Why is $2500 just not enough :(

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Rscott, May 14, 2019.

  1. Rscott

    Rscott Active Member

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    I have been lurking for about 2 years
    Made many posts and learned a bunch
    Almost pulled the trigger so many times I lost count
    Every time I build a shopping cart on BRS or marine depot I can’t stay under $4k

    Grrrr
    Any ideas on a $2500 setup?
    Looking for a 50-60 gallon tank
    Has to have a white stand option

    All I ever put in the shopping cart is a reefer 250 and by the time I get done with lights sand rock power heads and a skimmer with salt and a few test kits it’s over $4k

    Thoughts appreciated on possible equipment selection?
    Thanks all
     

  2. FO_Reef

    FO_Reef Member

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    At that budget used gear and diy solutions are going to be pretty much your only way forward. I prefer to diy stuff anyway, it’s half the fun of the hobby to me, and it’s super rewarding.
     
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  3. christopher wainright

    christopher wainright Active Member

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    I was pretty much in the same boat as you. I ended up checking forums and Craigslist and bought a tank and stand used. Then used my saved money for equipment. I did have to paint the stand though.
     
  4. mattzang

    mattzang Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    well red sea is basically top tier stuff

    I have an SCA tank & some sort of custom stand from the LFS. I'm fairly sure you can do this hobby with a decent sized and nice looking tank for less than $4k, but it is an expensive hobby.

    http://www.scaquariums.com/product-p/sca-50gpnpb.htm

    that's $765 and it comes with a pump & skimmer, although tbh I'd probably just buy replacements and use them as backups. but you get a sump too.

    another option is to buy used stuff. i actually see my same tank pop up on offerup/craigslist frequently for like $200-400, but the white cabinet is less popular i think. you could DIY a stand if you are handy
     
  5. cmcoker

    cmcoker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Would spacing it out help?

    You could do it in phases, you dont need skimmer and lights on day one.

    Heck you dont even need the tank to start, you could use a brute to start cycling the rock with a cheap Amazon powerhead and some saltwater.
     
  6. Mical

    Mical Well-Known Member

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  7. NS Mike D

    NS Mike D Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    If there is a reef club near you, they can be a great at helping someone get started in the hobby with donated and deeply discounted equipment and livestock. Soft corals don't require high end equipment and can great start to the hobby. Ocelaris clowns with an anemone are not expensive and can keep you entertained for hours at a time
     
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  8. Fotocha

    Fotocha I have nightmares of jumping fish R2R Supporter CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I went through this while planning my current build. Maybe you can read through and see what brought me to my conclusions.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/new-build-suggestions.571553/

    One of the things that ultimately made my decision was about aquascaping. BRS had a video about choosing what size tank, it mentions about getting a tank wider than it is deep. Which basically leaves 40 gallon and 120 gallon. Cubes have difficulties and 55, 75, 90 are rather high.

    Hope this helps. It would be easy to do what I did on my build and make the stand white.
     
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  9. FishyFish

    FishyFish Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    A lot of the big sellers have open box specials, check them often and you can get some great deals on new stuff. They have sales pretty often too. Many of them also have some kind of return customer program where if you spend so much you get a discount on your next purchase. Between all of that you should be able to avoid paying full price for almost anything.
     
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  10. WWIII

    WWIII Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor LMAS Member

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    Wait till you get the coral bug! Then enough is never enough.

    Used equipment is often available, sometimes not even used "new in box", if you're patient. If you want a red sea reefer, not sure how to save much there though. Good luck! They are beautiful tanks!
     
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  11. JoshH

    JoshH Swimming in the deep end... R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    I agree with this, always good to buy somewhat top of the line products but to do it all at once is a tough pill to swallow. Doing things in stages is MUCH easier and it allows you to afford the exact things you want. I'd say find a tank you absolutely love within your price range get sand/rock and go for it. Start your cycling and while you wait for it to cycle properly you can scrounge up some money for some lights, power heads, skimmer, fuge lights, or whatever else you really want. Take your time, research your purchases and think ahead, maybe get a slightly larger skimmer that's rated for a bigger tank, or newer lights that you can pair up with more down the road and so on. This will ensure you aren't wasting your money upfront when you decide to upgrade down the road, which you will.

    Oh BTW I'd love to see a total list of things in your cart that made up $4,000 on a $1,450 tank that's some serious extras...

    Also to add to what was mentioned above, BRS has a preferred reefer bonus points going on this month where you get 10x reefer points on almost every purchase. All you have to do is sign up for a BRS account. Easy way to get some good points back and use them for other purchases.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  12. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Active Member

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    You don’t need the Red Sea.

    Get a 40 gallon breeder or 75 gallon and drill it, reefbreeders LEDs, DIY sump, used skimmer, some Jebao pumps and that’ll be plenty for a year. Then you can drop real money on what your path is and appreciate higher level gear. But more importantly you’ll have a lot more real world experience and somewhat know what you’re doing a little bit.
     
  13. Jekyl

    Jekyl Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I just did a 90 gallon mixed reef tank for around $1200. You dont need everything that BRS pitches in their videos. Nothing used or DIY. My tank has been running and healthy for over a month. Coral and fish doing great.
     
  14. Jon Fishman

    Jon Fishman Valuable Member

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    Check the “For Sale: Dry Goods” here, craigslist, and ebay etc........ if the overwhelming amount of lightly-used less-than-one-year-old setups doesn’t trigger too many alarms in your head of the failure rate (due to cost, laziness, lack of research) then you should be able to find a turn-key setup for $2,500 in that size.
     
  15. Medic58

    Medic58 Active Member

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    Man get over to the selling forums on this site someone was selling a brand new in the box Red Sea for 1100 bucks I’m about to score 100 pounds of Marco rock for 400. I scored a used m1 for 175 from a reefer in my town I use it as a back up when i clean my other one. You can get a mp40 for 275. There are used sumps, controllers and so much stuff. You can get whole set up for way less that 2500. I order from brs but like posted above don’t get caught up on trying to keep up with brs remember they get it for free. IMO the most money should be spent on a good rock pump,powerhead,and light. Outside of that it be can used.
     
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  16. dantimdad

    dantimdad Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award R2R Secret Santa Hospitality Award Build Thread Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    Check out my signature.

    You can have a very nice system for very little money if you are willing to be patient, do some repairs or restoration and DIY a few things.
     
  17. Medic58

    Medic58 Active Member

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  18. Medic58

    Medic58 Active Member

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  19. Jon Fishman

    Jon Fishman Valuable Member

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    I will also say, Mars Aqua black-box LEDs have grown everything just fine for me...... I was pretty happy when I decided to add two more 300w ones for $400 from Amazon..... then realized I could get them for $330 from ebay......

    Even if you want to upgrade in the future, These will get you by for a LONG time. I am guessing one 300w or two of the 165’s will cover the tank you choose
     
  20. Mayerlyn A

    Mayerlyn A Entre_Jardines R2R Supporter

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    I bought my tank used , and it came with everything i needed to start for $750.00 . I have upgraded lights and added more power heads, bought more rocks and started with new sand . My sump is too small for refugium, so I built a algae reactor. I plan on upgrading skimmer and adding a doser soon . You can do a lot with a little if you are patient and just take your time. Like someone else said , you dont need everything right away . As the tank matures and the needs change , you can add more equipment. Good luck
     
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