Is Reefkeeping Expensive?

vetteguy53081

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I work a lot of hours and at times, two careers. I used to hate Overtime at work, but now I regard it as Hobby Money !! I am also very alert as to sales and other deals out there and plan purchases.
As I just installed this morning my last two Orphek Atlantiks, guess I cant say after 5 of them this hobby is expensive ?
 

Rich Klein

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How expensive has Reefing been for you?

Would you consider it very expensive or have you found ways to make it pretty affordable?


Easy answer Randy, just lookup my BRS account / order. Will make me cry and you super happy ;-).
 

Frey

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It was expensive years ago and it is expensive today (if buying proper equipment). What i have learned is don't buy tanks, lights, skimmers, powerheads, and return pumps on price, or the one that will just get you by. Anything that is crucial to life support buy the best you can or you will buy twice or three times and hopefully by then you are smart enough to stop buying the cheap stuff.
When i worked at the fish store and still today when people see my tanks and are thinking about getting into the hobby i give this advise:
Buy the biggest tank you can afford or you will be buying another soon, and don't by cheap equipment or you will spend much more repairing or rebuying it and your own time trying to figure out how to fix what went wrong.
I also say oversize where you can, so if you decide your x gallon first tank is too small you can move the equipment to your dream tank.
I am not saying everything with a high price tag is the best, however there is usually a reason for the price tag.
Use the forums to your advantage and take your time making purchases and upgrades. There are way more expensive hobbies, but there isn't much more satisfying than taking a small piece of a living creature and creating an environment where it can grow into an impressive colony that you can trade, sell, and give to fellow reefers so that they can have the same experience.
 

Guttersnipe

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Yes, it’s a very expensive hobby. You get addicted and you can’t stop putting more money into frags.
 

ReefRondo

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It is crazy expensive, but when we look at how much we spend on our other animals its pretty comparable.
Our dog picked up some palm oil washed up on a beach near us and spent 24hrs in emergency vets. Nearly £2000 later he was back to good health. Having most pets are expensive especially when things don’t go the way you planned. This hobby is expensive but there are far worse out there.
 

mdbronco

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I'd say that the first year from a blank slate it can be really expensive, but once your equipment needs and tank settles down and you find your rhythm, it's more about the amount of time you dedicate (which can also be an inadvertent expense on its own) vs actual money out each month. Maintenance mode is pretty cheap IMO.
 

vetteguy53081

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This is a hobby which converts into an investment
 

vanpire

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I think of it like anything else in life: Whether or not you drive an Accent or a Lamborghini Spyder, you are still able to drive to work. There are expensive set ups and just the basics -- but it ends up with something beautiful so long as you take care of it.
Reef tanks can be the exception to this as it can be that you buy an Accent but your "Accent" equipped tank is way more beautiful than others who buy "Lamborghini Spyder" equipped tanks.
 

hart24601

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I am sure over the years I have spent more money on reefing that on my current car. Is that expensive? It's hard to say if something is a subjective term. Great for conversation, poor for conclusions. Few years ago I made a poll of how much have you spend in the hobby and I think the median was around 8k.
 

gotmesalty77

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Since I'm not really fimilar with other hobbies I can't compare but to me it's a costly endeavor. I took a few years off and when I got back in I was shocked that somehow it had gotten more expensive. That being said since it brings me joy (and stress) I'm more comfortable spending money on it. I work hard and I want to spend on things I enjoy. Generally I use my side Hustles to fund my hobby becuse that puts a check on my possible spending. Where as most people make extra selling frags, I usually sell gear I buy from folks tearing down tanks and what not. Often this more than funds everything which is great, but it's very time consuming.
I think cost is the obvious thing keeping more people out of the hobby. I know companies want to make money but if products were more in reach it could bring more people into reefing and spending money long term. I understand cost of live stock being but everthing else could definitely come down. It's difficult to believe Chinese manufactured products are any wheere near retail price. Maybe some day...
 

hotdrop

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How expensive has Reefing been for you?

Would you consider it very expensive or have you found ways to make it pretty affordable?

I suggest a contest. Pick a tank size and we can all take turns setting up a BRS cart with all the items it would take to run it for a year. Set a price cap and we can all try to reach it. Maybe pick some of the best posts and offer those as new reefer bundles for Christmas.
 

Skibum

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It's a ridiculous question, of course this hobby is expensive. Attempts to justify the expense by mitigating costs are just rationalizations. Yes, your operating costs once you get going are minimized compared to the initial cash outlay necessary to be successful. Even if you manage to get cheaper or used equipment from craigslist, you're still stuck with recurring expenses and that 300 dollar frag pack you got from @Battlecorals. I think a better question would be "This hobby is expensive compared to ..."

1.More expensive than rock collecting
2. More expensive than freshwater goldfish
3. Less expensive than International travel
4. Less expensive than car collecting

etc etc.

Value is subjective, there are probably a few members on this board where discretionary spending is ample, so to them it may not be an expensive hobby. However, if you were to present the costs of a tank to a non-reefer on the street, they would think we were all nuts.

jm2c
 
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