What purchases do you regret making or not making?

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KryptonsLast

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I'm starting up a list of necessary items. I plan to purchase things that are only necessary for where I am in the process. For example I don't need a lid until I have fish or an expensive power head until I have corals.

I'm curious if you ever bought anything you thought you would need and ended up not using or it ended up not being worth the money? Or is there something you didn't buy and wished you had?

Any experience and advice is welcome and appreciated!
 
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I regret going cheap on my initial equipment. Everybody wants to aim for best value, and I get that, but for example, I initial bought cheap black box LEDs off of ebay that gave me major algae issues, and later I upgraded to radions. I could've saved myself the money on the black boxes AND all the headache of the algae issues if I'd bought quality lighting to start with. So, I'd say buy based on research to start with and avoid buying with an intent to "replace later" whenever possible.
 

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By the way, I did the same thing with my first skimmer. Don't cheap out on equipment.
 
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I regret going cheap on my initial equipment. Everybody wants to aim for best value, and I get that, but for example, I initial bought cheap black box LEDs off of ebay that gave me major algae issues, and later I upgraded to radions. I could've saved myself the money on the black boxes AND all the headache of the algae issues if I'd bought quality lighting to start with. So, I'd say buy based on research to start with and avoid buying with an intent to "replace later" whenever possible.
Yeah I've always preferred buying new as well as quality brands. My friend can tease me about wanting name brand clothes but sometimes you get what you pay for.
 
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By the way, I did the same thing with my first skimmer. Don't cheap out on equipment.
I have skimmer on my maybe list. I'm looking at the Waterbox AIO 35.2 which is only 33 gallons. I see dueling opinions on the need for one with small tanks especially. So it's on the maybe list underneath fish and then corals.
 
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Buying a turn key kit and buying so small of a tank. I could have saved money buy just buying a tank and stand. I ended upgrading the plumbing, return pump and sump.

My thinking at the time, week it’s my first reef tank.
How small was your first tank and what are you at now?
 
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My biggest purchase regrets come from going overkill and getting way more than I needed because it was latest & greatest... I find that I pretty much never use the extra bells and whistles

There is generally a nice middle-ground in this hobby where you can find equipment that is tried and proven and not -too- expensive...
 
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I’m first and current is a 55 gallon display. I am looking at between 150-200 for the next. For fish selection reasons. I want a blue tang so looking like a 200 gallon.
I tend to bite off more than I can chew so I'm trying to reign myself in. Especially seeing some tanks here it's hard. I have limited free time and budget so I'm trying to be as big as possible but still conservative.
 
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KryptonsLast

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My biggest purchase regrets come from going overkill and getting way more than I needed because it was latest & greatest... I find that I pretty much never use the extra bells and whistles

There is generally a nice middle-ground in this hobby where you can find equipment that is tried and proven and not -too- expensive...
What's the biggest item purchase you wish you had skipped?
 
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Buy the best you can afford the first time
Yeah that's kinda where I am. I made a big spreadsheet on an excel template that totals and adds tax and the knee jerk reaction is to go cheaper but it seems on this hobby that can lead to even bigger costs and regrets.
 
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I tend to bite off more than I can chew so I'm trying to reign myself in. Especially seeing some tanks here it's hard. I have limited free time and budget so I'm trying to be as big as possible but still conservative.

I understand that. I am working towards automation due to work travel. It’s been nice cutting back on some of the tasks. I am also looking to go Triton as well. I know only test once a week since my tank has stabilized and my GHL system probes have shown stability. Most of the tasks I have remaining are not so critical to the tank that they can’t wait a day or two. Water changes and pod production are my main time takers and that is an every Sunday thing. I could be wrong but I would assume a bigger tank would be no different.
 

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I have skimmer on my maybe list. I'm looking at the Waterbox AIO 35.2 which is only 33 gallons. I see dueling opinions on the need for one with small tanks especially. So it's on the maybe list underneath fish and then corals.
Not really a debate if it’s needed or not, rather if you could get away without one.
there are very few and highly specific instances where it would be preferable not to have one.
 

lpsouth1978

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I say start by determining the essentials. A LOT of the equipment out there is nice to have, but NOT essential to have a successful reef tank. Think quality Water (RODI system, reliable test kits, etc.), flow (this is also needed for fish health), surface area for beneficial bacteria (minimalist, sand or bare bottom, etc.).

My list of essentials would be (in no particular order):

1. RODI system
2. test kits
3. Wave makers
4. Lights
5. Rocks and Substrate - this may include Marinepure or Brightwell XPort bricks in the sump
6. Patience

Meet these essential and you can have a successful reef. Down the road you can add things like an ATO, Skimmer, reactors, UV sterilizers, etc. I would also say, purchase with the end goal in mind, i.e. you need flow in the tank so don't buy some cheap powerhead to provide flow for the fish when you are planning to add SPS in the future.
 

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Yeah that's kinda where I am. I made a big spreadsheet on an excel template that totals and adds tax and the knee jerk reaction is to go cheaper but it seems on this hobby that can lead to even bigger costs and regrets.

I can tell you that I have wasted more money on buying cheaper items that either has not met my expectations or just broke. When I did my tank upgrade in May I saved to where I could afford what was best.

Biggest loss I’ve taken is lighting-

5 G4 XR15’s
4 G5 XR15’s
5 ReeFi’s duo extremes
5 G5 XR30 blues
2 Orphek bars
2 Reefbrite bars
AI primes
48” T5

and now I’ve settled on 4 different lights than all of those and couldn’t be happier. I took a hit on selling them just to finally find the lights I always wanted and met my expectations
 

lpsouth1978

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I can tell you that I have wasted more money on buying cheaper items that either has not met my expectations or just broke. When I did my tank upgrade in May I saved to where I could afford what was best.

Biggest loss I’ve taken is lighting-

5 G4 XR15’s
4 G5 XR15’s
5 ReeFi’s duo extremes
5 G5 XR30 blues
2 Orphek bars
2 Reefbrite bars
AI primes
48” T5

and now I’ve settled on 4 different lights than all of those and couldn’t be happier. I took a hit on selling them just to finally find the lights I always wanted and met my expectations
What did you end up with, if you don't mind me asking?
 
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