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The Boyfriend Comes Through!

This is a discussion on The Boyfriend Comes Through! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> if your going salt look into local reefing clubs or even check out craigslist for people breaking down their tanks. id be iffy about ...

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The Boyfriend Comes Through!
Old 12-24-2008, 02:39 PM   #11
 
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if your going salt look into local reefing clubs or even check out craigslist for people breaking down their tanks.
id be iffy about craigslist live rock but you can chance if and find a great deal.

my reef club is $12 a year and i got 50lbs for $100 and i also got another 40-50 lbs for free from a very generous member. a good club is priceless. you can find all sorts of equipment for fractions of a cost - well worth checking out
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:40 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyJ View Post
Boyfriend???? Why isn't a guy like this your husband???? Congratulations one the nice gift!

200 will make a great saltwater system, but as mentioned previously, it will cost MUCH more and will in fact be in the thousands of dollars. It will cost around $600 for just the live rock, and that is on the conservative side.
He's not a husband because then I'd have to share my money with him!!
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:42 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
if your going salt look into local reefing clubs or even check out craigslist for people breaking down their tanks.
id be iffy about craigslist live rock but you can chance if and find a great deal.

my reef club is $12 a year and i got 50lbs for $100 and i also got another 40-50 lbs for free from a very generous member. a good club is priceless. you can find all sorts of equipment for fractions of a cost - well worth checking out
Great idea on the Craigslist. I could also join a reef club before I even set up a tank to get started in on the learning process. Would that be a good idea??
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:54 PM   #14
 
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no problem kymmie, long posts contain lots of info!

I'd say that in general, monthly costs of maintaining a SW tank don't hold a candle to the initial cost. The main recurring costs are (1) salt mix for water changes, (2) R/O water unless you buy a household unit, something I would HIGHLY recommend for a tank your size (who wants to lug 50+ gallons of water home from the LFS?), (3) supplements, like calcium, magnesium, pH and alk buffers, etc, and (4) other small misc. costs like replacing filter pads/sponges/socks if you use them, food, etc.

Supplements can be bought in bulk usually, so you don't have to buy new bottles every couple of weeks. So really, you're main upkeep costs are salt mix, and a minor budget for the misc. stuff plus an occasional restocking of supplements.

Salt mix goes for (ball park figure) ~$15-$20 for 50 gallons worth, or it can be bought in large ~160 gallon buckets for ~$50. Its tough to tell how often you'll have to be doing water changes yet, but probably somewhere between once every couple of weeks to once every month. In the long run, you'll probably be able to do once a month, if you have a nice stable tank that keeps nitrates at zero on it's own (so all you're doing water changes for is to replace the trace elements in the water, not toxin removal).
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:13 PM   #15
 
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yes, a good club will be a learning experience as well. my club usually does "work shops" like last months meeting i think we did drilling live rock and assembling with coat hangers, and taking clear photos of your tank. the month before we did a powerhead mod. so theres always stuff to learn. even if your club doesnt do things like this you'll still meet people and talk to people with the same interest.
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:31 PM   #16
 
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Conger: Thanks for the breakdown. It seems I spend more money than that on my planted tank. (Fertz aren't cheap. I've got to look into dry bulk!)

One Fish: Your club sounds VERY cool. I'm thinking that since I'm on the coast there's got to be a good club somewhere close by.

Thanks guys, you rock!
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:15 PM   #17
 
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When talking to local reef owners (I eventually want a reef setup!) They said that the average cost for owning a reef tank over 90 gallons usually comes in around $30/gal for the first year and about $15/gallon for the following few years until the reef is to the point where most owners can't add too much more without having to sell something(none of this includes power and water costs). This means that you are looking at a cost of $6000 for the first year, around $3000 a year for two to four years following. After that they said it goes down to about $3-7 a gallon plus the cost of power and water. These figures include mistakes that people usually make within the first couple years, but do not factor in any discounts or deals that you may be able to find. Keep in mind that I have no personal experience in this, it is just what I was told to expect from members of a local reef society that I have been talking to.
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:17 PM   #18
 
The after setup cost of a reef tank would be a bit more than that of a planted tank of the same size. You would need to add some for the salt for water changes, around $25 a month, RODI filters and DI Resin around $80 a year, and replacement MH and T5 light bulbs yearly around $270. And you can expect your electricity bill to go up around $60 a month.

You could also start out with a FOWLR (fish only with live rock) tank to see how it goes for you while you learn about all the extra stuff involved in keeping a reef.

For a 200 gallon tank, you will for sure want to get a RODI unit. It is easy to hook them up for auto top off. This is important in a salt water tank, because the salt does not evaporate with the water. If top off water is not keep up regularly, the salinity can easily raise high enough to kill a tank.

Last edited by CathyJ; 12-24-2008 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 12-24-2008, 08:38 PM   #19
 
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Food costs with saltwater are also higher. Most freshwater fish can be fed a staple diet of flakes, pellets and the like with frozen or live as once-in-a-while treats, but many marine fish require frozen or live foods. Also, the prepared marine foods tend to be a lot more expensive than prepared freshwater foods.

If I were in your position, I would consider upgrading the freshwater tank to the big one, and turning your current 100g into the saltwater. There's a huge price difference between plain ol' stock tanks and reef ready ones, so having that reef ready tank already is a big savings. Plus, while bigger tanks are more forgiving in terms of chemistry stability, you're talking about a larger tank vs. a larger one, not a 2.5g vs. a 20g. Keeping corals will also be easier in the smaller tank as you'll have better light penetration. Of course, this will be an issue when keeping plants in the big tank as well, but even top of the line lights for planted tanks are considerably cheaper than the high end saltwater lights. Also, and please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like many of the fish that really *need* more than 100g in the saltwater world aren't really reef safe anyway, so I don't believe having a 200g vs. a 100g tank will really open the door to many more species of marine fish if you're looking to have a reef.
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Old 12-24-2008, 09:02 PM   #20
 
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wow!! can't help you decide,i'd just like to wish you well with your decision,
and look forward to plenty of pictures.
:)
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