmckoy

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Great thanks I’m going getting a new light for my 22gal today can I get coral aswell or does the light have to be in for a certain amount of time first ?
Depends what light you choose ,
But a good practice is to research the lights and their output .
If it’s leds you’re buying , start them off on a low setting .
Always start any corals at the bottom furthest away from the lights and gradually move them up a few inches per day .
 

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