Poll: What Would You Say Your Average Running Costs Are A Month

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Daltrey, Nov 11, 2017.

?
  1. $0-$15

    7.7%
  2. $15-$30

    20.6%
  3. $30-$45

    21.9%
  4. $45-$60

    14.9%
  5. $60-$75

    9.9%
  6. $75-$100

    9.0%
  7. $100+

    16.0%
  1. Daltrey

    Daltrey Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Just Curious. Additional cost on electric bill, Water changes, Dosing costs, Water tests, Chemicals, Feeding and basically everything that keeps your tank running?
     
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  2. ndrwater

    ndrwater Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    This is a tough question because every tank is different. Most tanks are 50 gallons and under, and therefore relatively inexpensive to run. That said, a reefer with a several hundred gallon system would have potentially exponentially higher costs.
    With THAT said, even a 50 gallon tank that happened to be in a hot climate like the southern US, running metal Halide and a chiller would again be significantly higher monthly costs than a similarly sized soft coral tank running LEDs without the aforementioned chiller.
     
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  3. Cronicreefer

    Cronicreefer Active Member

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    I have a 75 gallon and the electricity costs alone are around $20/month but it is >50% lighting costs (T5s). I would guess it is at least another $20 for cost of salt, testing, water, foods, etc.
     
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  4. Antics

    Antics Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I'd say that maintenance and operation costs are less than 30$ a month.

    Buying equipment I don't need and coral or fish? Probably a couple hundred more. :p
     
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  5. THX1138CY

    THX1138CY Member

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    I am spending ~$100/mo for the chemicals, elect, water, to maintain a 200 gallon system. This does not include food costs.
     
  6. mtraylor

    mtraylor Valuable Member

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    Yeah this is going to be all over the place due to all the variables. For electrical cost I recommend you get a kwh meter. Its a great way to determine what your usage is.
     
  7. Daltrey

    Daltrey Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Sorry, I meant this to have POLL in the title. I would say my costs are closer to $30 a month for my 155 gallon. I do have a killawatt meter but our house and appliances are all brand new and energy efficient. Our electric bill on our 2200 square foot house averages $150 a month. I do 50 gal water changes a month using the 200 gallon box of Instant Ocean for $50 which only equals $12.50 a month.

    I was just wondering what most other peoples expenses were. Alot of people new to the hobby don’t quite realize how expensive it can be. I remember 15 years ago I got out because the metal halides were just too expensive to run on an 8 foot tank I had. The added heat also played a factor with pumping heat into the room and needing a chiller. Now with led it seems alot more reasonable and was the main reason I have set up another tank.

    I’ve just always liked larger tanks because they take longer for things to go south. Plus I really enjoy the wow factor to them. I am happy with 6 foot tanks for now as most fish can be added to that size.

    Pic of my new setup.
    20171028_210732.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  8. TheEngineer

    TheEngineer Formerly icecool2 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Delaware Reef Club Build Thread Contributor

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    I’d say I’m in the $30 range for my 50g. I don’t do water changes often and i run LEDs.
     
  9. mtraylor

    mtraylor Valuable Member

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    Love your aquarium and congrats on the new house. Yeah I'm with you on that, it can be expensive. I have led's as well. I switched from MH to LED's
    as well. I was just trying to encourage the use of kilowatt usage. Because everyone stating electrical costs is not accurate data to help people determine
    cost. Let me explain.

    Lets say tank1 reefer pays 7 cents a kilowatt and used 2000 kw for the month. Their bill would be $140 + whatever charges they have. We will keep at 140 for ease of demonstration.
    Lets say tank2 reefer pays 15.2 cents a kilowatt and used 2000kw for the month. Their bill would be 304.

    Now lets just say both tank1 and tank2 reefer have exact setups and their tanks consume 400kw/month. tank1 reefer will post my aquarium costs about $28/month. tank2 reefer
    will post my aquarium costs about $60/month. So that is why I said that.
     
