How much does a reef aquarium cost?

BRS

CanuckReefer

Simple...Salt, Water, LR, Lighting and Flow.
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
1,660
Reaction score
2,435
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Port Perry Ontario
That would be a 180 gallon at my lfs the tank is 1000 skimmer 400 sump 500 heater 150 sand and rock 2000 pumps 500 that is on the cheap side. Plus fish ,coral , cuc. Some fish are 300 for one most in the 50 . Have you started yet. Ato,controler another 1500 .dosing pump. So on and on.dont forget a stand. I got my 125 6'x18"x22" in a kit stand tank return pump skimmer and pump sump for 1200 17 years ago .don't think you can do that now. May be used . Yep 10k .
Bout what paid 25 years ago on my 90 similar....laid out well , so double the price, until you either go bare bones, or elevate ....I am bare bones, and love it still.
 
BRS

KrisReef

5000 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
5,422
Reaction score
17,101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
ADX Florence
A reef takes a bit of time and a bit more money to look pretty continuosly.

brewsters millions money GIF
 

pdxmonkeyboy

Sticks!! Give me the sticks!
View Badges
Joined
Mar 7, 2017
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
4,485
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Hockinson, WA
You are asking the wrong question.

Can you simple have a beautiful reef tank by throwing money at it?

No, you can not. If you have someone coming every week, yes.

LOTS of people start threads where the buy the most expensive gear out there and funny thing is.... you don't see pictures of these tanks 2 years down the road.

The reason it is soo addicting is it is difficult, if not very difficult to have an eye popping gorgeous tank.
 

mindme

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Messages
466
Reaction score
457
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Hi, I literally know nothing about reefs in fact I don’t even know why am on this forum? But I do know I have always wanted a beautiful coral reef in my bedroom maybe about 6‘ x 2‘? What does something like that cost around? And do I have to have somebody come maintain it all the time? I really don’t want that but once in a while is OK
It can really vary. Anywhere from $3,000 on up to well over $10k, even more.

My 180g is the size you mention, and I'm not even sure what the total was. I would have to estimate it was around $8k, and that's probably somewhat midgrade, and that's just the tank. Never done the math, let me see quick.

I bought a prostar 230. So that was tank, stand, sump and plumbing done. I paid $2700, today they sell for over $4k.

3 Kessil a360we. I got them on sale for $300 each, normally about $350. So $900. Also another $237 for 3 mounting arms, and another $60 for the 90degree piece. So basically, $1200 for lighting.

For powerheads, I only have 2, many people get more. But I picked up 2 MP40's. $350 each, $700 for powerheads.

Protein Skimmer, $350 for the one I have.

Refugium light: Another kessil light, $240. I already had a cheaper mounting arm, but I think they are like $45. So $300ish.

Return Pump: I went cheap here and got a Jabeo pump. $90.

Kessil Light Controller: I already had, but $100.
2 300w heaters: $50
InkBird: $35
UV pump: $60
UV Light: $250
Live Rock: I have negative space aquaspace, and only used 100lbs. I bought the cheapest, so $350.
Marco Cement + instaset + superglue: $90.
Salt - $60
RODI Unit from BRS: $350
Sand: $120


So, I think that's the equipment on the tank. That comes out to $6,805 in equipment.

Then there is all the fish. For me this was very expensive due to losing almost all of them once to velvet. Probably about $900 I spent total in fish.

$7,705.

When it comes to buying coral, I only buy coral on sale and I buy the cheaper ones. I spent about $600 on corals, but that's the really low end. I already had a bunch of coral already as well.

$8305

As mentioned, I had a bunch of fish die. So I had to buy a bunch of stuff for quarantine. Fish medications, multiple tanks, filters, air stones etc. I'd estimate that was about $400.

$8705

And then you need testing stuff. I have 4 hanna tests, lets say $50 each. Then I have some salifert tests, probably $100 total. So $300 for tests, but I already had some of them.

$9005

I'm probably forgetting something, but yeah about $9k. I am very pleased with the end result, but I had no plans to spend that much when I started.

Oh yeah, dosing pumps, dosing containers, etc. Probably $100. Then there is the dosing solutions, power strips, $200. Clean up crew, $200,

And then if you want to use an apex and things like that, you're adding $1500. Maybe someday I will have one, not today.

Take whatever your budget is, and cut it in half when you plan, you'll likely spent the full budget that way. Or find what you want, and double the price.
 
Zoanthids

SPR1968

No, it wasn’t expensive dear....
View Badges
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
14,994
Reaction score
95,300
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Nottinghamshire England
Hi, I literally know nothing about reefs in fact I don’t even know why am on this forum? But I do know I have always wanted a beautiful coral reef in my bedroom maybe about 6‘ x 2‘? What does something like that cost around? And do I have to have somebody come maintain it all the time? I really don’t want that but once in a while is OK
You can spend as much as you want, easily £10000++ but if money is no object and you want a beautiful coral reef go for it.

I’m not even going to say what I’ve spent on my two systems, it’s probably embarrassing, oh and my wife my be reading! L0l

You mention maintenance by someone else, yes you can do this, but for the reef to survive and thrive you need to know what your doing yourself unless the maintenance company come every few days to monitor the system. Otherwise your money will just go down the drain.

