Where are y'all getting your money from?

Knology

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I'm also getting into Motorsports so I feel the same way when I see a guy posting a video of coil overs, new tires, a turbo, radiator, 15 more boxes from Summit Racing, and then finished by saying he hopes to get it all done by the end of the weekend so he can drive it to work. Like what cards did you just spread $20k in parts across to manage this? Instantly making you indeed, feel poor.

Unless you are sponsored, the reality of what we see is what someone intends us to see online. 99% of us don't discuss how long things actually take. The mistakes we made along the way. The money wasted on junk or by things we didn't actually need. Duped by marketing is just as bad in this hobby as taking one person's advice as gospel.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

HaveFishWillTravel

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Ok, I get it. Be a doctor/lawyer/engineer/software engineer, and make the big bucks to be able to send your kids to Ivy Leagues, have a nice car, AND get an awesome fish tank or 10 out of it.

But for the all of the 5 figure and under people (let's say the cutoff is 85K), how are you doing it? Do you just like...not have kids or something? Is there a trick to all the splurging you're able to do? Are there a bunch of low cost of living areas that I'm just not aware of/don't want to move to?

I keep seeing "I just bought this 200/300/1600 gallon [RedSea/Waterbox/expensive brand] aquarium and what do I do with it" posts, and I'm just...confused...do you just have this money lying around??

I guess I'm mostly just asking because my estimated yearly earnings is currently somewhere at around 40K in a high cost of living area once the job hiring starts again. Which means very little disposable income (bye bye avocado toast, I'll miss you, but aquariums gotta aquarium).
Not sure if your Post was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek or not. I totally see your point. I just somehow got lucky later in my life. Honestly, I’d like to talk about my stuff, but feel a little uneasy because I know what it’s like to be on a budget. I was a single mother who had to work a lot and was stressed out. My son always wanted a reef aquarium so, we got a Nano 20 and had a lot of fun with it. Little protein skimmer, mini wave makers, small rocks, a few corals and a fish. It’s not the size of the fish, it’s the motion in the ocean ;-)
 

Billdogg

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I don't understand what the issue is. Just get a good printer, some linen photo paper, and go to town!!!o_O:cool:o_O

J/k btw.

My first tank was a 55 in 1988. I got it from a good friend who just happened to own a LFS, so I got the "friends and family" deal. I was fresh out of college making - wait for it - the huge sum of $8.76/hr. I WAS RICH!!!

Since then, as I've grown in the hobby, so have my various systems. I've worked hard for every cent I've spent on my tanks. It helps that I've gotten a couple raises since then too!
 

HaveFishWillTravel

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I wonder the same thing when someone that makes 55k a year buys a 70k gas guzzling truck. Or buys a 10k mountain bike.

Everybody has their hobbies.
I think it means they either inherited some $$$ or they’re in debt up to their eyeballs! I do know a few people that save money and have paid cash for their cars, whatever floats your boat...
 

HaveFishWillTravel

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I'm also getting into Motorsports so I feel the same way when I see a guy posting a video of coil overs, new tires, a turbo, radiator, 15 more boxes from Summit Racing, and then finished by saying he hopes to get it all done by the end of the weekend so he can drive it to work. Like what cards did you just spread $20k in parts across to manage this? Instantly making you indeed, feel poor.

Unless you are sponsored, the reality of what we see is what someone intends us to see online. 99% of us don't discuss how long things actually take. The mistakes we made along the way. The money wasted on junk or by things we didn't actually need. Duped by marketing is just as bad in this hobby as taking one person's advice as gospel.
nicely said
 

t5Nitro

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Or speed shops thatll build you a crate engine for 40-50k!! Seriously guys this topic frequently seems to come up on this board. Be happy with what you've got and try not to stress on somebody else's success. Alternatively we can all enjoy the posts from those massive build threads and passively enjoy those tanks from the sidelines, because lets be honest, some of those monster tanks would also be a major headache to care for.
 

snowhite

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Empty Nest. 30 Year Corporate Career. Paid Off House. A couple Side Hustles.
Not a Lawyer, Doctor, etc. but "comfortable" and not living in an overpopulated/overpriced East/West coast area.

Buy stuff used when possible and often buy things that are "good deals" knowing I can resell some or all of it and pickup a couple hundred bucks along the way.

