How much did you spend?

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Anemone_Fanatic

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Way too much.

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rmorris_14

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Check out the Anderson build; he probably tops the list.

In the last two years, I'm over 10k at BRS and probably approaching 20k overall.
This is one of my favorite builds ever..... full stop.
PURELY AMAZING!
 
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culvern

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This hobby is expensive even if you buy everything used. I’m wondering in the first few months/year…how much did you spend on everything? I’m curious. I just did some math and 2 months into it with a 20 gallon tank I’ve spent around $1,500 USD! I also realize like anything you acquire things overtime and most don’t buy everything they’ll ever need all at once. It’s hard and addicting lol. And omg coral is so expensive especially considering some frags are hundreds or thousands of dollars. But I will say it’s something I saved for but never expected to spend this much.
The thing about this hobby is you have the upfront costs, and the ongoing costs.

As far as the upfront costs go, you can go cheaper, but it’s almost a certainty that you’ll wish you made different purchase choices. This is unavoidable and there’s nothing you can do about it. And this is irregardless of how cheap you went or how expensive you went.

Other ongoing costs are the supplies, like food, salt, test kit refills, etc. These are obvious so I won’t go into detail. But…there’s other ongoing costs that include “hype” related purchases, such as coral supplements, fancy wavemakers, cleaning gadgets, etc. etc. The industry thrives on making hobbyists think that their tank will crash and their corals won’t thrive unless you buy X, Y, and Z. The key is to keep things simple, spend your money on automation and things that make tank maintenance easier on you…which translates to you actually carrying out the maintenance. Many people lax on maintenance because it becomes more of a chore.

You mentioned an Apex, which is great, because you’re talking automation and an easier way to monitor water quality. This hobby isn’t about keeping quality fish and corals….it’s about keeping quality water. The fish and corals will thrive as a result.

The more you’re willing to invest in knowledge, automation, and quality equipment from the start will dictate how long you last in the hobby. I’d first recommend watching videos focusing on all the maintenance requirements of a reef tank. If you’re still interested after that, awesome. If you learn more ways to make maintenance easier on you…even better.
 

culvern

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I find myself just as happy with a 20 gallon nano tank as I did when I had my 100 gallon reef. I might be even happier because the nano fits my needs, how much I want to spend on reefing at this point in my life, and the lesser maintenance chores and associated costs. Sometimes I wish I had a huge tank but right now, I’m fine with my all-in-one nano tank that cost me about $1,200 after everything is added up, including livestock, chemicals, and maintenance requirements.

for those saying that they spent under $300 on their total setup are either lying, or their tanks are super basic, or both. For those saying they’ve spend $15k, I’d tend to believe them. I’d also wager that many of them are married to their tanks and are neglecting several other key elements of their life because of the imbalance of commitment (kids, marriage, their yard, their sleep, etc.) This hobby shouldn’t dominate your life.

Think if it as buying a car. Assess your budget for the hobby and adhere to that budget. You can buy a $1,000 tank but if what’s inside the tank is a total nightmare, what was the point? I see so many 200+ gallon tanks that look like crap; either because the owner doesn’t maintain it or because the owner can’t afford to properly fill it with rock and livestock. at that point, it just makes the house look creepy inside.

I personally think the sweet spot for a beginner is a 24”x24”x24” cube. This size has great real estate, is commonly available, and can grow with you. Great resale value as well.
 

Toob

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I have looked at the hydros system. I know apex is more expensive but I know it does more and I personally like the look better so I’m saving my money.

IMO Hydros has way more long term potential because they are open to working with 3rd parties. In 6 months to a year it won't even be close anymore, IMO. Plus the Apex build quality is so cheap for the price they ask...
 

paja3

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This hobby is expensive even if you buy everything used. I’m wondering in the first few months/year…how much did you spend on everything? I’m curious. I just did some math and 2 months into it with a 20 gallon tank I’ve spent around $1,500 USD! I also realize like anything you acquire things overtime and most don’t buy everything they’ll ever need all at once. It’s hard and addicting lol. And omg coral is so expensive especially considering some frags are hundreds or thousands of dollars. But I will say it’s something I saved for but never expected to spend this much.
This last system setup has me over 15 thousand between equipment and livestock. Since beginning ion 2004, I'm sure I'm easily up around 100K.
 
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hoffmeyerz

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Well at least this thread makes me feel better knowing I'm not alone!
I'm still new, my tank is just approaching six months running but I spent a little more than a year slowly piecing everything together. Picked up a 75 gal tank when it was on a crazy deal for the holidays, then came the apex gear, Lifereef sump and skimmer, pumps, CO2 scrubber, RODI, etc. I'm right around $2500 - $3000 and A LOT of the apex stuff was used!
I must say, never thought of the alternative receipt idea posted earlier....I own a small business and it would've been great to bury those costs in my books...LOL.
 

Dbichler

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Onto my third tank and if you count my daughters small tank 4 then I’m around 8-10k over 16 years. Buy almost everything used or cheap. When I move hopefully soon will be upgrading to a new 8’x4’x25” which will double my current total in one purchase.
 
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OscarHaglund

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As a breakdown of my current costs. This is with 2 quarantine systems and having just purchased the main tank (red sea 300 g2) but not having gotten it yet i am
DT: 4.6k
QT:440
Livestock: 510
Food: 250
Consumables: 550 usd/eur

I have not bought any apex or similar controller and the tank + lights are only about 2.2k, its the small costs like glue and epoxy that sneak up in you. They all accumulate
 

NowGlazeIT

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At the moment, I’m at $130 at start up. Still have to set up my refugium yet and purchase an rodi buddy so I don’t have to buy water all the time. I still haven’t bought my fish yet so I’m guessing another $2-300.
Ohhh to be young again
 
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BRS

Did you start off in the reef hobby buying used equipment? Do you still use pre-owned equipment? (Choose all that apply)

  • Yes, I did start off with some used equipment. It made getting everything going easier!

    Votes: 136 40.2%
  • Yes, I did start off with some used equipment, but it was a mistake I won't make again.

    Votes: 17 5.0%
  • I still buy used equipment! It's a helpful way to save money in this hobby!

    Votes: 105 31.1%
  • Nope! Everything I used to get started was new! And I'm glad I started with all new stuff!

    Votes: 82 24.3%
  • Nope! Everything I used to get started was new! But, I should've looked around for used options!

    Votes: 34 10.1%
  • I still only buy new equipment! Lots of problems avoided that way!

    Votes: 44 13.0%
  • Other... (Post in the thread)

    Votes: 13 3.8%
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