There are some great resources on here for you to read and study, which is what you need to do, constantly to understand the hobby. Your just a ‘water keeper’ that’s it and if you can do that you should be fine

Here’s a couple of guides


 

Smite

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Messages
1,644
Reaction score
1,738
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Garden Grove
I'd say 10k is a pretty good estimate for someone starting out with nothing, but someone who is doing it themselves. I'd just guess paying someone to plan, build and install the system is going to cost you another 5k+. Maybe more, I have no idea.

Do some basic research on equipment and get a good feel for individual costs of items. Walk your local LFS and look at coral and fish prices, RODI and mixed water costs. Then if you decide to have someone setup and maintain the system you'll have enough of an idea to not get gouged. I've talked to a couple maintenance guys that are awesome and some that over charge clients for everything including livestock and then basically use those clients tanks as their own personal growout to sell more coral out of. The clients either don't care or my guess is just have no clue, maybe both.
 

reefinatl

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
535
Reaction score
719
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
North GA
Hi, I literally know nothing about reefs in fact I don’t even know why am on this forum? But I do know I have always wanted a beautiful coral reef in my bedroom maybe about 6‘ x 2‘? What does something like that cost around? And do I have to have somebody come maintain it all the time? I really don’t want that but once in a while is OK
More than you can afford pal
7ff72bc0-9381-4d91-8778-55d25b1aded0_text.gif


Really though 6' reef is 3k just about bottom cost, sky is the limit. Maintenance is a waterchange every 2 weeks to as complicated as you want to make it.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

shakey

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
45
Reaction score
116
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Princeton WV
I know this is going to sound like I’m on something but I’m not. Ive got right at 10k in a 120 gallon 4X2 peninsula and haven’t even got water in it yet!! I will be doing a build thread when I start putting it all together. It’s all according to how nice and if you want all the controllers etc. I want it all. Lol.
 

Fish Think Pink

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
2,030
Reaction score
8,379
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
DFW Texas
I was in the hobby 25 years ago when I was in IT and making serious bank despite age, so I knew returning I needed some extra $$ before coming back into hobby.

Still make less than when I was 20, but I made a plan, found a used setup and making it work. I've been adding as my budget allows and I'm so very happy to be back in this hobby!

Also today someone else costed out their own setup and also easy on pocket relative to some of costs in this thread, so check out this awesome but budget friendly setup:
 

Gingernjuice

New Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
12
Reaction score
19
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Iowa
I got a 125 that was 6x1.5ft the tank was used $200.
Built my own stand for 100 (wood is probably triple that now,
55 gallon sump $1 per gallon sale plus acrylic $100.
Jebao power heads and return pumps $250
Reef octopus rated for 180 gallons used $100
Heaters 4x 200 watt about $100 total
Built my own inkbird for $25 would support 1000w and 4 plug ins.
Rodi system $150
Lights black boxes $300
Ato used with pump $45
And a 10 gallon $1 per gallon sale at reservoir.
Coral rock got from same guy who sold me the tank for $150.
Took me about a year and a half to get it all together for $1450.
Got 3 tangs a clown and a 6 line wrasse for $250
Got a ton of cheap coral like 15-20 frags of softies for about $150.

So about $1850 all in for that
Monthly cost of about $75 for salt, electricity, water, fish food.

New 40 breeder. Mostly new and nice.... $2k
 

Attachments

  • 0201201742a_HDR~2.jpg
    0201201742a_HDR~2.jpg
    133.8 KB · Views: 14
  • 0409211221_HDR.jpg
    0409211221_HDR.jpg
    99.3 KB · Views: 12

99gtbaby

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
69
Reaction score
60
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
shippensburg
Hi, I literally know nothing about reefs in fact I don’t even know why am on this forum? But I do know I have always wanted a beautiful coral reef in my bedroom maybe about 6‘ x 2‘? What does something like that cost around? And do I have to have somebody come maintain it all the time? I really don’t want that but once in a while is OK
I traded my 99 Mustang GT for this entire tank, it’s a 93 gallon display with about 20 gallon sump, protein skimmer, a large bubble magas filter roller, with an Apex EL system, two hydra 26 HD’s, a Neptune auto feeder, plus an additional apex El system and skimmer. The guy who had it had around $8k invested in it.

FAB71552-DF75-400F-A24F-463622980246.jpeg E739BC71-1EDD-4241-97F8-355DA1394C27.jpeg
 

TCoach

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
252
Reaction score
280
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
SC
I traded my 99 Mustang GT for this entire tank, it’s a 93 gallon display with about 20 gallon sump, protein skimmer, a large bubble magas filter roller, with an Apex EL system, two hydra 26 HD’s, a Neptune auto feeder, plus an additional apex El system and skimmer. The guy who had it had around $8k invested in it.

FAB71552-DF75-400F-A24F-463622980246.jpeg E739BC71-1EDD-4241-97F8-355DA1394C27.jpeg
Beautiful tank. I have the same tank. Wish I had all those LPS!
 

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
48,494
Reaction score
110,042
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Wisconsin - Florida in several months
This will depend on tank size, type of system ( fish only- mixed reef- reef with fish), type equipment, new or used and type of fish and their market pricing
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
BRS

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 30 6.3%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 340 70.8%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 33 6.9%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 51 10.6%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 46 9.6%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 8 1.7%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 6 1.3%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 2 0.4%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 38 7.9%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 5 1.0%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 23 4.8%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 6 1.3%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 153 31.9%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 188 39.2%
PremiumAquatics.com
Top