Completely viable low-tech reef tanks can be ran with a cheap 55 gallon tank and a couple Hang On Back filters, Canister Filters, or Hang On Back Overflows and used Sumps. They're just not gonna look like the OCD glamour tanks/sumps you see shown off here on on Instagram. There's usually crazy deals out there on BioCubes and JBJ type All In One tanks.
 
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HaveFishWillTravel

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Empty Nest. 30 Year Corporate Career. Paid Off House. A couple Side Hustles.
Not a Lawyer, Doctor, etc. but "comfortable" and not living in an overpopulated/overpriced East/West coast area.

Buy stuff used when possible and often buy things that are "good deals" knowing I can resell some or all of it and pickup a couple hundred bucks along the way.

Completely viable low-tech reef tanks can be ran with a cheap 55 gallon tank and a couple Hang On Back filters, Canister Filters, or Hang On Back Overflows and used Sumps. They're just not gonna look like the OCD glamour tanks/sumps you see shown off here on on Instagram. There's usually crazy deals out there on BioCubes and JBJ type All In One tanks.
About 25 years ago, I had a plexiglass (you know, that sturdy plastic?) 75 gallon saltwater tank. I resurrected all the old power heads and pumps from that old dinosaur and am still using them for maintenance and other purposes. I just bought some plants online for $5 bucks that came in mail all ragged and I am now bringing them back to life in my old Betta tank that has this teeny little integrated water pump. Over the years, I have cleaned and stored and taken care of all of my equipment and have been able to repurpose it. We live in such a plastic, disposable world. I take a lot of pride in reusing, repurposing old stuff instead of rushing out and buying new stuff. Mostly because I don’t have a ton of money. I thought this was an interesting topic today. Thanks ya’ll for sharing. JL
 

MaxxuM

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I’ll tell you a big difference from when I started reefing. There is very little DIY anymore. There were virtually no commercial calcium reactors. I made my own. Buy a toilet flange with the knockout still installed, some 3” acrylic tube, a flange for the top, some egg crate for a media platform... Drill some holes for hose barb fittings, epoxy them in and voila. Instant media reactor. There were no premade acrylic sumps. If you had one, you made it. Most of us used storage totes as sumps. And they work just as well, for 1/10 the cost. So there are lots of lost ways to go about reefing on the cheap, without compromising functionality. Most of my equipment is home made, except for my skimmer, and it all works very well.
Man back in the day, I DIYed everything on my 80g. Drilled it, made my own sump, built my twin halide canopy with VHO, ugly 2x4 stand, and my auto top off was a Home Depot bucket with kalk drip. Cost less than a single Radion does today. Real problem was the $290 a month electric bill.
 

JoshB94

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Luckily,

No kids, wife is a successful insurance agency owner and I'm a defense contractor so my coral budget is thankful for that. Much respect to everyone who maintains an awesome system while providing for a family with lots of bills to pay. That's a lot of dedication.

For me, I buy used and colonies to sell a couple frags and cover the cost. My unobtainable goal is to someday reef for free from frags. At least the wife is still buying that excuse
 

Jet915

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If u maintain your tank well and can get coral to grow, you should be able to sell frags. For the last year ive sold frags that easily pay for the tank maintenance and the some....
 
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MichaelReefer

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Well, my main Hobbies used to be guns and trucks. After I got to a dozen guns I kinda slowed down and put all my money into my suped up Diesel...then I sold that and this became my only hobby. Basically my money goes to my woman, my house and my fish.
 

desagon

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Making a ton of money isn’t everything if you don’t know how to manage it. I was buying a mattress a while ago and the salesman brought up financing. Long story short, I paid cash and he told me about a guy that just bought a bed right before me. The man financed it but made like $900k/year.
Just because you see high end tanks doesn’t mean people can “afford” them. Credit cards, man.
 

ARAJEA

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My wife and I fall into the high end salary category..... finally. But it took years and years to get there and between us have 100k in college debt, we are both up to our eyes in debt because of divorces. We have a mortgage on a house in VA we don't even live in. We have 3 kids in the house, I pay over 1300 in child support a month. I could go on butnits depressing me lol. Our first tank was a 55 gallon rusted out door hideous tank that we saved 200$ over 6 months to buy on craigslist and it was probably my favorite tank ever. All about budget and planning. Thankfully, this is a hobby where you have to know patience anyway.
 
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