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  10. CindyKz

    CindyKz Active Member

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    I easily spend $350/month on my 2 tanks (75 and 32 gals) but probably $300 of that is on stuff I don't actually need
     
  11. Daltrey

    Daltrey Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I have finally bought all the equipment. Soon I will purchase the livestock and corals. So taking all of that out of the price I am just wondering how much it will cost to maintain and run my 155 gallon display tank. I would guess no more than $30 a month. Guess I will soon find out, ha.
     
  12. Reef of Fillory

    Reef of Fillory Active Member

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    I've got a 32G biocube with 20G sump. It runs be about $30 in electricity and $10 in other costs (food, Triton dosing, testing etc.)
     
  13. want2bsleepy

    want2bsleepy Active Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    We have a 125, 65, 29, and 15 in our house. I would guestimate that our cost is $30-$50 per month including food, water, dosing, and electricity. But, like others, we spend much more on new fish and corals!
     
  14. AJsTank

    AJsTank Well-Known Member

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    I've got a 400 gallon display and I spend about 175 a month on water changes, another 100 on media and then I spend about 200 on filter socks. I've got so lazy, I don't wash my socks in the washer anymore. I just buy them in bulk and toss 4 of the 7 inch ring felt socks away a week.
     
  15. DarkSky

    DarkSky Active Member

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    For just upkeep, I voted $15-30.

    I have a 45g SPS tank, 58g total volume. 6 bulb T5, two dosers, a skimmer, reactor pump MJ1200, two MP40s, an eheim return pump, and a 150w heater.

    I use a powerbar that keeps track of my power usage for the entire tank, power usage per month is about $5-$6 a month.

    Between food (~$10 a month), Ca/Alk 2 part (~$5 a month), and salt for two 15 gallon water changes a month, it comes out to about $20-25 a month.
     
  16. Dburr1014

    Dburr1014 Active Member

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    $100 just in electricity. 75 gallon tank and 50g sump in the basement.
     
  17. mlb75

    mlb75 Member

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    Hate to say it there are SOOOO many variables here its almost a worthless poll. How big is the tank? Is it heavily or lightly loaded with fish and or corals? Food alone can cost more than $100 a month depending on what you feed and how often (I probably spend more than $60PM on food alone for my 300DT) the more you feed the more you impact other things as well like filters and water changes. Then do you calculate the energy used for just the tank or do you add in the impact the tank and equipment add to the temp of the house and the extra or less work the heat / ac have to perform? Are you in an area with higher or lower general energy costs? What about wear and tear on the house (humidity from tank evap will have an impact eventually) and that's before you place any value on your time. Do you figure in where and tear on your equipment, bulb's, pumps, etc don't last forever or normally we "upgrade" so that should factor in.

    If you're looking for an idea of what your costs are going to be I'd count on 75-150 for a stocked 155 depending on what your keeping how you feed. I say that because food and additives add up (quality plays a huge factor here as well, more expensive isn't always better but the saying is you get what you pay for) and that's before you start thinking about filters and media (for the tank and RO/DI) and water bills and... You don't necessarily order food or filter media or salt or... every month but I'd say most months you order something and I'm sad to say I can't remember the last time an order cost less than $100.

    I'd say the cutoff from relatively inexpensive to operate to the $100PM + range is around 100 gallons, less that than and everything is easier but as soon as you cross that threshold the costs just go up at a much quicker rate. There are a lot of benefits to the bigger tanks though and I'd be hard pressed to go back to a small tank unless it was in addition to the large one.
     
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  18. Bruzzerfish

    Bruzzerfish Member

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    The costs on my 57g are minute enough where you don’t see a big difference, running leds and no chiller
     
  19. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Excellence Award SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I need a response for "no idea." LOL
     
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  20. erk

    erk Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Without knowing the tank size, the data in this survey is difficult to interpret. It would be better data if we normalize the monthly operating cost by the volume of the tank. Maybe something like cents/gal. Not sure what mine is though. Need to sit down and break down everything.

    Also, are we factoring in our time? Maybe $10-15 /hr? This would further normalize this data since those who spend less money might spend more time maintaining/operating the tank vs those that spend more money.
     
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