Newbie on a budget

adittam

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Lots of people here scoff at the idea of using a canister filter, but it's completely doable if you keep a regular cleaning schedule.

Take a look at my build thread (click on the "build thread contributor" badge under my name) for my budget friendly 46g bowfront tank. Canister filter, no sump, and just over $1k on equipment total, with an itemized equipment list on page 2 of the thread.
 
AS

PeterC99

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Oh good. . . . . . someone else on a budget. Here is mine:


costs.jpg
Are you kidding me? Really?

I almost believed you until I saw the girlfriend budget of $10!!!
 

Rob.bucek

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Hi everyone!
I've been lurking here for a few months and have gathered so much helpful information!

I'm new to salt water tanks and it's safe to say I'm obsessed. Unfortunately, I'm in the final weeks of getting my PhD so I'm super broke. At least it forces me to take it slow!

What are your best tips for reefing on a budget?
Utilize all your existing DIY skills or acquire more as needed. Equipment is often highly overpriced (even I got sucked on early on) and build as much as you can on your own. Avoid the marketing hype on here and start with the basics.
 

dwair

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Hi everyone!
I've been lurking here for a few months and have gathered so much helpful information!

I'm new to salt water tanks and it's safe to say I'm obsessed. Unfortunately, I'm in the final weeks of getting my PhD so I'm super broke. At least it forces me to take it slow!

What are your best tips for reefing on a budget?
Welcome to Reef2Reef!

This particular build of mine that I just started put me on a forced budget super fast. The honest best tip is Go slow. Save and wait. There is NOTHING short of fish food that requires you to spend a whole lotta money at once. And fish food doesn't cost that much.
 
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Jimbhoy13

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Welcome to R2R and the salty world. Being on a budget helps you to take things slowly which is good in this hobby. I would say don’t go cheap with test kits. If you can’t afford decent ones take a sample to lfs for testing. Lots of knowledgeable and helpful people here who will support and advise you when needed.
 

JL15219

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Welcome to R2R! Congratulations on the PhD!! Budget? Being a new reefer myself I thought I was going to stay in budget but that totally didnt happen! But like some have said just take it slow (which is great in this hobby) try to maybe save up a bit to get that piece of equipment you really want instead of trying to settle for something cheap because you still end up spending more buying the cheaper one then eventually getting the things you really wanted...so basically buy the things you really want save if you have to and dont settle....just my experience both with saltwater and freshwater.
young dolph plies GIF by Worldstar Hip Hop
 
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Fish Think Pink

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Hi everyone!
I've been lurking here for a few months and have gathered so much helpful information!

I'm new to salt water tanks and it's safe to say I'm obsessed. Unfortunately, I'm in the final weeks of getting my PhD so I'm super broke. At least it forces me to take it slow!

What are your best tips for reefing on a budget?

Welcome! Glad you joined

Reefing on a budget is definitely the way to go. To me it means research well and then buy 1x - often used but not always

My best $ tip is my $3.50 LED 5k refugium light that grows Red Ogo (photos in my build thread below)

This recent post inspired me:
 

MaxTremors

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Hi everyone!
I've been lurking here for a few months and have gathered so much helpful information!

I'm new to salt water tanks and it's safe to say I'm obsessed. Unfortunately, I'm in the final weeks of getting my PhD so I'm super broke. At least it forces me to take it slow!

What are your best tips for reefing on a budget?
My best tip would be to get a small AiO. It’ll come with pretty much everything you need to get started. Otherwise look for used stuff, look for a well-maintained tank break down, they can usually be had for less than half retail, sometimes pennies on the dollar. Even cheaper, a used AiO. But as a student who might be moving or living in a dorm or have roommates, a little Evo or one of the smaller Biocubes would be perfect, inexpensive to start, cheap to stock (in terms of sand and rock), and infinitely upgradable. Good way to learn the hobby without a huge monetary or size commitment.

Also, welcome!!
 
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revhtree

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Welcome to your new home for saltwater reef aquarium resources and fun! Welcome to the family! :D
welcome-home-logo-greeting-png.1484246
 
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regisshan

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B3C4737C-BA87-41C2-971F-6DC5038CE898.jpeg

Update: craigslist came through for a dissertation/birthday present! $200 for a 40 breeder setup with a bunch of equipment that I’m still cleaning up/testing (peep that old school skimmer thats way too big for this tank lol) Upgrading the hardware for the doors so please ignore the mess for now!
 

spyder813

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Welcome to R2R !!!! Reefing on a low budget is possible but the success for reefing is Patience. I started with a 40g breeder from Petco dollar per gallon sale and a 30g for the sump. If you are a DIY person, then you do the plumbing, stand and a lot of stuff without expending a fortune. For wave makers, return pumps Jebao brand make a good one at a affordable price. Just don’t be afraid to ask any questions, we are here to help each other.
 

clownfish81

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Hi everyone!
I've been lurking here for a few months and have gathered so much helpful information!

I'm new to salt water tanks and it's safe to say I'm obsessed. Unfortunately, I'm in the final weeks of getting my PhD so I'm super broke. At least it forces me to take it slow!

What are your best tips for reefing on a budget?
My top tip is to not get a brand new skimmer (if you are going to get one) and don't get Radions.
My budget tank has 3 t5 and a cheap $50 LED light bar.
 
RAP

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

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 15 5.9%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 183 71.8%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 16 6.3%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 25 9.8%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 24 9.4%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 6 2.4%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 5 2.0%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 20 7.8%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 4 1.6%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 10 3.9%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 3 1.2%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 75 29.4%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 107 42.0%
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